Joe Mixon was extremely frustrating in 2020, but there are reasons to be hopeful for 2021 and beyond.
First things first, the Bengals need to shore up their offensive line – there’s no doubt about that. They desperately need to draft OL Penei Sewell to be their anchor for years to come.
With that being said, a couple of notable pros for Mixon. Look at where he ranked in opportunity share, which is the percentage of total team RB carries + targets:
1. James Robinson 85.2%
2. Joe Mixon 81.5%
3. Derrick Henry 78.5%
4. Dalvin Cook 77.2%
Gio Bernard is not someone we have to worry about; Joe Mixon is the guy in that backfield. Bernard will get a lot of long down and distance, but Mixon’s share of backfield opportunities grew significantly, despite his snap share not necessarily reflecting that in every game last year.
As far as a role in the passing game, Mixon was 9th in routes ran among RBs over the six weeks he played.
The Bengals also brought back Frank Pollack as their OL coach and run game coordinator, who Mixon had his best year under in 2018. The offensive line was definitely better at that point, but the scheme will make a big difference. Mixon was notably happy about the move to bring Pollack back.
The talent is still there, and he’s turning 25 in July. The offensive is getting better; they have a good overall offensive scheme, and a very promising QB to lead the offense.
It’s very possible Mixon is drafted in the 3rd round at the earliest in redraft this year, and as long as he stays healthy, you’re likely paying for his floor based on the opportunity he should receive. In dynasty leagues, it’s worth noting Mixon probably becomes a 3-down bell cow in 2022 when Gio Bernard is a 30-year old free agent.
Will you take advantage of Mixon’s price drop, or is he dead to you?