Running-back Giovani Bernard of the Cincinnati Bengals had a decent amount of buzz surrounding him during the draft and this preseason, but many were cautious of believing the hype. Not exactly the biggest guy, the rookie stands in at only 5’9 and 202 lbs but has shown the beginnings of a franchise running-back in Cincinnati.
Still backing up veteran BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Gio has seen more and more playing time since his Week 1 debut. In the Bengals Week 3 matchup against the Green Bay Packers, Bernard ran for 50 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown to go along with 49 yards receiving.
As more confidence builds in the lighting-quick rookie, he will face his greatest challenge yet against the Cleveland Browns defense this Sunday. The Browns allow an astonishingly low average of 2.8 yards per carry, while BenJarvus Green-Ellis appropriately averages 2.8 yards per carry.
Bernard makes big plays in the open field and picks up good yardage after contact. For two teams who are somewhat similar in styles of play, Gio could be the difference maker against the Browns.
If you have Bernard on your fantasy team, play him. If you don’t, make a trade for him. Although he hasn’t put up massive yardage yet, the kid is a scoring machine. Compare him to the savvy of Darren Sproles with the ferocity of Maurice Jones-Drew. 3 games is a small sample of his strengths and weaknesses, but he certainly has the makings of a special player.