The Cincinnati Bengals selected North Carolina RB Giovani Bernard with the 37th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Fantasy analysis: Cincy lands in a complement to BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who rushed for 1,094 yards and six touchdowns on 278 carries last season. It was logical move, considering that Bernard Scott, whom the franchise re-signed this past offseason, is rehabbing from a torn ACL suffered in Week 5 of last season. The team can't count on him if it expects to compete.
What might be a little surprising is that the Bengals didn't opt for a speedier player to spell the Law Firm, especially because BJGE is a bit of a plodder as well.
But the pick is intriguing for a different reason: The UNC product is an above-average pass-catcher and route-runner, something that this offense has noticeably lacked in what has been a pretty vanilla attack. Add Bernard to Cincinnati's choice of Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert in the first round, and it's pretty clear that this staff intends to diversify its attack.
In non-PPR fantasy leagues, Bernard may not be worth more than a late-round gamble or, if you're into that sort of thing, a handcuff. In PPR formats, this may prove to be true, too, but his addition to the Bengals suggests more upside in them. Bernard is a sound runner, even though he lacks the speed of a home-run threat, so he may turn out to be a little more than the guy who spells Green-Ellis occasionally.
Entering his third season, Andy Dalton is becoming a more interesting fantasy option, too, now that his assortment of weapons is growing well beyond stellar receiver A.J. Green.
About Nicholas Minnix
Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.
The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.
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