It’s that time of year once again! Football Absurdity will bring you a breakdown of every notable fantasy football-relevant player throughout June, July, and August. We continue with the running backs. Joe Mixon finally had the season that all his acolytes hoped and wished he would have, leaving haters with egg on their face. It’s me, I’m haters. With the Bengals making it all the way to the Super Bowl last year, many are extremely high on Joe Mixon. Throw in the upgraded offensive line and Joe Mixon Hype SZN is here. Should we be fading the hype or scooping it up into our greedy little mouths?
Joe Mixon ADP and AAV:
Average Draft Position: RB7, Pick 9
Average Auction Value: $55
Joe Mixon Statistics:
|Year||G||GS||Rush||Ru Yds||Ru TD||Tgt||Rec||Yards||TD||Touches||Opp||Total Yards|
|Year||Std Pts||HPPR Pts||PPR Pts||Pts/G||HPPR Pts/G||PPR Pts/G||Pts/Tch||HPPR Pts/Tch||PPR Pts/Tch|
2022 Joe Mixon Fantasy Football Overview:
Few running backs in the NFL had as many opportunities to produce as Joe Mixon last season. He ranked fourth in goal-line carries, behind Jonathan Taylor, James Conner, and Darrel Williams. He also ranked third in carries, and fourth in weighted opportunities (per PlayerProfiler.com). This made his better-than-average skillset look great, mostly because he had very little competition for touches (seventh-highest running back opportunity share). Mixon ended the year thirty-fourth in yards per touch, and thirty-fifth in yards created per touch. Mixon is really good, but there’s a limit of what he can do on a per-touch basis when you considered his offensive line and his skillset.
The Bengals addressed the offensive line, meaning the only thing standing between Joe Mixon and RB1 status is Joe Mixon’s ability to produce, and stay healthy. If there’s room to grow for Mixon, it’s in the passing game. He rank the seventh-most routes, but was behind three very talented wide receivers in the pecking order, leading to just a 9.4% target share (25th among running backs), so I’m not sure how far he can grow there.
That means we just have to bank on Joe Mixon being the RB5 again. While I’d usually point to his sixteen touchdowns as an area for regression, Mixon’s thirteen goal line carries ranked fourth, his red zone touches ranked fifth, and his touchdowns ranked fourth. I would call that producing at your expected range of outcomes, and not somewhere I would expect him to regress.
2022 Joe Mixon Fantasy Football Draft Strategy:
Joe Mixon is a nice value right now because everyone is hyped up on Joe Burrow and the Bengals’ passing game. Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Joe Mixon are all top-12 at their respective positions, but Chase goes for $1 more than Mixon in salary cap drafts, which isn’t something I can really get down with. Mixon is the only back worth his salt on the Bengals’ roster, and Cincy could turn to Tee Higgins on any given day, neutering Ja’Marr Chase that week. There’s nobody there to neuter Joe Mixon’s production other than Joe Mixon.
In snake drafts, it’s a different story. Chase goes one spot ahead of Mixon, but he goes as the last of the top-tier of wide receivers, instead of the top of the tier of running backs. This is where the difference between snake and salary cap drafts comes into play. If I pass on Chase for Mixon, I am eschewing a top-tier wide receiver. If I tap Chase instead of Mixon at that spot, I can likely still make a play for others in his tier like Nick Chubb, Aaron Jones, and D’Andre Swift.
Best Case Scenario:
The Bengals improve on their #31 pace of play and give Mixon a ton of opportunities to produce. He builds on his 2021 campaign and finishes as a top-three running back.
Worst Case Scenario:
The Super Bowl Curse is real, and the Bengals’ revamped offensive line literally turns into trash cans and turnstiles, leaving Mixon to get hurt.
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[Statistics are sourced from pro-football-reference.com, airyards.com, and ftnfantasy.com]
[Header Image Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/05/Joe_Mixon_vs_Browns_2019.jpg, cropped under CC BY SA 2.0]