Giovani Bernard, RB, Bengals: Fantasy Football Outlook
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Giovani Bernard, RB, Bengals

Position/Rank ADP NFL Team Status Experience Age Height Weight
RB - #6 19.68 CIN Probable 2 years 23 5'9 206

2014 Outlook: Stud (low risk)

Last updated on Jul-09-2014 by Mark Morales-Smith

Giovani Bernard was the first running back drafted in the 2013 NFL Draft for good reason. He has all the tools teams want and need out of a running back. Still, he's in a somewhat crowded backfield after the Bengals drafted Jeremy Hill out of LSU. Bernard's talent may very well overpower all of that. This guy is quick, explosive, can catch, run, and make plays all over the field. He can make defenders miss and can be a big-play threat every time he touches the ball. The Bengals started Bernard off slow last season, but by the year's end he was clearly their best option. Early reports out of camp are Bernard is the top back and is seeing some split back looks paired with the aforementioned Hill. You can expect a thunder-and-lightning look from the Bengals with Bernard earning the majority of touches. Giovani Bernard is a RB1 in all formats and his youth and pass-catching ability only further raises his value in PPR and dynasty leagues.

Editor's note: One facet regarding Bernard, if I may rain on his parade, is his size. One big hit and Bernard's season could be over. He has some decent girth; however, the second-year back isn't exactly built to handle 20-plus carries week after week. It'll be interesting to see how the Bengals opt to both limit his exposure to injury while also maximizing his talent.

Latest Update

Nov-23-14 Who's in and who's out of the early games in Week 12?

With the bye weeks wrapping up after this week, that means there will be more teams, players and, yes, injuries to consider every Sunday from here on out. With only two teams on bye today, we've got plenty of injured stars to keep track of this morning, including Arian Foster, Reggie Bush, Greg Jennings, Justin Hunter and Buccaneers running backs Charles Sims and Doug Martin. Starting at about 11:30 a.m. Eastern, keep refreshing this post consistently as we give you all of the notable active and inactives in the early games.

-- Browns WR Josh Gordon will make his 2014 debut today against the Falcons. It has been reported that he will play only 20-30 snaps, but he is still worth deploying as a WR2. He's just that good.
-- In a couple of late-game notes, Lamar Miller will play against the Broncos. The same can't be said of Larry Fitzgerald.
-- Jonas Gray didn't quite negate his 200-yard performance from Week 11 by sleeping through Friday's practice, but he is expected to split carries with the re-acquired LeGarrette Blount today versus Detroit.
-- New Vikings RB Ben Tate is active. As is WR Greg Jennings. Tate may take over the role of goal-line back today versus the Packers for the concussed Matt Asiata, but he is only a desperation flex. Jennings' fantasy value today rests solely on junk time versus his former team. He was limited during the practice week due to a rib injury. Further down the fantasy appeal list, WR Jarius Wright is active desptie a hamstring injury. Deep sleeper Charles Johnson is probably not worth your time with the Vikings' receiving corps operating at full capacity
-- Arian Foster is officially inactive for the Texans. Alfred Blue is a borderline RB1 against the Bengals, who have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per game to running backs.
-- Also as expected, Reggie Bush is out for today's game against the Patriots. Theo Riddick is a shot in the dark in PPR leagues, but Joique Bell should be unleashed as a solid RB2. He gained 115 yards against the Cardinals' tough run defense last week.
-- Bengals RB Giovani Bernard is active for the first time since Week 8. He is actually listed as the starter, but it's unknown how much work he'll get today against the Texans It's safe to think that Cincy will easy him back into the fold after missing so much time due to a hip injury. Jeremy Hill is still a fine RB2 for at least one more week.
Despite oversleeping on Friday, Jonas Gray is active for the Patriots. As is LeGarrette Blount. Expect these two to split carries against the Lions' fierce front. Neither is a good RB2 today. It could be a big day for Shane Vereen.
-- RBs Doug Martin and Charles Sims are active for the Bucs. It's a shame, because it would be nice to use one of these guys versus the Bears. But with Bobby Rainey also involved, this low-ceiling committee should be avoided.
-- Justin Hunter is active for the Tians. The big-play threat is a sneaky WR3 against an Eagles defense that is tied for the most receptions allowed of 20 yards or longer.
-- Falcons WR Julio Jones is active. He missed some time during the week due to an illness. He is a WR2 with a date with Browns cornerback Joe Haden on tap.

