tampabay.com

Ten breakout stars

By GREG AUMAN
Published August 31, 2005


Last year, it was Chargers tight end Antonio Gates emerging as the NFL's best fantasy tight end. Who will it be this year's Gates? Here are 10 lower-round players whose potential is enough to expect significantly more touchdowns than last season. Whatever cheat sheet you're working from, give these guys up arrows next to their names.

1. Travis Henry, RB, Titans: If you just accept that he'll be healthier than Chris Brown, then look at his 2002-03 numbers: 2,794 yards, 23 TDs. Sneak him in around Round 8 or so.

2. Michael Jenkins, WR, Falcons: First-rounder caught only seven passes last season but could emerge as Michael Vick's first go-to receiver. Huge potential.

3. Tyrone Calico, WR, Titans: Lost '04 to a knee injury, but Calico will start if healthy and is poised for a 10-touchdown season. Keep an eye on the Titans' three rookie WRs.

4. Reggie Williams, WR, Jaguars: Another rookie bust with one touchdown last season, he'll be a strong No. 2 to Jimmy Smith, good for at least six TDs.

5. Andre Davis, WR, Patriots: Acquired this month from Cleveland, Davis is a deep threat who could thrive if healthy as a No. 3 receiver in New England's offense.

6. Kevin Curtis, WR, Rams: Isaac Bruce is getting old, so look for this third-year pro to finish with more yards and touchdowns than the 12th-year receiver.

7. Eric Edwards, TE, Cardinals: Caught five passes as a rookie but could have that many touchdowns this fall with bigger role in the Kurt Warner-led offense.

8. Jeb Putzier, TE, Broncos: Pronounce it "Put-zee-air," and instead of two touchdowns like last season, expect at least five. They're paying him well, and he'll show why.

9. Ike Hilliard, WR, Bucs: Zero touchdowns last season, but in an offense lacking reliable depth at WR, he'll be back to 2003 form, when he had 60 catches and six scores.

10. Samie Parker, WR, Chiefs: Has a better offense ever had worse receivers? This second-year Oregon star will start and become a familiar target for Trent Green.