Week Thirteen Add: With Matt Forte suffering a fairly serious looking ankle injury, Michael Bush turns into the Bears lead back for any games Forte misses. Chicago has a smidgeon of breathing space in the division, so they might choose to fully rest Forte rather than push him back early. You know the deal on Bush: for years he's been one of the better backup runners in the league, and he'll certainly continue to get goal line looks, even when Forte returns. He's worth $10 under the assumption that Forte will miss a couple weeks.
Week Nine Drop: It's not a timeshare, not a 70-30 split, and with every passing day it looks like Bush is less of a red zone threat. Last week it was Matt Forte who carried the rock in from 13 yards out and it was Michael Bush who had only three carries for five yards against one of the league's bottom five rushing defenses. Bush has now totaled 10 carries in his last three games, while Matt Forte has had 59. He also hasn't scored since Week 3 and has not had a carry inside the five-yard line since his last touchdown, also, back in week three. You're waiting for goal line opportunities for Bush, and they're not materializing.
Week Eight Analysis: By now you know the bit with Michael Bush—he's good for somewhere between 30 and 50 combo yards, and he gets first crack at any goal line opportunities. The Panthers have given up four touchdowns to opposing backs through six games, which feels low considering they're surrendering an atrocious 184 combo yards per game to opposing backfields. If you're desperate, Bush probably has somewhere around a 50-50 shot of punching one in this week.
Week Five Analysis: The return of Matt Forte means that Michael Bush will resume his usual role in Chicago's offense—something around a dozen carries, including valuable goal line duties. This week, that's not a bad situation to be in. Jacksonville is tied for dead last in touchdowns allowed to opposing backs, with six, and they're giving up 172 combo yards per game to opposing backfields. If you're in a bye week pinch, Bush is a better than 50-50 bet to hit pay dirt this week, and his yardage potential is higher than usual as well.
Week Four Analysis: Last week super-sub Michael Bush found the end zone, and while his 73 yards left a bit to be desired, the real story here is a mystery shoulder injury that's put his Monday night availability in question. The Cowboys' solid run defense if giving up under 3.9 yards per carry, and last week they held Doug Martin to just 53 yards on 19 carries. It would be a tough matchup for Bush even at 100%, and the fact that he plays Monday night makes this even trickier. Also of no help is the possible return of Matt Forte, a week ahead of schedule.
Week Three Analysis: Michael Bush is no stranger to the situation he finds himself in, taking over for an injured headlining starter. And while he got the most extensive action of his career last season, he really ran out of gas down the stretch. In his last five starts, he scored just once and averaged 22 touches for 91 combo yards. However, he's fresh now, and in his first four starts of last season, he scored in every game and averaged 28.5 touches for 148 combo yards. In weeks 1 and 2, Kevin Smith and Alfred Morris combined for three touchdowns and a 5.2-yard per-carry average against the Rams, and RG3 ran for a pair of scores as well, so assuming Matt Forte is out, this is a great opportunity for Bush.
Week Two Analysis: As advertised, Michael Bush was the goal line back against Indianapolis, and he cashed in with a pair of touchdowns. His 12 carries and 42 yards were inflated by Chicago's big lead, so don't expect similar usage this week against Green Bay. While the Packers looked embarrassing against Frank Gore last week, this game figures to be the kind of shootout that favors Matt Forte. Still, Bush will get some carries, and there could be more goal line opportunities in a high-scoring game.
NEXT: #9 DARREN SPROLES