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Fantasy Football: Bengals backfield is crowded but talented

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Game 3 vs. Arizona on Sunday could sort this mystery out a little better.

John Grieshop

When Hue Jackson was hired as the offensive coordinator, every running back on the roster was giddy knowing the Bengals would be running the ball more in 2014.

And why wouldn't you when you have 1700 pounds of beef up front paving the way for whoever is in the game. That offensive line of Andrew WhitworthRussell Bodine, Kevin Zeitler and Andre Smith is gigantic, tough and nasty.

With Giovani Bernard having a decent rookie year and BenJarvus Green-Ellis having a good year last season, the Bengals raised some eyebrows when they drafted LSU back, Jeremy Hill in the 2nd round with the 55th pick.

Why would they draft another running back that high?

Because he's 6-feet-2, 235 pounds of bruising rushing muscle that doesn't come along very often, that's why.

Let's look at the stats of these guys and see how they might work as a trio for the Bengals.

2013 - Giovanni Bernard - 695 yards rushing, 5 td's, 56 catches 514 yards and 3 td's.

2013 - BJGE - 756 yards rushing, 7 td's - 4 catches 22 yards

2013 - Jeremy Hill at LSU - 1401 yards and 14 td's with 18 catches for 181 yards

Okay, we have some talent on this roster, how is it going to pan out on the field?

Let's look at the pre-season production through two games.

Game one vs. Chiefs

Scott - 6-68

Hill- 6-36

Burkhead - 5-21

Peerman - 5-20

BJGE - 4-19

G. Bernard - 3-10

Game two vs. Jets:

Peerman - 7-34

Bernard - 7-22

J. Hill - 3-16

BJGE - 1-3

Game 3 vs. Arizona on Sunday could sort this mystery out a little better. Game 3 is the game where you put your starters in for an entire half and I believe we'll get a look at what the Bengals are going to do with that three headed monster.

Bernard is smaller, more elusive and a great pass catcher out of the backfield. BJGE is approaching 30 and I believe ultimately he's going to be moved to third string by the third week of the season. Hill drew rave reviews for his blocking skills early in camp and he's a bruiser near the goal-line.

From a Bengals perspective, they can dial it up with quick-hitters to Bernard who can get to the outside and do damage. If they want to run clock and pound it up the middle behind that gigantic offensive line, insert Hill who was a touchdown machine at LSU.

From a fantasy perspective, Bernard is coming off the board in most draft arenas in the No. 8 - No. 10 area. While I believe he'll go over 1000 yards this season and have 500 yards receiving, I don't think he'll be a TD machine, especially in goal-line situations.

Giovanni Bernard projections: 1100 yards, 6 td's 500 yards receiving and 3 td's - 1600 and 9 td's

Jeremy Hill I'm guessing puts up numbers like BJGE but gets some touches on the goal line.

Jeremy Hill projections: 500 yards rushing, 6 td's, 150 receiving 0 td's - 650 and 6 td's

I see no fantasy value for BJGE as the season moves forward.

Bernard, certainly a No. 1 RB. If you can get him at No. 2, you're solid.

Hill could be a good late round draft pick and a spot starter when you're dealing with bye-week issues.

Bengals vs. Cardinals on Sunday, should be a great game.

Follow me @panicgalore