Fantasy Football Fallout: Zack Moss to the Cincinnati Bengals

Mar 17, 2024
Fantasy Fallout: Zack Moss to the Bengals

After seven seasons, the Bengals have moved on from a Joe Mixon-led backfield, signing Zack Moss to a two-year deal worth $8 million. Let’s take a look at his NFL history and fantasy outlook ahead of the 2024 season.

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Zack Moss the Running Back

After three disappointing seasons in usage and production in Buffalo, Moss ended up in Indianapolis in 2022, posting a 76-365-1 line as one of several backups to star RB Jonathan Taylor. Moss’ fortune and output would change at the start of the 2023 season, as Taylor opened the year on the physically unable-to-perform list.

In the first five weeks of the season, Moss amassed the NFL’s third-most rushing yards (445) on the third-largest attempts (89) and ended the season highly effectively, ranking seventh among RBs in rushing yards over expected (RYOE) and fifth in rushing yards over expected per attempt (RYOE/att). Even with Taylor back in the mix, Moss was still given plenty of work, seeing 34% of the Colts’ carries from Weeks 5-12, and Weeks 16-18.

The 26-year-old showed he can lead a backfield if called upon, and should see significant volume in one of the league’s most prolific offenses in Cincinnati.

Moss and the Bengals' Backfield

Mixon saw the fifth most carries among all RBs last season (257) with the third-highest percentage of team carries in the NFL (67%). With him now in Texas, we can assume that Moss will get the first crack at the starting gig, with Chase Brown also in the RB equation.

As a rookie, Brown posted a 44-179-0 rushing line, with another 14 receptions for 156 yards and a score. The bulk of his work came late in the season with 50+ total yards in four of his last six contests. He should be in contention for touches in 2024, particularly in the receiving game.

Something like a 60/40 split favoring Moss could be the makeup of the Bengals' backfield, which could hinder our approach at drafting the Cincy RB room.

Fantasy Outlook with Zack Moss in Cincinnati

Former Bengal staple Mixon is now a member of the Houston Texans and for a deeper dive into his fantasy impact, check out this article I wrote last week.

As far as Moss goes, he should be considered a fantasy RB3 based on possible timeshare and could make for a sneaky Zero-RB candidate in this Bengal offense. The 26-year-old is currently 4for4’s RB32 in our Never-Too-Early rankings and is leaving Underdog draft boards as the RB35 at pick 10.07.

Brown should see an elevated outcome from last year’s RB69 finish in half-PPR points per contest, as he’ll see a decent share of touches. The sophomore is RB45 in 4for4’s early ranks, with a current Underdog ADP of RB32. Expect that to slide down a bit in the weeks to come with the Moss signing. Trayveon Williams gets a downgrade to undraftable in seasonal leagues and is nothing more than a final-round dart in best ball. (Underdog ADP: RB110, 239.9)

Bottom Line

  • Joe Mixon was traded to the Texans, but not before the Bengals signed Zack Moss to a two-year deal. He’s coming off a career-high in carries, output, and efficiency in Indy.
  • Moss should come in as the lead back for the Bengals' high-potent offense but will likely concede work to Chase Brown, particularly in the passing game.
  • For fantasy purposes, Moss should be drafted as an RB3 and makes for a nice choice for those implementing a Zero-RB strategy. He’s 4for4’s RB32 in the early ranks, with Brown checking in as RB45. Both backs are being selected as RB3s in current Underdog drafts.
  • Mixon is in fantasy RB2 territory in Houston with a deeper dive found here. The odd man out in Cincy, Trayveon Williams, gets relegated to a last-round stab in best ball and is undraftable in redraft leagues.
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