We’re still more than three months away from the 2017 NFL season beginning, but it’s never too early to talk some fantasy football.
The MMQB’s Gary Gramling just put out his ranking of the top 100 fantasy football players for the 2017 NFL season. When it came to the Bengals, Gramling made a surprising move to put rookie running back Joe Mixon ahead of All-Pro receiver A.J. Green.
13. Joe Mixon, RB, Bengals: A quick sidebar. Or not so quick, let’s see how it goes. I wrote about Mixon in the sleepers and busts piece last week: He has a chance for a huge year, as evidenced by the fact that I’m currently ranking him 13th overall.
Gramling then ranked Green 14th overall, so it’s just a one-spot difference for the two players. Still, even one spot feels like way too big of a gap between a player who’s just now entering the NFL as opposed to a guy who’s been one of the league’s best players since 2011.
That includes Green consistently being among the best receivers in fantasy football. Sure, he missed the final six games of last season, causing him to have his worst season since coming to the NFL, but that’s no reason to rank Mixon ahead of him.
Mixon has a world of talent and could become an elite fantasy running back, but he still has to prove himself, not to mention beat out Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard for snaps this year.
The only other Bengal to make this ranking is tight end Tyler Eifert, who checked in at 51st overall.
51. Tyler Eifert, TE, Bengals: Can he stay healthy? Will he have a significant role outside of the red zone, especially in light of the arrivals of John Ross and Joe Mixon and presumed development of Tyler Boyd? Can the Bengals move the ball with what could be a disastrously bad offensive line in front of a not-particularly-good-for-a-starting-quarterback quarterback?
Eifert is easily one of the two or three best fantasy tight ends when healthy, but he’s missed far too much time due to injury to be high in this fantasy ranking. You could argue Eifert is a first-round talent when healthy, but since he misses multiple games almost every year, he’ll be someone who goes in the Round 4-6 range of fantasy drafts.
However, Eifert does enough damage during a season to take away some fantasy pass-catching production from Green. Speaking of, the Bengals just spent a first-round pick on wide receiver John Ross, so that will only further cut into Green’s production.
Having as many pass-catching threats in one offense as the Bengals do could make it harder for Green to consistently put up big fantasy numbers, so perhaps his spot in this ranking is fair.
Still, I think Mixon is ranked too high; but if he ends up being worthy of a spot this lofty, it will be great news for the Bengals.