Fresh off one of the finest performances by a running back in 2020, Cincinnati Bengals star Joe Mixon would seem like a no-brainer to start any week in which he plays. Mixon demolished the Jacksonville Jaguars last week, racking up 151 yards and two touchdowns on the ground while contributing six catches for 30 yards and a score as a pass catcher.
Unfortunately for Mixon, he runs into a troublesome Baltimore Ravens defense in Week 5. That matchup should compel fantasy managers to seriously consider other options on their roster.
The Sit: Bengals RB Joe Mixon
The Ravens have allowed little production to opposing running backs thus far in 2020. In four games, the unit has yielded just 309 rushing yards and a touchdown, with nearly half of that yardage coming in the season opener against the Cleveland Browns. Similarly concerning, Baltimore has given up just one score to running backs through the air.
Given those numbers, Mixon could realistically deliver his worst outing of the season this week. It doesn’t help that he tends to struggle against the Ravens, averaging just 54.5 rushing yards and 0.2 touchdowns on 16.2 carries in his six matchups with the team. Mixon also enters the weekend on the injury report, officially dealing with shin trouble. Though the Bengals expect him to suit up Sunday, the injury could affect his performance.
The Starts: Mike Davis, Mark Ingram II, Devin Singletary
After five unspectacular seasons, journeyman running back Mike Davis has found a bit of a groove this year while stepping in for injured Carolina Panthers star Christian McCaffrey. Davis has received 42 combined carries and receptions over the last two weeks, converting those touches into 202 yards and two scores. The Panthers draw an Atlanta Falcons defense in the midst of an identity crisis, positioning Davis for another stellar performance.
While Mixon looks like a shaky fantasy start this week, his Baltimore counterpart has a better outlook. Even though the Ravens have cut down on Mark Ingram’s workload the past two weeks — he has just 15 carries and two targets over that stretch — Ingram still sees plenty of goal-line work. The Bengals haven’t had much luck keeping opposing backs out of the end zone this year, allowing four rushing touchdowns and one receiving score to the position.
Perhaps rookie Zack Moss will eventually supplant Devin Singletary as the Buffalo Bills’ primary running back. However, that doesn’t appear terribly likely with Moss spending the last two games on the inactive list with a toe injury. While the Bills work Moss back into the fold, second-year tailback Devin Singletary should continue to see most of the work. He has 66 touches entering Week 5, more than double the next highest total on the roster. Buffalo plays the Tennessee Titans, a team that will have spent almost no time on the field for two weeks due to a COVID-19 outbreak.