The Duel

Joe Mixon Fantasy Outlook in Week 16 Makes Him a Boom-or-Bust Play Due to Illness

Tristan Jung
Joe Mixon runs the ball in a game against the Patriots.
Joe Mixon runs the ball in a game against the Patriots. / Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Reports say that Joe Mixon has been battling a stomach illness as the Cincinnati Bengals head into a relatively meaningless Week 16 matchup against the Miami Dolphins,

Will Joe Mixon Play Today

Even though this game doesn't mean much, Mixon is active for Sunday's matchup with the Dolphins. How much he will be play remains to be seen, however.

Mixon has been a solid fantasy option in 2019, but any drop in workload could be a huge problem for fantasy owners relying on him this week.

Mixon's stomach bug hampers what would otherwise be a great matchup for the dynamic running back. Miami has one of the worst defenses in the NFL, ranking No. 29 in Football Outsiders' run defense DVOA and last in overall defensive DVOA. They are also in the bottom five in yards per play allowed, at 6.1

Miami is also missing three defensive ends this week, making Mixon's job even easier. However, Mixon was listed on the injury report on Thursday with a calf injury, and his stomach bug could lead to a decreased workload.

With this game's only relevance in determining who will get the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 draft, there's little incentive for the Bengals to push Mixon. Backup Giovani Bernard is more than capable of shouldering the load.

With Mixon averaging 16.5 carries per game and coming off two dominant performances, he ranked at RB4 in our Week 16 PPR rankings and RB5 in standard scoring.

This illness leaves playing Mixon as an incredibly risky proposition though. The upside is high — as captured in his top-five ranking — but there's some serious room for downside now, as he could end up seeing a limited workload. If you're feeling risk averse in the championship round, benching Mixon could be a wise move. If you're looking to roll the dice on potential week-winning upside, though, his ceiling is still among the highest of the week.

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Tristan Jung is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Tristan Jung also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username tristan1117. 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.