Give Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush credit. For most of his five seasons with the New Orleans Saints, the Heisman Trophy winner out of USC was a huge disappointment, struggling to stay healthy and failing to produce the statistics expected of him. In the past two seasons with the Miami Dolphins, however, Bush turned the corner and became a productive player with little around him; he stayed on the field and finished each campaign close to top-10 fantasy running back status. Well, Bush is a different player in a different offense these days, and his performance Sunday should push him -- finally -- into that pantheon of top-10 running backs.
Bush missed Week 3 with a left knee ailment and admitted he was concerned about how it would feel, reminding many fantasy owners about his perceived lack of durability. Then again, Bush missed just one game in his two seasons with Miami. This weekend there were 15 running backs active in more leagues than Bush, including strugglers such as Ray Rice -- not exactly healthy himself -- and Stevan Ridley. So how do those owners who sat Bush in Sunday's 40-32 win over the defensive-minded Chicago Bears feel now after Bush rushed for 139 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries and added another 34 yards receiving? This is an elite player on an elite offense performing at an elite level. Through most of four NFL weeks (entering the Sunday night Patriots-Falcons game), a running back has scored 22 or more standard fantasy points only 11 times; Bush and Adrian Peterson have each achieved this twice. That's telling.
AP Photo/Paul Sancya
After scoring 22-plus fantasy points in a game just twice last season, Reggie Bush already has matched that number in 2013.