Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 7/14/13
Since exploding onto the national scene in 2009, Miles Austin hasn't quite lived up to the fantasy potential he showed his first year as a starter.From 1,320 yards and 11 TDs (in just 9 starts), his production dropped to 1,041 yards and 7 TDs in 2010, to 579 yards and 7 TDs in an injured plagued 2011, and 943 yards and 6 TDs last season.For most receivers Austin's 2012 numbers would have been a success, but for as much potential as Austin showed in '09 it was looked on as a disappointment. Austin will put up increased fantasy numbers this year for several reasons.First of all, he after working on strengthening his hamstrings during the offseason, he is primed to have his first injury-free season in two years. Though he played in all 16 games last year, he was constantly slowed by either his hamstring or hip injury.Because of his frequent injuries and diminished production, there was speculation during the offseason that the Cowboys would cut Austin. Though he appears to have gotten past that point, his base salary jumps from $840,000 this year to $5.5 million in 2014. This means that Austin will either be looking to impress to keep his salary at that number with the Cowboys, or to warrant a high price in the free agent market if he is cut.But asides from injury and salary cap, Dez Bryant's emergence will help Austin. Bryant emerged as an elite receiver, catching for 1,382 yards and 12 TDs last year, with the majority of his production coming in the second half of the season.This year teams will be prepared for Bryant, and defenses will be scheming to take him out of the game. Also, with the drafting of Baylor's Terrence Williams, a prototypical outside receiver, Austin will be playing in the slot more this year, a spot where his speed and route running make him a nightmare mismatch for nicklebacks and safeties.Although it is unlikely to see Austin surpass his 2009 numbers sharing the receiving load with Bryant and Jason Witten, look for him to get back in the 1,200-yard, 10 TD range in 2013. 
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