Reggie Bush has been one of the better running backs in all of fantasy football, averaging 12.4 points per week coming into Week 12's game with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He's been the perfect fit for Detroit's offense, and fantasy owners have reaped the benefits.
But owners might be a bit worried after Sunday, as Bush barely produced against a poor Pittsburgh Steelers run defense, rushing just 12 times for 31 yards and catching two passes for 23 yards. Worse, he lost a second-quarter fumble and was apparently benched in the second half for the transgression.
Reggie Bush insists he was healthy enough to play. Yet when the Detroit Lions took the field late in the fourth quarter, trailing the Steelers by a field goal, he was still standing on the sideline.
He was benched.
"Probably because I fumbled the ball," Bush said. "Turn the ball over, and that's what happens. I've been in the league long enough to know that. There's no one to blame but myself."
Bush didn't appear in either of Detroit's final two series of a 37-27 loss Sunday in Pittsburgh. With Joique Bell nursing tendonitis in his right leg, the Lions turned to No. 3 tailback Theo Riddick for those critical snaps.
In general, Bell was the more productive player on Sunday, finishing with 97 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown on 12 touches. That's not terribly shocking—Bell has five games with seven or more fantasy points this season and has been a nice complement to Bush throughout the year.
Bush's fumble was his third of the season, clearly a cause for concern. And he has been banged up for much of the year, though it hasn't really affected his production.
So should fantasy owners be concerned with Bush moving forward?
Probably not, though slightly tempering your expectations would be wise. Bush shouldn't be considered a locked-and-loaded RB1 at this point, but at a position with so much uncertainty this season, he remains an excellent option as your RB2.
Next week's matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers isn't great—the Bucs give up just 13.4 fantasy points to opposing running backs per week, a solid mark—but upcoming matchups against the Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles are more promising.
Yes, Bell is going to get his touches, but he already has 99 touches on the season, 9.9 per game, so that's nothing new. Plus, he simply doesn't offer the explosiveness that Bush provides.
Would owners like to see more touchdowns from Bush, who has just four on the season? Sure. Is Week 11's benching—even with Bell out of the game—a potential red flag? Absolutely.
But don't sweat Week 11's performance too much. Bush is far too talented to take a back seat to Bell, and he'll continue to produce for owners like a high-end RB2. Keep him in those lineups, folks.
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