Michael Bush Still Solid Fantasy Option, Despite Matt Forte's Return

Sep 23, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Michael Bush (29) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the St. Louis Rams during the second quarter at Soldier Field.  Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE
Pete SchauerCorrespondent ISeptember 28, 2012

A slew of injuries to running backs may have put your fantasy lineup into a tailspin, but no situation is more complicated than the Matt Forte vs. Michael Bush dilemma.

Well, I'm here to help.

With Forte projected to play in Week 4 against the Dallas Cowboys after sustaining a sprained ankle on Sept. 13 against the Green Bay Packers (h/t ESPN), fantasy owners are likely to be hesitant about starting Bush in their lineup—don't be.

In the Bears' Week 1 victory against Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts, Forte and Bush split the carries, with Forte seeing just four more than his backup.

In ESPN standard leagues, Forte had just 1.8 more fantasy points than Bush, despite rushing for 38 more yards and sporting three receptions for 40 yards to Bush's non-contribution in the passing game.

The biggest reason for Bush's Week 1 success was his two touchdowns, which came as goal line carries. The bigger-bodied Bush was given the ball on the goal line and pounded it in twice, gaining the confidence of head coach Lovie Smith.

Once Forte went down, Bush was the lead back in Chicago and was effective for his fantasy owners—more so in Week 3 than in Week 2. Week 3's 23-6 win against the St. Louis Rams saw Bush rush for 55 yards and a TD, netting owners 13.3 points in standard-scoring leagues.

Granted, Bush isn't the receiving threat that Forte is, but he's still a viable fantasy option in Week 4, even if he splits time.

It's anyone's guess as to how healthy Forte is, and as we saw in Week 1, Bush is the clear goal line back for Chicago when it comes time to pound it in.

ESPN fantasy football guru Christopher Harris ranks Bush as the 12th-best RB in Week 4, and facing a Dallas defense that ranks in the bottom half of the NFL in rushing yards allowed, I can't disagree with Harris' ranking.

If you have Bush on your team, do not hesitate to start him on Monday night.

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