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.
Case Keenum, Minnesota Vikings
Case Keenum with five wins. Everyone clearly saw this coming in the preseason. Keenum may not keep the job much longer but how do you remove the guy when you are winning games? Keenum has shown a grinder floor so far. Use him if you need help. If you are in a deeper league or superflex you may want to stash Teddy Bridgewater too.
Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars
Because your league hoards quarterbacks and/or you play in a superflex. He is playing against the despondent Browns this week if you need help. Of course, Blake Bortles may cheer the Browns defense up. Gamble.
Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
Flacco is available in plenty of leagues and you can limp through the Week 11 bye with low end grinder numbers if you need help.
Drew Stanton/Blaine Gabbert, Arizona Cardinals
Pay attention to Stanton’s injury this week. If you are crazy thin at QB Stanton could be deployed as part of a matchup platoon to make it through the season. Arizona has Houston this week and the entirety of Houston is on the IR so they will make a nice spot start if you need help.
Tom Savage, Houston Texans
Because every other quarterback in the NFL is on a roster in your league. He has a pulse, he is a starter, he has some talent at receiver, but he is Tom Savage. Sometimes in single quarterback leagues teams will stockpile quarterbacks to try and trade. Trade deadlines are coming up and some of those quarterbacks will be re-entering the pool in the next few weeks. This is a decent match up if you are playing chicken with a league trying to starve you out at quarterback.
Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers
This is probably a last call in most leagues. Ekeler had a great game this week and should be a hot pick up. He shares that backfield so he is a gamble right now but worth the risk.
Devontae Booker , Denver Broncos
Booker is a low end grinder right now. If your league gives out return yards to players you should definitely add Booker. He may be returning more balls this week as Denver makes a change. PPR grinding right now.
Charles Sims, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sims has lived in the grinder section until this year. It was nice to see Tampa finally give him a few targets. Is he ever going to be a break out candidate? Not even a little bit. Can he become a PPR grinder again? Yes. He is a gamble this week against Miami while the Bucs figure out what they are doing.
Jamaal Williams, Green Bay Packers
He will probably top the charts on adds this week. He is a gamble but he may be the last man standing in Green Bay. Notice I used the word MAY and not WILL. Ty Montgomery might be playing this week. Gamble
Samaje Perine, Washington
Rob Kelley may be shut down at this point and Perine should see more carries as a result. The Saints took offense to my turnstile jokes and have tightened up on defense but don’t worry, Week 12 is the Giants. He should grind out some points for you week to week but his schedule isn’t playoff friendly though, so keep that in mind.
Benny Cunningham, Chicago Bears
I know, Benny Cunningham right? He had flashed a bit as a Ram and Chicago seems to prefer him over Tarik Cohen right now. Cunningham could make a nice PPR gamble for the next few weeks. The match up against Philly should be interesting.