Waiver Wire Wonders: Take the Last Train To Sidney
Not a whole lot to report on the wires, as the bulk of the action came from repeat appearances by players solidifying their values and abating consistency concerns. For the third week in a row, the wide receiver position provided the most compelling action, so check the waivers to see if you can still catch these trains or if you waited too long at the newsstand flipping through the US Weekly and missed them.
Sidney Rice (WR, Vikings) -- Quickly becoming Brett Favre's favorite receiver on a team that could not get any hotter, Rice officially solidified the fact that he can consistently produce as a fantasy player. In his past four games, Rice put up 56 yards with a touchdown, 70 yards with a touchdown, 61 yards and, Sunday, 176 yards. Rice looks like at least a No. 2 wide receiver going forward.
Hakeem Nicks (WR, Giants) -- I'm beginning to feel like a broken record with this guy, but Nicks is the man. Once in a while you just get that feeling on a guy, and Nicks has been that guy for me ever since the preseason. But when we saw him leave Nnamdi Asomugha in the dust on a fly pattern last week, I knew he was special. Sunday, he finally had his coming-out party in a regular-season game, catching five passes for 114 yards and a 37-yard touchdown. Rarely do we see a receiver with this type of big-play potential come along. With Steve Smith and Mario Manningham competing for looks, consistency will likely pose a problem from time to time, but this will not be the last big game we see from Nicks this year. Sunday marks three straight weeks with a touchdown catch.
Chris Brown (RB, Texans) -- Brown definitely goes on the "watch" list as opposed to representing a pick-up opportunity, given that he only gained 45 yards, but there is potential here going forward. The Texans appear to be losing their patience with Steve Slaton as their every-down running back. He carried the ball 19 times for only 43 yards and lost a fumble. Slaton clearly plays a huge role in the passing game -- catching six passes for 102 yards and a touchdown Sunday -- but this could result in a Reggie Bush type of situation circa 2006-2008.
Mohamed Massaquoi (WR, Browns) -- Just as it looked like the popular rookie with the big bust-out game in Week 4 was a fluke, maybe he's not. Massaquoi bounced back after a non-existent Week 5 with five catches for 83 yards, giving new life to his potential for the remainder of the season.
Lance Moore (WR, Saints) -- A lot of owners severed ties with Moore prematurely after he suffered poor numbers due to issues with injuries earlier in the season. Coming off the bye week, Moore looked close to 100 percent and finally tallied some decent stats Sunday for the Saints (who didn't?). Moore caught six passes for a total of 78 yards and a touchdown. He should make a nice addition to any lineup going forward and remains available in about half of all leagues.
Justin Fargas (RB, Raiders) -- In a move bound to occur sooner or later -- as it does seemingly every season -- the Raiders made the move back to Fargas as the workhorse running back. Sunday, he carried the lion's share of the ground game, picking up 87 yards on 23 tries against a solid Eagles defense. The question remains what will happen when Darren McFadden returns, but the Raiders actually won a game. So, the smart money would say the Raiders stick with what finally worked: Fargas.
Laurence Maroney (RB, Patriots) -- In a 59-0 shellacking, it's probably wise to take just about everything with a grain of salt. Still, the ever-frustrating Patriots backfield produced another big one, this time with Maroney as the benefactor. With Sammy Morris leaving injured, Maroney carried the ball 16 times for 123 yards, including a 45-yard touchdown run. Who knows what this really means, since Bill Belichick fooled us once with Fred Taylor already this season. No guarantees with Belichick keeping everyone guessing with this unit on a weekly basis, but Maroney certainly made a good case for himself.
Jermichael Finley (TE, Packers) -- Finley stirred up some waiver wire action two weeks ago and showed owners exactly why Sunday. Finley posted solid tight end numbers, catching five balls for 54 yards. While not earth-shattering, Finley continues to show up for the offense. He and quarterback Aaron Rodgers seem to have a nice chemistry, so look for this role to grow as the season rolls on, especially on those cold Lambeau days.