View Full Version : Fantasy Forecast 2014: Bengals Edition

07-03-2014, 08:08 AM
It is no secret that the National Football League is the most popular of the “Big Four” sports entities in the United States of America. With the growing popularity of the NFL, the popularity of fantasy football has exploded along with it. According to research company IBIS World, the fantasy sports services industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States, and it is projected to grow at an average annual rate of 7.6 percent to $1.8 billion over the five years through 2018. Additionally, IBIS World estimated 33.6 million Americans took part in fantasy sports in 2013.

Today we rank the Top 10 from a fantasy perspective at each position heading into the 2014 NFL season. We will also provide a “Bengals Outlook” for each position where we will break down the fantasy value of Bengals players in each position group.

(Note: These rankings are for fantasy football only and are not a representation of predictive value for said players for the 2014 season.)


1. Peyton Manning (Denver)
2. Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay)
3. Drew Brees (New Orleans)
4. Matthew Stafford (Detroit)
5. Andrew Luck (Indianapolis)
6. Nick Foles (Philadelphia)
7. Matt Ryan (Atlanta)
8. Tom Brady (New England)
9. Cam Newton (Carolina)
10. Robert Griffin III (Washington)

Bengals outlook: Andy Dalton (http://www.bengals.com/team/roster/andy-dalton/9378c4ed-938c-434c-929d-4d45fe252101/) has improved his numbers in each of his first three seasons in the NFL, capped off by franchise records of 4293 yards and 33 touchdowns in 2013. Dalton ranked fifth in QB fantasy points in standard ESPN.com leagues last season, but injuries to Aaron Rodgers, Robert Griffin III, Jay Cutler and the midseason emergence of Nick Foles must be taken to account.

Fantasy owners can be wary of Dalton’s lack of consistency in the past, something of paramount importance in the fantasy world. One negative on Dalton from a fantasy perspective is that his interception total has risen in each of his three seasons from 13 to 16 to 20 last season. New offensive coordinator Hue Jackson plans to run the ball more than his predecessor, so while Dalton’s attempts may be down, it is likely he becomes more consistent in the new system. Dalton should only get better in his fourth season and should be a very solid fantasy performer yet again with a good chance of cracking the Top 10 by season’s end.

Running Back

1. Jamaal Charles (Kansas City)
2. LeSean McCoy (Philadelphia)
3. Adrian Peterson (Minnesota)
4. Matt Forte (Chicago)
5. Eddie Lacy (Green Bay)
6. Marshawn Lynch (Seattle)
7. Arian Foster (Houston)
8. Doug Martin (Tampa Bay)
9. Giovani Bernard (http://www.bengals.com/team/roster/giovani-bernard/69ef7ebd-86c9-4f7f-831a-dda8c8bf1737/) (Cincinnati)
10. Montee Ball (Denver)

Bengals outlook: While the Bengals will likely use a stable of running backs under Jackson, expect Giovani Bernard to get the bulk of the touches. Bernard had a fine rookie season, tallying 695 rushing yards, 514 receiving yards and eight total TDs. He showed great promise as a receiver both out of the backfield and lining up in the slot. Expect Bernard to be a key part of the Bengals offense in 2014 as well as a valuable fantasy commodity because of his strong ability as both a runner and a pass catcher.

2014 second-round draft pick Jeremy Hill (http://www.bengals.com/team/roster/jeremy-hill/a8435a7b-a76b-42a6-98c6-a2a3fd8e62e0/) will come in and expect to contribute as a rookie. Hill, more of a power runner than Bernard, comes to the Bengals after a decorated two-year career at LSU. Hill rushed for 2156 rushing yards with a 6.3 average and 28 TDs in his career. His 6.3 rushing average ranks third in SEC history. It could take a few games to asses Hill’s fantasy value, but he could be important to draft as a handcuff option for those that also select Bernard. Seventh-year pro and third-year Bengal BenJarvus Green-Ellis (http://www.bengals.com/team/roster/benjarvus-green-ellis/d809b273-f3c9-414d-b9b0-3fd185b8e017/) will also be in the running back rotation for the Bengals. Green-Ellis started all 16 games last season, rushing for 756 yards and seven TDs. He is always intriguing from a fantasy standpoint with his ability in the red zone.

Wide Receiver

1. Calvin Johnson (Detroit)
2. Demaryius Thomas (Denver)
3. A.J. Green (http://www.bengals.com/team/roster/aj-green/d1e7b054-2722-4a10-9dad-687267489bd5/) (Cincinnati)
4. Dez Bryant (Dallas)
5. Julio Jones (Atlanta)
6. Brandon Marshall (Chicago)
7. Jordy Nelson (Green Bay)
8. Antonio Brown (Pittsburgh)
9. Alshon Jeffrey (Chicago)
10. Randall Cobb (Green Bay)

Bengals outlook: A.J. Green remains one of the NFL’s premier wide receivers headed into his fourth season in the league. Green set career highs with 98 catches and 1426 yards and tied a career high with 11 TDs in 2013. He was the fourth-highest scorer of WRs in standard ESPN.com leagues last year, and with the impending suspension of Cleveland’s Josh Gordon, would be bumped up to No. 3.

The emergence of third-year WR Marvin Jones (http://www.bengals.com/team/roster/marvin-jones/1e8a8414-cc83-4d5e-a61a-9236316539e4/) could continue to take pressure off of Green. Jones was a breakout player for the Bengals in ’13, recording 51 catches for 712 yards and 10 TDs. Jones’ season included a four-touchdown performance on Oct. 27 vs. the New York Jets. Jones proved he could be a force in the red zone last season and will retain strong fantasy value if he can replicate his success in ’14. The Bengals have another third-year WR with some promise in Mohamed Sanu (http://www.bengals.com/team/roster/mohamed-sanu/2ec826da-ce44-498c-8d77-174bbd664114/). Sanu came onto the scene as a rookie in ’12 scoring four TDs in nine games. He played a full-season in ’13 and recorded 455 yards and two TDs and should continue to progress in his third NFL campaign.

