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Bengals Fantasy Football: Jeremy Hill simultaneous star and dud?

Over the past two years, Jeremy Hill has been one of the NFL's most productive backs. He's also been an enigma, which ESPN's Matthew Berry accurately showed.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

As the summer days roll on, it won't be long until NFL teams begin opening training camp.

That's around the time when fantasy football really begins to heat up. The game seemingly every football lover plays, fantasy football has grown tremendously in recent years, thanks in part to the NFL's always-growing fan base, not to mention the newer daily fantasy leagues.

For now, you should probably steer clear of any actual fantasy drafts. Instead, stick to fantasy mocks and studying the draft rankings across various services, especially when it comes to which Bengals to target in your league's drafts.

Among those can be ESPN's Matthew Berry. His 100 fantasy football facts for 2016 piece didn't have much to say about the Bengals, but he did mention several juicy nuggets regarding Jeremy Hill.

At first, Berry asks readers to consider how good "Running Back A" looks in comparison to that of "Running Back B." "A" is clearly the superior back, while "B" looks like what Rudi Johnson was in his final season as a Bengal: A guy who rarely got more than three to four yards at a time and had virtually no speed or explosion to his game, not to mention being no threat as a pass-catcher.

"Running Back A" is a flat-out stud. Since he came into the NFL, no running back has scored more rushing touchdowns. In fact, since joining the league there are only five active running backs with more total fantasy points.

A true chain-moving workhorse, only three running backs have more first downs during the past two seasons than our guy who is also tough to tackle. Among active running backs, he's eighth in total yards after contact since 2014.

When talking about "Running Back B," you can't ignore how much of a disappointment he was last season. Of the 44 running backs in the NFL to get at least 100 carries, Running Back B was 42nd in yards per carry, averaging just 3.56 yards a tote.

During the past two years, no running back in the NFL has lost more fumbles than Running Back B and everything is trending in the wrong direction, as he had career lows last season in total yards, yards per carry, receptions, receiving yards, and fantasy points, among many other stats.

Now here's the kicker: Both running backs are the same player, and none other than Jeremy Hill.

Frankly, this is probably the best summary of how much good and bad Hill has done though his first two NFL seasons.

Berry also notes that, while Hill had just one gain of greater than 17 yards in the regular season, while no one had more rushing scores in 2015 than the Bengals' bruiser.

That's right, Hill tied Adrian Peterson, DeAngelo Williams and Devonta Freeman for the most rushing scores last year. There's also the fact that Hill was the NFL's eighth-highest scorer (74 points) among non-kicker players (35th if you factor in kickers).

So for all of the talk that 2015 was a down year for Hill, he still wound up being one of the best fantasy backs in terms of scoring... Just not on a consistent basis. But this is also a good example of how a good fantasy player doesn't always translate into an actual good player.

It's just like the average quarterback whose team is always behind, thanks in part to his struggles, which leads to him getting to pass the ball non-stop while attempting to lead his team back and rack up passing stats (cough...Blake Bortles...cough).

All of this shows how important Hill can be to the Bengals offense, but also how much he can hurt it in the process. It's also a good example of why, when targeting Hill in fantasy drafts, be sure to note how much fumbles play into and hurt his stats, as well as how many fantasy points Hill gets for each touchdown vs actual rushing yards.