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New City, New Team, Same Joe Mixon?

Joe Mixon is now with the Houston Texans. Can he duplicate his success and remain a top-ten fantasy running back in 2024? @dropthemikeFF is here to tell you.

Just like it is awkward for a kid attending a new school, it can be the same for a veteran changing teams for the first time. Joe Mixon has found himself on a new team in 2024. After seven seasons in Cincinnati, the Bengals decided to trade him to the Houston Texans this offseason. Can he duplicate his success and remain a top-ten fantasy running back in 2024?

Career

Mixon has had a good and underappreciated career since being drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2017. He played 14 games or more in six of his seven seasons for the Bengals. In 2020, he only played six games due to a season-ending foot injury.

Photo Courtesy of Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire

Mixon’s average fantasy football season finish is RB14, not including the 2020 season. His lowest ranking out of those six seasons was his rookie season, where he finished as RB34. In his career, Mixon has five top-24 and three top-12 finishes. His career-best season was 2021, when Mixon finished as RB4 overall.

2023

The Bengals had an up-and-down 2023 season; however, Mixon was one of their bright spots. With quarterback Joe Burrow missing seven games, the Bengals leaned heavily on Mixon to help carry the load for the offense. He finished the season as RB7, his second career Top-10 RB fantasy finish. Mixon was able to play in all 17 of the Bengals games. He finished with 1,034 rushing yards and 376 receiving yards on 52 receptions. His 12 total touchdowns were the second-best season of his career. He was sixth in the league amongst all running backs, with a snap share percentage of 69.1%.

2024

After seven seasons in Cincinnati, this will be Mixon’s first season as a Houston Texan. He was traded to the Texans during this off-season for a seventh-round pick. One significant sign they believe in Mixon is that the Texans gave him a three-year contract extension after the trade.

After Devin Singletary’s exit, Mixon will lead the Texans backfield alongside Damien Pierce. The Texans are led by sophomore sensation CJ Stroud at quarterback. They also added a weapon at wide receiver in Stefon Diggs and still have Tank Dell and the newly extended Nico Collins. Another year under offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik’s system is just another plus for the Texans.

Let’s look at Mixon’s expected usage as a member of the Houston Texans. The Texans ran the ball 42.9%, which was in the bottom half of the NFL. If Mixon’s snap share is close to the 69.1% he had in 2023, I expect the run rate to be slightly higher for the Houston Texans this upcoming season. Fortunately, even if it is not, Mixon can and will be used in the passing game. He is by far the best RB on the Texans in pass protection. It wouldn’t be shocking to see Mixon have around 50 receptions. Yes, the Texans have a high-powered offense, but they also have an up-and-coming top-tier defense. I expect the Texans to have a good record and be ahead in many games this season. They will probably use the run game to run down the clock and secure victories.

Dynasty Value

One major factor in Mixon’s dynasty value is that he will be 28 in July. His startup ADP is currently 65.3 overall, which puts him in the middle of the sixth round. He is also ranked RB23 in DynastyNerds RB rankings. This is the perfect range and even a little high for a 28-year-old running back going into his eighth season in a normal situation. However, I have already laid out my expectations for Mixon this season.

Even though his long-term outlook is starting to look a little dim, his short-term outlook is still bright. The off-season isn’t usually the time to buy running backs. However, Mixon is a perfect training camp or early season buy for contending teams. For non-competing teams, this might be the ideal season to capitalize on Mixon’s value while there still is some to be had.

I would pay a little premium to trade for Mixon for a contending team that is a running back away from a title run. You might have to give up two second-round picks to get Mixon on your contending teams, and I would be willing to do so.

Final Thoughts

The only thing left is to see what version of Joe Mixon we see in 2024. Barring injury, he should have another successful season. In the Texans’ high-powered offense, I expect him to have ten plus total touchdowns. At worst, he should finish no worse than a mid RB2 in fantasy. But can he have another top-ten season? Yes, he can, and that’s precisely why he should be on your team if you are a contender. If everything goes right this season, Mixon will finish as a top-10 running back for the second straight season.

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