PPR Comparison: Bush vs. CJ2K
The days before a draft are always ones of hectic, exciting anticipation. We get an idea of who we want and where we want to draft them. Every year there are players we can’t choose between. During the next few weeks, fantasy owners will likely be faced with the decision of whether to draft Chris Johnson or Reggie Bush. This verdict will have most value in PPR leagues. Obviously, with any choice there are different aspects that need to be taken into consideration. Four especially important factors in this decision-making process include the running back’s history, offensive line, quarterback and other backfield members.
Injuries escape no football player and Reggie Bush has been no different. Last year was the first season Bush had played all 16 games since his 2006 rookie campaign. Recent seasons have dispelled the injury bug for Bush, however, as he only missed one game in two years with Miami.
While it may seem like Johnson has a distinct advantage over Bush in the world of fantasy football, a comparison is merited, especially over the last two years. In 2011 Johnson had just three more fantasy points than Bush and in 2012 the Titans’ workhorse bested Bush by just eight fantasy points.
They were both Top 15 PPR running backs in those two seasons.
Offensive Line Comparison
With Nate Burleson over the hill and starting opposite Johnson, it wouldn’t be surprising for Bush to be the second most targeted player on Detroit’s offense. Stafford’s strength is just that, his arm strength. The Lions would be smart to include Bush early and often in the passing game, providing Stafford with more high percentage throws and taking some pressure off Megatron. In Detroit’s potent offense, Bush could get close to the receiving numbers he put up in his time as a Saint.
While a healthy Locker would be beneficial for the Titans as a whole, it would likely decrease some of Johnson’s receiving opportunities. After being targeted 79 times in 2011, third among running backs, he was targeted just 49 times in 2012 – 21st among running backs – resulting in a career low 36 receptions. However, Johnson is first and foremost a running back.
Stealing Thunder Comparison
Reggie Bush: Mikel Leshoure, Joique Bell
Most NFL teams now feature a running back by committee system – one of the most annoying parts of fantasy football. The Lions are no different. Mikel Leshoure will be Bush’s main competition, especially on short-yardage plays and near the end zone. He will likely vulture at least a handful of scores from Bush. Joique Bell should mainly be featured on third downs and in COP (change of pace) situations, while taking some opportunities away from Bush in the passing game.
Chris Johnson: Shonn Greene
Sharing the backfield is not a new concept to Chris Johnson. In 2008, LenDale White scored 15 times on 200 rushes. Johnson still racked up over 1,200 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns that year – his rookie year. While Shonn Greene probably won’t get 15 touchdowns like White did, he will be stealing some thunder away from Johnson, especially near the end zone, like Leshoure with Bush.
The advantage Johnson has is that he will still garner most of the targets in the passing game with Greene primarily playing a short yardage and “inside the five” role. Still, expect Johnson to at least equal his rushing touchdown total of six from a year ago.
Advantage (least affected): Johnson
Honestly, you can’t go wrong either way. They were only separated by a few fantasy points over the last two years in PPR scoring. Johnson was 12th in 2012 and 9th in 2011. Bush was 14th in 2012 and 13th in 2011. I would comfortably spend an early second round pick in PPR drafts on either of these guys. My personal preference is Chris Johnson, who I have ranked two spots ahead of Bush.