Mixon has averaged over 15 PPR points per game for three straight seasons, but a fourth consecutive one isn't promised. The 27-year-old is coming off an inconsistent campaign where he recorded one game with a season-best 55.1 PPR points, another one with more than 20, and under 13.0 points in seven of his remaining 12 outings. His role could also change -- third-down back Samaje Perine has moved on to Denver -- but the Bengals added rookie Chase Brown and kept backup speedster Trayveon Williams with pass-downs specialist Chris Evans still on the roster. And naturally, the offense gravitated toward Joe Burrow running the show, leaving Mixon with 15.0 carries per game, a five-year low. Assuming an off-field incident doesn't result in some sort of punishment, Mixon has redeemable value as a lead RB in a strong offense. He just might frustrate you from week to week. That's why Mixon will end up going off the board as a starter with a pick between 30th and 40th overall.
Mixon finds himself entering his age-27 season after showing signs of regression as a runner last year.
Despite that, the former Pro Bowl back did benefit from an uptick in usage as a pass-catcher in 2022 that will hopefully carry over into the upcoming NFL season.
With very little on the depth chart behind him, it’s safe to consider Mixon a RB2 with upside in one of the league’s best offenses.
Just note that there’s still suspension risk here.
What We Learned Last YearAfter posting a career-best season in 2021, Mixon regressed in many statistical categories this past year:2021: 334 touches, 1,519 total yards, 16 total TDs, RB4 overall in PPR (18.0 points per game)2022: 270 touches, 1,255 total yards, 9 total TDs, RB10 overall in PPR (17.1 points per game)Part of the reason he didn’t ball out quite as much last season is that Mixon missed parts of two full games due to a lingering concussion in late November.Mixon was still good enough when healthy to help fantasy squads. He concluded 2022 with six top-12 weekly finishes and four others within the top-24 among RBs in PPR.Despite the overall production dip, Mixon saw a massive uptick in the pass-catching department. He set career highs in targets (75), receptions (60), and receiving yards (441) in 2022, ranking within the top-6 at the position in each category.Moreover, Mixon ranked seventh in PFF receiving grade among RBs who received at least 40 targets last year. He finished 18th in this same measure in 2021. Another critical piece of the puzzle to remember is that the Bengals’ offensive line was not very good last year, ranking 21st in PFF team run blocking grade and 16th in Football Outsiders’ Adjusted Line Yards.
What to Expect in 2023Rumors of Mixon being cut for financial reasons have swirled for months, in addition to some offseason legal troubles. Through all of that, however, the team hasn’t added much to the RB room beyond the drafting of rookie Chase Brown.As of now, it seems Mixon’s standing with the team and role in the offense is safe.Free agent signee OT Orlando Brown Jr. will presumably help the Bengals’ offensive line problems. However, his PFF metrics suggest he’s considerably more impactful as a pass blocker than a run blocker.Entering his age-27 season, Mixon is still just young enough to be a quality fantasy asset in a high-powered offense, though he’s definitely showing signs of regression.Mixon is worthy of consideration as an RB2, given the expectation of relatively high volume in a high-scoring offense.
Mixon is back for his seventh season in Cincinnati. The 2017 second-round pick's rushing volume and efficiency (3.9 YPC, career-worst 1.7 YAC) slipped a bit last season, but that was covered up by a big role near the goal line and career-high marks in targets, receptions and receiving yards. Mixon finished the season top 10 in fantasy PPG for the third consecutive season, but he missed three games due to injury and has now produced one full season in his career (2019). He also saw his snap share plummet from 73% to 53% once back from the injury. Of course. the 27-year-old benefits from an elite Bengals offense and he has minimal competition for touches following the departure of Samaje Perine. Mixon is best viewed as a good RB2.