Joe Mixon
(Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

The Joe Mixon Breakout Year Is Finally Coming…

Look, I get it. Every veteran fantasy player in existence has been burned by Joe Mixon before, and if you have been spared from that fate, consider yourself lucky. Even though this man has cost me countless hours of sleep, I am putting all my chips in on Joe Mixon this year. Yes, you heard that right folks, I am ALL IN on the Bengals starting running back in fantasy football this year. For the past few years, he has received his deserved share of criticism, but this year will be different.

To start, Giovani Bernard, a legitimate contender for most annoying NFL player in fantasy football is gone. This is important because it allows Mixon to finally get more receiving work and raise his fantasy football ceiling significantly. Brian Callahan, the Offensive Coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals has said himself that he does not want Mixon to come off the field. Although there may be a slightly higher concern for injury, that sentence is exactly what you want to hear about your fantasy football running back.

Next, I understand people were a little bit frustrated at the Bengals for taking Ja’Marr Chase over Penei Sewell, but the impact that this pick will have on Mixon’s fantasy value is far less negative than believed to be. With Chase on the Bengals, defenses now have to focus on three very talented receivers in Chase, Boyd, and Higgins.

This means less emphasis on Mixon and more open running lanes with fewer people stacked in the box. With a high-powered aerial attack, defenses will no longer be able to crowd the line and Mixon’s value will only increase as the team’s cohesion grows. Furthermore, an improved offense allows for more goal-line touches for Mixon as well as a more positive game-script where the Bengals do not have to throw the ball the entire second half like they did last year in many games.

Lastly, the concerns about the offensive line are valid, especially after passing on Sewell, but the Bengals have made significant strides in improving it. They were able to draft three offensive linemen later in the draft as well as making a great signing in former Viking Riley Reiff.

There also seems to be a perception that Joe Mixon is just bad, and no matter how good the situation is, Mixon simply is not talented enough to be successful. I disagree. He has great size coupled with great speed, and is an extremely tough runner to bring down in the open field. If used correctly, Joe Mixon has Alvin Kamara-level talent, and I do not say that lightly. All the stars seem to aligning in his situation for a massive fantasy football season. The stigma around him will allow him to fall in most fantasy drafts so take him if you get the chance. You do not want to miss out on a player who I believe will end up a top 10 running back this season.

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