Originally Published: June 13, 2006By Scott Engel | ESPN Fantasy Games
Here are the guys who could make you look like a fantasy genius in 2006. Tabbing the right player who will perform better than expected not only impresses your peers, it gets you great value for your later picks after you have already drafted your top players. Many owners put much of their pre-draft focus on their early selections, but grabbing one of these gems in the middle and late rounds is the mark of a truly savvy fantasy owner. WR Matt Jones, Jacksonville: With the retirement of Jimmy Smith, QB Byron Leftwich must find a new No. 1 target, and Jones fits the bill much better than Ernest Wilford, who should remain more comfortable as a No. 2 target. Jones has already started working with the Jaguars as their 'X" receiver, replacing Smith, and his outstanding combination of size (6-6, 242 pounds) speed, hands and athletic ability will instantly make him a lot to handle for even the most experienced and physical defensive backs. Leftwich might spread the ball around a lot, but Jones will become his preferred target on key downs and will certainly be a frequent threat in the red zone. He'll likely become a regular fantasy starter in leagues of 10 teams or larger. RB LenDale White, Tennessee: He's going to get the chance to play, because White has two questionable veterans ahead of him on the depth chart and a QB (Billy Volek) who could use a workhorse-type RB to take pressure off him. Chris Brown is notoriously brittle, and Travis Henry has a shaky hold on the backup job. White has something to prove after whispers about his weight and health made his draft status slip. He should make the most of an opportunity to become a featured power runner and he should become a regular goal-line threat when he gets his chance to play.
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