BenJarvus Green-Ellis isn’t one of the top 10 most talented running backs in the NFL. Heck, as far as pure talent goes, he might not rank in the top 30. That being said, while his long-term carry count is in question, he is still the Cincinnati Bengals answer when it comes to running between the tackles and on the goal line.
The Green Bay Packers flexed their offense muscles last week (Aaron Rodgers had 335 yards and three touchdowns before the teams left the field for halftime), proving that they will once again be one of the league’s elite scoring attacks. While the Bengals have a very underrated defense (for both reality and fantasy purposes), do you really trust them to bring this juggernaut to a halt?
I don’t. In this case, I believe the Bengals best defense is a ball control offense. Giovani Bernard showed great explosion last week, but even on his best day (two touchdowns), it was Green-Ellis’ ball security and hard-nosed running that was trusted to run out the clock. The Law Firm is averaging 18 carries a game this season (18.6 last season), and while the productivity of those carries is questionable at best (2.8 yards per attempt), his ability to wear down a defense cannot be overstated.
If I’m the Bengals, there is one way to guarantee leaving this game with an L: involve Andy Dalton in a shootout with Rodgers. Look for the Packers to double cover A.J. Green, making life even harder on the Bengals signal caller. It may not be visually appealing, but a 20-carry 75-yard performance with high touchdown upside (has scored more than once every two weeks for his career and he didn’t find paydirt last week) has fantasy value, whether you like it or not. Use Green-Ellis as a flex play this week, but be aware that this is going to be Bernard’s job sooner rather than later.