Reggie Bush: Changing Our Perception

Reggie Bush has worked himself into a must-start fantasy running back. He is no longer the underachieving runner that he was with the Saints. As Miami’s team and record have improved, so have Bush’s stats. If we look back to Miami’s last season, as they started to give Bush more touches, his production started to improve. The Dolphins have stuck with this philosophy and are looking to keep utilizing Bush.

Let’s look at the two games this season (before he got injured in the Jets game) and the last four games of the 2011 season, where Bush had over 100 yards rushing. Every game Miami either won or was competitive in, Bush had 20+ carries. In the other games, counting receptions, he had 19 and 20 touches. In these six games, he averaged 148 total yards and 6.1 yards per carry. Clearly Miami is getting him more involved as an integral part of their offense and Bush is thriving in that role. In the Week One loss to Houston, he had less touches as a result of the team losing and resorting to the pass, but was all six targets thrown his way. Including Week Three, in which he played only the first half, Bush ranks 5th in running backs with the 5th most yards (302), 5th most rushing yards per game (100.7), and tied for 8th in touchdowns (2). Of the top five RBs, Bush is tied for the second most targets. This means when Miami resorts to passing to get caught up in a game, Reggie Bush is still going to have an impact.

Bush is expecting to play in this Sunday’s game against the Cardinals. Even with a sore knee, he is still starting quality. In the Jets game, Miami had 43 rushing attempts. With Bush back in the lineup he will get the majority of those carries. The Cardinals currently rank 17 in opposing rushing yards, giving up 70+ yards to each of the starters from their previous three games. If Bush does not start this week, look ahead to the next four games and their run defenses: Cincinnati is ranked 31, St Louis is ranked 21, the Jets are ranked 28, and Indy is ranked 25 in opposing rushing yards. All of these teams are on the low end of spectrum and the future looks good for Bush to run all over them.

Reggie Bush is a high quality back who will easily finish in the top 10 RB’s and most likely in the top five. He is an integral part of Miami’s offense, and the Fins are not looking to get away from that strategy any time soon. He is a starting RB 1 every single week, independent of who the Dolphins are playing. If you don’t own him, try to swindle an unknowing owner and get yourself a high-value player at a low cost. His unproductive days in New Orleans are long gone. This is a new era for Bush and his skills will shine.

*Reggie Bush (knee) is listed as questionable for Week 4 despite practicing with the Dolphins’ first-team offense Friday.

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Mike DeWolfe