Tight End

1.Jimmy Graham (New Orleans)
2. Julius Thomas (Denver)
3. Rob Gronkowski (New England)
4. Vernon Davis (San Francisco)
5. Jordan Cameron (Cleveland)
6. Jason Witten (Dallas)
7. Greg Olsen (Carolina)
8. Dennis Pitta (Baltimore)
9. Kyle Rudolph (Minnesota)
10. Jordan Reed (Washington)

Bengals outlook: In 2013 the Bengals base offense featured two tight ends with the addition of ’13 first-round draft pick Tyler Eifert (http://www.bengals.com/team/roster/tyler-eifert/36fdf348-c00c-44bb-bc76-2833910b8553/) to pair alongside ’10 first-round pick and two-time Pro Bowler Jermaine Gresham (http://www.bengals.com/team/roster/jermaine-gresham/66ed6d24-c4c8-45c3-83d8-438594e91723/). The duo piled up a total of 85 catches for 903 yards and six touchdowns a season ago, with both each missing one regular season game. This is a prime example of how fantasy value does not always equate to real value on the football field. While both Gresham and Eifert are very good players, their fantasy value takes a slight hit due to playing in a two-TE set, as opposed to other TEs who do not have to play alongside another TE as part of their base offense. However, Eifert should only get better in his second season, and Gresham has two Pro Bowls under his belt, so both certainly have the potential to have good seasons from a fantasy perspective.


1. Stephen Gostkowski (New England)
2. Matt Prater (Denver)
3. Justin Tucker (Baltimore)
4. Phil Dawson (San Francisco)
5. Steven Hauschka (Seattle)
6. Mason Crosby (Green Bay)
7. Nick Novak (San Diego)
8. Adam Vinatieri (Indianapolis)
9. Dan Bailey (Dallas)
10. Robbie Gould (Chicago)

Bengals outlook: It is generally difficult to forecast fantasy success for kickers, because so much is dependent on how many field goal opportunities a kicker will receive. Mike Nugent (http://www.bengals.com/team/roster/mike-nugent/44701177-8bcb-4bb1-a348-e81af4d4583a/) has been a very solid performer as the Bengals kicker over the last four seasons. In 2011 Nugent set single season Bengals records for points scored (132) and FGs made (33), and he shares the team mark for longest FG (55 yards). Last season, Nugent converted 18 of his 22 attempts, including three-of-four from 50 yards.

Defense/Special Teams

1. Seattle Seahawks
2. San Francsico 49ers
3. Carolina Panthers
4. Cincinnati Bengals
5. Arizona Cardinals
6. St. Louis Rams
7. Denver Broncos
8. New England Patriots
9. Kansas City Chiefs
10. Houston Texans

Bengals outlook: The Bengals return nine starters from a defensive unit that ranked third in the NFL in total defense in 2013. DT Geno Atkins (http://www.bengals.com/team/roster/geno-atkins/cce83be5-6849-488f-b8ed-cc876b47ca32/) and CB Leon Hall (http://www.bengals.com/team/roster/leon-hall/0f379744-8ae4-4952-8f53-75c2f38f43ec/) are expected to make full recoveries after season-ending injuries a season ago. LB Vontaze Burfict (http://www.bengals.com/team/roster/vontaze-burfict/941b89df-2666-4d9f-810e-9b889ba417eb/) emerged following a solid rookie year in ’12 to lead the NFL and tackles and make the Pro Bowl in ’13. Defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer is gone, but the defense should not miss a beat under his understudy and new defensive coordinator, Paul Guenther. Playmaking DEsCarlos Dunlap (http://www.bengals.com/team/roster/carlos-dunlap/4a065377-8081-4dc1-a80f-daf22d74ba67/) and Wallace Gilberry (http://www.bengals.com/team/roster/wallace-gilberry/5e92b88d-d45e-475d-a29b-6c64db345007/) are back after sharing the team lead for sacks last year (7.5). On the special teams side, the Bengals employ two solid kick/punt returners in Adam Jones (http://www.bengals.com/team/roster/adam-jones/70893f56-2c88-4a74-93ec-15f2886cca42/) and Brandon Tate (http://www.bengals.com/team/roster/brandon-tate/56768822-7e1d-43fb-94da-5c49f43032b5/), who have a combined eight career return touchdowns between the two of them. Also, the Bengals blocked three kicks last season with Dunlap having two of them.


07-07-2014, 04:02 PM
Analyzing Andy Dalton's Fantasy Football Value (http://www.cincyjungle.com/2014/7/7/5875757/analyzing-andy-daltons-fantasy-football-value)

Arkansas Bengal
07-07-2014, 05:49 PM
I had Dalton in my fantasy league last year. What a roller coaster ride...number one fantasy QB one week and bottom third the next.

07-08-2014, 07:54 AM
Cincinnati Bengals

QB: I don’t hate Andy Dalton as much as many people. He was one of the top quarterbacks in fantasy last year, finishing with over 4,000 yards, 33 touchdowns and a 88.8 quarterback rating.

http://isportsweb.com/wp-content/uploads//2014/07/Andy_Dalton_passCROP-237x320.jpg (http://isportsweb.com/wp-content/uploads//2014/07/Andy_Dalton_passCROP.jpg)

Dalton about to throw a touchdown or an interception, there’s no middle ground for Big Red.

However, there are some major reasons for concern. His new offensive coordinator, Hue Jackson, has long been a run-first play-caller, and he’s made a lot of noise about wanting to lower Dalton’s pass attempts from 586 last season to closer to 400 this year. The other major negative with Dalton was his tendency to be either really good or really bad, a very annoying trait in a fantasy quarterback.

I think there’s no way Dalton throws the ball 200 times fewer this year, but 100 fewer attempts seems likely, especially since the Bengals have more talent at the running back position than they’ve had in a long time. Dalton won’t finish as a top five QB again this year, but he’ll likely finish at the back end of the top 10. He’s a great backup for a risky quarterback like RGIII or a serviceable starter if you wait on quarterback in a deeper league.

RB: Giovanni Bernard was one of the biggest fantasy steals last year, going from a virtual unknown to a RB2 in standard leagues. He showed good ability to run to the outside and catch balls out of the backfield.
Unfortunately, his value was hampered by The Law Firm, BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Green-Ellis stole more than 200 carries last year and Bernard still managed to produce. His upside is hurt since he likely won’t get carries near the end zone, but he’s a solid high-end RB2, or an RB1 in standard leagues. I’d expect about 1,000 yards rushing, about 5 rushing TDs, about 600 yards and couple more TDs receiving.

There’s been a lot of noise about rookie Jeremy Hill taking over the Green-Ellis role, but there’s one big problem there. Green-Ellis is still on the team, and if they’re paying him they’re going to use him. If Green-Ellis is cut or traded before the season than Hill is a valuable flex running back, but if not I think Green-Ellis hurts Hill’s value enough to make them both late-round fliers.

