RB - CIN
It looks like we have one more year of Mixon being a Bengal. For fantasy purposes, this is the best situation for him as he is the clear lead back on one of the league's best offenses. This is an even better situation with an improved line than it was in 2021 when he was the RB3 and last year when he was the RB12. Mixon should be a solid RB-one with his only competition being Chase Brown, who was in the fifth round, and Trayveon Williams potentially replacing Samaje Perine's role.
Several Bengals' beat writers think that there's a good chance Cincinnati cuts Mixon after June 1st to save $10 million against the salary cap unless he takes a pay cut. Even if they keep him, Mixon is facing a misdemeanor aggravated menacing charge. That could result in a suspension by Roger Goodell once the case ends. There's a lot of risk here. Cincinnati has one of the best offenses in the league. If Mixon stays I think he's in store for a good year, but that's no longer a given. Interesting side note, Burrow, Chase, Higgins, and Mixon showed up for voluntary OTA's in early May. You wouldn't think Mixon would show up if he was upset about a potential pay cut. If the Bengals keep him, he could be a value if you can get a good price on draft day. Mixon's current ADP is RB 20 which seems like fair value given his talent and the risk. Fantasy owners who take a chance will have to hope the only stripes he wears in 2023 are the Bengals uniforms.
Future with team has come into question, but looks likely to be back for 2023 - back-to-back RB1 campaigns, and 4th-most catches per game at RB in 2022
5/5: Mixon leaves the draft unscathed, with Samaje Perine gone, and with a newly-firm endorsement from his head coach. We might get true three-down horse upside as they ride him out into the sun! Among the biggest winners of the last couple months after a disastrous start to the 2023 offseason
3/17: Samaje is gone. If Mixon remains with the team without fresh, danerous competition his 70+ ADP on Underdog is going to seem SILLY. Esp. with the line beefed up!
Potential cut candidate - would lose a lot of value outside the explosive Bengals offense
It truly was a tale of two seasons for Joe Mixon. In Weeks 1-8, Mixon struggled immensely averaging 3.3 yards per carry as the RB19 in points per game. No running back scored fewer fantasy points versus expected because he just couldn't seem to find the end zone. But as the newer pieces of the offensive line started to gel, Mixon's production took off in the form of positive touchdown regression. He finished the season (including the postseason) as PFF's second-highest-graded running back headlined by an elite 5-touchdown game versus the Panthers in Week 9. In his eight healthy games from Weeks 9 to the conference championship, he averaged 16.7 fantasy points per game (equivalent to RB5 on the season). All in all, Mixon finished 6th in touches per game (19.5) and second in carries inside the 10-yard line (28) from Weeks 1-17, but only scored five touchdowns. The career-high receiving usage (60 catches for 441 yards on 70 targets) paved the way for Mixon's RB8 finish in points per game. However, it should be noted that the team did involve Samaje Perine more down the stretch after he filled in admirably during Mixon's injury (Weeks 11-13). Perine out-snapped Mixon in two of the Bengals' three playoff games and routinely ran more routes. But Mixon still averaged nearly four catches per game. I wouldn't envision his receiving role on early downs changing even if he loses snaps to another RB on third downs. Former Michigan running back Chris Evans projects to take a larger role on third downs after Samaje Perine signed with the Denver Broncos.
Mixon had 799 yards rushing, 300 yards receiving, and 9 TDs in 14 fantasy games. The problem is that 5 of the TDs came in one game and that was also the only game he rushed for 100 yards. Mixon is more of a RB2 that is likely going to be on a new team in 2023.
The Bengals' high rate of 3+ WR sets forced defenses to play light boxes. Mixon led the NFL in percent of runs against light boxes, but of the 41 running backs he only ranked:
36th in YPC,
39th in yards after contact,
34th in explosive run rate.
The Bengals should draft a RB as Mixon will be 27 years old in 2023.