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25 Giovani Bernard RB
Height/Weight: 5-9/208 | Birthdate: 11/22/1991 | Birthplace: West Palm Beach, FL, USA | Team: Cincinnati | College: North Carolina | NFL Experience: 2 | Owned/Started%: 100/97 | Average Draft Position: 17.74
CIN

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Giovani Bernard steps up in A.J. Green's absence


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(9/14/2014) With star wide receiver A.J. Green pulled with a foot injury on their first drive of the game Week 2 against the Falcons, the Bengals needed a player to step up and carry the mantle offensively. Running back Giovani Bernard was happy to do just that.

The second-year player had a career day, leading the Bengals not only in carries with 27, nearly doubling his career high, but also in catches with five. His 169 total yards (90 rushing, 79 receiving) were also a career high.

Though his lone touchdown came on the ground -- a 4-yard plunge up the middle in the second quarter -- his two biggest plays came through the air. Even better, they were improvised. With a defender hot on his tail early in the second quarter, quarterback Andy Dalton pitched the ball underneath to Bernard, who promptly hurdled a defender for a 24-yard gain. On the very next drive, again with two defenders in his face, Dalton flipped the ball over the line to Bernard, who outran half the Falcons defense for a 46-yard gain.

"He yelled out, `Gio!' and I just opened my eyes," Bernard said. "It's weird. I guess it's a quarterback-running back relationship kind of thing."

Though he wasn't needed as much in the second half, allowing change-of-pace rusher Jeremy Hill to have 15 carries for 74 yards and a touchdown, Bernard gave the Bengals another glimpse of all he can do with the ball in his hands and will look to build on it Week 3 against the Titans.


Giovani Bernard tops 100 all-purpose yards in opener


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/7/2014) Bengals running back Giovani Bernard made his impact felt all over the field in a Week 1 win over the Ravens.

Bernard was mostly held in check in the rushing game, totaling just 48 yards on 14 carries. However, he topped the 100 all-purpose-yard mark thanks to his work in the passing game. Bernard was targeted 10 times and hauled in six of those passes for 62 yards.

Bernard got 20 touches in the season opener, a number he bested just twice in his rookie season. The Bengals face the Falcons in Week 2. 


Giovani Bernard to get only 'a little more' work than Jeremy Hill


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(9/4/2014) Impressive rookie running back Jeremy Hill appears destined not to receive as many carries as Bengals more established back Giovani Bernard. But, according to Marvin Lewis, it could be close.

"A smart guy says Gio gets a little more," Lewis said via NBC Sports.

Hill thoroughly outperformed Bernard in the preseason. The former averaged 4.6 YPC on 41 attempts while the latter rushed for 49 yards in 20 tries. Hill even displayed his talents as a pass-catcher with 10 receptions for 91 yards. Bernard, who has thrived in that capacity, managed just four catches for 16 yards.


Giovani Bernard looking to break out vs. Ravens


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/3/2014) The Ravens know exactly what Bengals running back Giovani Bernard can do when he gets the ball in his hands, and head coach John Harbaugh told the Baltimore Sun the team has to be extra careful not to let him break free in Week 1.

"Bernard does a heck of a job," Harbaugh said. "They're going to attack you on the edges with Gio in the stretch running game and toss cracks and those kinds of things that they do. Screens are a big part of his game. He's a good receiver out of the backfield. But you can't stop there with him, because he does a nice job in pass protection, and he will run between the tackles. Good pursuit, great team defense and good tackling – and thats with any back, but especially with a guy as elusive as Gio."

The Ravens experience Bernard's big-play ability last season, as he caught 13 passes for 88 yards, including an 18-yard touchdown in two games a year ago. He added 80 yards on the ground and finished with 21 total Fantasy points against them. Mind you, Bernard did that while serving ostensibly as a backup for the Bengals; he is ready to step into a much larger role this season.

The Ravens were mostly solid against opposing running backs last season, ranking ninth in the league in Fantasy points allowed. However, Bernard showed they have trouble containing him, and should be considered a solid starting Fantasy option in all formats for Week 1. 


Gio Bernard, Jeremy Hill each projected with 200 carries


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(8/27/2014) The Bengals' official website was impressed with rookie Jeremy Hill's power running in the third preseason game. Writer Geoff Hobson opined "it looks like Giovani Bernard and Hill could both get about 200 attempts."