WR: AJ Green is a stud, you heard it here first folks. There’s some worry about how Hue Jackson’s love for running the football will impact Green’s value, but I’m not concerned. Jackson has also said that he wants to throw the ball deep more often than last year, and it’s not like Mohammed Sanu is getting those targets. For me, Green, Brandon Marshall and Dez Bryant are all fairly close for WR3 this year.

Marvin Jones emerged as a valuable target for the Bengals in the red zone, but his stats were inflated by one monstrous game. He has some value as a WR3, especially if AJ Green were to get hurt, but his production is likely to be sporadic and touchdown dependent.

Mohammed Sanu has made some sleeper lists, but I can’t see him getting targeted with enough frequency to make an impact in fantasy outside of an injury to Green.

TE: The Bengals, much like the Colts and the Eagles, will employ a two-headed monster approach at tight end with Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert. Eifert could be a top 10 tight end if something were to happen to Gresham, but don’t hold your breath, at least not during this season.

D/ST: The Bengals lost pass rusher Michael Johnson to free agency and defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer to the Vikings, but they look poised to be a top five fantasy defense again this year. They’ll gain Geno Atkins and Leon Hall back from injury, and rookie Darqueze Dennard should step in and improve the secondary immediately. If you want defense that seems likely to be a stud again this year, the Begnals should be one of your top targets.


07-11-2014, 10:54 AM
IS GIOVANNI BERNARD A TOP-10 FANTASY BACK? (http://panicbutton.sportsblog.com/posts/395828/is_giovanna_bernard_a_top.html)

JULY 10, 2014

http://static.cdnzoom.com/resize/556/x/SportsBlogcom/filewarehouse/54607/f1e9151847b4e907c369eca62aa30bc0.jpg (http://serve.cdnzoom.com/SportsBlogcom/filewarehouse/54607/f1e9151847b4e907c369eca62aa30bc0.jpg)IS GIOVANNI BERNARD A TOP-TEN FANTASY RB?

By Rich Winter
With 695 yards and five touchdowns a season ago, the reflex action to the question is Giovanni Bernard a top-ten RB is absolutely not.
Those 695 yards ranked Bernard as the No. 28 rusher in terms of yardage with his running mate, BenJarvus Green-Ellis being ranked No. 24 with 756 yards.
While Green-Ellis is expected to take more of a back seat this season, the possibilities that Bernard is a top-ten Fantasy RB are intriguing.

Even in his limited role as a rookie, Bernard caught 56 passes for 516 yards and three scores.
That's 1200 yards from scrimmage as a rookie in a limited role.

While Andy Dalton was tossing the ball all over the field last season, the Bengals hired former Raider head coach Hue Jackson as the offensive coordinator.
Jackson is known for loving to running the ball.
The Bengals have the biggest NFL line in NFL history and I have a feeling that Jackson is going to make an emphasis on running the ball, especially if his team is ahead.
With Bernard's ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, I think this cat deserves some serious attention as a No. 1 RB for your fantasy roster. If you get him as you're No. 2, just go ahead and pencil yourself into the playoffs of your league.

You have to think the rushing numbers get up over 1000 and the receiving numbers might hit 700. With the increased touches, his TD's are likely to go up from eight combined last season.
That friends, puts this guy in elite fantasy RB territory.
Grab him in the third round if he's still around and when you do, tell everyone in your league they are a moron for passing on this guy.
Huge year for this guy!
Mean Machine knows!


07-14-2014, 03:40 PM
Is Marvin Jones a Wide Receiver Value Pick This Year?

https://d1tjohjvimcqgl.cloudfront.net/website/articles/2612_a1.jpgMarvin Jones' nose for the end zone in 2013 made him valuable. Is he slated for an encore in 2014?

In today's information and product-crazed market, the phrase "keeping up with the Joneses" has become more and more relevant. Everyone always has to have the latest smartphone or gadget, and people are continuously fighting for the best information to accumulate wealth and make good decisions.
Fantasy football is no different, as millions of players visit websites all over the web to not only keep up with information, but to be the most informed and smartest in their upcoming drafts. With this in mind, and based on early mock draft results, one Jones (see what I did there?) that people should be keeping up with information-wise is Cincinnati Bengals' wide receiver Marvin Jones (http://www.numberfire.com/nfl/players/marvin-jones). Doing so may enable you to win your league this year.
While most football fans have grown accustomed to standout A.J. Green (http://www.numberfire.com/nfl/players/A-j-green) being the only viable wide receiving option on the Bengals, Jones' 2013 season was an unexpected breakthrough that put him squarely on the fantasy football map, especially after an 8-catch, 122-yard, 4-touchdown performance last season against the New York Jets. Showing both overall stats and Net Expected Points (http://www.numberfire.com/info/glossary/) metrics, let's take a deeper look at Jones' 2013 performance:
Marvin Jones' 2013 Campaign

The numbers below reflect Marvin Jones' 2013 season. Be prepared: it may look better than you initially thought.

Reception NEP
Rec NEP per Target
Success Rate

81.65 (24th of 62)
1.02 (1st of 62)
92.16% (7th of 62)

Jones' Reception NEP per target ranked first out of 62 wideouts with 75 targets or more, which showed that, when the Bengals targeted Jones, he did more with the ball than any other relatively high-volume receiver. While he wasn't in the famed Cris Carter (http://www.numberfire.com/nfl/players/cris-carter), "all he does is catch touchdowns" class, Jones wasn't far off in 2013. In fact, according to Pro Football Reference (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/play-index/play_finder.cgi?request=1&match=summary&year_min=2013&year_max=2013&team_id=&opp_id=&game_type=R&playoff_round=&game_num_min=0&game_num_max=99&week_num_min=0&week_num_max=99&quarter=1&quarter=2&quarter=3&quarter=4&quarter=5&tr_gtlt=lt&minutes=15&seconds=00&down=0&down=1&down=2&down=3&down=4&yds_to_go_min=&yds_to_go_max=&yg_gtlt=gt&yards=&is_first_down=-1&field_pos_min_field=opp&field_pos_min=1&field_pos_max_field=opp&field_pos_max=20&end_field_pos_min_field=team&end_field_pos_min=&end_field_pos_max_field=team&end_field_pos_max=&type=PASS&type=RUSH&is_turnover=-1&turnover_type=interception&turnover_type=fumble&is_scoring=-1&no_play=0&game_day_of_week=&game_location=&game_result=&margin_min=&margin_max=&order_by=yards) and among wide receivers with 10 or more targets in the red zone, Jones had the highest red zone efficiency at 85.7%, buoyed by his 12 receptions on 14 red zone targets.
While critics could point out that Jones was a one-trick pony, feasting on the Jets secondary in a 49-9 blowout win, his production was fairly solid in other games when the Bengals figured out that he simply is better at football than teammate Mohamed Sanu (http://www.numberfire.com/nfl/players/mohamed-sanu). Check out Jones' game breakdown before, after, and during that Jets game.


