With the injury to Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals’ running back Giovani Bernard becomes a premier trade candidate in Fantasy Football.
On Saturday afternoon, the Bengals announced that star running back Joe Mixon was placed on injured reserve. The move guarantees that he will be sidelined for at least the next three weeks, impacting Fantasy Football managers that drafted the stellar playmaker in the first round.
Expected to soak up the majority of the snaps vacated by Mixon is Giovani Bernard, an eight-year veteran and steady presence in the Queen City. Bernard has been the lead back for the Bengals for the past three weeks, and he’s put together solid performances in two out of those three games.
In his first week as the primary guy in the backfield, Bernard was given 13 carries and reeled in five catches in the passing game, one of which he cashed in for a touchdown. That workload was enough to give him 15.6 fantasy points in non-PPR leagues.
He followed that performance up with an even better showing against the Tennessee Titans, receiving 15 carries and catching three of the passes thrown his way. He racked up 19.8 fantasy points, enough to give most managers an edge in their matchups.
His momentum was slowed in the following outing, where a weak offensive performance from the Bengals saw Bernard earn just 4.7 points. Thankfully for those relying on the speedy back to put up more solid performances, Cincinnati won’t be facing the ferocious Pittsburg Steelers’ defense every week, leaving optimism that he can continue to show up.
Zac Taylor and the Bengals are slated to take on the Washington Football Team, the New York Giants, and Miami Dolphins in the following three weeks. As things stand, those clubs are forfeiting the 12th, 25th, and 20th most points to opposing running backs this season. It may not be an entirely soft schedule for Bernard, but it’s a more favorable stretch than other top backs are expected to face.
If you find yourself in a league that is uncertain of Bernard’s value or worried that he cannot continue to put up points, he’s a target that is certainly worth pursuing on the trade market.
Joe Mixon may be worth trading for too
If you’re feeling risky, trading for the Bengals’ other back, Joe Mixon, might be a smart play as well. Managers that are on the fringe of making the playoffs could be willing to deal the star for less in the hopes they can get back enough in return to make a run at the postseason.
If you find yourself comfortably in the playoffs, throwing out an offer may not be the worst idea. If Mixon returns after three weeks, you would find yourself with a strong running back corps. to make a run at a championship.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that Mixon returns this season at all, making a trade for him a gamble. On one hand, you can use this fact as a negotiating tactic to drive the asking price down. On the other, you could end up losing a player that could contribute to your team down the stretch.
Either way, moves for both Giovani Bernard and Joe Mixon are at least worth considering. As the Fantasy Football season enters a critical stretch, both of the backs in stripes could wind up deciding the outcome of leagues.