As recently as two seasons ago, Miles Austin was considered a top fantasy wide receiver. He put together a pair of top-notch seasons in 2009 and 2010, combining for over 2,300 yards and 18 touchdowns.
But in 2011, injury limited Austin to 10 games. Though he still produced seven touchdowns, sophomore wide receiver Dez Bryant began to emerge as one of the NFL’s top wide outs, casting Austin in his shadow.
Third in the Dallas Cowboys pecking order – behind Bryant and tight end Jason Witten – Austin had a solid, but under-the-radar fantasy season in 2012 with 66 catches for 943 yards and six touchdowns.
Entering 2013, Miles Austin’s fantasy value is in a grey area amongst wide receiver rankings. Austin has been productive enough to be drafted as an every week flex starter, but his declining numbers over the past two seasons may keep some fantasy owners away.
Furthermore, there are reports out of Dallas that the Cowboys strongly prefer to use Miles Austin in the slot when in three-wide formations. While this maybe a clever miss-match strategy, fantasy owners see a player that has struggled with injuries now going across the middle far more often. If Austin is truly 100% than he could stand to have an excellent season, but heading into training camp the Dallas Cowboys pass catcher is considered a high risk fantasy option.
Miles Austin Career Stats
Austin doesn’t have the breakout potential going for him over say a younger wide receiver in the middle rounds, yet he does have excellent rapport with Dallas quarterback Tony Romo. The duo have great on-field chemistry, even though Miles Austin is often Romo’s third option. Because the Cowboys rely so much on the passing game, Austin will look forward to plenty of double-digit target games this coming season. He had five games with 10-or-more targets in 2012, including 16 looks in week eight against the New York Giants. In that game, Austin caught nine passes for 133 yards.
Thus, while Austin may be a long-shot for a 1,500 yard, double digit touchdown season, he’s still going to get enough looks to have weeks where he blows up. Perfect example: his nine catch, 143 yard, 3 touchdown game against the San Francisco 49ers in 2011.
Blow up potential, plus overall strong performances the past four years makes Miles Austin’s Fantasy outlook a strong flex play in fantasy next season.