It leaves the Lions with a pretty tremendous trio of talented running backs, and while it's possible they go into the 2023 season with all three of them, it seems more likely this makes D'Andre Swift a trade candidate in the coming days and weeks. And from a Fantasy perspective, that's certainly what we're hoping for.
Because, right now, this situation is a mess. Montgomery is a decent high-volume, three-down option who should slot right in as the early-downs replacement for Jamaal Williams – though he does bring more pass-catching skills to the table than Williams did. The problem is, Gibbs and Swift's skill sets largely overlap – both are explosive runners, but with Montgomery around, they're likely left splitting the leftover carries plus the bulk of the passing downs.
This is a situation that screams for a trade, with Swift the seemingly obvious odd man out. So, in light of the Gibbs pick, here are the top spots we'd like to see Swift moved to:
This one would be dependent on the Bengals moving on from Joe Mixon, but if they did, Swift could be a tremendous fit in Cincinnati's offense. They like to use one back heavily, with Mixon and Samaje Perine combining for 248 carries and 89 targets in 16 starts between them. Swift's ability to stay healthy is a major question, but he might have top-five potential in an explosive offensive like Cincy's.
The Chiefs seem likely to roll with Isiah Pacheco as the early-down bruiser, and former first-round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire is still here, though it's not clear the Chiefs have much hope for him left. One thing this team doesn't have right now is an obvious passing downs back, and that's where Swift could fill in perfectly as a more dynamic version of what Jerick McKinnon has given them over the past few seasons. There probably isn't a top-12 outcome for Swift in KC's offense, barring injury, but McKinnon did have 56 catches for 512 yards and a whopping nine touchdowns on 71 targets last season. Swift could be a terrifying fit in this offense with his big-play abilities.
Depending on how Javonte Williams' recovery from his knee injury goes, the Broncos could need a starting running back for the beginning of the season. And, if Sean Payton's offense here looks anything like it did in New Orleans, there's going to be plenty of room for multiple backs to make an impact here – the Saints under Payton routinely had multiple backs average at least 10 touches per game, and Swift could fill an Alvin Kamara-esque role in this offense pretty perfectly. Even as an ostensible No. 2 back, Swift could be a must-start RB if this offense bounces back in Payton's first season.
Tony Pollard was a top-10 RB last season despite Ezekiel Elliott averaging 15.4 carries and 1.5 targets per game, so there's definitely room for multiple backs to thrive here. Swift would probably garner more of a role in the passing game than Elliott did, but that might not necessarily take too much away from Pollard; Elliott already matched Pollard in third down snaps in one fewer game last season. Swift would simply give them a more dynamic option to use in passing situations than Elliott, who was often tasked with blocking rather than running routes. Having two guys with the big-play ability Pollard and Swift do would be pretty terrifying for opposing defensive coordinators, and we know the Cowboys still like to make a splash even with running backs.
New Orleans Saints
Alvin Kamara's days as the focal point of the Saints offense are probably done, and with a felony assault trial hanging over him, we're expecting him to miss at least some time this season. Swift would be a logical replacement for Kamara, as another explosive back with the skills to split out wide and make an impact in the passing game when needed. Swift could be a top-15 back for any time Kamara misses, while potentially being set up to take over as the long-term option there in 2024 and beyond.