Name: Giovani Bernard
Team: Cincinnati Bengals
Position: Running Back
Years Pro: Rookie
Draft stock: (Rising) With word coming out of Bengals camp that Bernard and Benjarvus Green-Ellis are going to split carries in 2013, many fantasy football owners are buying high on the rookie running back. Bernard is also featured on the HBO hit TV series Hard Knocks, so he will be in the public eye from now until the 2013 NFL season begins.
2012 fantasy impact: Bernard was actually the first running back taken in the 2013 NFL Draft, so he must have done something right while with the North Carolina Tar Heels. Cincinnati reportedly fell in love with Bernard’s ability to catch the ball out of the backfield as he hauled in a whooping 92 passes in just two years with the Tar Heels. In addition, Bernard showcased his speed by running the forty-yard dash in a mere 4.5 seconds this spring.
Best-case scenario: Cincinnati quickly realizes that Bernard is the running back of the future as the rookie back leads all first-year players in yards from scrimmage with over 600 yards rushing and another 400 through the air in 2013.
Worst-case scenario: A surplus of rookie mistakes land Bernard in Lewis’ doghouse and Green-Ellis gets a bulk of the workload.
Where you should draft him: With Green-Ellis still in his way, Bernard has some work to do before he can be recognized as a top-tier running back. Therefore, look for the Bengals’ running back around the sixth round of your fantasy football draft.