Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan prefers resting Mixon on third down rather than early downs, but Callahan did say he'd like to see "maybe a little bit more usage on third down" this season, Ben Baby of ESPN.com reports.

Backup Samaje Perine isn't a better pass catcher than Mixon, but Perine did solid work last year, and the Bengals prefer to rest their starter on downs where a run play is unlikely. Coach Zac Taylor noted that more targets for Mixon would mean less for someone else, specifically naming star wide receivers Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins. Given that the team still has Perine -- plus another potential passing down back in 2021 sixth-round pick Chris Evans -- it's unlikely this will be the year Mixon gets regular work on third downs. It's been a topic of discussion among fantasy players nearly every season of his career, with some thinking it would happen in 2021 after RB Giovani Bernard ended his eight-year run in Cincinnati. Instead, Mixon found fantasy success with career highs for carries (292), rushing yards (1,205) and touchdowns (16 total), while his mark of 2.6 receptions per game was identical to his career number. Even if he doesn't catch more passes, Mixon has an opportunity to match or exceed his numbers from last year after the Bengals signed three experienced O-line starters (La'el Collins, Alex Cappa and Ted Karras) in the offseason.

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