Before Jets Game

Jets Game (10/27/13)

After Jets Game


In addition to Jones' solid 2013 regular season, he lit it up in a playoff loss to the Chargers, catching 8 balls on 12 targets for 130 yards, including a 49-yard bomb on a sideline go route. He also had six first downs while playing 77% of the offensive snaps in that game.
Jones in 2014

So, with all of these positive stats in mind, a new offensive coordinator who seems to believe in him as the clear number-two wide receiver on his team, and his knack for finding the end zone, why does Jones not look fantastic according to our rankings (http://www.numberfire.com/nfl/fantasy/fantasy-football-cheat-sheet/wr)? Let's take a look at where Jones factors into our fantasy projections for 2014:

Overall Rank
WR Rank
Confidence Interval
Fantasy Points

Marvin Jones

Naysayers in fantasy football circles tend to rebel against non-superstars who score a lot of touchdowns once. Basically, they view Jones' 2013 touchdown-infused numbers as unsustainable, or that Jones has no other value but scoring touchdowns.
For further proof of this, Google James Jones' (http://www.numberfire.com/nfl/players/james-jones)2012 and 2013 season stats, and then you'll understand why confidence in Marvin Jones is not as high as it should be. Maybe that explains why Jones' is ranked 51st at wide receiver, which puts him towards the top of Tier 7 with Nate Washington (http://www.numberfire.com/nfl/players/nate-washington) and Rod Streater (http://www.numberfire.com/nfl/players/rod-streater). However, to be fair, and in defense of our numberFire Draft Cheat Sheet Tiers (http://www.numberfire.com/nfl/fantasy/fantasy-football-cheat-sheet/tier-sheets), Jones is ranked equally or slightly above expected breakout receivers like Mike Evans (http://www.numberfire.com/nfl/players/mike-evans) and Rueben Randle (http://www.numberfire.com/nfl/players/rueben-randle).
Other Jones critics point to the immense amount of A.J. Green targets (180 in 2013) andHue Jackson (http://www.numberfire.com/nfl/news/2535/how-will-hue-jackson-impact-the-cincinnati-bengals-offense) being a run-oriented offensive coordinator as reasons to avoid Jones. It also doesn't help matters that Jones had three games under 10 yards receiving a season ago, including one against division foe Cleveland where he didn't have any receptions. Luckily for Jones, his targets per game went up from four to six after the Jets game, which highlights the team's trust in him as the season went on.
Wide receivers who are leaders in Reception NEP per target (used 75 targets as a minimum for this analysis) are somewhat of a mixed bag in the past five years (2009-2013). While the top 10 for each year contains your typical proven star or fantasy draft reliable receivers like Calvin Johnson (http://www.numberfire.com/nfl/players/calvin-johnson), Marques Colston (http://www.numberfire.com/nfl/players/marques-colston), and Vincent Jackson (http://www.numberfire.com/nfl/players/vincent-jackson), it also contains players like the aforementioned James Jones, Sidney Rice (http://www.numberfire.com/nfl/players/sidney-rice), Malcom Floyd (http://www.numberfire.com/nfl/players/malcom-floyd), andLance Moore (http://www.numberfire.com/nfl/players/lance-moore). The latter group are wide receivers who essentially feasted on the big play (or touchdowns) for a year or two, but can't be confidently picked in fantasy drafts on a yearly basis because big plays are simply difficult to sustain. Our own Brandon Gdula wrote a piece on this very issue here (http://www.numberfire.com/nfl/news/2326/).
But what makes Jones a late-round candidate to be a legitimate fantasy option is two-fold. First, he's versatile. While the 2013 red zone efficiency rate is most likely not going to happen again, Jones can be used as a deep threat, a red zone talent, and a slot receiver depending on the situation. But second, and most importantly, the team really has no other viable options at the second wide receiver position. Among the 68 wide receivers with at least 40 catches last year, Sanu ranked sixth-worst in terms of Reception NEP per target, a measure we use at numberFire for efficiency. Jones is clearly the second-best receiver on that team, which means the potential for more opportunity.
With all of this information in mind, combined with Hue Jackson's knack for assessing offensive talent, I'm buying Jones low as a sleeper wide receiver this year. Given his amazing efficiency last season, there's certainly upside, and I think he'll end up outperforming his projections and draft position somewhat handily. Though he more than likely won't score the same amount of touchdowns as he did last year, more volume could mean more weekly consistency, and better overall numbers for Jones.


07-16-2014, 09:12 AM
2014 Fantasy Football Sleepers: Bengals WR Marvin Jones

By Braiden Albrecht-Reed (http://fantasyknuckleheads.com/author/bronco-braiden/) on July 15, 2014

