Mikel Leshoure: Projecting Week 3 Fantasy Impact for Detroit Lions RB

Mike Hoag@MikeHoagJrCorrespondent IISeptember 21, 2012

DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 30:  Mikel Leshoure #25 of the Detroit Lions gets around the tackle of Arthur Moats #52 of the Buffalo Bills after a first quarter catch 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

Mikel Leshoure’s Week 3 fantasy impact may be greater than many anticipated due to struggles with the Detroit Lions’ rushing game and the ineptitude of the Tennessee Titans’ rush defense.

There are also reports from a source to CBS Sports that indicate Leshoure may receive an increased workload during the team’s matchup with the Titans on September 23.

There are a plethora of reasons you may want to think about picking up the Detroit Lions running back for Week 3, if he’s still available. On the flip side, if you get burned, you’ve still got the rest of your season to play waiver warrior.

If you have him, make sure to read closely and pay attention.


Measurables and Strengths

At 6’0” and over 220 pounds, Leshoure has legitimate NFL size. The best part is he also has quick feet and a respectable straight-line speed (4.59-second 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine).

His true strength, though, lies in his ability to find creases in opposing defenses and adjust himself in order to exploit them. He’s a very shifty runner, which greatly benefits him when he gets the ball in space—either in the passing game or on rushes outside the tackles.


Lions’ Rushing Woes and Titans’ Awful Rush Defense

The Titans are having an awful season defensively and have surrendered the third most rushing yards to opposing running backs thus far in 2012. That factor, combined with their offense’s inability to do anything, has boosted opposing players’ fantasy stats.

Last week, their defense allowed 148 yards to a San Diego Chargers backfield consisting of Jackie Battle and Curtis Brinkley. Also, the Titans surrendered 49 yards on eight catches to Chargers’ running backs Brinkley and Ronnie Brown.

Detroit, on the other hand, needs to do something to fix its own struggles in the running game. After two games, the Lions are 25th in the league with only 82.5 yards per game on the ground.


Week 3 Start or Sit Analysis

Due to the inability of the Lions to run the ball and the weakness of the Titans’ rush defense, Leshoure will make the most out of the 20 or so touches he is expected to get throughout the game.

Now 18 games deep into his second NFL season, Leshoure has yet to play in a real game. That may be enough for some to shy away from utilizing the dynamic back this week.

Don’t give in to that assumption. Leshoure has all of the talent and ability as well as the opportunity of an ideal matchup vs. the Titans. Go against the grain and take a chance. It will pay off on the scoreboard on Sunday.


Mike Hoag is a Breaking News Team writer for Bleacher Report and also covers the Cleveland Browns and the NFL for the site.