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Fantasy Football Preview - Reggie Bush

So…Reggie Bush.

Reeeeeeeeegggie Bush.  Hmm.  Yeah.

Reggie Bush.

A guy that was once hyped as the greatest player to come out of college in a decade (or two!) is now a fifth tier fantasy running back.  Not because of injury, or because of other team personnel.  No, he’s just not that good in standard fantasy leagues.

Bush’s rushing stats have been underwhelming during his two seasons in the NFL.  A total of 565 rushing yards in his rookie season increased to only 581 yards last season, although to be fair Bush was hurt for the final four games of the season.  A healthy Bush would likely have finished with about 800 rushing yards. 

People had blamed the fact that Bush had to share time with Deuce McAllister, but when McAllister went down with an injury Bush still wasn’t able to take on the full running back workload.  A few people had pointed out from the beginning that Bush wasn’t a 20 carry per game type of back, but he was obviously incredibly awesome at everything so that didn’t matter.  Suddenly last season, it mattered to the Saints – last season Bush had fewer 100+ rushing yard games (zero) than either Aaron Stecker or Pierre Thomas (one each).

The counter argument is Bush’s pass-catching ability and that’s what makes him a Tier 5 back instead of him being in the same category as guys like Derrick Ward.  Last season Bush pulled in 73 receptions for 417 yards and two touchdowns which isn’t too bad but  was a big drop from the 742 receiving yards of his rookie season.   Why the big drop?  Because he was too busy being the main running back instead of the pass-catching “weapon” out of the backfield.  Bush won’t be successful as an RB1 -- he has to be a key receiving target in order for him to be worth even a second round fantasy draft pick.  In PPR leagues, he's a monster.

Deuce McAllister is coming off major surgery and he should be back for the start of the season.  Or maybe not.  And he should be back at full speed.  Or maybe not.  The Saints signed Aaron Stecker to a contract extension, so they must be planning to use him a good deal.  Or maybe not.  That’s what makes Bush so unique – he’s the reverse RRBC fantasy option.  If he has somebody else as the RB1 he becomes more valuable, not less.   I put  Bush in Tier 5 because  I’m skeptical that McAllister is  coming back at 100% and skeptical that Stecker would really be the RB1.  If it turns out that Deuce really is back, then Bush would move up a tier.