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Over/Under: Reggie Bush

Reggie_Bush5

Welcome to second installment of “Over/Under” where I highlight a player and determine some projections based on past tendencies, then state whether I think they will go “over or under” those projections. The criteria will be different for each player based on position and situation.

This week’s debate will focus on Reggie Bush. Since signing with the Detroit Lions in free agency, projections and expectations have been all over the place for the former Saint and Dolphin. For this article, I have determined the line to be 65 catches, 1,400 total yards, and seven touchdowns.

Since leaving Sean Payton’s never ending stable of running backs in 2011, Reggie Bush has shown the playmaking abilities and effectiveness we all thought we were getting coming out of college. He was never asked or given to opportunity to be “the guy” in New Orleans and was kind of an afterthought when he signed in Miami. The Dolphins had just drafted Daniel Thomas and Bush signed a two year contract as insurance. The Dolphins were lucky they had their insuranc,e too. Thomas has been a huge bust in the NFL and Reggie Bush was reborn.

During his two seasons in Miami, Bush totaled 2,072 rushing yards, 12 rushing touchdowns, 588 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns. Now he moves on to a Detroit Lions team who uses their running backs in the passing game as well as any team in the league.

With the cannon armed Matthew Stafford and the “All-World” Calvin Johnson leading this team and keeping defensive coordinators awake at night, the Lions have been looking for a dynamic playmaker in this backfield since Jahvid Best’s career has been put on hold (and probably ended) due to several severe concussions. They were left at the altar last season waiting for Best to show up, but he never gained medical clearance and they were forced to roll with Mikel Leshoure, Joique Bell and Kevin Smith as part of a committee attack. Not to mention they have essentially used tight end Brandon Pettigrew as an extension of the running game by hitting him with quick passes near the line of scrimmage – he’s averaged five catches per game over the last two seasons. None of Detroit’s running backs offer the lightning in a bottle ability Jahvid Best or Reggie Bush offer, and this team sorely missed it.

Last year, the Lions targeted their running backs a total of 142 times (roughly nine times per game) and completed 103 passes (around six and a half per game). Joique Bell led all Lions running backs in receptions last year with 52 catches for 485 yards and Leshoure added an additional 34 receptions for 214 yards while leading the team in fantasy points. Leshoure was the lead dog from a rushing standpoint as he ran for 798 yards and nine touchdowns, but averaged just 3.71 yards per carry and offered next to no big play ability. His largest contribution came at the stripe as a physical goal line back. On the plus side, he definitely runs angry.

When Bush signed his contract with the Lions, he stated he was brought in with the guarantee he would have the opportunity to be the team’s starter. With his skill set as both a runner (he averaged 4.34 yards per carry last season) and his well documented pass catching ability (he’s averaged 53 catches per season throughout his career), Bush has the opportunity on this squad to be a PPR monster in 2013. His lone weak spot from a fantasy perspective has always been touchdowns – he has never scored more than eight offensive touchdowns in any season and I can’t see that changing this year.

I fully expect this situation to closely resemble the “Thunder and Lightning” approach used by the Tennessee Titans with Chris Johnson and LenDale White. Reggie Bush should put up some really exciting numbers and when the team gets down inside the ten yard line, they’ll bring in the battering ram to finish the job. On top of that, I don’t expect Bell to just completely become obsolete. He showed he has plenty of ability to produce in this league, probably as much as Leshoure has in my opinion.

When it’s all said and done, I expect Bush’s totals to be in the neighborhood of 1,100 yards rushing, 70 catches for 500 yards receiving and at total of six touchdowns. That’s “over, over, and under” on the stated line. To hit those totals, Bush would only need to average 69 yards rushing and around four and a half catches for 32 yards receiving per game throughout the season. Those numbers are attainable in my opinion and I’ll play the odds on him scoring less than seven touchdowns with Leshoure and Megatron being the red zone monsters they are.

I was really impressed and humbled by the reader response from the “Over/Under: Wes Welker” article and look forward to more interaction with our readers. The arguments that were made were well thought out, well presented and incredibly civil. I can’t wait to see what everyone’s thoughts are for Reggie Bush’s 2013 outlook. Are you taking the over or under on his 65 catches, 1,400 total yards, and seven touchdowns?

Let me know in the comments below and make sure you vote in the web poll.

Eric Olinger

Eric Olinger

Senior Writer at Dynasty League Football
A 12 year old trapped in a man's body, Eric has been playing IDP dynasty leagues for almost 20 years. He enjoys Star Wars, Batman, red meat and an ice cold Diet Coke, sometimes all at once. He hopes to one day own his own Batmobile but his wife is a relentless dream crusher so the odds are slim.

Eric is on Twitter @OlingerIDP.
Eric Olinger
32 Comments

32 Comments

  1. Craig Gerein

    April 10, 2013 at 5:07 am

    I’ll take the over, but knowing Detroit’s luck he’ll probably get hurt.

