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Bengals RB Joe Mixon: Fantasy football draft profile for 2023 NFL season

We break down the outlook for Cincy back Joe Mixon heading into the 2023 NFL season.

Bengals running back Joe Mixon tries to get around the edge against Bills linebacker Tremaine Edmunds. JAMIE GERMANO / USA TODAY NETWORK

Cincinnati Bengals RB Joe Mixon is entering a crucial year in his NFL career. Despite off-field problems, Mixon is set to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2023 season. The Bengals boast a top-5 offense in the NFL and should look to throw even more with QB Joe Burrow and a receiving core led by Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd. Let’s take a look at Mixon’s fantasy football outlook for 2023.

2023 Fantasy Football: Joe Mixon Profile

Recap of 2022 season

Mixon took a step back in 2022, registering 814 rushing yards, 391 yards fewer than his previous season. He missed three games last season but also averaged 58.1 rushing yards per game, well under 2021’s numbers. Mixon did get 60 receptions for 441 yards, which were both career highs.

Updated Bengals outlook

The Bengals brought in OT Orlando Brown in free agency on a four-year contract. The team also re-signed RB Trayveon Williams and TE Irv Smith Jr. Chase Brown was drafted in the fifth round in 2023 to provide some more depth at RB and potential starter down the road. WR Charlie Jones was also selected in the fourth round in 2023.

Best-case scenario

The best case is for Mixon to get back to his 2021 form. That could end up being the case if he stays healthy and the Bengals give him around 250-300 carries and 40-50 targets in the passing game. That could translate to 1,200 yards and double-digit TDs again. We know Cincinnati is going to score a lot and should play ahead in most games, which means running the ball to control the clock. You’d think the Bengals want to get everything out of Mixon in what could be his final season in Cincy.

Worst-case scenario

Mixon fails to stay healthy or is ineffective. There’s also a script where the Bengals just throw the ball too much and Mixon can’t get the amount of touches to be a consistent fantasy back. Still, he’s a starter in a high-powered offense. RB2/FLEX feels like the worst-case scenario for Mixon. If he is ineffective at all, Brown could eat into touches, at least in the passing game. But Brown is also a rookie. Williams doesn’t appear to be much of a threat either.

Prediction

Mixon should have a solid season worthy of a mid-round pick as a RB2 with upside. There’s no reason for the Bengals to not use Mixon as the primary back all season as long as he’s healthy. If Mixon is playing for a new contract, that’s huge and should motivate him all season. Maybe we don’t see over 1,500 total yards and 16 TDs like in 2021. It’s reasonable to think Mixon breaks 1,000 combined rushing and receiving yards with the chance of double-digit TDs if the Bengals' offense remains in the top-5 in the NFL.