Mikel LeShoure: Updated Fantasy Football Profile & Analysis for Detroit Lions RB

Nick KostoraContributor IIISeptember 23, 2012

DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 30:  Mikel Leshoure #25 of the Detroit Lions heads back to the sideline after scoring a first quarter touchdown 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

Mikel LeShoure's NFL debut has been delayed for over a season, but in Week 3 he steps onto the field as the starting running back for the Detroit Lions.

The Lions backfield has been a revolving door of mediocrity over the last few seasons, with names like Jahvid Best, Kevin Smith, Keiland Williams and Joique Bell all taking handoffs.

Now, Detroit hopes to find some stability with LeShoure as the starter.

What does this mean for fantasy owners?

Let's breakdown everything you need to know about LeShoure.



There is a reason Detroit considered LeShoure worthy of a second round pick in 2011. He is big at 6'0" 227 pounds, and is not afraid to utilize that size.

LeShoure was a dominant force in his career at Illinois, rushing for 2,557 yards on 424 carries and 23 touchdowns.

He coupled that six-yards-per-carry average with decent pass catching abilities, hauling in 37 passes for 439 yards with five touchdowns.

LeShoure's 4.59-second 40 yard dash time doesn't indicate breakaway speed, but he is a smart runner that waits for his blocks to develop and takes the proper lane.

The real issue with the Lions running back is his recovery from an Achilles injury that cost him his entire rookie season.

Will he be the same powerful downhill runner from before the injury? Or will he appear to have lost a step, at least initially, as he gets back to the speed of real game action?


Fantasy Outlook:

LeShoure has the talent to be a quality fantasy starter, but it is tough to imagine him putting up prolific numbers within the framework of the Lions offense.

Detroit throws the ball more than any other team in the league—on almost half of all offensive snaps.

Yes, part of this is because of the lack of stability at the running back position, but the Lions are clearly a pass-first team regardless.

However, the other backs on the roster may take away from LeShoure's chances as well.

Smith has looked good in his limited carries over the last two years, so he should continue to see some snaps moving forward.

Best will be on the field plenty if he ever regains his health, and Bell looks like a viable third-down and change-of-pace back.

It is hard to know how many carries LeShoure will get as the "starter" because of Detroit's pass heavy nature, but between 14-18 seems reasonable.



LeShoure is not a player you want to put into your starting lineup at this point if you do not have to. Detroit's offense is forever going to center around Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson, that's just how it is.

LeShoure can become a valuable piece of the puzzle for the Lions, but he is going to be hard pressed to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season or score double digit touchdowns.

If he can stay healthy, which is certainly a big if at this point, and can stay committed to performing on the field, LeShoure could be a viable fantasy starter spot.

Just don't expect to find the next breakout star.