tampabay.com

Top rookies

By GREG AUMAN
Published August 31, 2005


Any good fantasy team will have a rookie or two on its roster. They're the high-risk, high-reward part of your portfolio: Who will be the Domanick Davis or Lee Evans of 2005? Here are 10 rookies worth taking a chance on as regular fantasy starters.

1. Cadillac Williams, RB, Bucs: Of the three backs drafted high in the first round, he's in the best position to be featured in his offense, especially with his receiving.

2. Ronnie Brown, RB, Dolphins: Don't let Ricky Williams scare you away here: One back was taken second overall in the draft, the other abandoned his team just a year ago.

3. Mike Williams, WR, Lions: Touchdowns will be his specialty, and in an improved West Coast offense, you can expect 10 scores in his rookie season.

4. J.J. Arrington, RB, Cardinals: He's a smarter pick than Cedric Benson: better offense, bigger role, less competition for carries.

5. Reggie Brown, WR, Eagles: With Todd Pinkston out and Terrell Owens being TO, he has a huge opportunity in an offense screaming for a productive No. 2 receiver.

6. Heath Miller, TE, Steelers: No Pittsburgh tight end had more than nine catches last season, and Miller will emerge as Ben Roethlisberger's new best friend, especially in the red zone.

7. Cedric Benson, RB, Bears: Idiotic holdout really costs him, but by the second half of the season he should be a 25-carry-a-game back helping out a rookie quarterback.

8. Troy Williamson, WR, Vikings: Daunte Culpepper is good for 30 touchdowns, and Williamson's a safe bet for 1,000 yards and second on the team in TD catches.

9. Braylon Edwards, WR, Browns: You're worried because Trent Dilfer's throwing to him, but he'll be a No. 1 receiver, which means 60 catches and eight touchdowns.

10. Mark Clayton, WR, Ravens: Derrick Mason will be the guy in Baltimore, but if Kyle Boller can click this year, Clayton is his next-best option downfield.

Five more to watch: Matt Jones, TE, Jaguars; Roddy White, WR, Falcons; Frank Gore, RB, 49ers; Ciatrick Fason, RB, Vikings; Alex Smith, QB, 49ers.