Giovani Bernard
Giovani Bernard
29-Year-Old Running BackRB
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2020 Fantasy Outlook
Bernard's first game this season will be the 100th of his career, and the miles might be catching up to him. His YPC plummeted to a career-low 3.2 last year, and his 30 receptions on 43 targets were also the lowest volume he's seen as a receiver since he came into the league. With Joe Mixon locked into a three-down role, there wasn't much action left for Bernard last year, but he also wasn't effective enough with the touches he got to demand a larger share. When he gets the ball in space, he can still do some damage, but the quickness and elusiveness he displayed before his 2017 ACL tear never seemed to fully return. On the bright side, the Bengals offensive line should be better this season (it could hardly be worse), and Joe Burrow provides some optimism for the offense as a whole. Bernard also has little competition behind him on the depth chart for backup touches, but that likely just means more work for Mixon. Read Past Outlooks
RANKS
#194.66
ADP
$Released by the Bengals in April of 2021.
Released by Cincy
RBFree Agent
April 7, 2021
The Bengals released Bernard on Wednesday, Jay Morrison of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
Bernard was scheduled for a $3.7 million base salary and up to $400,000 in bonuses in 2021, the second season of a two-year, $10.3 million extension. The Bengals asked him to take a pay cut a few weeks ago, and Bernard then requested his release when it became clear it wouldn't work out. Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports that the 29-year-old running back is "expected to find a new gig soon." Meanwhile, the Bengals are left with Samaje Perine, Trayveon Williams and Jacques Patrick as their depth backs behind Joe Mixon.
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NFL Stats
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Fantasy/Red Zone Stats
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Advanced NFL Stats
How do Giovani Bernard's 2020 advanced stats compare to other running backs?
This section compares his advanced stats with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average. The longer the bar, the better it is for the player.
  • Broken Tackle %
    The number of broken tackles divided by rush attempts.
  • Positive Run %
    The percentage of run plays where he was able to gain positive yardage.
  • % Yds After Contact
    The percentage of his rushing yards that came after contact.
  • Avg Yds After Contact
    The average rushing yards he gains after contact.
  • Rushing TD %
    Rushing touchdowns divided by rushing attempts. In other words, how often is he scoring when running the ball.
  • Touches Per Game
    The number of touches (rushing attempts + receptions) he is averaging per game
  • % Snaps w/Touch
    The number of touches (rushing attempts + receptions) divided by offensive snaps played.
  • Air Yards Per Game
    The number of air yards he is averaging per game. Air yards measure how far the ball was thrown downfield for both complete and incomplete passes. Air yards are recorded as a negative value when the pass is targeted behind the line of scrimmage. All air yards data is from Sports Info Solutions and does not include throwaways as targeted passes.
  • Air Yards Per Snap
    The number of air yards he is averaging per offensive snap.
  • % Team Air Yards
    The percentage of the team's total air yards he accounts for.
  • % Team Targets
    The percentage of the team's total targets he accounts for.
  • Avg Depth of Target
    Also known as aDOT, this stat measures the average distance down field he is being targeted at.
  • Catch Rate
    The number of catches made divided by the number of times he was targeted by the quarterback.
  • Drop Rate
    The number of passes he dropped divided by the number of times he was targeted by the quarterback.
  • Avg Yds After Catch
    The number of yards he gains after the catch on his receptions.
Broken Tackle %
10.5%
 
Positive Run %
83.9%
 
% Yds After Contact
59.9%
 
Avg Yds After Contact
2.0
 
Rushing TD %
2.4%
 
Touches Per Game
10.7
 
% Snaps w/Touch
33.1%
 
Air Yards Per Game
3.1
 
Air Yards Per Snap
0.09
 
% Team Air Yards
1.1%
 
% Team Targets
10.4%
 
Avg Depth of Target
0.8 Yds
 
Catch Rate
79.7%
 
Drop Rate
6.8%
 
Avg Yds After Catch
8.3
 
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2020
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2018 NFL Game Log
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Receiving Alignment Breakdown
See where Giovani Bernard lined up on the field and how he performed at each spot.
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2020 Giovani Bernard Split Stats
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Measurables Review View College Player Page
How do Giovani Bernard's measurables compare to other running backs?
This section compares his draft workout metrics with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average.
Height
5' 9"
 
