Fantasy Fallout: What’s The Outlook For Cincinnati’s Running Back Corps

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Despite talk of it being a committee approach, fantasy owners were clearly leaning towards Joe Mixon as being the biggest impact player from the Cincinnati Bengals’ backfield.  However after Week 1 does everyone need to be readjusting their approach?

Rushing Yards
Receiving Yards
Total TD
Giovani Bernard7 401390
Jeremy Hill6261-20
Joe Mixon893150

The Outlook From Here:

Joe Mixon
No one was particularly impressive, but it would be easy to point towards Mixon as the most disappointing.  As opposed to breaking away from the field and earning regular early down repetitions he averaged an abysmal 1.1 yards per carry in his NFL debut.  It was against a difficult defense in the Baltimore Ravens, so we don’t want to completely write him off, but it wasn’t the debut that anyone had hoped for. 

What it shows is that he’s not guaranteed the lead back duties, and ultimately he’s going to have to earn the carries on the field.  No one is going to argue that Mixon isn’t the most talented running back in this backfield, but it’s going to take time.  For now keep him stashed on your bench until the Bengals fully trust him and are prepared to unleash him.  Given the overall embarrassment of their Week 1 loss, it could come quickly (though they also have a quick turnaround, complicating things for Week 2 and makes him more of a RB4 for the coming week).


Giovani Bernard
He had the biggest numbers, but it was two big plays (a 23 yard run and a 39 yard catch) that buoyed the production.  That said he’s going to continue to operate as the third-down/receiving back and his role is the one that’s pretty clear.  A better fit for those in PPR formats, he’s more of a WR4/5 as opposed to a player to trust.


Jeremy Hill
Game flow limited his chances in Week 1, but he was the starter and could get a bigger run in Week 2 as the Bengals try to reestablish themselves after an extremely disappointing defeat.  Of course over the past two seasons he’s posted YPC of 3.6 and 3.8, showing more of a nose for the end zone then the burst to make big plays.  Eventually he should fall into a short yardage/goal line option and little else, but the question is when that happens.


Despite the poor performance long-term the back to own should be Joe Mixon.  The team is going to have to reevaluate their rotation after what was a bitter disappointment and things could change sooner rather than later.  Considering they play on a short week there’s a better chance the big changes come in Week 3, so for now keep Mixon stashed on your bench and don’t consider him a truly viable option.

Source – ESPN

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  1. Whipple says:

    Hey Prof,
    So I’m one affected by A. Robibson’s injury. Someone dropped Crowder and I had a waiver claim on him using Coleman. Obviously I switched it to Robinson, but I was wondering whether M. Lee, with his new role as #1 would be to have on the roster than one of my two depth receivers (J. Matthews and Coleman). As always your insight is greatly appreciated!

  2. Whipple says:

    Oops, one more question. I’ve overdrafted position players for another team and have to drop 1 for a kicker.. who would you suggest dropping in a 10-team, no dynasty, standard league? Wallace is the most likely to me, but I value your opinion and am looking for potential upside. Here’s my lineup:

    QB: Brees, Luck
    RB: Gurley, Anderson, Cook, Martin, West
    WR: Brown, Jefferey, Sanders, Watkins, Thielen, M. Wallace

    Thank you!

  3. Beans says:

    What’s up Professor? Hope your week 1 is going better than mine. 14 team PPR. I have J.Howard, J.Mixon, D.Henry,S.Perine and Dion Lewis. Not very good I know. I doubt I will get Cohen with 3rd claim but if I could would you feel comfortable with 2 Bears RB until 1 of the 4 other guys I have start getting more touches or touches at all? If I don’t get Cohen would you want Kerwynn Williams, Andre Ellington or Buck Allen. Which of my guys would you drop? I’m leaning Perine. ( hoping Lewis gets traded) Thank you sir

  4. I would probably grab Allen if it’s a PPR format, as he arguably has the highest upside of the group. I don’t think Perine is so easily cast away as he should play a role before long. Lewis would be my first drop

  5. Pwyll says:

    Hey prof, is it time to give up on Bernard or AP and pick up Cohen?

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