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    Should I Draft Joe Mixon? Bengals RB’s Fantasy Outlook in 2023

    Should fantasy managers be scared off by Joe Mixon's age and inefficiency? Or is the Cincinnati Bengals RB a fantasy value?

    Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon has become a bit of a polarizing player this season. He’s getting older and coming off an inefficient season but remains in an elite offense with absolutely no touch competition. Should fantasy football managers draft Mixon at his ADP this season?

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    Joe Mixon’s Fantasy Outlook for the 2023 NFL Season

    It took me a while to really get a handle on Mixon. He was a bit of a difficult evaluation because of all the various factors.

    Mixon is coming off quite the inefficient season. He averaged just 4.7 yards per touch, 35th in the league. A paltry 2.8% of his career went for 15+ yards, and his evaded-tackles-per-touch rate was outside the top 50.

    Essentially, Mixon was propped up by volume. And even that went away toward the end of the season, with Samaje Perine outsnapping Mixon in two out of the Bengals’ three playoff games.

    At 27 years old, we shouldn’t necessarily expect Mixon’s ability to decline, but it’s certainly plausible for that to be happening. The efficiency metrics are objectively bad. But watching Mixon play, he looks like Joe Mixon. I don’t think he’s lost any of his burst or explosiveness.

    The real issue with Mixon’s 2022 was the lack of 20-point games. While he did average 16.1 PPR fantasy points per game, Mixon had a 55-point game. He was at just 12.7 ppg in his other 13 games and had just one other game over 20 fantasy points outside of that massive outburst.

    MORE: Top RBs To Draft in Fantasy Football — Katz’s 4 Must-Have Players

    As a result, fantasy managers seem to overlook that Mixon is still the clear lead back for one of the best offenses in football. Perine is gone, and behind Mixon are Trayveon Williams, Chris Evans, and rookie fifth-rounder Chase Brown.

    Mixon’s never been in a position with less touch competition. Of course, if Mixon is bad, someone else is going to see work. I just don’t think Mixon is bad.

    Is Mixon a Good Fantasy Pick?

    Throughout the summer, Mixon has steadily climbed up my rankings. I was initially concerned about a possible suspension, but with his criminal trial resulting in a not-guilty verdict, that’s no longer a concern.

    It ultimately came down to risk tolerance. Mixon feels like one of the safest picks you can possibly make in the third round. His ADP is at RB15, No. 36 overall, but it may be higher by the time you read this.

    I’ve got Mixon up to RB9, which is exactly where he is in our PFN consensus rankings.

    Mixon gets to play on an offense with Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, and Tee Higgins. They are going to score a ton of points. Last season, Mixon scored nine touchdowns. He had 16 the year before. The answer for this year likely lies somewhere in the middle.

    Combine a few more touchdowns with a possible increase in receiving work (he had a career-high 13.7% target share last season), and we could be looking at one of the few running backs going after the first two rounds that is extremely reliable.

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