  2. Timothy Holloway

    April 10, 2013 at 5:54 am

    I’ll take the under. Those numbers would easily put him in the top 10 for RBs and with Calvin, PGrew, Leshoure, Bell on the team, I just don’t see him getting that many touches. I’m thinking more along the lines of 50/1250/5

  3. BAMNation

    April 10, 2013 at 6:11 am

    I am not entirely convinced Leshore is a red zone monster, but who else is there for DET?

  4. Jason T

    April 10, 2013 at 6:27 am

    Under for me. I think these numbers are very optimistic.

  5. Al

    April 10, 2013 at 6:48 am

    Ill take definite over on total yards, He’ll have close to or over 1000 yards rushing alone.

  6. Eric Stocksdale

    April 10, 2013 at 7:06 am

    I will say – over, under, under

  7. Eric Hardter

    April 10, 2013 at 7:12 am

    One thing to consider is the switching of divisions. In terms of total yards given up, the Jets/Pats/Bills combined to average 18.3 (our of the 32 teams). The Packers/Bears/Vikings were significantly better, with an average of 10.7.

    Combine that with his health (16 games played in only two of seven seasons) and the fact I don’t think Joique Bell is going away as a 3rd down back, and I’ll say Under, Over, Under.

    Great work as always, Eric!

  8. SJ

    April 10, 2013 at 7:39 am

    Very much the over on all of these stats, except maybe the yards total.

    Leshoure had over 30 receptions this year and Bell had over 50. The vast majority of those will be going to Bush.

    Yes, he’s always been susceptible to injuries, but Reggie only missed 1 game over the two years (week 17 in 2011), and he proved he can run inside and outside the tackles very well given his 4.67 YPC total in the last two seasons.

    The Det offense is much more dynamic than Mia, that could be both bad and good that it’ll take away attention but limit his carries. He should be a focal point in the receiving game but stacking yards each week may come tough. He’s averaged 1200-1300yds over the past two years. That might be where he lies this year.

    TD’s will be what they always are… very random, but he averages 7 a year, so the TD’s will be there in the end.

  9. DAG

    April 10, 2013 at 7:40 am

    Being from Detroit and a Lions fan my whole life, I certainly hope that all of these numbers are over. I am very excited to see how Bushs skillset plays out as I believe this may be the perfect offense for his talent. And the monster games Best put up before his injury problems could very well translate to Bush as well.
    That being said, I am also concerned that a heavier workload obviously means more chances for injury and I am not 100% sure that Bush can take that large of a workload and stay healthy.
    Here is to hoping for my teams sake!

    • Eric Olinger

      April 10, 2013 at 8:31 am

      I think the Lions will still use another running back to “protect” Bush from the heavy lifting in the same way the Saints use Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas/Mark Ingram.

  10. Verb

    April 10, 2013 at 7:45 am

    I actually like this move for bush a lot. In my opinion, Leshore is nothing more then a glorified lendale white as stated above and with the propensity of coaches benching guys for a single turnover these days, one fumble and I could see the “touchdown monster” on the bench drinking a lot of blue gatorade. Bell is a solid player but I think Schwartz and the Lions will do everything they can to utilize bush and have him take some of the pressure off of stafford and tron.

    My projections are 72 catches, 1174 rush yards, 625 receiving yards, 7 tds

    ALL OVER!

  11. Scott

    April 10, 2013 at 7:59 am

    Seeing as how I traded Bush away a few month ago I’m now expecting him to have one of the greatest seasons ever had by a runningback. lol That’s how my luck usually works

  12. Jon

    April 10, 2013 at 9:10 am

    Going under under and Under. Not by a lot but still – Under x3. My main reasoning is I see Bush very suseptible to injury while playing over half of his games on turf. Due to that reasoning I see more of a 60/25/15 split on duties with Bush / Leshoure / Bell. No way on that offense that Bush puts up 1500 total yards while receiving 60 % of the offensive snaps.

    A lot of people seem to be very very high on Bush. Much more so than myself. As stated above, the defenses in the NFC north are a touch better than the Defenses in the AfC east. That fact combined with a heavy pass oriented team, weak defense, goal line loss of touches, and turf… I very much am on the low side of these projections. Although… I could see him with 50-60 receptions and 5-6 tds. That yardage total though… I don’t believe is too realistic. Just my opinion though.

  13. Ron

    April 10, 2013 at 10:03 am

    Over / Under / Under. I see 70 catches, 650yds rushing 600yds receiving, with 6-7 TDs.

  14. Tim Stafford

    April 10, 2013 at 10:45 am

    I’ll take the under on all simply because I don’t believe he can stay healthy.

  15. sean mcguigan

    April 10, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Under for me…..and reason is injuries…back on turf will not be a good thing for Mr Bush

  16. Sensei John Kreese

    April 10, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Under on yards and catches, over on Td’s.

