Joe Mixon Fantasy Outlook Points to Top-5 RB Potential in 2020 Season

Max Staley
Joe Mixon's fantasy outlook has him as an elite running back in 2020.
Joe Mixon's fantasy outlook has him as an elite running back in 2020. / Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Joe Mixon is a top-10 running back. Over the last two seasons, he's the only player in the NFL who has racked up more than 2,800 yards from scrimmage and 17 total touchdowns without recording a single fumble.

Playing in the new-look Cincinnati Bengals' offense, helmed by rookie sensation Joe Burrow, there's reason to believe Mixon could be a better fantasy asset than ever in 2020.

Joe Mixon Fantasy Value

Mixon currently carries an average draft position (ADP) of RB7 in PPR formats. That's a price tag he didn't live up to last season, having finished as fantasy's RB13. But Mixon would've been much higher were it not for a horrendous start.

He was the RB31 through Week 8 before turning it around with a stellar stretch after the bye, finishing as fantasy's RB4 over his final eight contests.

The most obvious reason for Mixon's increase in production is an increase in usage. He averaged 15.0 touches per game over his first eight contests, but that number ballooned to 24.1 over his final eight showings. For reference, that would've been the second-best average in the NFL had he maintained it over a full year.

Most of that increase came on the ground, but there's still room for Mixon's usage as a receiver to improve as well. He recorded a top-15 receiving grade among RBs with at least 40 targets (via Pro Football Focus), but he was inexplicably outside the top 25 at the position in total targets. In fact, he only saw 2 more targets than his teammate Giovanni Bernard, who had a putrid 36.5 receiving grade from PFF in 2019.

If Bengals head coach Zac Taylor has any sense, a significant chunk of Bernard's 43 targets will be headed Mixon's way in 2020. Luckily for fantasy owners, Burrow seems to love targeting pass-catching RBs. He funneled 66 targets into Clyde Edwards-Helaire in just 15 games at LSU last season. Andy Dalton, meanwhile, hasn't given a running back more than 60 targets since 2015.

If Mixon sees the rushing volume he did over the second half of the season, he's a lock to finish as a top-10 RB in 2020. It's his untapped potential as a receiver that makes him so intriguing, though. If his pass-catching numbers improve, Mixon could be a top-five overall player next season.

He's a bit riskier than most first-round picks, but that upside is hard to ignore. We have Mixon ranked as the RB6 in our 2020 fantasy football rankings.

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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. 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.