Zac Stacy, Tavon Austin could carry load in St. Louis

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Marcas Grant: Without a doubt, Stacy will see his value rise. Last season the running back's average touches per game increased after Sam Bradford went down with an injury. Now with Bradford again out for the season, Stacy will have to carry a larger load in the Rams offense. However, Austin's value might not fall as much as you'd think. As a dual-threat wideout, St. Louis can find different ways to get the ball in his hands. Austin will still be a late-round pick, but he could provide dividends off your bench.

M.G.: For years we've been forecasting the decline of Frank Gore. Yet it never comes. It will eventually get here, but not before the decline of Chris Johnson. Johnson's downfall this season could come in the form of Chris Ivory. While both players could line up on the field at the same time, they are still likely to cut into each other's production. Gore, meanwhile, will have a nice handcuff and understudy in Carlos Hyde but you're probably not going to see them both on the field at the same time. That status as the Niners' uncontested No. 1 back gives Gore a slight edge.

M.G.: No Neil, you are not. Floyd finished with the second-most targets among Cardinals receivers in 2013, but by the end of the season it was apparent that he was just as productive as Larry Fitzgerald. This season, Floyd has a chance to step forward and take the torch as the No. 1 target in Arizona. Whether or not you believe Gil Brandt's assertion that Carson Palmer can throw for 5,000 yards this season, it's fairly certain that Michael Floyd is poised to have a breakout season.

M.G.: You should give yourself a pat on the back for getting Romo in the later rounds. With Scott Linehan taking over as the offensive coordinator, Dallas' passing game could look a lot like Detroit's has in the past few seasons. That's a good thing. But speaking of backs, there is reason to be concerned about Romo's. Two surgeries in two years is worrisome. It's always a good idea to look for a quality backup but in this case, Romo's added risk makes it a little more of a pressing issue.

M.G.: Since we just talked about Romo, it's worth talking about the man who should be his top target this season. Last year, I thought Bryant had a chance to take over as the top wideout in fantasy football. It obviously didn't happen, but I remain hopeful -- especially in an offense that could throw the ball even more in 2014. There's also the matter of Dallas' defense, which should keep both teams in the game all season long. As for Green, he should have another fantastic season, but Hue Jackson's run-heavy offense could mean fewer targets for Andy Dalton's favorite receiver.

M.G.: There is good reason to be concerned about Welker this season. Despite suffering his third concussion in 10 months, the Broncos remain optimistic about the receiver's ability to be on the field for the regular season opener. But what happens if he endures another one? There is some suspicion that Welker's career could be on borrowed time. He's still worth spending a mid-round pick on because of his potential when he's healthy. Yet if you decide to take a chance on Welker, you'll want to build depth at the receiver position because you never know how things will turn out.

M.G.: Before the preseason started, I might have rolled with Wheaton. The Steelers have repeatedly talked about their desire to give the speedy receiver a bigger role in the offense. While that could still happen this season, Wheaton's preseason has been uneven. Benjamin has been a bright spot in these early games and looks like he's already earned the trust of Cam Newton. As a rookie, Benjamin is certain to have some struggles before the season is over but I'll take a No. 1 receiver over a second option most any day.

M.G.: Avoid him? No, no, no my friend. Be cautious about him? Definitely. It's troublesome that we haven't seen much of Foster in the preseason as he nurses injuries. He's also been less than direct when talking to reporters. But the veteran back should be the focal point of Bill O'Brien's offense this season and is worth a selection in the mid-second round as a low-end RB1 or high-end RB2. Just make sure to handcuff him with Jonathan Grimes.

M.G.: That's not crazy at all. The Texans defense finished last in fantasy points last season, but it wasn't really that bad. In many ways, Houston's sorry finish was a product of its troubled offense. Because the offense struggled to move the football it forced the defense to spend a lot of time on the field. But another contributing factor was the number of pick sixes thrown by Matt Schaub last season. Those scores counted against the Texans defense in fantasy. That might feel a little like you getting grounded because your brother refused to clean his room, but them's the breaks in fantasy football. The quarterback situation isn't that much improved in 2014, but the defense is. Jadeveon Clowney already looks like he's going to be a problem for offensive lines and Brian Cushing is back after missing most of last season with a knee injury. Few people are talking about the Texans ... which is fine by me. I'll take them as a sleeper option.

M.G.: I know Kaepernick and the 49ers have looked sluggish in the preseason, but that matchup against the Cowboys in Week 1 is too tempting to overlook. Dallas could be fantasy gold this season with a defense that threatens to be among the worst in the NFL. On the flipside, the Bears start against a Bills defense that has some quality pieces and could give opponents trouble this season. I'd rather play the matchups here and go with San Francisco's signal-caller.

Bonus question:

M.G.: Uh ... Brees. No! Manning. Crap. I'm no good under pressure. Is Jason Campbell still available? This is too much stress. Can you come back to me later?

Marcas Grant is a fantasy editor for NFL.com and a man who is adept at thinking on his feet, but prefers to do it from his couch. Tweet him your deep thoughts or fantasy football questions @MarcasG.

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