After eight seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, Giovani Bernard signed with the reigning champions in hopes of securing a ring of his own. Bernard joins a crowded backfield, but the opportunity for fantasy relevance exists in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense.
Fantasy football analysis: Bucs RB Gio Bernard
Whereas Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones II will compete for the lion’s share of the carries, Bernard can occupy a different role in the offense. The veteran running back averaged roughly 43 receptions a season during his run in Cincinnati, and neither Fournette nor Jones displayed anything approximating reliable hands during the 2020 season.
Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady has almost always had a reliable pass-catching back during his career, a role that dates back to Kevin Faulk and most recently occupied by James White. Bernard has all the requisite skill to carry that torch and, in an offense that should continue to pass extensively, could eventually have fantasy relevancy.
That time might not come in Week 1, however. If the Dallas Cowboys and their shotty defense fall behind early, the Buccaneers will probably lean on Fournette and Jones to kill the clock and limit possessions. Obviously, that doesn’t bode well for Benard.
Fantasy start/sit recommendation
Sit Gio Bernard