Fantasy Impact: Cincinnati Bengals Select Giovani Bernard
Bernard is a quick and instinctive running back. He’s great between the hashes and shows patience to let blocks and holes develop before bursting through. Bernard runs very level and has great balance. He’s also a dependable weapon in the passing game; defenses will likely always have to have a spy assigned to him on passing downs.
However, for his size, Bernard doesn’t have the best straight-line speed. He’s not going to beat anyone around the outside. He also isn’t the strongest back and lacks the upper-body strength to fight off tacklers in the trenches. If he can’t get through the hole cleanly, he’s not making it to the second level.
College statistics courtesy of Sports Reference.
Fantasy Impact With Bengals
Bernard is going to make a big impact from day one in the Bengals offense. He’ll be the featured running back and will put up good carries and yards. He’s also a great weapon to use in the passing game and should put up very good numbers there as well – making him a very viable flex option. The Bengals could also utilize Bernard as a punt returner – he had 16 returns for 263 yards (16.4 yards per return) and two touchdowns in 2012. If he does end up returning, and this is a stat your league takes into account, Bernard will be an even bigger value.