Rarely does the old waiver wire produce the type of numbers it did in Week 5. While a couple of Sunday's performers come as no big shock, the talk of the day comes with regard to the two monumental breakouts: a pair of receivers starting in place of injured teammates to the tune of 250 yards and 142 yards respectively, both with a pair of long touchdowns. Beyond that, we have the usual mix of old dogs coming back out to show they still have it and some sleepers to mark on the radar screen.
Miles Austin (WR, Cowboys) -- In the absence of Dallas' newest perpetual thorn in the side, Roy Williams, who missed Sunday's game with damage to his ribs, Miles Austin stepped up admirably. Austin and Tony Romo developed a quick rapport as Austin caught an amazing 10 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns -- one of which won the game in overtime. Furthermore, both of Austin's touchdowns involved broken tackles and significant yardage after the catch. Something tells me we haven't seen the last of Miles Austin.
Jeremy Maclin (WR, Eagles) -- Given just his second NFL start in the absence of Kevin Curtis, Jeremy Maclin flat-out shined. Not only did Maclin show his worth as a regular in the receiving corps, but he proved his explosiveness, catching a 51-yard fly-pattern bomb for a touchdown and adding another great diving grab in the end zone for 40 yards. In total, Maclin hauled in six passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns in one of the single best individual efforts of the weekend alongside Mr. Austin above.
Jamal Lewis (RB, Browns) -- Just as everyone hopped on the Jerome Harrison bandwagon and let go of the old punching bag, Jamal Lewis, it was Lewis who led the way for Cleveland in the 6-3 bore-fest victory against the Bills. Lewis carried the ball an amazing 31 times although in total, notching 117 yards, which remains a mediocre 3.8 yards per carry. Still, coming off his hamstring injury, Lewis looks to have the reigns in the backfield, something few predicted given Harrison's numbers in recent weeks.
Michael Bush (RB, Raiders) -- Michael Bush certainly did not turn too many heads with Sunday's performance against the Giants, but he did look marginally better than the rest of his horrible team. The Raiders clearly cannot pass, thus he looks like a decent fill-in RB for the next few weeks as the Raiders have to give him a decent amount of carries. Sunday, he tallied a touchdown and 43 all-purpose yards. I would expect these numbers to look better when the matchups soften up a bit.
Dennis Northcutt (WR, Lions) -- Dennis Northcutt looks like a "keep an eye on him" guy this week after Calvin Johnson left the game limping with a knee injury and did not return. Northcutt caught five passes for 70 yards and a touchdown from Daunte Culpepper, who filled in reasonably well for the injured Matt Stafford. Without Megatron, the Lions are very lean at receiver, so one of the lesser-known entities like Northcutt will have to step up in some capacity in his absence.
Hakeem Nicks (WR, Giants) -- I know this is probably the third time Nicks made our waiver wire list, but after missing some time early this season due to injury, he continues to look quite promising. Not only did he catch four passes for 49 yards and a touchdown, but he caught a fly-pattern bomb along the sideline that was ruled out of bounds whereby he flat-out beat Nnamdi Asomugha deep, the widely accepted best lockdown corner in the NFL.
Donnie Avery (WR. Rams) -- Here's another player who has been an on-again, off-again sleeper since the preseason. Sunday, we saw a reason to reinvigorate a bit of hope for Donnie Avery. While the Rams' passing offense looked putrid for three-plus quarters, Marc Bulger returned in the fourth quarter with a 158.3 passer rating, going 7-for-7 and completing a 27-yard touchdown pass to Avery. Finishing with five catches for 87 yards and a score, Avery looks worthy of consideration in deeper leagues.
Matt Hasselbeck (QB, Seahawks) -- If you are lucky enough to play in a league where Hasselbeck's previous owner made the drop when he got injured three weeks ago, pick him up. He returned Sunday with merrymaking celebration of offense in a 41-0 blowout of the Jaguars, completing four touchdown passes -- two to Nate Burleson and two to T.J. Houshmandzadeh.