Who will have more fantasy draft value: Jahvid Best or Mikel LeShoure?
The Detroit Lions selected running back Mikel LeShoure in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft, and some fantasy owners were ready to kick Jahvid Best to the curb. Suddenly, Best (a first-rounder in 2010) was an old, used model compared to the shiny, new product fresh off the assembly line in LeShoure.
There's little question that LeShoure's presence cuts into Best's fantasy value on draft day this year. But it's not as if Best was a lemon in his rookie season.
Best, you'll remember, burst onto the scene with a pair of touchdowns on Kickoff Weekend against the Bears. The next week, he gained 232 yards from scrimmage and scored three touchdowns -- for an astounding 41 fantasy points -- against the Eagles. But then he suffered a turf-toe injury against the Vikings the next week, and never was the same the rest of the season. He sat out one game, played sparingly in several others and never regained his explosiveness.
Still, 1,042 yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns as a rookie are not scrap-heap numbers. And now, he enters 2011 without a scratch on him, and an offseason of rest on the healed turf toe. That's enough to keep Best atop the depth chart, and to give him the edge in fantasy value.
Still, most reports out of Detroit indicate that the Lions intend to utilize LeShoure as a complementary back to Best, and it's easy to see why. The 6-foot, 227-pound LeShoure is the half-ton pickup compared to Best's sleek (5-foot-9, 190-pound) sports car. LeShoure's ability to pound the ball makes him the favorite for goal-line work, so it's worth keeping an eye on how this backfield timeshare develops.
Bottom Line: Best and Leshoure both will get their touches this year. But until proven otherwise, Best is the fantasy back to own in Detroit.