Joe Mixon - Cincinnati Bengals
Last season Mixon finished as the RB4 in PPR scoring, serving as the workhorse for the newly successful Bengals Offense. He was tied with Jonathan Taylor for first in red zone touchdowns on the season and was third in total touches. This offseason the Bengals addressed perhaps their weakest unit in their offensive line, signing right tackle La’El Collins, right guard Alex Cappa, and center Ted Karras. These improvements pave the way for Mixon to not only maintain his performance from last season but perhaps even surpass it. Despite all of this being true, Mixon’s ADP amongst running backs remains out of the top 7 on most major fantasy platforms. While there are other great RB options being chosen ahead of him, his performance this past season coupled with the improvements to his offensive line offer enough promise to merit a higher selection than his current ADP.
Saquon has had a tough few years since his historic rookie season, plagued with injuries, poor coaching, and a well below-average offensive line. This season he may finally be in a position to have a chance at utilizing the game-breaking talent that he showcased his first year in the league. With the arrival of new GM Joe Schoen and Head Coach Brian Daboll, a new era has clearly begun in New York. The new regime opted to address the offensive line primarily this offseason bringing in players through both free agency and the draft that immediately upgrade their trenches. Most notably Evan Neal, a right tackle out of Alabama and the 7th overall pick in this year’s draft, has been brought in as a cornerstone tackle alongside third-year left tackle Andrew Thomas. In addition to the newly reinforced Offensive line, new head coach Daboll has made it clear that he plans to enact a much more aggressive offensive scheme that is catered to the strengths of their best skill players. Murmurs out of Giants minicamps point toward Daboll deploying Barkley as a receiver in the offense often within this new scheme, adding to his fantasy value even further. Saquon should have some extra motivation playing in this contract year, with the narrative that his abilities that were showcased in his rookie season are a thing of the past. There is plenty of opportunity for him to outplay his current ADP among RBs of 14.
After missing his entire rookie season with a torn Achilles, Etienne has been forgotten by many, use that to your advantage. He and Trevor Lawrence already have standing chemistry from their three collegiate seasons together at Clemson, and he now steps into a fully vacated RB1 role with James Robinson likely out for the season rehabbing from his torn Achilles. The Jaguars utilized plenty of funding in the offseason to upgrade their offense which last season was only able to yield viable results through running back James Robinson. Their new skill position players like Christian Kirk and Evan Engram should force defenses to provide personnel outside preventing them from stacking the box against the run, a strategy often utilized to stop run-reliant teams. The combination of skill, rapport with Trevor Lawrence, and opportunity to be the sole RB1 provide a prime opportunity for Etienne to greatly outplay his current ADP amongst RBs of 23.