2013 Fantasy Outlook: Giovani Bernard
Giovani Bernard | Cincinnati Bengals | RB
2013 Experience: Rookie
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Fantasy Football Outlook: While Le’Veon Bell and Montee Ball may have starting jobs week one, it is Giovani Bernard that’s firmly atop my dynasty rookie draft rankings. That said, expect BenJarvus Green-Ellis to hold down the early down role in the Bengals offense.
Cincinnati has proven in the past with Cedric Benson, they don’t mind having an average thumper as a starter and while Bernard will probably unseat Green-Ellis by next season, he will be the change of pace back this year.
I do expect Bernard to be more than just a third down back throughout each game as he should earn one out of every three series of play, to keep Green-Ellis fresh and for the Bengals to take advantage of Bernard’s big-play ability.
A better fit in PPR leagues, I would caution fantasy owners to pump the breaks on drafting him as an early 7th round pick as we see him going in 12-team standard play leagues in recent ADP results. Green-Ellis may not be close to Bernard in terms of raw talent, but he’s proven to be a durable back and should get most of the looks around the goal-line.
Another area that impresses me (same with Bernard) about Green-Ellis is he’s always rubbed off on me as a true pro in the way he conducts himself in his attitude on the field and in interviews over his career. An unselfish player, which is good for Bernard because we won’t hear the veteran crying (signed through 2014) about playing time.
I believe Bernard could have flex-play value in PPR leagues in the second half of the season, but it will take an impressive training camp and possibly an injury to Green-Ellis to view him as an option to start, early on.
By next season we could be talking about Bernard as a RB1 in at least PPR leagues because of his top-notch receiving skills, but he probably won’t hit that level in standard leagues until Green-Ellis leaves the team.
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