Entering the season, Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard were destined to eat into each other’s fantasy football production unless something happened to one of them. Something happened indeed last week, as Giovani Bernard tore his ACL and was declared out for the season. So, that “something happened” to this Bengals backfield, but does that make Jeremy Hill a plug-and-play option in week 12? [embedit snippet=”jeff-ads”]
So far this season, Hill has performed up to his draft stock, posting 10.5 fantasy points per game in standard scoring leagues through his first ten games of the season. However, Hill has been incredibly touchdown dependent for his production.
Thanks to his timeshare with Bernard, he has gotten only rushing yards in most games this season, posting just 62 receiving yards on the year, which means he is getting rushing yards and touchdowns, and he’s gotten more than 80 rushing yards just twice this season (though going against the Browns and their “thank God the Niners exist so we aren’t the worst” run defense breaks all his numbers).While Hill will get more production in the run game, he isn’t a prolific pass catcher.
While Hill will get more production in the run game, he isn’t a prolific pass catcher. While Hill’s role will have to expand, lest the Bengals turn towards Rex Burkhead for significant snaps, his quality of role will decrease. The Bengals didn’t just lose Bernard, they lost A.J. Green, contender for best wide receiver in the league. The offense is going to grind to a near-halt in his absence, making the Jeremy Hill patented one-yard touchdown run less frequent.
This week the Bengals take on their AFC North foe the Ravens and their #31 rush defense against running backs. Going into last week, they were #32, but they ran into the Zeke Elliot Express and were dragged along up a spot since trying to stop Zeke is apparently the most fruitless measure in football.
Still, the Ravens were able to keep Zeke out of the end zone, and haven’t allowed a touchdown to a non-Matt Forte RB since week two. And it’s not like volume is helping backs rack up any production against the Ravens, as the 19.9 carries teams are averaging against them are going for just under 3.4 yards per carry. The Ravens pose a terrible matchup this week.
While Jeremy Hill has shed his backfield mate, he does not immediately make a good fantasy play. He hasn’t produced through the air and has been mostly inefficient on the ground. He is a touchdown-dependent player on a team that has is likely to give him fewer red zone opportunities with A.J. Green on bye.
The Bengals also go against a team in the Ravens who have allowed just one running back to cross the goal-line against them since week two. He doesn’t make for a great fantasy football play this week and is in the RB3 range solely for his touchdown upside.