Mikel Leshoure slogged through his rookie season. He made it onto the field two games into the season and after his 100-yard debut, he didn't top 85 rushing yards in any game the rest of the season. He scored nine touchdowns but averaged a poor 3.7 yards per carry. Lions head coach Jim Schwartz is looking for him to kick it up a notch or two next season.
"[Leshoure] didn't have any explosive runs last year," Schwartz said Thursday via the team's official website. "He battled through a rookie year, that's probably the best way to evaluate him.
"He flashed enough highs that gives us optimism that he can (be explosive), but he also had enough inconsistency to say that he's not there yet. ... We still have high hopes for him and expect him to make a big jump."
Leshoure just didn't look like he fit in Detroit's offense last year. Besides the fact that he was often a "three yards and a cloud of dust" runner, he can't catch the football, which is a must in the Lions' pass-happy offense. Joique Bell is much more suited for that role. But since Leshoure is still the lead runner here and a very good goal-line player, he is around the top 20 in fantasy RBs. However, until he displays some ability to break off long runs, his week-to-week production will be very inconsistent and carry a low ceiling.