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Giovani Bernard Fantasy Football News | Shark Bites

Fantasy Football News 2023

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Bengals RB Gio Bernard injured his hip in the 2nd half of Sunday's game against the Ravens.  Rookie Jeremy Hill will operate as Cincy's lead back as long as Bernard is sidelined.

Bengals RB Gio Bernard suffered what appeared to be a shoulder injury in the 4th quarter of Sunday's game against the Panthers.  He was taken back to the locker room with trainers and is being called questionable to return.

Update: Bernard returned for OT, racking up 5 carries and 1 catch.

The Bengals have ruled WR Marvin Jones out for Sunday's game against the Panthers with his ankle sprain.  Jones had been listed as questionable but missed practice all week.  No fantasy owners should have been planning on using him.  This confirmation of his status boosts the upside for WR Mohamed Sanu a bit, as the Bengals also seem likely to be without WR A.J. Green.  RB Giovani Bernard also only looks better as a receiver given all the injuries.  And an offense likely to go run-heavy might even pump some fantasy value into #2 RB Jeremy Hill in a positive rushing matchup.

Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) was in a walking boot at Friday’s practice, according to insider Geoff Hobson. ESPN’s Bob Holtzman confirms that Green is out for this weekend’s game against the Panthers. Fantasy owners should be preparing for a multi-game absence. Mohamed Sanu will serve as the Bengals’ top WR while Green is out. Playing the best football of his career, Sanu is a viable WR3 against the Panthers this week. Brandon Tate and Dane Sanzenbacher will serve as the #2 and #3 WRs but would be desperation fantasy plays. RBs Gio Bernard and Jeremy Hill should combine for 30+ touches on Sunday.

Bengals OC Hue Jackson was happy with how the backfield rotation worked in Week 2. "It’s how the game is flowing and how the guys are flowing in the game," Jackson said. "And the first game I didn’t do it as well. I’ll be the first to tell you I could have done it better. But last week I think I improved in that area, making sure (Hill) was out there and he made some plays."  In the opener, Jeremy Hill played just 15% of the snaps and totaled 4 touches.  In Week 2, those numbers jumped to 46% and 17.  Gio Bernard still played 64% of the snaps and touched the ball a whopping 32 touches.  Bernard and Hill won't combine for 49 touches very often, but this offense looks like it'll revolve around its RBs.  The 63-35 split from Week 2 is what we should expect going forward.  That's enough to keep Bernard in RB1 range and make Hill a matchup starter.

Bengals TE Tyler Eifert has been placed on short-term IR.  It knocks him out for 8 weeks, so he'll be eligible to return in Week 10.  We wouldn't bother stashing Eifert in any redraft leagues.  His absence will mean more action for TE Jermaine Gresham, but he remains an unexciting fantasy option.  Gio Bernard, Mohamed Sanu and, eventually, Marvin Jones could also see more targets with Eifert sidelined.

Bengals RB Jeremy Hill played just 10 snaps in Sunday's opener, finishing with 4 carries for 19 yards.  HC Marvin Lewis explained on Monday that the team didn't believe Hill was a good fit for the game plan against the Ravens.  The Bengals went with a bunch of shotgun, spread looks.  That suits RB Gio Bernard much better than Hill.  Lewis said he told Hill that he'll be "playing more going forward."  The rookie is still worth stashing in fantasy but can't be trusted in starting lineups yet.

Bengals RB Jeremy Hill carried 20 times for 90 yards in Thursday's preseason finale.  He added another 70 yards on 6 catches.  Hill suffered an elbow injury near the end of the 1st half but returned for the 1st series of the 2nd half.  We don't usually see players expected to play significant regular-season roles get this much work in the 4th exhibition, so Hill's night was a bit surprising.  Most reports out of Cincinnati this summer have had the rookie looking at 8-12 carries per game behind starter Gio Bernard.  Until we have a surer idea of Hill's role, though, he'll be a risky fantasy starter.

Bengals RBs coach Kyle Caskey suggested that the team is looking to get RB Gio Bernard 260-300 touches this season.  "You don't necessarily have to hand it off and say, 'Hey, Gio got 260 touches last year out of the backfield.' Maybe he gets 260 to 300 touches but he gets them some other way," Caskey said. "Maybe he gets 200 out of the backfield but he catches 100 passes or however it is. We'll find a way to get the ball to him."  We've heard a couple of Bengals insiders throw out 300 touches as a likely total for Bernard this season, but this is the first time we've heard a number straight from the coaching staff.  We currently have Bernard projected for 283 touches, which lands him safely inside RB1 territory.

Bengals insider Geoff Hobson believes RB Jeremy Hill could see around 200 carries this season.  RBs Gio Bernard and BenJarvus Green-Ellis combined for 390 carries last year.  Bernard will see more than the 170 he finished the 2013 campaign with, but Cincy also figures to run more under OC Hue Jackson.  That means Hill could approach Green-Ellis' 2013 total of 220.  The rookie is flying under the fantasy radar right now with an ADP in the 12th round.

