Michael Bush: Updated Fantasy Outlook After Matt Forte's Injury

John Rozum@Rozum27Correspondent INovember 25, 2012

Nov 25, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Michael Bush (29) prior to a game against the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-US PRESSWIRE
Dennis Wierzbicki-US PRESSWIRE

Matt Forte was injured on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.

According to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune:

#Bears announce Matt Forte has an ankle injury. Return is questionable.

— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) November 25, 2012

As a result, Chicago Bears' running back Michael Bush becomes a more appealing fantasy football option. Then again, Bush has been rather consistent throughout his career and is no stranger to being a fill in at the No. 1 ball-carrier position.

To that end, let's break down Bush and the Bears regarding his fantasy implications moving forward.


Bush's 2012 Contributions

Through Chicago's first 10 games, Bush carried the rock 85 times for 306 yards and scored three touchdowns. Additionally, he caught eight passes for 84 yards but didn't score a touchdown.

This, however, was unsurprising as Forte still remained the Bears' No. 1 back and Chicago fielding more balanced offense. With the addition of receiver Brandon Marshall for Jay Cutler to target, Chicago going more traditional and working off play-action was to its advantage.

After all, a receiver such as Marshall was a missing piece for the Bears in 2011. So, combine that with Forte and Bush was going to be limited. Nonetheless, his immediate impact was needed as Bush accounted for 20 first downs entering Week 12.

He is consistently reliable when called upon and as we learn next, capable of getting the job done.

Proven Capabilities

During his first four NFL seasons Bush spent with the Oakland Raiders from 2008 through 2011, the man averaged 880 total yards per season. Much of his numbers, though, came last year when Bush racked up 1,395 total yards when filling in for the injured Darren McFadden.

And that was on a Raiders offense that lacked a consistent passing game. In turn, despite facing a stacked box on most game situations Bush slammed well between the tackles and served reliable as a checkdown/screen back.

Now, the Bears simply need him to reenact that role from Oakland in the Windy City.

His size alone bodes well inside the red zone and in any other short-yard situation. Even better is Chicago's passing attack. Because of Marshall and Cutler's strong arm the Bears can thwart downfield to get a defense on its heels.

Doing so simply keeps opponents off balance and allows Bush to work better in the trenches. It's a simple approach, because regardless of how much he is needed Bush will keep Chicago balanced.

Bears' Remaining Schedule

After Week 12 the Bears will host the Seattle Seahawks and play the Vikings again in Week 14.

On Sunday, Bush collected two touchdowns for Chicago against Minnesota, so anticipate that impact carrying over into December. Seattle presents a solid defensive front and winning in the Metrodome won't be easy.

Thereafter are the Green Bay Packers at home, then two straight road games at the Arizona Cardinals and finishing with the Detroit Lions. None of those three defenses are overly dominant against the run, and Chicago's potential balance is capable of moving the ball and controlling the tempo.

At this stage in the season, Bush is at least a flex option in fantasy football. Running back depth is vital, especially when they are dual-threats such as Bush. If you need a back he is certainly worthy of an add and possesses No. 2 back potential depending on his actual production.

Nevertheless, a safe and smart play/add any way we look at Bush's current opportunity.


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