After scoring nine touchdowns in 2015, the writing was on the wall for a letdown from Austin this year. He didn't do enough with his 19 extra targets to make up for the expected negative touchdown regression, and he rushed 24 fewer times and for 275 fewer yards than last season. Austin's game-breaking ability -- and hefty salary -- should ensure he's a piece of the puzzle again in 2017, but without a significant step forward from the entire offense, his fantasy ceiling will remain low.
Austin caught just two of seven targets for 14 yards but rushed three times for 26 yards and a touchdown during Saturday's loss to the 49ers.
The score was Austin's fourth of the season and his first of the rushing variety. It also highlights a significant decline from his nine-touchdown showing in 2015. Austin is rarely targeted downfield, and while he owns game-breaking potential, the pedestrian Los Angeles offense significantly limits his fantasy upside. The Rams have struggled to create opportunities for Austin to succeed in space because their offensive personnel doesn't present many man-to-man mismatches.
Austin brought in three of five targets for 14 yards and gained 13 yards on two rushes in Thursday's 24-3 loss to the Seahawks.
Austin was deployed in customary fashion, receiving two carries while also being targeted near the line of scrimmage in the passing game. However, a suffocating Seahawks defense limited him to long plays of eight yards apiece on both the ground and through the air. The fourth-year pro was coming off a combined 11 receptions for 107 yards over the last two games, so Thursday's production represented a definitive downturn. Austin will look to break out in a much more favorable matchup against the 49ers in Week 16.
Austin caught seven of 11 targets for 62 yards in Sunday's loss to the Falcons. He also added 27 yards on two carries in the contest.
The Rams' offense struggled to get on track Sunday but Austin still managed to put together one of his better games of the season in his return to the field Sunday. Quarterback Jared Goff looked his way a whopping 11 times, which marked the first time since Week 7 that he saw double digit targets. Austin also made an impact in the run game, highlighted by a 23-yard carry to move the Rams into Falcon territory. He'll draw a decidedly tougher matchup in Week 15, however, as the Rams will hit the road to face the Seahawks on Thursday.
Austin (chest) practiced fully Wednesday, Rich Hammond of the Orange County Register reports.
No practice last week translated to a doubtful designation and eventual inactive status Sunday at New England. With an uncapped return to drills, though, Austin appears to be over his brief episode with a chest injury. Looking ahead to this Sunday's matchup against the high-powered Falcons, the Rams may be forced to the air early and often, which could benefit Austin, who has gathered in five of six passes for 66 yards and one touchdown with Jared Goff (illness) under center.
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