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Bush's Approval Rating

I'll take a stab at this hot topic... What should we expect from Reggie Bush’s first term with the New Orleans Saints? From a fantasy football perspective, how much production can we bank on? With the idea that Bush is considered to be a special player, I scoured the all-time rushing list to match up Bush’s potential with the rookie season’s of the NFL’s top 50 runners.

The perfect comparison: Roger Craig
Year Rush Yds TDs Rec Yds TDs
1983 176 725 8 48 427 4
The 30th all-time rusher in NFL history with over 8,000 yards, Roger Craig chewed up an additional 5,000 yards as a pass-catcher. His rookie season set the tone for his forthcoming record-breaking achievement, becoming the first NFL player to eclipse the 1,000 yard benchmark in both rushing and receiving in the same season (1985). Craig joined an established veteran in San Fran’s backfield as a rookie, and while Wendell Tyler averaged more carries per game, Roger Craig’s unique abilities warranted more total touches. More importantly, his versatility proved valuable in the end zone, where he outscored Tyler 12 to 6 in scores. Bush spent time in Hollywood... couldn't he be Roger Craig's stunt-double with Deuce McAllister playing the co-starring Wendell Tyler role? If so, Bush would tally 180 or so fantasy points, good enough for a top 10 finish based on points by RB in 2005.

A less favorable comparison: James Brooks
Year Rush Yds TDs Rec Yds TDs
1981 109 525 3 46 329 3
Brooks was a first round pick out of Auburn, and his build was even smaller than Bush’s. Like Reggie, the incumbant at James’ position was an established veteran capable of both 1,000 yard seasons and missing games due to injury. The ‘81 season proved to be one where Chuck Muncie stayed healthy and carried the load as the workhorse back, taking more than twice as many hand-offs as the rook. Brooks’ versatile style still got him on the field though, enough to scoot for over 850 total yards and 6 touchdowns. Similar production from Bush would net about 130 fantasy points (top 25) and would be a letdown to fantasy owners who selected The President early in their drafts.

A guy can dream, can’t he?: Herschel Walker
Year Rush Yds TDs Rec Yds TDs
1985 151 737 12 76 837 2
Dreaming too big (ie. Sanders, Faulk, James, Tomlinson) is unrealistic because Reggie Bush just won’t carry the ball 25 times a game out of the chute like those players did. Herschel Walker was a back built to do that, but wasn’t given the opportunity due to the veteran presence of Tony Dorsett (and seemingly inept management/coaching). Like Bush, Walker was a Heisman trophy winner and highly coveted rookie, but he opted for the USFL (go Generals) for his first few seasons and didn’t make it to the NFL until 1985. Although out-carried on a per-game basis by Dorsett that season, Walker’s numbers mightily overshadowed the incumbant’s. He averaged nearly 5 yards per carry compared to Tony’s 4.1, and led the team in receptions and touchdowns. Herschel’s line above would total around 215 fantasy points, putting him in last year’s top 7. Can Reggie Bush put the end of Deuce McAllister’s career into overdrive and knock out those kind of numbers?

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I love the comparisons to Roger Craig, right on point.

How about if you are looking for a simliar type player you look even closer to home, with Philadelphia's own Brian Westbrook. I would like to use BW's 2nd year stats as the benchmark since he was mostly a special teamer the 1st year with Buckhalter, Staley, and the likes doing most of the ball carrying. Here's a look at what el presidente may provide for the Aints this year:

613 yards rushing, 332 receiving, 11 TD's. Also 3 return TD's.

That's a total of 178 points. How does that fare?
178 points would make Bush a good second fantasy back if you're light on RBs, but as you stated the comparison is to Westbrook's second season. I don't think there's anyway Bush takes a back seat like Westbrook did as a rookie and be relegated to special teams roles.

I'm starting to question whether it should be generally accepted that Bush couldn't carry the ball 20-25 times a game if he's their most effective back. He's listed at 6', 203... not much different than Emmitt (5'9", 207), Walter (5'10" 200), Barry (5'8", 203), Curtis (5'11", 207), Dorsett (5'11" 192), Faulk (5'10", 208) and the beat goes on. BTW, those guys are 6 of the leagues 10 most productive runners ever.
Reggie Bush is the second coming!

Haven't you seen his high school mix-tape?

I do like the Westbrook 2nd year comparison, though.

Can Broderick Bunkley just get signed, please?
I agree, Reggie will get the ball a lot and will not be relegated to ST's like BW. That's why I chose to use his 2nd year's stats. Westbrook didn't have nearly the pub and craft that Bush has. He will be the real deal.

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