Back Most Affected by Dual Backfield System

Many fantasy owners are enamored by Reggie Bush heading into the 2012 season. As a Dolphin last year he finally had the type of success many thought he would getting drafted into the NFL. For a guy that has not had near the success in his first five seasons in New Orleans, many are wondering what will happen this year as a Dolphin.

While in New Orleans after failed chances at being the featured back, New Orleans decided to relegate his role to sort of a decoy. A few carries here and there and try to spring him out for quick passes to let him utilize his speed. When his free agency came along, the Saints did not feel the value offered by his agent was true to what he brings on the field.

Miami though decided they would try to re-tool and utilize him differently. Up until week thirteen of last year it looked as if Bush was going to have another sub-par season. He only had one game rushing over 100 yards up until that point, and Miami was content at using Daniel Thomas just as much as they were Bush.

Thomas was banged up though out the season and that’s when the door opened a bit for Bush. Weeks 13-16 Bush ran wild and totaled 519 yards rushing including his monster game against the Buffalo Bills. Those yardage numbers were almost equal his season total through twelve games. So was the finish to Bush’s season in 2011 an aberration or can it carry over to 2012?

Even though Miami has a new coaching staff, it has serious holes offensively. A rookie quarterback and a depleted receiving group will force Miami to run the football as much as last season. The fact remains to be seen though if Miami will give more carries to Daniel Thomas over Bush. Thomas is more of the prototypical back and had success as a rookie last season.

Bush will see his carries head backward from the twenty carries a game he received weeks thirteen through sixteen. Miami also drafted rookie running back Lamar Miller in the fourth round. He should not pose a threat to either Thomas or Bush. It’s more of a pick to secure the backfield due to Thomas’s injury history and Bush’s size.

I would not consider Bush as a weekly fantasy starter. He can be a RB3 with possible starts based on Miami’s consistency with Bush. The question for Bush owners should be how many fantasy points can they expect from Bush with around twelve carries a game. That is what he averaged the first eleven games of 2011. Thomas will figure to get near fifteen carries a game.

This is what makes it tricky for Bush owners, because Bush can be treated like a hot jump shooter in professional basketball. Once on the field, if his first five to seven carries are explosive and getting the offense going, Miami will likely feed him an extra amount of carries over Thomas. If he is not getting the necessary yards than Miami will pound it with Thomas.

It’s an unusual circumstance that does not occur with most backs around the NFL. Bush should average six to eight fantasy points per game in standard leagues, and ten to twelve in PPR leagues. Expect around 750 yards rushing and five touchdowns on the year.


You must be logged in to post a comment.