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Notes: D’Andre Swift was the best Week 1 running back per PFF, Football Outsiders

Metrics from both PFF and Football Outsiders had D’Andre Swift as the best Week 1 running back in the NFL.

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Philadelphia Eagles v Detroit Lions Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

D’Andre Swift has already been nominated as the Fedex Ground Player of the Week, but his nationally accolades go well beyond a contents.

On Wednesday, two advanced metrics sites credited Swift with the best running back performance of Week 1 of the 2022 season.

First, PFF gave Swift the highest overall grade of any running back in Week 1, with a solid score of 82.3. The next closest rushers with at least five attempts were Christian McCaffrey (79.5), NIck Chubb (79.3) and A.J. Dillion (76.7). Pretty good company for the Detroit Lions’ third-year back.

To take things even further, Swift posted the highest “Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement” (or DYAR) figure among all Week 1 running backs according to Football Outsiders. Here’s what DYAR measures, according to the analytics website:

“A Football Outsiders stat which compares the performance of each player, in terms of DVOA, to a replacement-level baseline rather than the league average for that position, then translates that total into yardage. Because DYAR is a total stat, not a rate stat, it helps show the importance of workhorse running backs and receivers who can draw the attention of the defense away from other players.”

If you’re more interested in the methodology of DYAR, it is further explained here.

Anyways, Swift’s DYAR of 72 was far above any other running back, distancing himself from Clyde Edwards-Helaire (52), Cordarrelle Patterson (46) and Nick Chubb (44). Here’s a further explanation of why Swift’s day was so valuable according to Football Outsiders’ model, as explained in their Quick Reads post this week:

“Swift ran for five first downs against the Eagles; four of them gained 10 yards or more, including a 50-yarder, and the other was a 7-yard touchdown,” Vincent Verhei wrote. “Meanwhile, he was stuffed for no gain just one time. Two of his receptions also resulted in first downs.”

  • Not done with all the D’Andre Swift love yet:

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