A week ago, Evan Moore was nothing more than a practice squad player on one of the league's worst franchises. For a pro football player, that's about as low as it gets without being out of the game entirely. On Saturday, however, the tight end was elevated to the Browns' gameday roster, and on Sunday he offered a nice debut: six catches for 80 yards against San Diego.
Quarterback Brady Quinn targeted Moore 11 times in the loss -- a remarkable statistic for a guy who was scraping to get by only a few days prior. As compared to the team's other wide receivers and tight ends, only Brian Robiskie put up comparable numbers against the Chargers.
With so many Browns players dealing with injuries, Moore could be a quiet savior for fantasy owners in the final weeks of the season.
Here are a few other waiver wire candidates to consider ...
RB Eldra Buckley, Philadelphia
Hey, why not? In Week 12 Buckley was given a goal-line carry in the fourth quarter that tied the game against Washington. On Sunday, against Atlanta, the first-year back out of Tennessee-Chattanooga carried eight times for 33 yards. The Eagles are experimenting with different backfield combinations as they make a run for the playoffs. Buckley is no LeSean McCoy or Brian Westbrook, but if he continues to earn the team's favor near the goal line, he might be worthy of a roster spot for a fantasy team thin at running back.
WR Lance Long, Kansas City
Long has been a bit player in Kansas City's passing game this year, the only real highlight being an eight-catch, 74-yard effort in Week 9 against Jacksonville. This past Sunday, however, Long showed potential, if for nothing by having eight balls thrown in his direction. Only Bobby Wade was given more looks in the passing game. The desperate Chiefs will continue to throw the ball 40-plus times each contest, as they did on Sunday against Denver, meaning Long could get more opportunities down the final stretch.
TE Zach Miller, Jacksonville
No, not that Zach Miller (Oakland), the other one -- the guy who led all Jaguars receivers on Sunday with 74 yards on three catches. Miller had been spotty for much of the year but he has slowly developed as one of David Garrard's emerging targets in the team's new-look passing offense. Like the other names on this list, Miller is a gamble -- why else would he be available in Week 13? -- but he could offer tight end help to those fantasy teams in need.
Here is a look at this week's buy and sell candidates:
QB Vince Young, Tennessee
Coming off his first loss of the season, Young's asking price should be down from where it was. Now is the perfect time to pounce. The Titans have three winnable games remaining, and the schedule should favor strong play for Young. The Dolphins, Seahawks and Rams all rank in the bottom half of the league in pass defense. Only the Chargers could present problems, and even they are a mid-level unit in terms of touchdown passes allowed and completion percentage. If you are not on board already, it's time to show a little faith in Young.
RB Steven Jackson, St. Louis
Life could be worse for the Rams' only legitimate offensive weapon. Dealing with injuries that have caused him to miss practice time over the last few weeks, Jackson has still performed well for fantasy owners on Sunday. In the next four weeks he'll face four middle-of-the-road run defenses. Of them, only San Francisco should strike fear. And Jackson will get another crack at an Arizona club that he rushed for 116 yards and a score on only a few weeks ago. Jackson should have a strong finish for a pathetic Rams team competing for the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft.
TE Todd Heap, Baltimore
The biggest passing play of Heap's night on Monday was the one A.J. Hawk stole in front of him in the fourth quarter. That aside, Heap caught five of the 10 balls Joe Flacco threw at him for 52 yards -- his best output since Week 1 (74 yards against Kansas City). Heap has largely been a disappointment for fantasy owners this year (no touchdowns since Week 2) but as the weather turns, and Baltimore becomes even more conservative on offense, Heap's workload will increase.
QB Eli Manning, New York Giants
Over the past four games, Manning has thrown seven touchdowns and has averaged more than 250 passing yards. Not bad. In December those numbers are going to head south, however, and it's time for fantasy owners to bail last second, if possible. The Giants finally found their running game in last weekend's win over Dallas, and as much as they'd like for Manning to guide them into the playoffs, the matchups suggest it'll be tough going for the Giants passing game. Manning struggled against Philadelphia in the first meeting this year, and Carolina's pass defense has allowed just 12 passing touchdowns all year. And the season finale against Minnesota won't be a treat for New York's signal caller, either.
WR Brandon Marshall, Denver
Do what you want, but there is reason to believe Marshall-the-Great will struggle in these final weeks. His next two opponents (Indianapolis and Oakland) rank among the top five in the league for fewest passing touchdowns allowed, and a date with Oakland means Marshall will have to lock horns with all-world corner Nnamdi Asomugha. Another opponent, Philadelphia, will be no push over for Marshall, either. While it's true Denver will pull out all of the stops to keep its place in the playoff pecking order, life on Marshall will be hard along the way.
WR Davone Bess, Miami
Bess has a bright future in Miami, as he has slowly emerged as the team's primary receiver for Chad Henne. On Sunday he offered fantasy owners his first 100-yard performance of the year. It would be wise for fantasy owners to shop Bess now, though, as it's unlikely the second-year player will put up numbers like this again this season. Of Miami's remaining four contests, three are against the hungry teams of the AFC South, while the fourth will be against a Pittsburgh squad that could be in a life-or-death situation in Week 17.
Mike Beacom is a contributing writer for FootballDiehards.com.