As the NFL season continues and fantasy football dominates Sunday afternoon conversations, here are five backup players that you may want to have your eye on as the season progresses.
Before becoming a star, a player must have made the most of the somewhat limited opportunities he may have received, earn more playing time and ultimately stand out in a league of elites.
These five players have shown flashes of brilliance and could end up becoming stars in the near future, and fantasy owners who are on the top of their game will reap the rewards of their play.
Ben Tate is a very talented back out of Auburn who was supposed to make an immediate impact as a rookie before an injury sidelined him for the season.
Tate's injury gave way to Arian Foster, who ended up leading the league in rushing and was the consensus top fantasy pick for 2011. However, in an ironic turn of events, Foster's hamstring injury has given Tate a chance to rush for 219 yards and a touchdown on 47 carries in the first two games.
Expect the 5'11", 214 pounder to get the bulk of the carries as long as Foster is out, and even when Foster returns, don't be surprised if there is a fairly equal timeshare between the two, which would make Tate at least a decent flex option in most games.
Don't look now, but Redskins backup tight end Fred Davis is putting up a monster season.
With starter Chris Cooley battling an injury, Davis has taken the most of his opportunity and has put up 191 yards and a touchdown on 11 catches.
Davis is just a fourth-year player out of USC, and if he keeps up the great play, he could be supplanting Cooley as the starter.
Jordy Nelson is also a fourth-year player who started the year off in a big way, with seven catches for 162 yards and two touchdowns through two games.
Nelson is technically playing behind Greg Jennings and Donald Driver, but with Driver getting way up there in age, Nelson has put himself in position to take over opposite Jennings.
The 6'3", 217 pounder has good hands and has developed into one of Aaron Rodgers' favorite targets. If he keeps it up, he'll be a top NFL receiver soon enough.
With three catches for 122 yards and a touchdown, second-year receiver Danario Alexander was one of the lone bright spots for the St. Louis Rams in their 28-16 loss to the New York Giants.
After missing the first game, Alexander showed why he's one of the most promising young receivers in the game.
Alexander and quarterback Sam Bradford already have a good rapport with the deep ball, and if they can develop an intermediate game as well, it could end up being one of the most dangerous hook-ups in the NFL.
With 11 carries for 76 yards, rookie Roy Helu doesn't have eye-popping stats for the Washington Redskins, but after getting just one carry in his first game, the coaches entrusted him with 10 carries against the Cardinals, which he turned into 74 yards.
Helu thrived as a senior at Nebraska when he was able to share the load with Rex Burkhead, and now that he's in another timeshare, he's making the most of his time on the field.
The 5'11", 219 pounder could have a great NFL career when it's all said and done if he can stay healthy and continue to produce the lightning to another back's thunder.