Marvin Jones (http://fantasyknuckleheads.com/Marvin-Jones-fantasy-football-12440/) is entering his third year in the NFL and seeking to become an established widereceiver in the league. Playing along the sidelines, he has the speed to beat most corners and the height (6’2) to out jump them as well. He was drafted in 2012, the year after Andy Dalton (http://fantasyknuckleheads.com/Andy-Dalton-fantasy-football-11889/)and A.J. Green (http://fantasyknuckleheads.com/A.J.-Green-fantasy-football-11858/) were selected. He was only a fifth round pick, falling behind fellow Bengals widereceiver Mo Sanu (3rd round, 83 overall). Of the two, Cincinnati has given Sanu more opportunities to succeed, but every indication shows the team is finally leaning towards Jones going into 2014, as they did late in 2013. Head coach Hue Jackson was quoted this offseason stating, “Marvin Jones (http://fantasyknuckleheads.com/Marvin-Jones-fantasy-football-12440/) came on like gangbusters (last year) and he’s got to go chase A.J. (Green). Why not knock A.J. off the pedestal? When you have the friendly competition among your teammates, that’s when things get really, really good, in my opinion.” While he has little chance to catch Green, that’s some highhttp://fk-main.absolutenetworks.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/Marvin+Jones+New+York+Jets+v+Cincinnati+Bengals+8A 6QadVmBcYl-300x214.jpg praise and expectations coming from the head coach. Jones has his spot on the offense locked down and will receive a substantial boost in playing time.
Jones demonstrates stronger all around receiving abilities compared to Sanu, which can be seen in the statistics. Jones recorded 51 catches, 712 yards, and 10 touchdowns on only 542 snaps (47.9%). Sanu chalked up 47 catches, 455 yards, and 2 touchdowns on 750 snaps (66.3%). Despite the large difference in time on field, Jones saw 81 targets and Sanu had only 78, indicating Dalton was looking for one receiver more than the other. If you give Jones 66.3% of the snaps, his numbers roughly translate to 71 catches, 996 yards, and 14 touchdowns. In the last game of the 2013 season, he saw 77.7% of the snaps, which is a more standard number for a number two wideout. Some secondary receiving threats saw even higher percentages, with DeAndre Hopkins (http://fantasyknuckleheads.com/DeAndre-Hopkins-fantasy-football-13285/), Brian Hartline (http://fantasyknuckleheads.com/Brian-Hartline-fantasy-football-11108/), Eric Decker (http://fantasyknuckleheads.com/Eric-Decker-fantasy-football-11497/),Harry Douglas (http://fantasyknuckleheads.com/Harry-Douglas-fantasy-football-2909/), and Michael Floyd (http://fantasyknuckleheads.com/Michael-Floyd-fantasy-football-12288/) all seeing between 86% and 88%. At 77.7%, Jones’ numbers over a full season would equate to 82 catches, 1,139 yards, and 16 touchdowns. In a PPR league, those numbers would have placed him at no. 8 among all WR’s, just ahead of Alshon Jeffery (http://fantasyknuckleheads.com/Alshon-Jeffery-fantasy-football-12320/). But projections can be inaccurate and sometimes numbers do lie, so let’s take a closer look at how Jones was so efficient last season.
Like any second year receiver, he definitely ran into his inconsistencies. His per game yardage over the first 5 games were unspectacular at 7, 35, 38, 0 and 39. Then, he found another level over the next 4 weeks, posting 71, 57, 122, and 66 yard performances. This was followed by extremely disappointing 2, 9, and 12 yard games. He did finish the season strongly though, which is always an important factor for young http://fk-main.absolutenetworks.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/Marvin-Jones-2-300x198.jpgplayers from year to year, showing up with 60, 48, 85, 61, and a critical 130 yard game in the playoffs. Improving his week to week yardage should be doable with more opportunities and of course, a strong work ethic and a dedication to every play.
What really sticks out about Jones is his whopping 10 touchdowns in such limited time. People are quick to judge his numbers based on a matchup with the Jets in which he hauled in 4 TD’s. While that game does sit as an outlier, it’s still not enough to overshadow his production. Even taking away 3 of those scores, he still managed 7 touchdowns as the third receiver on the team. Unlike Eddie Royal (http://fantasyknuckleheads.com/Eddie-Royal-fantasy-football-2953/) last year who surprised with a couple multi-touchdown games early on, Jones spread his scores throughout the year. In fact, that Jets game was his only multi-touchdown performance. While he may never realistically grab 16 touchdowns in one seasons, he has gotten to the endzone consistently enough to expect a solid 7-9 scores per season with increased reps in the offense.
Now that last year’s numbers are a little bit clearer, let’s take a look at the system he is working in. Last year Andy Dalton (http://fantasyknuckleheads.com/Andy-Dalton-fantasy-football-11889/) finished the year 8th in pass attempts. Cincinnati enjoys throwing the ball, but also features more talent in the backfield this year. Jeremy Hill and Giovanni Bernard provide a fearsome duo to any NFL defense, while Green-Ellis will still vulture some carries if he is not cut by the regular season. This helps and hurts Jones because it could cause the defense to load the box more and commit to the run, but could also result in a loss of production to the runningbacks.A.J. Green (http://fantasyknuckleheads.com/A.J.-Green-fantasy-football-11858/) will definitely get his catches, but again this weapon can help redirect the defense. Looking to further eat into Jones’ production will be Jermaine Gresham (http://fantasyknuckleheads.com/Jermaine-Gresham-fantasy-football-11431/), Tyler Eifert (http://fantasyknuckleheads.com/Tyler-Eifert-fantasy-football-13209/), and Mo Sanu.Dane Sanzenbacher (http://fantasyknuckleheads.com/Dane-Sanzenbacher-fantasy-football-12118/) is replacing the departedhttp://fk-main.absolutenetworks.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/Marvin-Jones-3-300x196.jpgAndrew Hawkins (http://fantasyknuckleheads.com/Andrew-Hawkins-fantasy-football-12194/), but that should have little effect on Jones’ numbers. Overall, the offense will be more explosive if anything. Most everything has stayed the same in the passing game, except this year Sanu won’t be jamming the widereceiver depth chart. Despite A.J. Green (http://fantasyknuckleheads.com/A.J.-Green-fantasy-football-11858/)’s presence, there is production to be had in this offense and Jones looks like a prime candidate for the job. If Dalton can progress and play well in his contract year, watch out.
If you want a comparable, Jones is very reminiscent of another Cal product Keenan Allen (http://fantasyknuckleheads.com/Keenan-Allen-fantasy-football-13076/). About 10 lbs lighter, Jones has similar sticky hands and can run after the catch. Allen came into the NFL with more polished route running skills, but both of these players show good all around abilities and feature the athleticism to go up and get the ball in the redzone or chase a 50 yard bomb over the safeties. Don’t expect Jones to be as efficient as he was last year, but a bump in production is inevitable with increased playing time. Look for a decent second widereceiver type stat line of about 70 catches, 900 yards, and 8 touchdowns (which isn’t that large of a gap from last year) with the potential for much more. That line would place him as the 24th widereceiver last season. His positional ADP is 44 on Yahoo!, 59 on ESPN, and 53 on NFL.com. Feel free to target Marvin Jones (http://fantasyknuckleheads.com/Marvin-Jones-fantasy-football-12440/) with a late round flyer and watch his stock soar.

http://fantasyknuckleheads.com/2014-fantasy-football-sleepers-bengals-wr-marvin-jones/ (http://fantasyknuckleheads.com/2014-fantasy-football-sleepers-bengals-wr-marvin-jones/)

07-16-2014, 10:33 AM
Fantasy Football: Giovani Bernard a Featured Weapon in Bengals Offense

By Jason Marcum (http://www.sbnation.com/users/Jason%20Marcum)  @JasonB_Marcum (http://twitter.com/JasonB_Marcum) on Jul 16 2014, 10:19a + (http://www.cincyjungle.com/2014/7/16/5904757/giovani-bernard-featured-weapon-bengals-offense#comments)

Stan Liu-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals (http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/teams/cincinnati-bengals) drafted Giovani Bernard (http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/players/193381/giovani-bernard) out of North Carolina last year in order to give the offense a change-of-pace back who could provide an added dimension.
What they got was a future star that they plan to feature more in 2014. Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer (http://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/nfl/bengals/2014/07/13/bengals-training-camp-position-running-backs/12612585/) believes Bernard will finish the 2014 NFL season with 300 total touches on offense.