    • burner

      April 10, 2013 at 11:37 am

      bottom line for me? worst thing reggie could have done is sign with a team that plays on turf. he will most likely get hurt again. same potential (unrealized) that he had in new orleans….under on all stats.

  17. Sean

    April 10, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    I agree. Under on catches and total yds – Over on TD’s.

  18. Eric Olinger

    April 10, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Ford Field is definitely not the Super Dome. The fact that he’s playing on turf won’t effect my outlook for Reggie Bush. He’s stayed healthy the last two years and until he slips back into his snake bitten ways I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he’s the new Fred Taylor? Fragile reputation that proved everyone wrong in the end.

  19. SJ

    April 10, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    I agree. His harsh N.O. “bust” label was never quantified.

    If anyone has the sense to realize its New Orleans style of using multiple RBs w/o any lead rb making all the stats. He had some decent years when he was healthy.. but just not as good as desired. The injuries did see a bit flukey in nature. Even in 200,8 in limited duty before going down, he was a top 10 PPR back, so the potential was always there. I’ll take my shot on an injury-risk back with potential given the right circumstances.

    • Sensei John Kreese

      April 10, 2013 at 3:56 pm

      In my league, he was the Rb1 on a point per game basis before he got hurt in 2008.

  20. John Dodson

    April 10, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    over, under, over. > 65 catches should be attainable. 1,400 yards will be tough. 7 Td’s is easily achievable, especially when you factor in the feast-or-famine Lions are overdue on that front.

  21. sixshooter

    April 10, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    Well…..I own Best and LeShoure and still feel Bush will be the best back. Best is likely done and LeShoure will still be productive but not as productive as Bush…..especially in PPR. As long as the Lions keep Bush as rusher and not a returner, he should remain healthy and……as long as he stays healthy…..he “should” be a monster in PPR leagues!!!!

  22. Matthew Reed

    April 11, 2013 at 5:40 am

    I would say under across the board, using conventional wisdom. However, I can see an argument for the Over. Typically, when a back hits 27 yrs old, you pretty much know what their ceiling is. I think the suggested numbers are right about or above that ceiling.

    However, I can’t help from thinking about Priest Holmes. Now, I am not saying that Reggie is the same type of player as Holmes, nor are the2013 lions the same makeup as 2001 Chiefs. What I am saying however, is that a change in offensive system and a coaching staff that shows more trust and reliance on a 27 year old player can significantly alter the perceived ceiling.

    I can see how the Lions staff would want to rely on Bush to give them an extra dimension. What is lost in Calvin’s record breaking year was the ridiculous force feeding of targets to him. Lions need to become more diverse not only for an added dimension but to preserve their best player. Bush could be the key to that diversity.

    I will vote under but I will not be surprised if Bush gets an entirely new outlook in this system.

  23. German Cowboys

    April 11, 2013 at 10:20 am

    under/over , it really does not matter. I like R. Bush situation on explosive Lions Offense.

    i see him outscore any other RB on Lions team. I am a buyer.

  24. SDR

    April 11, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    One note about Leshoure, he was coming off of a ruptured achilles last season. I’m not his biggest fan, but I’m sure he will show more burst than he did last season. I don’t think he will lose that many carries.

    I think Reggie’s rush attempt will go down, while his receptions go way up. Reggie is capable of 800 + receiving yards in this offense because they have a terrible defense & don’t give a damn about running the ball. I’ll go with about 600 rushing & receiving with potential for more.

  25. bmac

    April 12, 2013 at 2:11 am

    70 rec 1800 all-purpose yds. Since most runs will not be in between tackles, I believe potential for injury is minimized. Additionally, the turf will enhance his speed. Unlike NO, the lack of quality rb’s will enhance his touches from rb position, plus punt return opportunities.

    • sean mcguigan

      April 12, 2013 at 5:53 am

      I wish I could bet the under on that in Vegas…..I would dump on it……no chance he smells 1800 yards…

      • sixshooter

        April 18, 2013 at 8:15 pm

        If he stays healthy……there’s definitely a chance! Not saying I would bet on it….but he is definitely capable in that offense especially!

  26. Adam Franssen

    April 12, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Under, Under, Push.

    I think that there are three factors working against Bush:

    1) Bush’s history on turf suggest injury.
    2) As I’ve said in other columns, my feeling is that Leshoure will be better off this year than last.
    3) Schwartz is an idiot. Honestly, I don’t think he really knows how to utilize his players. I mean, what good is the receiving record on a 4 win team?

  27. sixshooter

    April 18, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    I just wish I could see into the future with Best! He is still on my roster because he is too good to release but…..at the same time…..he is too bad to hang onto! I fear that I am going to release him only to find out that he has been cleared to play and he will pick up where he left off which was incredibly great! But…..I can’t afford to waste another year of him on my roster!

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