Giovani Bernard RB CIN 13 Hrs

OC Hue Jackson said Giovani Bernard has had an "outstanding camp" so far.

Bernard's first training camp as the unquestioned starter is going well. "He's so explosive, he can catch the ball, he's a tough son of a gun. He protects. He blocks," Jackson said. With Jackson installing a run-based offense, we could easily see 400 total carries for Bernard and power complement Jeremy Hill. Gio is also going to be a huge factor as a receiver.

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Bengals RBs coach Kyle Caskey hinted at 260-300 touches for Gio Bernard this season.

Bernard had 226 touches last season. This year, he's the clear-cut No. 1 back and Hue Jackson is installing a run-based scheme. "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."

Giovani Bernard RB CIN 16 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.

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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.

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

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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.