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Joe Mixon's fantasy numbers impacted by Bengals' running back rotation

CINCINNATI -- Stay away from the Bengals' running backs in fantasy football...for now.

The Bengals had an erratic timeshare going between Jeremy Hill, Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernard in a loss to the Ravens on Sunday. Combine that with an erratic offense and five turnovers, and it's a recipe for fantasy football disaster.

Mixon played 22 snaps and led the running backs with eight carries. Mixon finished with only nine rushing yards, although that stat was skewed by two rushes at the end of the game that went for negative nine yards.

That was more than Hill's 10 snaps, but Bernard (with seven carries) led in both snaps (29) and yards from scrimmage (79).

At the beginning of the game, it was clear they were rotating by series, with Hill getting the first series, Mixon the second and Bernard the third.

Mixon had an impressive start, catching a nine-yard pass and then immediately following with an eight-yard rush. But after that series, he didn't see the field again until the fourth quarter when the Bengals had a huge deficit.

If the Bengals were truly following a rotation, Mixon would've gotten the ball when they were on offense with 1:47 left in the first half. It's possible they wanted to go with the more sure-handed Bernard in that situation.

Mixon was briefly benched in the middle of a preseason game for fumbling. Andy Dalton's interception two plays into that drive negated any chance of Mixon returning in the first half.

With five turnovers on offense, it's not exactly easy to get into a rhythm, and the Bengals had to pass most of the second half when they got into the big hole. It would've been hard for any running back to have a significant fantasy impact.

However, it's unclear at this point how the Bengals are going to use their running backs. If the Bengals go back to their rotation, none of them are going to have a particularly standout day, and the same applies if they fall behind on Thursday.

Until one lead back emerges, there are better fantasy options than Mixon, or any Bengals back at the moment.