Giovani Bernard RB CIN 10 Days

The Cincinnati Enquirer expects the Bengals to feature Giovani Bernard "early and often."

The Bengals are shifting to a ball-control scheme under new run-first OC Hue Jackson, with Bernard and rookie Jeremy Hill as the centerpieces. Beat writer Paul Dehner Jr. projects at least 230 carries and 70 receptions for Gio, numbers that are realistic considering he had 170 carries and 56 catches as a rookie last season. "Buckle up," says Dehner. We don't doubt that Bernard is poised for a breakout, but this leap in usage has already been built into his second round ADP.

Giovani Bernard RB CIN 1 Month4 Comments's Geoff Hobson believes new OC Hue Jackson is targeting a "more ball-possession team that runs it more."

Hobson previously suggested Andy Dalton's pass attempts could dip into the Russell Wilson range. The box-score beneficiaries should be Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill. The Bengals spoke early this offseason of utilizing Bernard a la Ray Rice, whose carries leaped from 107 as a rookie to 254 as a sophomore, and spiked from 33 to 78 receptions. Bernard will likely be replaced at the goal line by Hill, but the table is otherwise set for a nice 2014 breakout.

Giovani Bernard RB CIN 2 Months1 Comment

Giovani Bernard is expected to be used in the passing game often.

Run-heavy Hue Jackson is now the Bengals offensive coordinator and Bernard is his clear-cut starter, but that doesn't mean the 5'9/208 NFL sophomore is going to become a 300-carry pounder. He's expected to dominate the screen game, help replace Andrew Hawkins in the slot and even catch passes further downfield. We're expecting weekly workloads around 13-15 carries and 3-5 catches for Bernard, who projects as a low-end RB1 in PPR formats.

Giovani Bernard RB CIN 2 Months

Giovani Bernard handled the first-team handoffs as the Bengals opened Organized Team Activities on Tuesday.

Giovani Bernard RB CIN 2 Months5 Comments

The Bengals plan to use Giovani Bernard at slot receiver more in 2014.

Giovani Bernard RB CIN 2 Months3 Comments

Gio Bernard said the "mentality" of the Bengals' offense "has changed."

Giovani Bernard RB CIN 4 Months

Coach Marvin Lewis said at the NFL meetings that he envisions "second-year growth" from Giovani Bernard similar to Ray Rice's in Baltimore.

Lewis is a former Ravens assistant, and has faced Rice twice a year as Bengals head coach. Rice's carries ballooned from 107 as a rookie to 254 in his second year, and he caught 78 passes as a sophomore, finishing as the No. 4 overall fantasy running back. Bernard has similarities to Rice in his prime both in terms of size and skill set. Gio is a fantasy blowup candidate for 2014.

Giovani Bernard RB CIN 5 Months's Geoff Hobson said Giovani Bernard will "no doubt border on 300 touches" in 2014.

A workload that large would propel Bernard -- who finished as the 16th best fantasy runner in 2013 on only 226 touches -- into the RB1 conversation, especially considering new OC Hue Jackson's track record in the running game. There is still a chance Cincinnati adds another running back via free agency or the draft, but Gio is shaping up as a high-upside RB2 in 2014.

Giovani Bernard RB CIN 6 Months

Giovani Bernard expects new Bengals OC Hue Jackson to install the "craziest playbook ever."

"We just got to go into it with an open mind," Bernard said. "I'm excited for it." Jackson was one of the league's most creative play-callers during his time in Oakland, particularly with the running game. Bernard is a candidate to take a major step forward under his new offensive coordinator. He'll be on the RB1 radar if the Bengals hold off on adding in big names in free agency. Jackson has already been linked to Darren McFadden.

Giovani Bernard RB CIN 7 Months1 Comment

The Cincy Enquirer's Joe Reedy expects Giovani Bernard to handle a larger workload under new OC Hue Jackson.

The question about Bernard has nothing to do with his running ability, which is special. It's whether a team is willing to commit to a 5-foot-8, 202-pound space back as a feature runner. It's worked for undersized backs like Ray Rice and Maurice Jones-Drew before, but teams are often hesitant to do it. Bernard finished his rookie season having averaged a modest 14.1 touches per game.