The effectiveness of Reggie Bush in the Detroit Lions backfield was one of the biggest question marks heading into the fantasy football season, and the skilled running back showcased that he's worth starting each and every week in a 34-24 win over the Minnesota Vikings.
Bush got a vast majority of the touches out of Detroit's backfield, finishing with 21 carries for 90 yards and a productive 4.3 average yards per carry.
The 28-year-old proved to be even more dangerous through the air on the night. He had four catches for 104 yards and a touchdown, marking the first time he passed the century mark in receiving since 2008.
His score came on a short dump pass from quarterback Matthew Stafford on which he gashed the Minnesota defense for a 77-yard score that proved he is still among the fastest players in the NFL. It was the longest regular-season TD of his career, per Fox Sports:
Reggie Bush takes a short pass straight down the middle 77 yards TO THE HOUSE! The longest reg season TD of his NFL career.— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLONFOX) September 8, 2013
That wasn't the only long-term mark he made, as ESPN Stats & Information tweeted another accomplishment from his debut:
Reggie Bush: 1st @DetroitLionsNFL player with 90 rushing yards and 100 receiving yards in game since Barry Sanders in 1990— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 8, 2013
In ESPN leagues, Bush earned 25 fantasy points with his performance and a total stat line of 90 rushing yards (nine points), 104 receiving yards (10 points) and one touchdown (six points).
Bush was projected by ESPN fantasy experts to finish 16th among running backs in Week 1, while NFL.com had him down as the 18th-best back, but there's no doubt that his play eclipsed that ranking on Sunday.
The Lions' ability to get Bush plenty of carries might be the biggest takeaway from his Week 1 performance. He only surpassed 20 carries twice last season, a big influence on his relatively poor season in Miami (by Reggie Bush standards).
Just as well, Stafford looked to Bush early and often, targeting the former USC Trojan eight times—second on the team behind Calvin Johnson. If Stafford continues to treat Bush as one of the top options in his passing game, the yards will generate themselves.
Is Reggie Bush a top-10 fantasy RB?
The Lions rode Stafford's laser arm to finish second in the league in pass offense (per ESPN), which spurned questions as to whether Bush would get enough carries on the ground to make a big fantasy impact. But he did on Sunday, and the pass-happy offense even allowed Bush some extra points in receiving.
Plus, Bush's unique skill set can only be tapped to its full potential when he's constantly a threat to touch the ball. Using him in a utility role simply doesn't work; he needs to be featured and it's apparent that he will be in Detroit.
Reggie Bush's Lions debut was full of personal bests and feats that hadn't occurred in decades, and that, along with his inclusion in the offense, is enough to make Bush a No. 1 running back on many teams.