Joe Mixon and the Cincinnati Bengals are coming off a season where they shocked everyone and made a run at Super Bowl 56. They came up just short against the Los Angeles Rams, but they seem poised for continued success in the AFC North to show that it wasn’t a fluke.
Mixon finished with the third-most rushing attempts in the entire league. With the dominant receivers like Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd on the roster, Mixon is often forgotten for his offensive output. With the moves the Bengals made in the offseason, he is set up for a career year.
2021 season statistics & fantasy finish
Rushing: Mixon rushed 292 times for 1,205 yards and 13 touchdowns last year.
Receiving: Mixon only dropped six of his 48 targets for 42 receptions and 314 yards with an additional three touchdowns.
Fantasy: Mixon finished as the overall RB3 with 266.9 fantasy points in half-point PPR scoring formats. His 16.7 fantasy points per game ranked as the fourth most among running backs.
Cincinnati Bengals offseason moves
Head coach Zac Taylor earned a five-year contract extension with the team’s performance last year. In the offseason, the Bengals signed guard Alex Cappa, offensive lineman Ted Karras and offensive lineman La’el Collins. Other than an improved line, Cincinnati replaced former tight end C.J. Uzomah with Hayden Hurst to round out their main signings.
While the upgrades to the offensive line will help keep quarterback Joe Burrow upright, Mixon was great last season behind a poor line. With a vastly improved offensive line this year, he is going to be set up for an even better season.
2022 best case scenario
Mixon got a glimpse of his best case scenario a season ago. Burrow and the Bengals are going to still air out the ball, but there is no competition for touches in this backfield. Mixon’s best case scenario sees him stay healthy and eclipse 300 carries and 1,500 rushing yards behind a vastly improved offensive line. If he can sneak 60 targets and 50 receptions while adding some extra touchdowns through the air he could finish as a top-three running back in fantasy for the second year in a row.
2022 worst case scenario
We saw Samaje Perine get some crucial carries in the Super Bowl that attributed to the Bengals coming up short against the Rams. Between Perine, Chris Evans and Taryevon Williams, Mixon should see the field plenty. The key word there is “should”. If for whatever reason Mixon is rested more to prolong him in the season, he won’t have the chance to be as productive as last season. Also, if the offensive line is too improved, Burrow could throw the ball upwards of 35 times a game and this could limit the number of rushes Mixon gets.
Mixon’s season last year was a great example of his best case scenario and this year he gets to show that it wasn't a one time thing. He is going to have a better offensive line and is going to prove that he is worth the four-year, $48 million deal that he was given. Mixon is going to have over 1,300 rushing yards and double-digit touchdowns and will get plenty of run on his way to finishing as a top-five fantasy running back.