Weight
205 lbs
 
40-Yard Dash
4.53 sec
 
Shuttle Time
4.12 sec
 
Cone Drill
6.91 sec
 
Vertical Jump
33.5 in
 
Broad Jump
122 in
 
Bench Press
19 reps
 
Hand Length
9.38 in
 
Arm Length
28.00 in
 
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
A four-game absence because of a knee injury - along with the emergence of Joe Mixon as a three-down bell cow - led Bernard to the least productive season of his career in 2018. The veteran pass-catching back failed to reach either 300 rushing or 300 receiving yards - figures he'd topped every year since 2013, usually with ease - and his 4.5 yards per target was by far a career low. Andy Dalton's late-season thumb injury played a role in Bernard's loss of effectiveness and volume through the air, but the simple fact of the matter is that Cincinnati doesn't need him as much as it used to. He's still dangerous in the open field and has shown that he can contribute in an expanded role on the ground, but heading into the final year of his contract, he'll face competition from sixth-round picks Rodney Anderson and Trayveon Williams for whatever touches Mixon doesn't get.
Bernard returned from the ACL tear that cut short his 2016 season seemingly none the worse for wear, as the 5-9, 205-pound back displayed his usual shiftiness and explosiveness in the open field and set a career high with five carries of 20 or more yards despite a career-low 6.6 rushes per game. The addition of Joe Mixon was the driver of Bernard's reduced workload on the ground, but his production as a receiver was right in line with previous years as he grabbed at least 43 passes for the fourth time in five seasons, only missing the mark in that abbreviated 2016 campaign. Still only 26, he's set for another campaign as the pass-catching complement to Mixon, though Bernard has also proven capable of handling three-down duties, at least in short bursts. If Mixon continues to struggle, Bernard would be the most likely beneficiary, especially with Jeremy Hill no longer in a Cincinnati uniform. The Bengals' offseason additions to the offensive line should boost the efficiency of the entire offense, so even if Bernard's workload remains the same, an increase in his numbers wouldn't be a surprise.
Bernard was on pace for his fourth consecutive season with more than 1,000 combined yards, along with a career high in receptions, when he tore his ACL in Week 11's game against the Bills. When healthy, the 5-9, 205-pound back is one of the league's most dangerous runners in the open field, possessing an elite combination of vision, elusiveness and quickness. But after suffering one ACL tear already in college, there's no guarantee Bernard will be able to return to peak form. He was a full go for the start of training camp less than nine months after suffering the injury, but the Bengals added Joe Mixon in the draft to further muddy Bernard's prospects for touches. Even if he does come back 100 percent from his knee injury, he could find himself relegated to a change-of-pace role.
Sometimes less is more, as we saw with Bernard during his third NFL season. Although his rushes dropped to a new personal low, he hiked his YPC up to a personal best, a jump of 0.7 over the previous year. Bernard also nudged his catch rate forward, adding up to a Top 20 RB finish in PPR leagues. Ah, but touchdowns also pay a lot of the fantasy bills, and that’s where Bernard was disappointing — perhaps unlucky — last year. Although his red-zone usage was similar to where it was in 2014, Bernard dropped from seven touchdowns to just two. He was the only back in the league to score just twice on 26 or more red-zone rushing attempts (Bernard collected 32 in all). And it wasn’t like all the totes were from long distances; he had 13 chances inside the 10. It’s not that Bernard is ever likely to lead the league in touchdowns — heck, his running mate, Jeremy Hill, did that last year — but given his expected volume and breakaway ability, you’d expect a modest gain in TDs this time around. There’s nothing particularly thrilling about Bernard entering his fourth campaign, but he’s been a fantasy-useful player his entire career, and he might be entering the boring-but-thrifty veteran portion of the program.
Expected to be Cincinnati's lead back last season, Bernard instead battled shoulder, rib and hip injuries, missing three games and ceding the starting role to rookie Jeremy Hill, who never let it go. That's not an encouraging trend for an undersized player who'd already undergone ACL surgery in college. When healthy, Bernard still showed the incredible quickness, vision, balance and elusiveness that make him a threat to explode for a long gain on every touch. Although he bails out too often in pass protection, his 130 targets through two seasons demonstrate the Bengals' commitment to giving him a prime spot in their passing game to take advantage of his hands and ability to make defenders miss in space. The more physical, bruising Hill is a reliable asset on the ground, and Bernard likely will get fewer carries this season to limit the punishment he takes. That might actually be the best scenario for his career prospects, as he might stay more effective with a reduced workload.
One of the league's most exciting rookies last season, Bernard made an instant impact in the pass game and showed quick cutting ability as well as great burst despite seeing his carries limited by a timeshare with BenJarvus Green-Ellis. He'll again have to split off some carries to Green-Ellis and second-round pick Jeremy Hill this year, but appears poised to take over a more featured role in the Bengals' offense. A second-round selection in 2013, Bernard's final numbers were depressed by a lack of playing time alongside Green-Ellis – and yet he still racked up more than 1,200 total yards from scrimmage. He could have ended up with even more, but did struggle over the season's final three games, carrying 39 times for a total of just 77 yards. But the Law Firm seems in line to be phased out after his third consecutive season of sub-4.0 yards per carry, meaning that Bernard should see his carries jump well over 200 while retaining all his usefulness in the pass game. Despite being a smaller back at 5-9, 208, Bernard has so far looked terrifically durable, and even though Green-Ellis is a more prototypical short-yardage back, Bernard still saw six goal-line touches last season and should see that role expanded this year. He has all the goods to be a true three-down back, and he could finally see that role materialize this season.
The 37th overall pick – and first RB selected this year – Bernard has extremely quick feet and the vision and burst to break runs outside. Bernard's also a natural receiver out of the backfield and, as such, is likely to see plenty of third-down work. He'll likely begin the year as a change-of-pace runner and complement to BenJarvus Green-Ellis, but has the tools to be a productive three-down back should Green-Ellis miss time.
More Fantasy News
On trade block?
RBCincinnati Bengals
March 25, 2021
Teams have called the Bengals to ask about Bernard, who could be traded or released if he doesn't restructure his contract, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.
ANALYSIS
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Disappointing finish
RBCincinnati Bengals
January 13, 2021
Bernard ended the 2020 season in Week 17 with only three carries for seven yards, playing just 16 offensive snaps. He ended the season with 416 rush yards on 124 carries, good for a mere 3.4 yards per carry. He also had 47 receptions for 355 yards, and had a combined six rushing and receiving touchdowns.
ANALYSIS
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Totals 131 yards
RBCincinnati Bengals
December 27, 2020
Bernard carried the ball 16 times for 65 yards in Week 16 against the Texans. He added seven receptions on eight targets for 66 yards.
ANALYSIS
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Massive workload in win
RBCincinnati Bengals
December 21, 2020
Bernard carried 25 times for 83 yards and a touchdown and secured his only target for a 14-yard score in the Bengals' 27-17 win over the Steelers on Monday night.
ANALYSIS
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Benched after turnover
RBCincinnati Bengals
December 13, 2020
Bernard rushed the ball three times for eight yards in Week 14 against the Cowboys. He added three receptions for 15 yards.
ANALYSIS
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