After five years since he was drafted as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2006 draft, the Reggie Bush experiment is finally over. Was it a success? Not really. Many compared Bush to be the next Barry Sanders after his unbelievable run as USC's starting running back. But once Bush put on his Saints uniform, he was never able to truly live up to the hype. He had his moments. But like I wrote in my Dolphins Eying Bush article, he shouldn't be counted on to do much in Miami.
And going back to Miami, the Dolphins wound up trading safety Jonathon Amaya after Bush agreed to a new two-year, $9.75 million contract. Bush should see more work than he did in the crowded Saints backfield, but don’t expect him to go back to that Barry Sanders-type back some thought he would be, even if he is now playing on natural grass.
What does this mean for rookie Daniel Thomas’ value? I originally thought it wouldn't have much of an affect since everything I read stated that the team is going to make Thomas the workhorse, but somehow that thinking may have gone right down the toilet with head coach Tony Sparano's recent comments that he has strong belief this guy can carry the ball on first and second down.
I would still continue to draft Thomas as an RB3, just with not as much upside as I was hoping for. As for Bush? Well, I harped on this guy being nothing more than a backup/situational back. But those recent comments sort of threw a wrench in the spokes before the second week of training camps even started. Sparano saying that Bush can be used on first and second downs could be just coach speak, but it could also mean Thomas will never be able to crack RB2 status. At best, Bush will see at least fifteen touches, but I just don't see him passing Thomas as the featured back. He's shown nothing that makes me think he can be the guy.
In my opinion, Bush wouldn't last five games as a featured back. The only running back in the history of running backs that have the same size and build as Bush that could with stand the punishments was Warrick Dunn. Dunn was made of steel.
How does Darren Sproles tie into all this? Well, the Saints are hoping Sproles can do what Bush never could do and that is be a solid pass-catching option, but also a guy who can give them solid yards on the ground.
Sproles signed a four-year, $14 million contract on July 28. What the signing means is that he will automatically move to the back up spot behind rookie Mark Ingram. He's already penciled in at the spot and should have no problems holding off the motley crew in the backfield that was around for 2010.
Pierre Thomas had shown glimpses here and there, but he can't stay healthy after pining for a new contract a couple years ago. Last year's surprise Chris Ivory is currently coming off a Lisfranc injury and may not even be healthy enough to be active come Week One. Lynell Hamilton shouldn't be a factor at all. I wouldn't be surprised to see one of these guys cut over the next couple weeks.
So where is Sproles' fantasy value? After being stuck behind Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert in Chargerland last year, it definitely gets a spike, even if he is a No. 2 on the depth chart. If you draft Ingram, I would try and leave a roster spot open for Sproles as his handcuff if I could. Remember, Ingram's career in Alabama didn't come without injuries. And I strongly doubt the Saints trust him enough to give him 20+ carries a game. In PPR leagues, Sproles' value goes up a bit more. And as a kickoff/punt return guy, Sproles value goes up even more in return-yardage leagues.
Check out my quick recap in the latest episode of Brosh's Fantasy Corner on You Tube.