After being selected eighth overall in the last year’s draft, there was a good amount of fantasy football hype surrounding St. Louis Rams WR Tavon Austin. Unfortunately, the elusive wideout was rather streaky last season and failed to live up to his lofty expectations.
Austin did show glimpses of superstardom last season. He had a game in Week 10 in which he hauled in 138 receiving yards and two touchdowns on just two catches. He also had a game with a 65-yard rushing touchdown and another game with a 95-yard punt return touchdown. There is no doubting that this kid has true home run potential.
St. Louis had a quarterback carousal going on after Sam Bradford went down in Week 7 with a torn ACL, and as a result, Austin was unable to built a rapport with any signal caller. This offseason will allow the wideout the chance to bond more with Bradford and the two should play more this preseason in order to work on their timing. Austin will only get better as he learns the offense and earns Bradford’s trust.
Austin is a multi-dimensional player. He can not only run routes downfield, but he can also return kicks/punts and contribute with reverses in the running game. He will always be one step away from taking a play the distance and that kind of home run ability is coveted in fantasy.
Despite all the attention surrounding the first-year player, Austin had a rather underwhelming rookie campaign. Sure he had a handful of jaw-dropping performances, but he still ended with just 418 receiving yards and four receiving touchdowns. He also started just four games and it was altogether a forgettable showing for the former West Virginia Mountaineer.
Austin will never be able to start on the outside reliably. The burner is too small (5-foot-8, 176 pounds) to matchup with the bigger cornerbacks in the league and he is simply destined to play out of the slot for his entire career.
Austin will draw a good deal of attention in the middle of the draft this year, but it may be better to wait until he falls into WR4 territory. There no doubting that the kid has serious fantasy talent and it is just a matter of time until the rest of the offense catches up with the speedster.
Bye Week: 4
Projected Round: 12
Auction Value: $10