ON THE RISE

HEATH MILLER,Steelers
With Jerome Bettis retired and Antwaan Randle El gone as a free agent, Millerwill play a larger role in the offense, especially in the red zone.

TODD HEAP,Ravens
Coming off career highs in catches and yards, he'll benefit from Baltimore'supgraded passing attack.

ALEX SMITH,Buccaneers
His 41 catches were tops among rookie TEs last year; he'll likely start aheadof Anthony Becht this season.

ON THEDECLINE

DANIEL GRAHAM,Patriots
The tight end pass-catching duties in New England are shifting to the emergingBen Watson.

STEVE HEIDEN,Browns
With Kellen Winslow back, catches will be few and far between for Cleveland'ssecond TE.

MARCUS POLLARD,Lions
Don't expect much out of the former top-tier tight end while he's playing inMike Martz's system.

SLEEPERS

BRYAN FLETCHER,Colts
Caught multiple passes in nine games after starting the season as Indy's thirdTE; worth a late pick.

CHRIS BAKER,Jets
New offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer was instrumental in thedevelopment of Antonio Gates.

ANTHONY FASANO,Cowboys
Ex--Notre Dame star reminds some of alltime Bill Parcells favorite Mark Bavaro.Look for lots of two-TE sets with Jason Witten.


  SI PLAYER RANKINGS FOR 2006
With 2005 stats
GAMES CATCHES REC.
YARDS
YARDS
/CATCH
YARDS
/GAME
100-YARD
GAMES
TDS BYE
WEEK
1. Antonio Gates, Chargers 15 89 1,101 12.4 73.4 4 10 3
2. Tony Gonzalez, Chiefs 16 78 905 11.6 56.6 0 2 3
3. Todd Heap, Ravens 16 75 855 11.4 53.4 1 7 7
4. Jeremy Shockey, Giants 15 65 891 13.7 59.4 4 7 4
5. Chris Cooley, Redskins 16 71 774 10.9 48.4 0 7 8
6. Dallas Clark, Colts 15 37 488 13.2 32.5 1 4 6
7. L.J. Smith, Eagles 16 61 682 11.2 42.6 1 3 9
8. Jason Witten, Cowboys 16 66 757 11.5 47.3 0 6 3
9. Alge Crumpler, Falcons 16 65 877 13.5 54.8 1 5 5
10. Heath Miller, Steelers 16 39 459 11.8 28.7 0 6 4
11. Vernon Davis,† 49ers * 11 51 871 17.1 79.2 4 6 7
12. Jerramy Stevens, Seahawks 16 45 554 12.3 34.6 0 5 5
13. Randy McMichael, Dolphins 16 60 582 9.7 36.4 0 5 8
14. Kellen Winslow,‡ Browns 2 5 50 10.0 25.0 0 0 6
15. Alex Smith, Buccaneers 16 41 367 9 22.9 0 2 4
16. Ben Watson, Patriots 15 29 441 15.2 29.4 0 4 6
17. Erron Kinney, Titans 14 55 543 9.9 38.8 0 2 7
18. Chris Baker, Jets 8 18 269 14.9 33.6 1 1 9
19. Ben Troupe, Titans 15 55 530 9.6 35.3 1 4 7
20. Jeb Putzier, Texans * 16 37 481 13 30.1 0 0 5
21. Zachary Hilton, Saints 15 35 396 11.3 26.4 0 1 7
22. Bryan Fletcher, Colts 16 18 202 11.2 12.6 0 3 6
23. Bubba Franks, Packers 10 25 207 8.3 20.7 0 1 6
24. Daniel Graham, Patriots 11 16 235 14.7 21.4 0 3 6
25. Joe Klopfenstein,† Rams * 13 33 468 14.2 36.0 0 4 7
26. Anthony Fasano,† Cowboys * 12 47 576 12.3 48.0 0 2 3
27. Kris Mangum, Panthers 14 23 202 8.8 14.4 0 2 9
28. Marcedes Lewis,† Jaguars * 12 58 741 12.8 61.8 3 10 6
29. Aaron Shea, Chargers * 12 18 153 8.5 12.8 0 1 3
30. Ernie Conwell, Saints 8 13 165 12.7 20.6 0 1 7
31. Steve Heiden, Browns 15 43 401 9.3 26.7 1 3 6
32. Jermaine Wiggins, Vikings 16 69 568 8.2 35.5 0 1 6

*New team for2006 season † College stats ‡ 2004 stats

PHOTOBOB ROSATO PHOTOCHRIS BERNACCHI/SPORTPICS

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)