Reggie Bush's Injury Makes Joique Bell a Must-Start in Fantasy Football

Mike Moraitis@@michaelmoraitisAnalyst ISeptember 16, 2013

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 08:  Joique Bell #35 of the Detroit Lions scores on a one yard run in the third quarter of the game against the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field on September 8, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

The inevitable has happened: Reggie Bush is dealing with injuries during his first season with the Detroit Lions, and that makes his backup, Joique Bell, a must-start in fantasy football.

According to Michael Rothenstein of, Bush underwent an MRI on his knee after injuring it in the Lions' Week 2 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. In the same report, ESPN's Adam Schefter was told by sources that Bush could be available for Week 3.

Head coach Jim Schwartz did acknowledge that Bush's injury isn't certain to be one that heals quickly:

"The tests today were encouraging," Schwartz said Monday. "He's going to be sore but he doesn't have anything that is going to be long term."

However, Schwartz also emphasized that Bush's injury might not be a short-term one.

"It's too hard to speculate on injuries," Schwartz said. "That's why I usually don't."

Even if he's available to play, Bush may not have the same explosiveness in his game, and that was something Bush himself even admitted, per Rothenstein's report.

So, if he isn't 100 percent for Detroit's Week 3 showdown against the Washington Redskins, that could lead to decreased production for Bush. Furthermore, if Bush isn't his normal effective self, the Lions will turn to Bell to carry the load and see if he can get the ground game going.

In limited action so far this season, Bell has been impressive for the Lions. The 27-year-old has proved time and time again that he is a threat in multiple facets of the offense.

In Week 1, Bell was a goal-line option for Detroit with six total carries for 25 yards and two scores to go along with five receptions for 67 yards. In Week 2, it was more of the same as Bell gained 72 yards of offense, although he failed to get into the end zone.

His 10 total receptions through the first two weeks is an added plus for owners in points-per-reception leagues.

Going up against the Washington Redskins defense is another key argument in favor of starting Bell.

Washington is dead last in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game, and it even allowed a relatively nonexplosive back like James Starks of the Green Bay Packers to burn them for 132 yards to the tune of 6.6 yards per carry.

Not to mention, quarterback Matthew Stafford will have no issues throwing the ball all over the field against the Redskins' weak secondary, and that means Bell will have much more space to operate as Washington tries to combat the pass.

Losing Bush might be a tough blow for fantasy owners to take, but replacing him with Bell is more than a solid option that should help your team to stay on track in Week 3.