Wednesday - Feb 20, 2019

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Grinders and Gambles – Week 1

The first few weeks are the hardest of the season as we adjust our expectations to the cruel or exciting new realities that appear. Some of the players that you love will crash and burn others will exceed expectations. During this tumultuous time you are also trying to fill spots in your lineup for suspended and/or injured players that haven’t returned yet.

Here are some players that will hopefully carry you to victory.

GRINDERS

QUARTERBACK

Carson Palmer – Sean Peyton and Rob Ryan have been working on improving the Saints D over the last few years. They still look like a work in progress. They have had issues with their pass rush which is fortunate as the Arizona offensive line hasn’t been exemplary. Palmer will need to throw often against a potentially potent Saints offensive which will offset any mistakes by the defense. I expect Palmer to put up Grinder numbers of a QB14-18 while the offense shakes the rust off.

RUNNING BACK

Denard RobinsonT.J. Yeldon has been named the starter and should eventually claim the job, but Robinson has made a case for himself this preseason. This should be a RBBC against the Jags, and Robinson should get his share. Even if Yeldon is the lead back, you should be able to get 5-15 points from Robinson in a pinch.

Isaiah Crowell – With Duke Johnson‘s injuries preventing him from being more involved in the offense, the door has been left wide open for Crowell to start against a tough Jets D. If you are in a bind he might grind for you in what should be a game of field position.

Chris Ivory – It’s a tough matchup, but Ivory should be good for solid numbers in a slugfest with two QBs that have bounced around the league and two tough defenses. Both teams should be able to stick to the run. If you have Ivory get your starts in while he is healthy.

WIDE RECEIVER

Charles JohnsonJohnson snatched a starting role in Minnesota last year and isn’t letting go. The addition of Mike Wallace and return of Adrian Peterson and Kyle Rudolph means that there are more players in the mix for the ball, it also means defenders can’t focus on him. I expect Johnson to have a good floor and upside.

Larry Fitzgerald – Hey, do you remember when Fitz commanded an early round pick? Now a mid-round grab with a healthy Carson Palmer, he has a Grinder floor with upside.  He makes for a great start.

TIGHT END

Martellus Bennett – Tight end can be a difficult spot to get consistent production from but Bennett has a terrific floor and amazing upside. The injuries in Chicago should make him the apple of Cutler’s eye and a solid source of points for you.

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