As the Cincinnati Bengals prepare for their week one showdown with the Chicago Bears, fantasy owners are facing quite the conundrum when it comes to what to do with current backup running back Giovani Bernard.
Both the Bengals and Bears have two of the best defenses in all of football, and it’s somewhat tough to plan accordingly when it comes to your fantasy team, especially if you have other legitimate options. As for Bernard, he may wind up rewarding fantasy owners much sooner than anybody may have thought.
Going against Chicago, head coach Marvin Lewis knows that it will be very tough to pass against a secondary boasting a pair of Pro Bowl starting cornerbacks and two young safeties improving every year. Andy Dalton will have to be very careful going against the likes of Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings, amongst the rest, as this defense creates turnovers as regularly as they brush their teeth it seems.
When looking at the area to attack for Chicago, it is apparent that their run defense might take a while to get used to the changes. Two new starters in James Anderson and D.J. Williams — and possibly Jon Bostic instead of Williams, but that’s another story — will try to get this run defense squared away, but in the preseason that has been the obvious point of concern.
The Bears have struggled to stop the run throughout the preseason, and even dating back to last season they performed well when facing mediocre or below-average rushing attacks. If the Bengals can get Benjarvis Green-Ellis going early and work in Bernard within a two-back system, the Bears could be in for a long day going against the run.
Bernard is a favorite to take over the starting job sooner or later this season, and starting against a Chicago defense that is unproven at this point going into the season — against the run, that is — could be the recipe for Bernard to break out early. I wouldn’t hesitate to start Bernard this week and see what he can do.