If you consider Giovani Bernard as quality Fantasy depth instead of as a starting option, you'll be fine. It's harsh to tear down a guy who posted career highs in yards per rush, yards per catch and was eight yards shy of setting a new career-high in total yards from scrimmage, but Giovani Bernard was one of the most disappointing Fantasy running backs last season. True, he had 10-plus Fantasy points in four of his first six games, but then he had one in his last 10. Something happened after his hot start because he touched the ball far less after Week 5. In fact, he had just four games all season where he had 15 or more touches. The bottom line is that as long as Jeremy Hill is healthy, Bernard's workload will be limited and goal-line touchdowns will be few and far between. Even with him entering a contract year Bernard doesn't offer much appeal -- he's a backup option with a 12-touch-per-game expectation worth a pick starting in Round 8.
Bernard signed a three-year, $15.5 million extension with the Bengals on Wednesday. Bernard will now be a Bengal through 2019 as he heads into the prime of his career. The 24-year-old rushed for 730 yards and two touchdowns to go along with 49 receptions for 472 yards last season, as he split time with Jeremy Hill.
Bernard (concussion) is among the Bengals' running backs heading into a contract year. The same applies to Rex Burkhead and Cedric Peerman, while Jeremy Hill is the only Cincinnati back signed for 2017. With that in mind, it wouldn't surprise us if the team added some running back depth in next week's draft. In any case, Bernard -- who has had plenty of time to bounce back from the concussion he suffered during the NFL playoffs -- is in line to reprise his role working in tandem with Hill, a time-share that favors Hill on early downs and Bernard in passing situations.
Bernard (concussion) exited the Bengals' Wild Card playoff loss to the Steelers with a concussion, Kevin Patra of NFL.com reports. Bernard took a helmet-to-helmet hit from Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier that went unflagged, and that separated the Bengals tailback from the ball after he'd initially notched the reception. The 24-year-old is in the NFL concussion protocol as a result of the blow, and gained 28 yards on six carries before exiting the contest. He also secured two of his four targets for four yards.
Bernard rushed six times for 36 yards and caught one of three targets for 12 receiving yards during Sunday's game against the Ravens. Jeremy Hill led the Bengals' backfield once again, rushing 16 times for 96 yards and a touchdown and adding 19 yards through the air. Bernard may grab a goal-line carry here or there, but Hill remains the upside back of the two for fantasy purposes.
Bernard caught four passes off of five targets for 29 yards and added 14 rushing yards on eight carries in Monday's loss to the Broncos. In AJ McCarron's two starts, both Bernard and Jeremy Hill have seen an uptick in touches, however Hill's has been more pronounced. Through the first 13 weeks of the season, Bernard averaged 12.8 touches per game, but is up to 15 per game with McCarron under center. Hill has seen his weekly touches spike from 13.8 to 20. More importantly, Hill has found the end zone twice during that brief span while Bernard is sporting a nine-game scoreless streak. With the Bengals in a must-win situation and McCarron dinged up, expect Cincinnati to continue to lean toward Hill's bruising style.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/11||@New York Jets||3||13.13|
|6||10/16||@New England Patriots||5||14.00|
|10||11/15||@New York Giants||26||20.38|
|3 Year Avg||164||702||4||49||445||2||150|