Joe Mixon and the Cincinnati Bengals are coming off a Super Bowl run. What is the running back’s fantasy value ahead of the 2022 season?
Joe Mixon and the Cincinnati Bengals are coming off a season in which they shocked everyone and made a run at Super Bowl 56. They fell short against the Los Angeles Rams, but they look to continue their success in the AFC North to show that it wasn’t a stroke of luck.
Mixon finished with the third most rushing attempts in the entire league. With dominant receivers like Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd on the roster, Mixon is often overlooked for his offensive output. With the moves the Bengals made in the offseason, he is poised for a career year.
2021 season stats and fantasy finish
Rushing: Mixon rushed 292 times for 1,205 yards and 13 touchdowns last year.
Receiving: Mixon dropped just six of his 48 targets for 42 receptions and 314 yards with three more touchdowns.
Fantasy: Mixon finished as the overall RB3 with 266.9 fantasy points in half-point PPR scoring formats. His 16.7 fantasy points per game ranked fourth most among running backs.
Cincinnati Bengals offseason moves
Head coach Zac Taylor received a five-year contract extension with the team’s performance last year. In the offseason, the Bengals signed guard Alex Cappa, offensive lineman Ted Karras and offensive lineman La’el Collins. Aside from an improved line, Cincinnati replaced former tight end CJ Uzomah with Hayden Hurst to round out their key signings.
While the upgrades to the offensive line will help keep quarterback Joe Burrow upright, Mixon was huge last season behind a poor line. With a vastly improved offensive line this year, he will be poised for an even better season.
2022 best case scenario
Mixon got a glimpse of his best-case scenario a season ago. Burrow and the Bengals are still going to air the ball, but there is no contest for touches in this backfield. Mixon’s best-case scenario sees him stay healthy and eclipse 300 carries and 1,500 rushing yards behind a vastly improved offensive line. If he can sneak 60 targets and 50 receptions while adding a few extra touchdowns through the air, he could finish as a top-three running back in fantasy for the second year in a row.
2022 at worst
We saw Samaje Perine get some key targets in the Super Bowl that attributed to the Bengals falling short against the Rams. Between Perine, Chris Evans and Taryevon Williams, Mixon should see the field a lot. The key word there is “should”. If for some reason Mixon gets more rested to extend him into the season, he won’t have the chance to be as productive as last season. Also, if the offensive line is too improved, Burrow could throw the ball upwards of 35 times in a game, and this could limit the number of rushes Mixon gets.
Mixon’s season last year was a prime example of his best-case scenario, and this year he gets to show that it wasn’t a one-time thing. He’s going to have a better offensive line and is going to prove he’s worth the four-year, $48 million deal he was given. Mixon will have over 1,300 rushing yards and double-digit touchdowns and will get a lot of run on his way to finishing as a top-five fantasy running back.