One of the hardest things to predict is how a rookie will translate at the pro level. It’s usually easier for a running back to produce in his rookie year than it is for a wide receiver, but in the case of Tavon Austin that might not matter. He reminds me a lot of Percy Harvin; so especially in any league where yards are highly valued, you have to take a look at this kid. As with any rookie, I wouldn’t be surprised if he has his ups and downs but any wideout who gets additional touches on the ground has the chance to rack up some solid fantasy points.
Percy Harvin’s rookie year stat line looks like this (15 games 8 starts):
Kick Returns: 42-1156-2
Those are decent WR3 fantasy numbers and he was playing on a 12-4 team where Sidney Rice was the #1 option, Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor combined for 87 receptions, and Visanthe Schiancoe and Bernard Berrian were still popular targets. I can easily see Tavon Austin surpassing Harvin’s rookie totals because the Rams simply don’t have many other viable options. He won’t get as many returns as Harvin simply because kickoff returns are way down since the kickoff line was moved to the 35; unless he’s returning both kicks and punts, expect smaller numbers there.
My early projection for Austin:
Combined Returns: 30-600-1