Joe Mixon Fantasy Value Holding Steady Despite Uncertainty in Bengals' Offense

Jason Schandl
Cincinnati Bengals v Cleveland Browns
Cincinnati Bengals v Cleveland Browns / Jason Miller/Getty Images

It's hard to get excited about the Cincinnati Bengals offense heading into the 2019 season.

Quarterback Andy Dalton is coming off of yet another underwhelming season, and A.J. Green, who has consistently been Dalton's most dangerous weapon, is still wearing a walking boot following ankle surgery. And Green's timetable for return is cloudy at best.

Even amid this uncertainty, third-year running back Joe Mixon has an average draft position (ADP) of RB10, according to, which should have him going off the board in the early second round of most drafts. Even in an uninspiring offense, he could provide plenty of value in the second round.

Mixon's 2018 sophomore season saw him take on a true lead back role in the Bengals' offense for the first time, and he made the most of it. In 14 games he ran the ball 237 times while also catching 43 passes, racking up 1,464 total yards from scrimmage and nine touchdowns. He finished ninth among running backs in fantasy points per game, averaging 17.4.

A bad offense is usually a red flag for an RB's fantasy value, but there are a couple of reasons that might not prove too much of a concern for Mixon in 2019. First, he was in a similarly bad offense last year.

A.J. Green missed seven games in 2018, Dalton didn't play well, and a Dalton thumb injury left Jeff Driskel starting at QB for five games. Yet, Mixon's production barely dropped with that downgrade at QB, still averaging 17.0 fantasy points per game with Driskel at the helm.

The second consideration that keeps Mixon's value afloat is his receiving prowess. Playing from behind can severely limit the rushing volume available for a back, but being involved in the passing game goes a long way to alleviating those concerns. Mixon averaged 3.9 targets per game in 2018, and that translated to 5.6 fantasy points per game coming strictly from his receiving numbers.

Joe Mixon Week 1 Fantasy Outlook

Mixon's value when playing from behind could really be put to the test in Week 1 against the Seattle Seahawks, and the matchup should give us a good indication of what Mixon's floor is going to look like. The Bengals are 10-point underdogs against Seattle, per FanDuel Sportsbook, and they're likely to play from behind for most of this game.

The Seahawks limited opposing running backs to only 85.3 rushing yards per game in 2018, but they still allowed above-average fantasy production to the position. This was largely thanks to the receiving numbers they allowed, giving up the sixth-most receptions (6.2) and third-most receiving yards (56.6) per game to RBs.

Mixon's Week 1 fantasy outlook is shaky, but he could be in line for enough receiving work to keep his floor nice and high, especially in PPR leagues.

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