Cover Photo: John Grieshop/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals have been one of the biggest surprises of the first quarter of the NFL season. Not a lot was expected of a team that finished 2017 with a 7-9 record, but the Bengals have gotten off to a 3-1 start and now have games against the Miami Dolphins and Pittsburgh Steelers in Weeks 5 and 6. 

One of the reasons the Bengals have been so successful has been the offense, which is averaging 35.5 points in victories this year. While Andy Dalton seems to have regained some of his form, they also have had a solid running game from Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernard. 

Unfortunately, Mixon went down with a knee injury after Week 2 and required a small cleanup surgery that had a timetable of 2-4 weeks. Mixon wasn't back for Week 4 but is sure he'll be back by the end of the recovery projection.

What makes his prediction even more solid is the fact that he's already out in full pads during practice. 

In fact, it looks like Mixon playing in Week 6 will be a foregone conclusion and he might possibly even see the field against the Dolphins in Week 5. This is great news for the Bengals, as Mixon was having a great start to the year with 179 yards and one touchdown through two games. Giovani Benard has filled in admirably, but now he's not practicing while Mixon is. 

If you're a Benard owner and not a Mixon owner, it might be time to look into other options for your Week 5 matchup. It's still not certain that Mixon will play this week, but if he does, Benard is no longer a startable option. 

For anyone that had Mixon as they RB2 or even RB1 coming into the year, fear not. He'll be back on the field soon.

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Ian McCafferty is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ian McCafferty also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username itmccaff. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.