His ability won't be new this year and much talk early will revolve around new offensive toy Hill. But this team will feature Bernard 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.

That jives with what new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson has said about Bernard, who he fell in love with during training camp last year because of his heart and drive.
"He wanted more of it," Jackson said earlier this offseason (http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/post/_/id/78041/hard-knocks-hits-earned-bernard-respect). "It was me who was trying to get those guys to pull up because we didn't want to get anybody hurt. But that's the beautiful part of it, in my mind. That was like them saying, 'OK, you're here and you're supposed to help us win? Let's find out.'
"And he passed the test."
"I remember those guys on defense coming up to me one day in stretch. There was Rey Maualuga (http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/players/71200/rey-maualuga), we're talking about Vontaze Burfict (http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/players/155361/vontaze-burfict), and even some of the defensive linemen. They were all saying, 'Hey, Coach. That guy can play.'

Bernard become one of the league's best dual-purpose backs, rushing for 695 yards and catching 56 passes for another 512 and was a finalist for the NFL Rookie of the Year award.
He did so on just 226 touches, and like Dehner said, Jackson also see Bernard getting more touches this year.
"He's going to have a lot," Jackson said, smiling. "I can promise you."

With Jeremy Hill and potentially BenJarvus Green-Ellis also on the roster, Bernard won't get enough carries to justify being an RB1 or even 2.
It's his receiving ability that will make him top-tier fantasy option and a guy that should be gone in the 2nd round of standard scoring leagues. Bernard should go in the 1st round of PPR leagues. Only seven backs had more catches than Bernard in 2013, and four of them (Matt Forte, Jamaal Charles, Ray Rice, Knowshon Moreno) had at least 97 more offensive snaps than Bernard (https://www.profootballfocus.com/data/by_position.php?tab=by_position&season=2013&pos=HB&stype=r&runpass=run&teamid=-1&numsnaps=50&numgames=1).


07-16-2014, 10:42 PM
More touches ahead for Gio Bernard? http://a.espncdn.com/i/in.gif

July, 16, 2014
JUL 16

By Matt Williamson (http://search.espn.go.com/matt-williamson/) | ESPN.com

The Cincinnati Enquirer's Paul Dehner (http://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/nfl/bengals/2014/07/13/bengals-training-camp-position-running-backs/12612585/) is reported that the Cincinnati Bengals (http://espn.go.com/nfl/team/_/name/cin/cincinnati-bengals)are expected to feature Giovani Bernard (http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/_/id/15826/giovani-bernard) "early and often," maybe enough to get him 300 touches in 2014.

So is that a realistic number for the second-year back? I very much think so. In his rookie season, Bernard carried the ball 170 times and caught 56 passes. Adding another 74 touches to those totals should be quite doable. In fact, it could pay off huge for Cincinnati.

Bernard touched the ball only 14 times in his first two games as a professional. Over his first nine games, he carried the ball just 81 times. But during the final seven games of the regular season plus the Bengals' first round playoff loss, Bernard carried the ball 101 times and never had single-digit rushing attempts in a single game over that span. If that pace continues for the entire 2014 season, Bernard will carry the ball 230 times.

Even though Jeremy Hill (http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/_/id/16803/jeremy-hill) was added in the second round of the draft, I expect 230 carries to be about the floor of what to expect from Bernard as a runner. He is short, but he has a powerful lower body and has the build to withstand the punishment, much like Maurice Jones-Drew (http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/_/id/9646/maurice-jones-drew) or Ray Rice (http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/_/id/11289/ray-rice).

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider


07-16-2014, 11:00 PM
I think Hill makes Gio even better.

Any word on how Hill is picking up protections?

07-17-2014, 07:00 AM
I think Hill makes Gio even better.

Any word on how Hill is picking up protections?

tough to say when they're just in pads and such, but he was considered a good pass blocker at LSU.

07-19-2014, 09:56 AM
Fantasy Football 2014: How Will Schematic Changes Affect These Star Fantasy RBs?

By James Paradis (http://bleacherreport.com/users/4015967-james-paradis), Featured Columnist Jul 18, 2014

Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals

http://img.bleacherreport.net/img/slides/photos/003/724/354/hi-res-5eba0759ebad5ed64eea81189448896d_crop_north.jpg?w= 630&h=420&q=75
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Bengals Coaching Changes

Offensive Coordinator:
Hue Jackson (replaces Jay Gruden)

Defensive Coordinator:
Paul Guenther (replaces Mike Zimmer)

Giovani Bernard 2013 Stats

170 ATT
56 REC
1,209 YDS
9 TD

First-Year Timeshare
A highly touted prospect coming out of college, Giovani Bernard came into the NFL last year with the utmost of expectations. Selected in the second round by the Cincinnati Bengals, many expected Bernard to supplant BenJarvus Green-Ellis as the team’s lead back from day one.
Though he did lead Cincy’s backfield with 226 touches, “Gio” ended up in a near 50-50 timeshare with Green-Ellis, who totaled 224 touches. Bernard’s fantasy owners were frustrated with the team's persistent usage of the "Law Firm,” despite his plodding 3.4 yards per rushing attempt and declining effectiveness as a rusher.

Hue's the Man
By year’s end, it seemed clear that Bernard’s workload would expand in 2014, given his far superior play-making ability among Cincinnati backs; however, this presumption has been called into question by two changes since the end of the 2013 season.

In January, the Bengals promoted running backs coach Hue Jackson to offensive coordinator, replacing Jay Gruden, hired as head coach of the Washington Redskins.
In May, the team selected power running back Jeremy Hill in the second round of the NFL draft.

