Lions sign Reggie Bush, will feature him in backfield

Lions lock up new feature back in Reggie Bush

3/13/13 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

Dec 23, 2012; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins running back Reggie Bush (22) on the bench in a game against the Buffalo Bills in the second half at Sun Life Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Miami won 24-10. Robert Mayer-USA TODAY SportsThe Detroit Lions never tried to hide their interest in running back Reggie Bush, so it didn't come as too much of a surprise when it was announced that they signed Bush to a four-year contract.

It was reported late Tuesday night that the Lions were offering Bush their "full-time" running back job, which likely played into Bush's decision to sign, as many people view him as a passing-down specialist. He'll now enter camp as the feature back of the Lions, who failed to sustain production from the running back position in 2012.

Bush has proven that he can handle a pretty solid workload over the past two seasons in Miami, where he got his first real shot at consistently taking handoffs out of the backfield. The injury prone runner held up fine through 443 carries, playing in 31 of a possible 32 games. He also averaged over a thousand yards per season, ran the ball at 4.7 yards per carry, and scored 15 total touchdowns during his two seasons as a Dolphin. He was underutilized as a pass catcher, however, only catching 78 balls over two seasons - he had 88 receptions in his rookie season alone.

Detroit's desire to sign a player like Bush is completely understandable, as they feature a high powered, pass happy offensive attack that can stretch out a defense, but they have lacked a running back who could add another dimension to threaten opponents. With Bush, the Lions now have a player who is viable running between the tackles, always a threat to get to the edge on outside running plays, and a serious weapon in the screen/passing game.

It's a big win for the Lions, who get their man despite speculation that Bush would be too expensive considering their salary cap situation.

From a fantasy perspective, Mikel Leshoure's value takes an enormous hit. He was ineffective last season with a mere 3.7 yards per carry, and was losing touches down the stretch to Joique Bell, who is another player who will get little work behind Bush. However, it is worth monitoring the Lions' backup running back situation in training camp. During his final four seasons with the Saints, Bush played in only 44 of a possible 64 games. Whoever is deemed the backup running back in Detroit is worth a pickup considering Bush's injury history (though he has held up well through the past two years).

Bush, on the other hand, should be a solid draft pick as a featured player in an offense that totaled the third most yards in 2012. His ceiling is huge in PPR leagues, as he could easily lead all running backs in receptions - by a lot. The main concern with Bush is that he stays healthy. If you trust his health after the past two seasons, I'd definitely suggest going after him in fantasy drafts.
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