On Thursday night, the Bengals and Baltimore Ravens duked it out in Cincinnati with the Bengals coming out on top 34-23. As sweet as the victory was, the one sour point on the night was the injury to Joe Mixon.
The star running back suffered a knee injury early in the game, which caused him to come out multiple times in the fourth quarter. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Friday that Mixon has a “small particle in his knee that was dislodged.” The Oklahoma product will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery that will cause him to miss between two and four weeks.
As nerve-racking as this sounds for fantasy owners, don’t fret! Everything will be okay if you continue reading below.
Mixon will be out for just a few weeks, but in the meantime, you should look into potentially adding any of these five players below to bolster your running back core and stay in contention in your leagues.
Giovani Bernard, Bengals (27 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues)
Bernard is the easy option as he literally will be filling in for Mixon as he recovers. Bernard is a seasoned veteran who has spent his entire six-year career as a Bengal, including time as the lead back, so the transition should be seamless. Bernard will receive the bulk of the carries during Mixon’s absence.
Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers (42 percent owned)
Ekeler is a second-year running back out of Western State Colorado University. While he is Melvin Gordon’s backup, he still plays an important role in LA’s offense. During Week 1, Ekeler only rushed five times for 39 yards, but was a major player in the passing game, hauling in five receptions for 87 yards and a touchdown. This could be an outlier of a week for Ekeler, but he has the ability to give you a big game on any given week.
Javorius Allen, Baltimore Ravens (8 percent owned)
Allen is a fourth-year running back who has spent most of his career as a reserve but he has shown flashes for the Ravens. Similar to Ekeler, Allen hasn’t racked up the yards on the ground so far, but he has found the end zone in each of the first two games. The USC product has been very solid in the passing game, though. So far this season, Allen has caught 10 passes for 51 yards and has seen 13 total targets, so if you’re in a PPR league, we definitely would recommend giving Allen a look.
Jalen Richard, Oakland Raiders (5 percent owned)
Richard has spent his entire three-year career with the Raiders, and although he has not factored into the running game much, he is a major part of what Derek Carr and Co. want to do in the passing game. In Week 1, Richard rushed five times for 24 yards but had an absurd nine receptions for 55 yards on 11 targets. If you are in a PPR league, Richard could add value to your team and be the temporary fix you need while Mixon recovers, thanks to the sheer volume of targets he receives.
Frank Gore, Miami Dolphins (9 percent owned)
With Mixon gone for a few weeks, it wouldn’t hurt to bring in a little veteran leadership to your virtual clubhouse. Gore has been a workhorse in the NFL year after year, and although he is splitting time with the up-and-coming Kenyan Drake, he still had nine carries for 61 yards in a weird weather-delayed game against the Tennessee Titans in Week 1. He might not put up the numbers he once did, but he brings a certain grit to your fantasy team that you can’t coach and most certainly will elevate the other members of your team around him.
Thumbnail photo via Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports Images
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