With the summer break now here, this is the time to start prepping for the 2018 fantasy football season.
Over the next few months, fantasy mock drafts will be in full swing, and many of the top publications will release their fantasy rankings for next season. That includes NFL.com, who has Bengals running back Joe Mixon cracking their list of the top 50 fantasy players of 2018.
While that’s a fairly-high ranking for the second-year back, it’s no necessarily indicative of where you should select him in fantasy drafts. After all, running backs have the most value of any position in fantasy football. You’ll usually see quality starting backs drafted in Rounds 2-3, which could be the range Mixon goes in, depending on what kind of league you’re in.
According to Fantasy Pros, Mixon’s current average draft position (ADP) is 30th in standard scoring 12-team leagues, though he’s the 16th running back drafted. That goes back to the point of how much value are in running backs, as you’ll see that position hit hard and early in the first 2-3 rounds.
That’s why Mixon is going to go very high in drafts this year, despite not making much of a fantasy impact as a rookie. He played in 14 games (missed 2 due to concussion) and ran for 626 yards and four scores. He also caught 30 passes for 287 yards.
While those numbers don’t jump off the screen, he did all of this while playing a hair under 40 percent of the Bengals’ offensive snaps, not to mention it was behind arguably the worst offensive line in football.
Entering his second season, the Bengals are ready to put more on his plate and have also made big upgrades along the offensive line.
However, Mixon still has to battle Giovani Bernard for touches. The veteran has proven he can still be a workhorse back for stretches, though not over the course of a 16-game season.
In the end, I think Mixon is someone you should start considering at the end of Round 2, but ideally you’re able to get him in the middle of Round 3. If you told me Mixon was going to be the workhorse back for the majority of 2018, taking him in early Round 2 is warranted, but the Bernard factor makes me not want to touch Mixon until Round 3, not to mention the Bengals’ offensive line is a major work in progress.
Where do you think Mixon should be taken in fantasy drafts?