Brandon Lloyd (WR, Broncos) - While I cannot in good conscience recommend Kyle Orton as a roster addition just yet, the Broncos' passing offense looked much better than expected on Sunday. Of Orton's 295 yards passing, Brandon Lloyd pulled down 117 of those yards on five catches. By the looks of it, the Denver running game is not exactly explosive, so expect Orton to come up throwing a lot this season. Lloyd would appear to be a key benefactor, but he still needs to fend off rookies Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker for the starting job once they become active.
Jay Cutler (QB, Bears) - While the Bears seemed to want to lose this week's game, Jay Cutler quietly amassed a small mountain of passing yards, totaling 372 yards on 23 completions including two touchdowns in their narrow victory. Be careful here, though, as 151 of those yards and both touchdowns went to running back Matt Forte, and it was against the Lions, but Cutler looks worthy of at least backup and spot-start consideration moving forward.
Nate Washington (WR, Titans) - Washington raised eyebrows Sunday afternoon with a nice 56-yard TD among his three catches for 88 yards in a game where quarterback Vince Young only had to throw 17 times. The Titans clearly favor their running game, but it's naive to assume Young won't be expected to throw more than just 17 times per game going forward, and Washington looks to be emerging as the top target. The Titans are definitely not going to dominate every week like they did against this hapless Oakland team, but keep a close eye on Washington.
Mario Manningham (WR, Giants) - Coming into the season, Steve Smith and Hakeem Nicks earned all the fantasy hype, and Nicks certainly proved he deserved his share with three touchdowns on just four catches. Still, the third option, Super Mario Manningham, showed he has a key role in this passing offense. Manningham actually led the receiving corps in yardage with 85 and hauled in four balls for an average of over 20 yards per catch (long of 31).
Fred Taylor (RB, Patriots) - You know what they say, the Patriots' running game is like a slot machine -- pays off once in a while, but then it robs you clean. This year, however, Fragile Fred looks to have a pretty solid lock on the bulk of the workload as he carried the ball a respectable 14 times for 71 yards and caught a pair of passes as well. Kevin Faulk still played a material role, and Taylor's carries might dip once Laurence Maroney returns from a thigh injury, but he is the best runner on the team and looks healthy, so I think he's a good bet.
Peyton Hillis (RB, Browns) - The Browns have been tinkering with their running back depth chart and have reiterated their fondness for former Broncos fullback Peyton Hillis, so the fact that Hillis got an even nine carries with Jerome Harrison bodes well for his outlook. Hillis capitalized, gaining 41 yards and a touchdown to go with four catches for 24 yards. It's nothing to write home about, but if given the opportunity, Hillis could develop into a legitimate fantasy option in a hurry. Remember, it's happened before.
Brandon Jackson (RB, Packers) - With Ryan Grant hobbling off the field with an ankle injury and later appearing on the sidelines with the dreaded boot, Jackson looks like he might be in line for the starting job, at least in the next week or so. Grant's injury does not appear to be particularly serious, but Jackson is worth a spot in deep leagues. In Grant's absence, Jackson carried the ball 18 times for 63 yards and added two catches for 12 yards.
Michael Vick (QB, Eagles) - It may be premature to starting calling this a quarterback controversy in Philadelphia, but a) Kevin Kolb left the game with a concussion and b) Michael Vick played far better than Kolb did prior to his injury. With concussions being treated much more seriously these days in the NFL, causing players to miss significant time, Vick could be in line for some full-on starts in the coming weeks. On Sunday he ran for 103 yards on just 11 attempts and passed for 175 yards and a touchdown. It's hard to scoff at numbers like that, particularly against Charles Woodson and company. Make no mistake, Vick is a big gamble, but it's hard not to get a little excited by his performance.
Mike Williams (WR, Seahawks) - Both Mike Williamses had breakout days in Week 1, but Seattle Mike earns "feel-good story of the day" honors as the left-for-dead former-Lion led the Seahawks in receiving with four catches and 64 yards. Williams got a last chance from former college coach Pete Carroll in his first season as Seattle head coach, and Big Mike appears to be making the most of it, emerging as a leading threat for Seattle. Notably, while Williams' numbers may look a tad shy of serious fantasy consideration, he broke away on a 35-yard catch and run that came very close to being a touchdown, but got called down at the one-yard line.
Weeding through those unwieldy waiver wires requires a keen eye and a quick trigger. Thus, Waiver Wire Wonders provides a weekly snapshot of players worthy of consideration who should be available on a good portion of league waiver wires. Enjoy those pickups.