SleepersJuly 22, 2011

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Sleeper Watch

By Michael Hawes

Reggie Bush, once the darling of the NFL, has seen his production fall amid several off-field issues and a slew of injuries. Accordingly, he has dropped to the RB48 for the 2011 draft as of July 20, and that equates to pick 11.03. Is he really only the 48th best RB in the league? Are 47 other RBs going to outperform him? My bet is no.

I am grouping Bush into the same category as C.J. Spiller, a player that can be drafted in the 10th round but, if things fall correctly for him, produce like a fourth rounder. Bush certainly has the talent to do so; that has never been the question. In his first three years in the league he averaged over 11 points per game in standard scoring, and that jumps to roughly 17 points per game in a PPR format. That 17 PPG average would have put him as a top 12 back for the 2010 season.

The biggest concern with Bush will always be the injury. He has yet to play a full season but honestly, for a 10th round pick, you don’t need him for a full season. He is an ideal candidate to use for a few healthy weeks to start the season and then to be traded. He can also be used as a solid bye-week filler, and he won’t cost you that Round 6 or Round 7 pick for an RB3.

My prediction for him is that he signs with Miami and gets paired with Daniel Thomas in the backfield. He goes back to playing on grass and gets teamed up with Chad Henne, who apparently can’t throw a pass further than 10 yards. That makes him in my eyes a prime candidate to regain his early career form, possibly pumping out a rushing stat line similar to 40/200/3 and throw in 60/800/6 on the receiving side. This is the year to take a risk on Bush, but if he blows it again, he may be done, at least in fantasy terms. I consider him an ideal low-risk, high-reward player.

Michael Hawes is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. Nearly 20 years of FF, had to have learned something in that time. You can catch up with Michael in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of bungle613.
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