For the past few years, the Bengals have successfully sent out the duo of Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill to handle the team’s backfield duties. The pair had performed well, but the team was lacking it’s key playmaker not named AJ Green.
The Bengals decided to select the troubled Joe Mixon in this year’s draft to boost the backfield. To start the season, it was impossible to tell who the main back was in Cincy. Now, after three weeks, Mixon is beginning to separate himself from the pack.
Mixon has racked up the most total touches so far, coming in with 35 carries and 7 catches after three contests. The rookie has also combined for the most yardage, with 166 total yards. He is coming off the biggest game of his young career against the Packers.
Bernard is known more for his pass-catching ability, but he still has only 5 catches this season. He is actually third in this group of RBs with only a total of 20 touches through three games. Hill was supposed to have had an explosive year last season, but has still yet to blossom. At this point in the season he is second on the team with 19 carries, but has only put up 66 rushing yards. Hill has done very little in the passing game with only 3 catches for 6 yards.
Each of these backs could post big numbers any week. However, the team is beginning to give Mixon more and more opportunities each week. He is coming off a game against the Packers in which he totaled 21 touches. Those 21 touches are more than Bernard has had all season. Mixon is a must-own and a borderline start each week that carries strong flex appeal. For now, Bernard and Hill are still deemed roster-worthy, but should remain benched until there is more clarity in Cincinnati.