Bernard figures to be prominent in the passing game, while Hill is expected to get a lot of goal-line and short-yardage carries.


Giovani Bernard scores first preseason touchdown


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(8/16/2014) Bengals running back Giovani Bernard found the end zone during Saturday’s preseason game against the Jets.

Bernard punched it in from 1-yard out on the second drive of the night. He was pulled after three drives. He took seven handoffs for 22 yards and a touchdown, averaging 3.1 yards per attempt on the ground. In the passing game, he caught only one pass for 6 yards.

Giovani Bernard expected to get 'good share' of goal-line work


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(8/13/2014) Bengals running back Giovani Bernard should hit 300 touches and will take "a good share" of goal-line carries, reports the Cincinnati Enquirer. Bernard had 226 touches as a rookie and ran for five touchdowns.

Giovani Bernard featured on opening drive


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(8/7/2014) Bengals running back Giovani Bernard was featured on the team's eight-play opening drive Thursday against the Chiefs. He ran three times for 10 yards and caught a 9-yard pass. Bernard then gave way to rookie Jeremy Hill as Cincy benched its starters.

Hue Jackson can't stop gushing about Gio Bernard


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/30/2014) New Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson continues to describe running back Giovani Bernard in glowing terms. "He’s had an outstanding camp," Jackson told CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora. "He’s so explosive, he can catch the ball, he’s a tough son of a gun. He protects. He blocks."

Bengals to 'expand portfolio' of Giovani Bernard


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/28/2014) The Bengals want to find different ways to get the ball to running back Giovani Bernard, reports ESPN.com.

"I don't know if it's the workload that's going to get more, it's more the type of plays that we're going to run with him in the game," running backs coach Kyle Caskey told the website. "We're going to expand his portfolio of plays and find different ways to get the ball in his hands in space. You get the ball in Gio's hands in space, he's dangerous."

Cincy could line up Bernard as an outside or slot receiver -- anything to get him in space.

"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."


300-plus touches projected for Giovani Bernard


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/16/2014) On the heels of a report from the Bengals' website saying Giovani Bernard should receive 230 carries, the Cincinnati Enquirer seconded that notion, stating Bernard will be featured "early and often. His expansion as a receiver will only help create a scenario where he can crack 70 receptions and 230 carries for 300-plus total touches. Buckle up."

Bernard ran 170 times as a rookie and caught 56 passes.


Giovani Bernard projected to get 230 carries


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/15/2014) The Bengals' official website expects second-year running back Giovani Bernard to receive 230 carries, 60 more than he had last year. That computes to 14.4 carries per game.

The Bengals don't want to give Bernard more than that because "they want to protect him as well as use him in the passing game," the report said. Bernard had 15 carries once as a rookie, 14 twice and 13 three times.

The website predicts the Bengals will run the ball about 50 more times under new coordinator Hue Jackson.

Of the remaining 230 to 250 carries available, the website expects rookie Jeremy Hill to get the bulk, with the rest going to BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Rex Burkhead or whoever emerges as the No. 3 back.


Giovani Bernard to do more with his hands?


by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(5/23/2014) The Bengals have plans to use Giovani Bernard as a receiver in addition to his work as a running back, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported. Bernard ability to make plays in the open field have the coaching staff thinking creatively on how to use him. 

"We want to do more with him because he can do that," running backs 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."

Bernard thinks it makes sense. 

"Think about it; if you're in the backfield you have to run five yards or six and a half or seven to get to the line of scrimmage and then you've got to push up five more yards, you've got to get through all of the crowd and you've got to check all of the protections," he said. "So it's almost a lot easier when you're on the slot where all you have to do is just run five yards to get to your spot."

Bernard had 56 catches last year but many of them came on plays where he lined up in the backfield. Per ProFootballFocus.com, Bernard lined up as a receiver just 42 times and sparingly catches from those spots. He totaled just over 1,200 yards and eight touchdowns last year.  


Giovani Bernard sees change in offense coming


by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(5/22/2014) Bengals running back Giovani Bernard sees a change in the offense this season under new coordinator Hue Jackson, reports ESPN.

"It's a lot more tempo, tempo, tempo," Bernard said, adding, "We're just going to smash your face in -- basically."