Bengals insider Paul Dehner believes the team will "feature" RB Gio Bernard this season.  Dehner believes Bernard could total 230 carries and 70 catches.  It's worth noting that Geoff Hobson of the Bengals' official website predicted 300 touches for Bernard earlier this offseason.  That type of workload would give the explosive 2nd-year back top 5 fantasy upside.  Bernard isn't coming cheaply in drafts, with an ADP sitting in the mid 2nd round.  But we're willing to take him even in the late 1st round of PPR drafts.

Bengals rookie RB Jeremy Hill took the 2nd snap with the 1st-team offense in Tuesday's OTA session.  (Gio Bernard got the 1st.)  We don't read much into these May workouts, but it's interesting that Hill is already running ahead of BenJarvus Green-Ellis.  Teams usually give the veteran the early nod, but it looks like the Bengals aren't messing around with BGE and his 3 straight sub-4.0 yards-per-carry averages.  We're fully expecting Hill to emerge as the "thunder" to Bernard's "lightning" this season.  Green-Ellis could even end up getting released.  He's due $2.3 million in 2014.

Gio Bernard's 56 catches last year were the most ever by a Bengals RB.  He could build on that total in 2014 as the team looks to expand his role in the passing game.  "We want to do more with him because he can do that," RBs coach Kyle Caskey said. "It's not just put him in the slot. We want him everywhere on the field. Make people guess where's he at. You have to make a decision to either play the run or play the pass. What do you do when he's on the field? He's a lot like Reggie Bush where you have to be aware at all times."  Cincy's addition of rookie RB Jeremy Hill has some folks concerned about Bernard's touch count this season.  But it sounds like the Bengals are planning on making him a centerpiece of the offense.  Bernard has clear top-10 upside in 2014, especially in PPR fantasy leagues.

The Bengals made a surprising 2nd-round move on Friday night, not just by grabbing a RB, but by selecting LSU's Jeremy Hill over Ohio State's Carlos Hyde.  RBs coach Kyle Caskey explained the decision: "The way he played in his offense at LSU, and the pro-style offense they had and what they asked him to do. He stepped up and was going against a tough SEC, downhill, the stuff that we like to do. And when it came to pass protection, he actually stepped in there. He was coached to do that and he looked really tough, not that the others guys didn't. He really just stepped above that when it came to being a complete player and the type of runner we're looking for as well, and playing against the competition he played."  Of course, Hill won't be a 3-down back in Cincinnati with RB Gio Bernard on the roster.  But Hill could take over BenJarvus Green-Ellis' "hammer" role as early as 2014.

The Bengals selected RB Jeremy Hill with the 55th pick of the draft.  That sound you hear is the air coming out of RB Gio Bernard's breakout balloon.  Hill is a rocked-up 6'1, 233-pounder with sneaky quickness.  He's essentially a souped-up version of BenJarvus Green-Ellis. BGE's days in Cincy might be numbered.  The Bengals are clearly planning on sticking with a committee backfield with Hill and Bernard.

Bengals HC Marvin Lewis said he expects "2nd-year growth" from RB Gio Bernard similar to that of RB Ray Rice.  We've often compared Bernard to Rice in terms of size and play style.  We've also mentioned that Bernard could enjoy a similar 2nd-year breakout.  It's nice to hear that Lewis feels the same way.  Rice exploded for 1,339 rushing yards, 702 receiving yards and 8 totals TDs in his 2nd season.  Bernard has that type of upside in 2014.

Geoff Hobson of writes that RB Gio Bernard "no doubt is going to border on 300 touches."  We assumed Bernard's workload would grow in 2014, but 300 touches would be even more than we expected.  That type of workload would give Bernard monster fantasy upside.  He racked up 225 PPR points on 226 total touches last year -- just about 1 point per touch.  Maintaining that efficiency with 300 touches would make Bernard a top 5 fantasy RB.  We ranked him #9 in our Too Early 2014 Fantasy Football Rankings.  

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the Bengals will promote Hue Jackson to OC.  Jackson has spent the past 2 seasons in a variety of assistant coaching roles in Cincinnati.  He was with Oakland the 2 years prior to that -- 1 as OC and 1 as HC.  He also served as Washington's OC in 2003 and Atlanta's OC in 2007.  Jackson oversaw a strong rushing attack in Oakland.  The Raiders ranked 2nd and 7th, respectively, in rushing in his 2 years there.  They ran the ball 51% of the time in 2010 and 47% in 2011.  We like the news for RB Gio Bernard.  

10:32am EST 11/10/13

Bengals RB Gio Bernard (ribs) is active for today’s game against the Ravens.  He was limited in practice all week, and it’s unclear if his touches will be limited today.  The rookie is a risk/reward fantasy play.

Bengals RB Gio Bernard (ribs) was limited in practice all week.  He’s listed as questionable but is expected to play against the Ravens on Sunday.  It’s unclear if his workload will be limited in any way, so consider Bernard a risky Week 10 fantasy option.

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