Gio Bernard's Instant Fantasy Reaction After Week 15

Tyler Brooke@TylerDBrookeSenior Analyst IIDecember 16, 2013

CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 08: Giovani Bernard #25 of the Cincinnati Bengals catches a pass during the NFL game against the Indianapolis Colts  at Paul Brown Stadium on December 8, 2013 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Giovani Bernard has had a successful rookie season, and it continued on Sunday Night Football against the Pittsburgh Steelers as fantasy playoffs are underway.

The Cincinnati Bengals fell on Sunday against the Steelers, losing 30-20.  Still, it was a strong performance from Bernard, as he ran for 33 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries while adding another 13 receiving yards on two catches.  In ESPN's standard scoring leagues, that was good enough for 10 fantasy points.

For a rookie running back who splits carries with another player, the numbers for Bernard have been great.  He's run for 620 yards and four touchdowns, averaging 4.7 yards per carry, along with another 403 receiving yards and three scores through the air.  

The good news for fantasy owners with Bernard is that he has two relatively easy matchups against the Green Bay Packers and Cleveland Browns.  Those two teams have allowed 17.4 and 16.2 fantasy points per game, respectively, to opposing running backs, and that means some potentially explosive performances from Bernard.

Bernard's ability to make plays in both the running and passing games makes him a solid fantasy play, especially in point-per-reception leagues.  Overall, he's certainly a strong flex play, or even a RB2 in deeper leagues.