During the California gold rush in the 1800s, thousands of everyday Americans packed up whatever earthly possession they could cram into a covered wagon and headed West in search of one big payday.
Every week, gold is sitting on your waiver wire, just waiting for you to spot the sparkle.
Had you not drafted a team before the season began, but were allowed to have first crack at the waiver wire every week, here is an example of the team you could have used in Week 5.
QB: Kyle Orton
RBs: Peyton Hillis / Brandon Jackson
WRs: Brandon Lloyd / Roy Williams / Anthony Armstrong
TE: Mercedes Lewis
Unless you play in super-deep leagues, most, if not all, of those players could be had off the waiver wire in Week 1. So, when it comes to prospecting, it is well worth the effort to find the gold, because it may pay off handsomely later in the season.
The image of Matthew Stafford in street clothes is the reason he is owned in only 23 percent of leagues.
During the preseason, Stafford looked to be a beast in a solid offense. Following his shoulder injury in Week 1, Stafford has spent the rest of the season on the bench rehabbing his shoulder.
But don't let the street clothes fool you.
Stafford should return in Week 8, following the Lions' bye week in Week 7. Standing in for Stafford, QB Shaun Hill has given potential Stafford owners a glimpse of what to expect, putting up over 1,200 yards and eight touchdowns through just four weeks of play.
If you are using any of the following QBs as your primary option, Stafford would make a solid play during their bye week: Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, Eli Manning, Michael Vick, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Phillip Rivers.
QB Josh Freeman has progressed at a very impressive rate.
In fact, the entire Tampa Bay offense, for being as young as it is, has progressed very quickly. If the offense continues to improve, Freeman should be owned in more than the 13 percent of leagues in which he is currently owned.
Facing a solid Cincinnati Bengals defense in Week 5, Freeman threw for 280 yards and one touchdown.
Freeman has not yet reached the level of being worth a start every week, but does face off against three below-average passing defenses the next three weeks: at home against New Orleans, at home against St. Louis, and on the road facing Arizona.
Keep an eye on Freeman heading into your 2011 fantasy football drafts. He will likely be one of the hot sleepers on an up-and-coming offense.
RB Marshawn Lynch has traveled across the country to settle into his new digs in Seattle.
Hopefully, Lynch will avoid hitting pedestrians in his new hometown.
Seahawks head coach Pete Carrol has stated that Lynch will be integrated in to the offense early and often, and he should soon be worthy of a flex start in most leagues.
While Lynch will get a good number of opportunities behind an offensive line that is far superior to the line he ran behind in Buffalo. RB Justin Forsett will not be a forgotten man, and will take some third-down work from Lynch.
Add Lynch if you need a lottery ticket for later in the season.
RB Reggie Bush has been out of action since Week 2 when he broke a bone in his leg. Bush should return to action between Weeks 8 and Weeks 10, although Week 10 is the Saints' bye week and the Saints may be overly cautious and wait until after the bye to bring Bush back.
Bush is owned in 67 percent of leagues, so he might have been dropped in your league due to bye week issues. If he's sitting out there in your points per reception league, take a shot if you have the room on your bench. He will reward you later as a good flex play.
When Starks returns to game action after getting off of the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, he'll be at worst a short yardage option for the struggling Green Bay Packers offense, and at best he will take the starting job from an inconsistent Brandon Jackson.
Starks is the definition of prospecting, but if you are in a large league, or a league with plenty of bench spots, Starks is a guy you should stash and hope that he pans out.
Blount did not have the impact that many thought in Week 5 following his six carry, 27 yard showing in Week 3 against the Steelers.
But Blount is still a solid option in deeper leagues as RB Cadillac Williams is simply not getting the job done at three yards per carry, and the coaching staff will need to find alternative methods of production.
With two consecutive games of solid production, it's time to pay attention. In the last two games, Williams has posted 204 yards and three touchdowns.
The Cowboys offense is solid, and Williams will continue to get opportunities to produce. He may be a bit inconsistent going forward, but for a guy you picked up on waivers and will likely only spot start, he'll be a pretty good option.
Rams' WR Mark Clayton tore up his knee on Sunday and is officially out for the 2010 season. Amendola stepped in to fill the void left by Clayton amassing 12 receptions for 95 yards.
It's not yet clear how the wide receiver situation will play out in St. Louis, but WRs Laurent Robinson and Brandon Gibson should occupy the outside spots, with Amendola continuing to play the slot.
As we saw in Week 1 with Clayton, QB Sam Bradford has the tendency to lock on to a receiver, and Amendola could be gold in points per reception leagues.
Britt battled weight issues coming in to camp, and had been outplayed by WR Justin Gage through four weeks of the year. But Britt got the start in Week 5 and came through with 86 yards and a touchdown.
We might be seeing the reemergence of one of Vince Young's favorite receivers from last year. Britt has scored a touchdown in each of the last three weeks, so he's worth an add to your squad.
TE Brandon Pettigrew has been one of QB Shaun Hill's favorite targets of late. Pettigrew has put up solid numbers every week since Week 2, and finally found the end zone in Week 5.
With the passing attack developing in Detroit, Pettigrew should at least have many opportunities for some big weeks.
TE Marcedes Lewis is, believe it or not, a former first round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Up until 2010, he seemed like a forgotten man. But no more.
Lewis is a constant red zone threat, and has been stealing touchdowns from RB Maurice Jones-Drew for five consecutive weeks.
Lewis is an option if you're struggling at the tight end position, but he will be inconsistent as he has little value if he doesn't find the end zone.
I hope you enjoyed this week's look at the waiver wire.
If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me a message, or contact me on Twitter @NathanWaddell
May your domination continue, or your comeback begin.