Fantasy owners have known better than to count on the Detroit Lions' rushing attack prior to Week 10's showdown with the Miami Dolphins.
|Theo Riddick||3||0||2||5||1 (rec)||6|
With the exception of a 28-yard Bell reception and a game-winning, 11-yard touchdown catch by Riddick, little production was had.
ESPN's Michael Rothstein feels the numbers were perhaps misleading with regard to Bell's performance:
Bush did exit the game with an ankle injury and ran well when rarely called upon, but the Lions were tempted to air it out with star receiver Calvin Johnson back in the lineup. Detroit, though 7-2 and atop the NFC North, must be more balanced moving forward.
That is about the only solace fantasy owners can take in justifying the Lions' running backs as viable fantasy plays. Bell and Bush remain a formidable handcuff duo, yet the circumstances don't exactly breed anything better than a flex option for either.
Both are dynamic receivers, so in deeper PPR leagues, Detroit's top two backs still have value.
Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi spoke before Week 10 about giving Riddick more reps despite Bush returning to health, per MLive.com's Justin Rogers:
I think they both have a role. Obviously, they both have certain skills that cross over that are a little redundant, and so in some ways they eat at each other's reps. But they're both very good players, they're both players that can do things extremely well, and so I think you use them both. You try to get them both on the field maybe at the same time.
Until Riddick takes on a bigger role, he can't be endorsed as a fantasy play in any format, though.
It will be interesting to see whether his Sunday heroics result in more touches in the coming weeks. If Sunday is any indication, and Bush is banged up and plagued by injury, Riddick should have his shot to make more plays.
There is just nothing of certainty or substance from a fantasy standpoint at the moment.