Bengals to Rely on One Running Back, But Which One?

Bengals to Rely on One Running Back, But Which One?

The Cincinnati Bengals have been dividing up their running back duties pretty evenly between second-year back Giovani Bernard and rookie Jeremy Hill, especially since Bernard’s return from his injuries a few weeks ago.

However, we’re all becoming bored with that, especially when it comes to playing either on in Fantasy Football. Finally, it sounds like Bengals’ offensive coordinator Hue Jackson is ready to rely upon one true workhorse. Jackson had this to say about the timeshare situation as reported by the teams’ official website (via after Wednesday’s practice.

I’m used to having one guy kind of dominate some carries because in order for backs to be really good, they’ve got to get lathered up to play. You’ve got to get a feel for the game. We have two capable guys and they’re different guys and we’ll let it play itself out, but I think we have a pretty good idea which way we’re headed…Those guys are very capable. I just don’t think I did a very good job this past week.

As it stands right now, Bernard has had 33 carries to Hill’s 39 since his return with both averaging just 3.9 yards per carry during this period of time. Bernard owners are not going to be happy in the long-run, I’m afraid. Jackson has a history of using the bigger bodied backs like Michael Bush and Darren McFadden which would have us think the Bengals will rely upon Hill as their primary back down the home stretch.

Bernard’s body type and skills are most suited for that change of pace receiving back to use on the backfield. If this is the case, and the Bengals follow suit with this practice next season, Bernard would lose value in standard fantasy football leagues and carry value only in PPR formats playing a similar type role to that of Patriots’ running back Shane Vereen.

While this remains speculative at the time, the Bengals’ do need to improve their run game and using the two backs as they currently are isn’t really working. Watch for changes to come and play your Bengals’ running backs in your fantasy lineups with caution as you proceed to playoffs this season.

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