Early Injury Halts Mixon’s 2020 Season
Last year, Mixon’s year was cut short after getting injured in Week6. Up to that point, he tallied 428 rushing yards and 3 rushing touchdowns, while in the receiving game, secured 21 catches for 138 yards and a touchdown. At the end of Week 6, Mixon was the RB9 and averaged 14.9 fantasy points in half-PPR leagues. This, in part, was due to a huge Week 4 against the Jaguars where Mixon exploded for 39.1 fantasy points, but he did score over 10 fantasy points in 4 of 6 games. Before getting injured, Gio Bernard was out of the lineup from Weeks 4-6, and Mixon averaged 27 touches per game - this is what we could get with Mixon if things break right and Burrow stays healthy.
Mixon a Winner Post-NFL Draft and Free Agency
The Bengals signed a couple of offensive linemen and drafted Jackson Carman 46th overall in the 2021 NFL draft, giving Joe Burrow a bit more help. Along with this, they used the 5th overall pick to strengthen its wide receiving core after drafting Burrow’s ex-LSU teammate Ja’Marr Chase. While many wanted the Bengals to draft a first-round OT, Chase will help direct attention away from Mixon which should help increase his YPC and he will face fewer stacked boxes compared to last season.
During the offseason Gio Bernard left in free agency to Tampa Bay which should give Mixon a chance at more 3rd down work, considering the depth behind him is the likes of Samaje Perrine and Trayveon Williams. Besides the departure of Gio, the Bengals have not made a move at RB and have not shown much effort to sign a veteran behind Mixon, making him one of the few RB winners heading into the 2021 season.
Is Finishing as a Top-10 RB Within Reach?
When players are injured early in the season, fantasy managers tend to forget about them during next years’ drafts - this is usually a result of those looking at end-of-season stats or now labeling a guy as “injury prone.” If Joe Mixon is indeed healthy - what’s not to like at his current ADP? He’s the 13th running back off the board and is being selected near the end of the 2nd round. Last season, with Gio Bernard, expected to steal tons of touches on 3rd down, Mixon was being drafted as the RB9. This season he will primarily have the backfield to himself and he’s being drafted later. He has a chance to put up big numbers in this offense and would be a steal to pair with CMC, Cook, or Henry this season. A top-10 finish at RB is optimistic but is realistic if he is given the expected snaps on 3rd down and he stays healthy this season.
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