Hill, a far superior talent to Green-Ellis, is essentially a shoe-in to take over the Law Firm’s early-down and goal-line duties. The pick also makes perfect sense for OC Jackson, a strong advocate of the power-run style of offense.

An Up-Hill Battle
Bernard’s once clear RB1 fantasy prospects were suddenly a bit murkier. Drafting Hill with a premium pick led many in the fantasy community to wonder how the backfield hierarchy would shake out.
For example, the week after the draft, ESPN held its fantasy rankings summit (http://espn.go.com/fantasy/football/story/_/page/fflrankingssummit14/fantasy-football-rankings-summit). Following the summit, ESPN Senior Fantasy analyst Matthew Berry begrudgingly stated that the consensus opinion on Bernard ranked him just barely inside the top 15 RBs.
I had to argue hard to get Gio Bernard to RB14 - still think we're too low. #ESPNRanks (https://twitter.com/hashtag/ESPNRanks?src=hash)
— Matthew Berry (@MatthewBerryTMR) May 13, 2014 (https://twitter.com/MatthewBerryTMR/statuses/466281496069046272)
Obviously, opinions on Hill's impact on Gio's fantasy value were split.
Recently, Cincinnati.com's Bengals beat writer Paul Dehner reignited the conversation (http://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/nfl/bengals/2014/07/13/bengals-training-camp-position-running-backs/12612585/) surrounding Bernard fantasy stock, projecting 300 touches for the 22-year-old in his sophomore year.
If proven correct, such a generous prediction should vault Gio back into top-10 consideration among fantasy running backs.
And Dehner’s not alone in his expectation for Bernard in 2014. Mike Clay of Pro Football Focus shares his optimism.
I have him at 296 in 15 games. I can see it. @JoeGoodberry (https://twitter.com/JoeGoodberry) @evansilva (https://twitter.com/evansilva)@Rotoworld_FB (https://twitter.com/Rotoworld_FB)
— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) July 16, 2014 (https://twitter.com/MikeClayNFL/statuses/489400974478671872)
Meanwhile, Rotoworld’s Evan Silva sees Hill taking a slightly larger slice of the rushing pie.
My take is Jeremy Hill ends up with more carries & TDs than ppl think. Gio has v good year but not spectacular in FF. Finishes ~275 touches.
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) July 16, 2014 (https://twitter.com/evansilva/statuses/489406312791281664)
2014 Projection
In Jackson’s run-heavy scheme, there should be plenty of work to go around for both Bernard and Hill, though 300 touches for either back is unlikely, barring injury. The level of talent in this RB tandem should phase Green-Ellis out of the backfield equation almost entirely.
At 6’1”, 238 pounds, Hill figures to be the thunder to Bernard’s (5’9”, 208 pounds) lightning. He may see precious few red-zone opportunities, but Gio’s game-breaking explosiveness should retain the majority of his value.
It will be important to keep a close eye on this situation throughout training camp and the preseason. Gleaning the most accurate information for fantasy will help distinguish Bernard as either a low-end RB1 or a high-end RB2.

2014 Projection:
210 ATT
65 REC
1,475 YDS
8 TD


07-19-2014, 03:54 PM
2014 Fantasy Football Deep Sleeper: RB Jeremy Hill

http://www.rantsports.com/fantasy/files/2014/07/Jeremy-Hill.jpg (http://www.rantsports.com/fantasy/files/2014/07/Jeremy-Hill.jpg)
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals (http://www.rantsports.com/nfl/teams/cincinnati-bengals/?utm_source=RantSports&utm_medium=NavBar&utm_term=CincinnatiBengals) have a great one-two punch in the running game with Giovani Bernard and BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Despite that, the Bengals front office decided to draft another running back in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft. The rookie running back is Jeremy Hill and he will have an impact in the rushing game.
Hill is expected to overtake Law Firm’s spot as the No. 2 running back. He opened OTAs as second on the depth chart, behind Bernard. If Hill begins the 2014 season as the backup, he will take some value away from Bernard, who most likely won’t be an every-down back.
During his two years in college, Hill was a part-time running back. He had 345 carries for 2,156 yards and 28 touchdowns. He also had 26 receptions for 254 receiving yards. While he won’t reach those totals in his first two seasons with the Bengals, he will take away some touchdowns away from Bernard.
Hill should be drafted as a handcuff by anyone who owns or plans to own Bernard. He will have value in deeper leagues as a mid-to-late round selection. Bernard is expected to carry the ball 230 times, along with 70 receptions. That kind of wear and tear may affect the young running back, which bodes well for Hill’s fantasy value.
In keeper/dynasty leagues, Hill is a mid-round pick and jumps to a second or third-round pick in rookie drafts. With his size, 6-foot-1, 233 pounds, Hill will be the bruiser of the two running backs and plow his way into the endzone.
Bill Pivetz is a fantasy sports writer for Rant Sports (http://www.rantsports.com/). Follow him on Twitter @BPiv_Sports (http://www.twitter.com/BPiv_Sports).

http://www.rantsports.com/fantasy/2014/07/18/2014-fantasy-football-deep-sleeper-rb-jeremy-hill/?utm_source=RantSports&utm_medium=HUBRecirculation&utm_term=Fantasy%20SportsFootballGrid0 (http://www.rantsports.com/fantasy/2014/07/18/2014-fantasy-football-deep-sleeper-rb-jeremy-hill/?utm_source=RantSports&utm_medium=HUBRecirculation&utm_term=Fantasy%20SportsFootballGrid0)

07-23-2014, 12:02 PM
Is Giovani Bernard Ready to Break into NFL's Running Back Elite?

By Andrea Hangst (http://bleacherreport.com/users/631061-andrea-hangst), AFC North Lead Writer Jul 23, 2014
http://img.bleacherreport.net/img/images/photos/002/987/715/hi-res-8c508fe2e9bd98ffe2c0b8871a1602fd_crop_north.jpg?w= 630&h=420&q=75
Giovani Bernard is set to be a star in Hue Jackson's Bengals offense, but will that propel him into the elite level of NFL running backs?

