Player Profiles: Reggie Bush, RB, New Orleans Saints
Best Fantasy Season: 2006 (rookie season) finished as the 17th ranked running back, average draft position of 2.09
Worst Fantasy Season: 2010 (fifth year) finished as the ranked 67th ranked running back, average draft position of 11.02
2011 Standard Average Draft Position, non-points per reception league: 11.02 (134th)
2011 Standard Average Draft Position, points per reception league: 9.06 (116th)
Interested Teams: Miami Dolphins, Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pros: He is a versatile running back with good speed and great hands. Bush is only 26 this season and does not have the wear-and-tear of too many carries.
Cons: His durability. He hasn’t played a full season since his rookie season, missing 20 games over the past four years. He is averaging just 418 rushing yards, 3.4 rushing touchdowns, 428.2 receiving yards and 2.4 receiving touchdowns a season for his career. He is not an every down back.
New Orleans Scenario – If Bush stays with the Saints, it will be a crowded three-way running back by committee between Bush, rookie Mark Ingram and Pierre Thomas. This is assuming everyone stays put. In this scenario, Bush is only worth a late-round flyer and hope that one of the other guys gets hurt. Christopher Ivory, who played well last season, is also in the mix to steal some carries.
Miami Scenario – The biggest rumor is Miami pursuing Bush, which would mean Ronnie Brown is on his way out and the status of Ricky Williams is unclear with rookie Daniel Thomas on board. The Dolphins had a ton of running backs on the roster last season in Lex Hilliard, Lousaka Polite, Kory Sheets, Patrick Cobbs and Deon Anderson, but only Polite saw some carries while Brown and Williams took almost ever carry. Miami may look to clean house and keep a few guys, leaving Bush and Thomas to carry the load. This would be a better situation for Bush than in New Orleans. This would increase his draft stock to around the fourth or fifth round.
Denver Scenario – If the Broncos miss out on adding a running back such as DeAngelo Williams, then they could look to Bush to fill in. Laurence Maroney, LenDale White and Jeremiah Johnson will most likely be shown the door once the lockout is lifted. At age 32, Correll Buckhalter is done and should be cut as well, leaving a lot of opportunity for carries behind Knowshon Moreno who missed three games last season and carried the ball just 182 times. Bush would serve as a much better No. 2 to Moreno then Lance Ball. I would drop Bush a round or two from his projections of going to Miami.
Indianapolis Scenario – I saw a tweet which referenced the Colts as possibly being interested in signing Bush, although they usually stick to the players they have and do not pursue players when it comes to running back. Joseph Addai will likely benefit from the long lockout because he knows the offense. Addai played in only eight games last season. That led to more playing time for Donald Brown, but Javarris James lead the team with six touchdowns. I wouldn’t put much stock in Bush going to Indianapolis, but in a pass-first offense, Bush could be valuable catching passes out of the backfield from Peyton Manning. In this situation I would hold him around the fifth or sixth round.
Tampa Bay Scenario – Now with all the Tiki Barber talk, I could see Tampa Bay signing Bush. After all, the Buccaneers have more salary cap room than any other team in the league and could afford to add Bush along with other free agent signings. LeGarrette Blount lead the team in rushing, but caught a total of five passes, which would be a great situation for Bush to come in and be a security valve for Josh Freeman. Cadillac Williams, Earnest Graham and even Kareem Huggins could all be gone once free agency is started. In this situation Bush would be great value in the fifth round.
Final thoughts –Reggie Bush has gotten a lot of press since the New Orleans Saints drafted Mark Ingram back in April and his $11.2 million salary due this season could be another factor in the team parting ways with him. There are several reported teams that will be in the mix, but you never can tell which teams will also make an offer that have not shown interest yet. Bush makes for an interesting player that has the potential to be a Top 20 running back again. So far in his career he has been a disappointment to owners, but I fully expect his draft stock to be low this year making him a low-risk, good-reward selection depending on where he signs.
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