Zac Taylor taking over as the Cincinnati Bengals' head coach seemed like it was going to do wonders for Joe Mixon's fantasy value.
Per NFL's NextGenStats, Mixon saw 16 percent of his carries come with at least eight defenders in the box. To Taylor's credit, his offensive scheme has been terrific at getting light boxes for Mixon to run against, and he's yet to have to run into eight-plus defenders in 2019. That hasn't meant much for his fantasy football output, though.
The Bengals' offensive line has truly been a disaster in the running game, because even still, Mixon is averaging only 2.7 yards per carry on the year. Way down from last year's 4.9-yard mark and his career average of 4.2.
There also hasn't been a ton of volume available on the ground, and Mixon is averaging only 10.7 carries per game after seeing 16.9 per game in 2018. The Bengals are throwing on 73.9 percent of their offensive snaps, which is second only to Kliff Kingsbury's Arizona Cardinals.
This passing game has relied almost entirely on short passes. Andy Dalton's average depth of target sits at only 6.6 yards, which is the third shortest among passers with at least 100 attempts on the season. Even still, Mixon can't seem to get involved through the air.
After averaging 3.9 targets per game in a much less pass-heavy offense in 2018, Mixon is averaging only 3.3 per game in 2019.
There's nothing more important to fantasy value at the running back position than volume, and a lack of volume has led to a huge drop in Mixon's outlook.
At 0-3, the Bengals aren't likely to suddenly shift to a more run-heavy approach, since they can be expected to spend a ton of time playing from behind. So unless Mixon can get himself more involved in the passing game, he's going to be a long shot to live up to the second-round draft cost he carried this offseason.
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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.