Giovani Bernard (http://bleacherreport.com/giovani-bernard) was easily the most electrifying member of the Cincinnati Bengals (http://bleacherreport.com/cincinnati-bengals)' offense in 2013. In his first year, he rushed just 170 times, but it netted him 695 yards and five scores. He was also a force in the passing game, with 56 catches on 71 targets (http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/stats/_/id/15826/giovani-bernard) for 514 yards and three touchdowns.
On only 226 touches, Bernard totaled 1,209 yards and eight scores. This year, he's expected to get even more work with Hue Jackson as his new offensive coordinator. Will that be enough to make him one of the NFL (http://bleacherreport.com/nfl)'s top backs?
Jackson is certainly excited about the possibilities of Bernard this year, saying "He's going to have a lot [of carries], I can promise you" in February (http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/post/_/id/78041/hard-knocks-hits-earned-bernard-respect), while praising Bernard's toughness. In a run-focused offense under Jackson, the Cincinnati Enquirer's Paul Dehner Jr. (http://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/nfl/bengals/2014/07/13/bengals-training-camp-position-running-backs/12612585/) expects Bernard to have 230 carries along with 70 receptions.

Rush TD
Rec. Yds.
Rec. TD
Snaps %*


via ESPN & Pro Football Focus (subscription required); * Snap % includes playoffs
At 4.1 yards per carry, which is Bernard's average from 2013, 230 rushes would yield 943 yards. Fourteen running backs (http://espn.go.com/nfl/statistics/player/_/stat/rushing/sort/rushingYards) surpassed that yardage total in 2013, including the proven elite like LeSean McCoy,Adrian Peterson (http://bleacherreport.com/adrian-peterson) and Matt Forte (http://bleacherreport.com/matt-forte) and the less-so (but still quite good), like Knowshon Moreno and Ryan Mathews. Two, Reggie Bush andDeMarco Murray (http://bleacherreport.com/demarco-murray), had more than 943 yards on fewer carries than the 230 Dehner projects for Bernard this season.
Numbers like that would put Bernard solidly in the "very good" category for running backs in 2014, but it doesn't put him in the "elite" column. However, it's more about what he does for the Bengals this season than where his numbers rank in relation to other running backs around the league.
What Dehner was saying in his predictions for Bernard is that he will be a much greater part of Cincinnati's offense in 2014. Bernard's 2013 season appears to be just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to his potential.
http://img.bleacherreport.net/img/article/media_slots/photos/001/645/750/hi-res-c6da0d8c30f7fed49db5a718e90949e9_crop_exact.jpg?w= 650&h=432&q=85
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Bernard's all-around skill set—rusher, blocker, receiver—will get him on the field even more often this year.

Bernard had more on-field time than fellow Bengals running backBenJarvus Green-Ellis last year, playing 627 offensive snaps compared to 472 for Green-Ellis, according to Pro Football Focus (https://www.profootballfocus.com/data/cstats.php?tab=by_team&season=2013&teamid=7&stype=r&pre=REG&stats=o) (subscription required).
That was way below the total 1,155 offensive snaps the Bengals played last season, but Bernard made his impact felt as a rusher, receiver and blocker to the point that Pro Football Focus named him their No. 3 running back (https://www.profootballfocus.com/data/by_position.php?tab=by_position&season=2013&pos=HB&stype=r&runpass=&teamid=-1&numsnaps=25&numgames=1) on the season. In contrast, Green-Ellis carried the ball more times, with 220 attempts, but only had 61 more rushing yards.
This year, Bernard will again be part of a timeshare at running back, splitting most of his carries with rookie Jeremy Hill while Green-Ellis transitions into a veteran depth role with minimal touches. However, with the run game a greater focus of the offense and Bernard's rushes on the rise, he'll have even more chances to make the most of his time on the field.
http://img.bleacherreport.net/img/article/media_slots/photos/001/645/747/hi-res-7c52a46fbeb58d2387f0a3bca775ac47_crop_exact.jpg?w= 650&h=434&q=85
Rookie Jeremy Hill will eat into some of Bernard's carries, just as BenJarvus Green-Ellis did last year.

The real appeal of Bernard is that he's more than a running back. His ability to catch passes reliably makes him an asset to quarterbackAndy Dalton (http://bleacherreport.com/andy-dalton), who threw the majority of his passes from zero to nine yards (https://www.profootballfocus.com/data/by_player.php?tab=by_player&season=2013&surn=Dalton&playerid=6187&group=2&pre=REG&pre=REG) off the line of scrimmage last year.
With Bernard having caught 78.9 percent of the passes thrown to him last year, the sweep and bubble screen game for the Bengals becomes an important part of their arsenal and not just a way for Dalton to check down under pressure.
It's clear that even with less playing time, Bernard can hold his own with the league's top backs on a touch-for-touch basis. But it's hard to include him in the "elite" category when he's a three-down capable back who isn't going to be used on every down because the Bengals want variety in their running game.
http://img.bleacherreport.net/img/article/media_slots/photos/001/645/760/hi-res-3c8d13b452552c2d2f2b8dc59db3a3e8_crop_exact.jpg?w= 650&h=433&q=85
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
With Hue Jackson as offensive coordinator, the Bengals are going to run more this year. That, however, does not automatically mean 300 or more carries for Bernard.

Bernard needs to be a 300-rush running back—not a 300-touch one—in order to truly be viewed among the Marshawn Lynches and Frank Gores of the NFL. He appears able to handle such a workload, but that would strip the Bengals of having variety in their run game.
Bernard has elite-level skills but the Bengals won't rely solely on him because they simply do not have to. Certainly, Jackson wants to maximize the impact that Bernard has and is very excited about what he's capable of doing, but that's not likely to equate to 300 rushes for 1,200 or more yards and an additional 70 receptions.

What it comes down to is how elite running backs are categorized. Considering Bernard's production last year relative to the amount of touches he had and how that will increase under Jackson's system, then it's obvious that Bernard is a top-tier talent in the NFL.
However, if eliteness for a running back comes down to the number of rushes he has, the rushing yardage total and rushing touchdown total at the end of the season, then Bernard is just shy of that elite group, solely based on how he's used.
Either way, the Bengals are aware of the explosive, game-changing player they have in Bernard and they have a coordinator in Jackson who will use him as much as it fits the overarching offensive game plan. Because of this, Bernard is certainly set to have an even better season than the last.
He may not have the highest rushing numbers in the league, but Bernard's elite skills are more valuable to the Bengals than him putting up elite stats.



07-26-2014, 09:16 AM
Cincy Jungle @CincyJungle (https://twitter.com/CincyJungle) · 29m (https://twitter.com/CincyJungle/status/492987721187852288)

Fantasy Football Expectations for Cincinnati Bengals (video) http://sbnation.com/e/5702796 (http://t.co/LBTkQbW34L)