Mikel Leshoure: Detroit Lions RB Is Smart Option for Fantasy Football Owners

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistSeptember 19, 2012

DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 30:  Mikel Leshoure #25 of the Detroit Lions takes a first quarter handoff from Shaun Hill #14 while playing the Buffalo Bills during a pre season game at Ford Field on August 30, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions' offense is a one-trick pony, but reinstated running back Mikel Leshoure can alleviate that situation.

The Detroit News reporter Chris McCosky noted that "Kevin Smith continued to take the first-team reps during the portion of practice open to the media and nobody is saying how big a role Leshoure might play Sunday."

According to ESPN, Leshoure is owned in 25.8 percent of standard-scoring league. Some owners may have him stashed away on their bench, but chances are that he's waiting for you to claim him on the waiver wire.

The Lions are currently 25th in the league in rushing. Averaging less than four-yards-per-carry won't suffice. If the Lions want to take the next step, they must find a reliable ground option to supplement their exciting aerial attack.

Expect head coach Jim Schwartz to use Leshoure. It's going to take him a game to get completely back into the mix, but Leshoure's potential is Detroit's best shot at establishing a consistent ground game.

Leshoure is the most talented ball-carrier on Detroit's roster, but he's never gotten a chance to showcase his abilities. He is going to be hungry for carries. He knows that Kevin Smith can be surpassed on the depth chart, as long as he does what he is supposed to do.

Schwartz has to be chomping at the bit to try out his new toy, especially because he missed his entire rookie season due to injury.

Don't expect Smith to be fazed out immediately, but the Lions need Leshoure to win the starting job.

If you need someone to play a key backup role on your fantasy team, like I do, pick up Leshoure. He's a completely unproven commodity, but the well is usually pretty dry when it comes to waiver-wire running backs.

He's not going to score 20 points per week, but he's going to get his chances. The Lions desperately need someone to fill the void in their backfield, and Leshoure will eventually be their guy.

I'd expect him to be that guy sooner, rather than later.