Sunday - Jan 17, 2021

Home / Lineup / GRINDERS & GAMBLES: Week 4


Grinders and Gambles is duct tape for teams in need of help. This list is for deeper leagues or for those in shallower leagues who are picking up players in free agency after waivers have run.

  • Grinders are the guys that will get you some points. They may not have an upside but they will grind out 5-15 depending on your scoring.
  • Gambles can get you a goose egg but also have tremendous upside.

Another week is in the books and we are starting to get a better feel for this year’s football landscape.




Ryan Tannehill, Miami – As we all know, the Dolphins exist to crush my hopes and dreams. They are 3 – 0 and leading the division and I am sure we all saw that coming. I expect a mid-season meltdown soon as they’re still the Dolphins; I am enjoying the wins while I can but I also live in reality. Keep your expectations low; just ask fantasy teams who are invested in the Miami running game. Tanny could grind some points out for you if you are hurting at QB.

Eli Manning, New York Giants – The downside of being an Eli owner is he is wildly inconsistent. The upside is he has ridiculous talent around him and will have some ridiculous games. If you are streaming quarterback, Manning has the Saints this week, so he should make a good play. He can also be used in a platoon as a match up play.


Josh Allen, Buffalo – I know I am supposed to root against division rivals but the unpredictable chaos that is football transcends team loyalty. That was a fun quarter and a half. Allen will be a gamble all season.

Josh Rosen, Arizona – He did not have the best start on Sunday but that was a tough situation to be thrown into. Rosen is only a must grab for deep leagues and superflex leagues. Rosen, like Allen, will be a gamble for the season as he adapts to the NFL.




Chris Ivory and Marcus Murphy, New York Jets – Ivory will be the hot pickup for the week. If he is still out there, he is the player you focus on getting. He should grind for owners while McCoy is injured. Murphy is a deep dive who is only eking out a few points per game but in deep leagues he should be stashed on a bench.

Wendell Smallwood and Josh Adams, Philadelphia – So I made a joke to a friend of mine Sunday morning about it being a Wendell Smallwood day. With Ajayi and Sproles banged up, the Eagles decided everyone who was healthy got a carry and it was actually a Smallwood day. Clement is probably on rosters from last week but Smallwood should be out there and available. This week is probably not going to be pretty but maybe Smallwood gets you 8-12 points in PPR leagues? If you are in very deep leagues, you may want to grab Josh Adams and see how the injury situation shakes out as most of the Eagles backfield are probably on a first name basis with the teams athletic trainers.


Jalen Richard, Oakland – Richard is a gamble for PPR leagues. Richard has prospered as a target as Carr continues to meltdown.

Tavon Austin, Dallas – Things are ugly in Dallas right now and Elliot is the unquestioned work horse back here. If you are desperate and need a gamble, Austin is a gadget player that counts as a running back in many formats and he is available in almost all leagues.

LeGarrette Blount, Detroit –  He has been dropped in plenty of leagues and it is Johnson’s backfield but Blount is the king of touchdown vultures so if you need a body, he is worth a gamble.

About Lisa London

I suffer from an undying obsession with fantasy football. Former Lee Evans owner, I am not proud. Admitting you have a problem is the first step, I would get to the second one but I have lineups to set. Follow me on Twitter @leedoglaw