The Bengals are expecting big things from Joe MIxon in 2018, and so too is the world of fantasy football.
Mixon is coming off a promising rookie season in which he played behind arguably the worst offensive line in football. The Bengals also changed offensive coordinators after two games, which really helped keep this unit in shambles for most of the season, finishing 32nd in total offense.
Despite those issues, Mixon led the team in rushing yards 626) while also grabbing 30 passes for 287 yards. He came on strong to end the season, including a 165 total-yard performance against the Browns.
Mixon capped off his rookie season with 96 rushing yards on 18 carries at Baltimore to help knock the Ravens out of the playoffs. He obviously should take a step forward in 2018 just from the fact that he’s had a year to adjust to the NFL and learn blocking schemes. He’ll also get a nice boot with the additions of Cordy Glenn and Billy Price to the offensive line.
In addition, Mixon was Pro Football Focus’ 16th-ranked running back in 2017, ahead of more well-known stars like Leonard Fournette, Devonta Freeman, Mark Ingram and Lamar Miller.
All of this is a big reason why NFL.com has tabbed Mixon as one of the top breakout candidates for the 2018 fantasy season.
6. Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: Mixon wasn’t what you would call a fantasy success story as a rookie, but the upside is there for him to produce far better totals as an NFL sophomore. While he will lose some work to Giovani Bernard, Mixon should be guaranteed around 275 touches in Cincinnati’s backfield. He has high-end RB2 upside and will come off the board in the top 50 picks.
Some will point to Mixon’s yards per carry average of 3.5 as reason to keep expectations to a minimum for him, but again, that was playing behind an atrocious offensive line that had arguably the worst center and left tackle that any NFL team featured.
It also helps that Mixon really found his footing down the stretch, averaging 5.0 yards per carry over his last four games, a stretch in which the Bengals went 3-1 and built momentum toward a rebound 2018 season.
Now that he will have a competent offensive line and a full offseason of Bill Lazor, it’s safe to expect big things from Mixon in 2018.