This offensive coordinator wants to use the run to set up the pass. Some three months before the start of the season, this offense has an identity.

"The mentality of the offense has changed," Bernard said.


Bengals draft RB Jeremy Hill


by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(5/9/2014) With the No. 55 pick in the NFL Draft, the Bengals selected running back Jeremy Hill from LSU.

The Bengals already have Giovani Bernard and BenJarvus Green-Ellis on the roster, but the addition of Hill could mean Green-Ellis is gone.

Hill, who is a big back at 6-foot-1, 233 pounds, had 1,940 rushing yards and 26 rushing touchdowns on 317 carries along with 254 receiving yards on 26 catches for the Tigers. 

If the Bengals release Green-Ellis, Hill would form a formidable duo with Bernard in Cincinnati's backfield.


Lewis hoping for Rice-like second season from Giovani Bernard


by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(3/25/2014) Marvin Lewis was the one to pull in the reins on using Giovani Bernard more than the team did in 2013, but it sounds like he won't do the same in 2014. Lewis told CBSSports.com from the NFL Owners Meeting in Orlando that he wanted to save Bernard for a 20-game season while also mentioning that rookies typically overwork themselves in preparation for the draft. 

But now Lewis is hoping for Bernard to take a deep breath, reflect on his rookie year, and then "mature and grow" into a prominent role in the Bengals' run game. 

"I witnessed in Ray Rice since his rookie year in Baltimore and then from ['08 to '09] and the difference in him. We're hoping that Gio can take those same steps," Lewis said. 


Giovani Bernard to 'border on 300 touches'?


by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(3/5/2014) Not only did a story on the Bengals official team website list Giovani Bernard as the team's starting running back (and BenJarvus Green-Ellis as a backup), but the story also suggested that Bernard is in line for 300 touches in 2014.

Bernard already had two more touches than Green-Ellis in 2013 but this is a hint that the team will make the transition toward the second-year superstar. 

"After a spectacular NFL Rookie of the Year finalist season, Bernard is only going to get more work and no doubt is going to border on 300 touches," site editor Geoff Hobson wrote. 

Bernard had 170 carries and 56 catches last year. 


Giovani Bernard to have 'a lot' on his plate


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(2/23/2014) New Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson wouldn't specify running back Giovani Bernard's 2014 role, but he seemed to indicate it would grow. "He's going to have a lot -- I can promise you," Jackson said, per ESPN.com.

Jackson praised Bernard for his toughness as a rookie.

"Here's a young man who played last year -- and I'm not trying to brag on him -- but he played hurt," Jackson said. "The guy didn't shy away from me. There were times when I said, 'Is this guy going to play?' And he didn't blink. He played as hard and as well as any young player I've been around with as much as we asked him to do." 

Bernard accounted for 1,209 yards from scrimmage and eight touchdowns last year.


More balance coming to Cincinnati's offense?


by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(2/13/2014) New Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson has made it clear that he wants the team's run game to be more physical and more of a factor under his guidance. 

"What I need to do is unleash these guys," Jackson said. "We're going to try and create an environment for these guys to be great. That's what [head coach] Marvin [Lewis] is all about. We know we need to run the football. We want to run the football. That's where it starts. That's what he preaches." 

ESPN surmises that under Jackson the Bengals will average close to 30 carries per game from their primary backs, BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Giovani Bernard. Last year when at least one of them had 15 carries the team was 6-1. 

Jackson has a good track record of utilizing running backs, so both should be effective in 2014.


Bengals moving toward ground-and-pound?


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(2/6/2014) With running backs coach Hue Jackson taking over as offensive coordinator, the Bengals could field a more run-oriented attack, reports NFL.com. That would be good news for running backs Giovani Bernard and BenJarvus Green-Ellis, if the veteran isn't released.

"For me and Benny, I think we've done a good job thus far. I think we can continue to keep doing a good job," Bernard told the website. "We've just got to go into it with an open mind, and he's (Jackson) going to create this craziest playbook ever, but it's going to be fun. I'm excited for it."

Bernard didn't elaborate on the playbook. Last season Cincinnati ranked 18th in rushing yards (109.7 per game) and tied for 27th in yards per carry (3.6). But only seven teams had more than the Bengals' 481 rushing attempts.


Bengals running backs limited on the ground


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1/5/2014) Bengals running back Giovani Bernard was limited on the ground against the Chargers.