Players who have already been ruled out for Week 12 include Ahmad Bradshaw, Dwayne Allen, Brandin Cooks, Ronnie Hillman, Montee Ball, Jordan Reed, Matt Asiata and Jordan Cameron. Those players and the impact of their absences will be discussed briefly below. For a full rundown of injuries across the league this week, click the source link below to the NFL's official injury report.

Fantasy Analysis:

-- The injury bug has bitten Bradshaw again. This time, he's out for the rest of the season after suffering a broken leg in Week 11. That leaves Trent Richardson and his 3.13 yards-per-carry average as a Colt atop Indy's RB depth chart. Fantasy owners are understandably mild about Richardson's potential, even as the clear-cut starter in this outstanding offense. He just hasn't played very good football since 2012. Ohio State alum Dan Herron should take on a handful of touches each week and is worth watching in deep leagues as his role could grow in a big way if Richardson continues to plod in hard-to-watch fashion.
-- Elsewhere in Indianapolis, Allen has been ruled out due to the ankle injury he suffered last week. So make way for another not-so-good football player to see a major uptick in workload. Coby Fleener caught all seven of his targets for 144 yards against the Patriots in Allen's absence. Now he gets the Jaguars at home. Given the unpredictable state of the tight end position at large, Fleener is a high-quality fantasy start today.
-- Cooks' rookie season is over after he underwent surgery this week to repair a broken thumb. Marques Colston and Kenny Stills should see more targets on the outside, but with Drew Brees putting up numbers you would expect out of a lesser quarterback -- 5:5 touchdown-to-turnover ratio in the past three games -- both of those receivers are low-end WR3 options versus the Ravens.
-- Hillman might miss the rest of the regular season with a sprained foot, and Ball needs a few weeks to get over the aggravation of his groin injury. Thus, it's basically C.J. Anderson's world in the Broncos' backfield. He touched the ball 17 times against the Rams last week, including eight receptions for 86 yards. But comparison, Juwan Thompson saw only one touch. Anderson is in the RB1 range today versus the Dolphins and will be for as long as he is leading Denver's ground game.
-- Huge surprise this week when it was reported that Reed has a hamstring injury. OK, Reed and hamstring injuries have actually become attached at the hip ... or something. Niles Paul, as he did earlier this year while Reed was recovering from a concussion, will start at tight end for the Redskins and is a near-desperation play versus the 49ers.
-- Speaking of concussions, Asiata has one that will sideline him today. However, maybe just the names and not the roles will change in the Vikings' backfield as a result. Ben Tate, who was signed earlier this week after being cut by Cleveland, could slot in as the team's short-yardage back against Green Bay while Jerick McKinnon continues to do most of his work between the 20s. Tate is a true Hail Mary flex, and McKinnon is a low-end RB2 in a game that should get out of hand quickly and force the Vikings to abandon the run.
-- There was finally some positive news about Cameron on Friday: He practiced for the first time since sustaining his concussion in Week 8. He's still not ready to play, but a return in Week 13 against the Bills seems like a real possibility now.

FFToolbox NFL News & Rumors

11/23 - Who's in and who's out of the early games in Week 12? Injury
11/12 - Bengals RB Giovani Bernard not expected to play Week 11 Injury
11/6 - Bengals RB Giovani Bernard to miss second straight game Injury
11/6 - TNF injury report: Browns WR Andrew Hawkins inactive; Bengals RB Giovani Bernard out, as expected Injury
10/31 - Bengals RB Giovani Bernard officially OUT for Week 9; Jeremy Hill to start Injury
10/31 - Bengals WR A.J. Green practices Friday, on pace to play Sunday
10/26 - Who's in and who's out of the early games in Week 8? Injury
10/25 - Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) unlikely to play Week 8 Injury

Latest References to Giovani Bernard on FFToolbox:

2014 Mock Draft Results

Month Position Franchise/Comments
FFToolbox Mock Draft July 21
1.12 - @ShanePHallam - Gio had 35% of the Bengals carries last year. That is sure to go up and if his catches remain consistent, he is certainly an RB1. Don't see Jeremy Hill taking much productivity away from Gio.
FFToolbox Mock Draft July 14
July 14, 2014
2.03 Draft Sharks - Tough call here between Bernard and Murray. Went Gio because I trust him more to stay healthy and think he has bigger reception upside.
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