Some fantasy football owners can prepare for the return of two running backs this week that have been stashed away on their benches for the last two weeks. San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews and Detroit Lions RB Mikel Leshoure will both suit up for their respective teams after missing the first two weeks of the regular season due to different circumstances.
Mikel Leshoure returns to the active roster after serving a two game league imposed suspension for off field behavior issues. We have been talking about Leshoure’s impact to the Lions offense for a while now, but Sunday will mark his first official regular season action in his two year career. He suffered a season ending Achilles injury in last season’s preseason. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen tweeted last night that he expects Leshoure will see around 15 touches on Sunday. He will likely be splitting carries with Kevin Smith and while the matchup against the 30th ranked Tennessee Titans defense looks tempting, I would hold off on starting him until it can be determined exactly what his role in the Lions pass heavy offense will be.
Ryan Mathews returns to the field for his first start of the season after suffering a broken clavicle in the preseason. Chargers head coach Norv Turner was gushing about Mathews prior to his injury and told members of the media he expected a monster season from Mathews this year. If you drafted Mathews, it was a likely a high round pick. You didn’t select him in order to keep him on your bench. Start him this week against an Atlanta Falcons defense which has yielded 270 rushing yards in the last two weeks.