Bernard carried the ball 12 times for 45 yards. He was a much bigger threat in the passing game. Bernard caught seven passes for 73 yards. He was targeted 10 times. 

BenJarvus Green-Ellis performed better on the ground, carrying the ball eight times for 42 yards. As usual, he did not play a big role in the passing game, and was not targeted. The Bengals were fighting to get back into the game late, and opted to go with Bernard down the stretch. Neither player was able to score.


Giovani Bernard: It all starts with establishing run


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(1/3/2014) Bengals rookie running back Giovani Bernard believes the key to success for quarterback Andy Dalton and receivers A.J. Green and Marvin Jones is establishing a strong ground attack.

"It starts up front," Bernard told the team website. "If you can run the ball, create big plays running the ball, it's going to open up the pass. If you can pass, Andy's going to feel comfortable, deep balls are going to be open, A.J. is going to be open, Marv is going to be open. It really just opens everything, so we have to start at the line of scrimmage and control that."

The Bengals, who await San Diego for a Sunday playoff clash, have struggled to run the ball consistently. They rank 28th in the NFL in yards per carry at 3.6. Bernard has been more effective than featured back BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Bernard has averaged 4.1 YPC and is the second-leading receiver on the team with 56 catches for 514 yards.


Giovani Bernard has 73 total yards in win


by Nando Di Fino | Senior Fantasy Writer
(12/29/2013) Bengals running back Giovani Bernard carried the ball 13 times for 22 yards in Sunday's 34-17 victory over the Ravens. He also caught five passes for 51 yards. 

Bernard finishes the year with at least 10 carries in seven straight games. He ran 170 times for 695 yards, while catching 56 passes for 514 yards.

Bernard scored eight total touchdowns in his rookie campaign. 


Bengals backs low-end RB2 options


by Nando Di Fino | Senior Fantasy Writer
(12/27/2013) Bengals running backs Giovani Bernard and BenJarvus Green-Ellis have been a stellar one-two punch for the team this season. But they've been a tough duo to predict for Fantasy owners, who have seen the backs cannibalize each others' values. 

Bernard has gotten a steady amount of carries over the past four games, seeing no fewer than 12 and no more than 14. But his output has been varied, ranging from 20 rushing yards to 99. He's scored one touchdown in the last four games, while catching nine total passes. 

Green-Ellis, meanwhile, has been all over the pace with carries (ranging from four to 20 in that four-game span), but has scored four touchdowns. And in that span, Green-Ellis was severely limited in a game against the Steelers (the four-carry game) with an illness. 

In Week 10, when the Bengals faced the Ravens (this Sunday's opponent), Green-Ellis ran nine times for 36 yards, while Bernard ran 14 times for 58 yards and caught a season-best eight passes for 37 yards and a touchdown. The Ravens had been solid against running backs this season, but have taken a step back lately, allowing six touchdowns over the last four games to backs, and 40 or more receiving yards to running backs in two of those games.

Bernard and Green-Ellis will likely continue their recent trends -- Green-Ellis serving as the workhorse and red zone back; Bernard getting about 13 carries and catching a handful of passes. That puts both of them on the cusp of RB2, with Bernard getting a bit of a bump in PPR formats thanks to his pass-catching ability.  


Giovani Bernard quiet except for long catch


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(12/22/2013) Bengals running back Giovani Bernard, who was limited to just 33 yards on 13 carries last week at Pittsburgh, was even worse running the ball Week 16 against the Vikings, picking up 20 yards on 13 carries. 

On a day when quarterback Andy Dalton picked apart the Vikings' 30th-ranked pass defense, Bernard wasn't the only running back to struggle. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who is technically ahead of him on the depth chart, had just 24 yards on 12 carries. But of course, Bernard offers something Green-Ellis doesn't -- the ability to contribute as a receiver.

It was in that capacity that he made his biggest impact, taking a short toss from Dalton midway through the third quarter, eluding one tackler with a spin move, dodging another with a quick change in direction and escaping yet another with a stiff-arm before plowing through two or three more to get inside the 10-yard line. When the dust had settled, he had picked up 41 yards. In all, he had two catches for 47 yards.

He came up short of the end zone, though, and now has just one touchdown in his last five games. He'll look to get back on track Week 17 against the Ravens.