Wednesday - Oct 21, 2020

Home / Commentary / GRINDERS and GAMBLES: WEEK 12


Grinders and Gambles is waiver wire duct tape for teams needing to go a little deeper on wires.

Grinders are the guys who will get you some points. They may not have an upside but they will grind out 5-15 points depending on your scoring.

Gambles can get you a goose egg but also have tremendous upside.

(D) added Dynasty/Keeper value

Wubby Alert – Potential security blanket for a team or quarterback.


Jared Goff He is against New Orleans, which is like football Christmas. (D).

Ryan Fitzpatrick – He is terrible but if you are in a pinch in a multi-quarterback league he is there.

Matt Barkley – You are in a multi-quarterback league and all of your flexes are broken or for some reason you have access to no other starting quarterbacks.

Josh McCown – He is a starting quarterback and will get you some points. Well, hopefully on the points.

For shallower leagues – If you lost Andrew Luck and need a patch, underperforming guys like Carson Wentz or Colin Kaepernick may be available. Wentz has Green Bay this week.

Because you are a masochist – Scott Tolzien will most likely be starting this week. This is a particularly savvy pickup in leagues where you get bonus points for throwing interceptions and not looking like a football player.

Because you are crazy desperate –  Chad Henne. This is for those leagues where everyone with a pulse ends up on a roster at some point. Bortles has had an ugly season so far but he shouldn’t lose his job to Henne because…HE IS Chad Henne. Bortles is a bit banged up though. If his injury is exasperated then the team may pull him and put Henne in. At this point they are competing for pride…and a really high draft pick.



Kenneth Dixon  He is still just grinding out a few points. He may get dropped. If your team looks like center stage from Code Black, you may want to grab him and hope to either eke a few points out of him or an uptick in his use. (D).

Dion Lewis  He is back. He should now be on your team.

Paul Perkins – Rashad Jennings has the job which means Perkins may be dropped. He hasn’t been bad and with as many injuries as there has been this year, stash him if you have room. (D).

Rex Burkhead – He will probably be the pickup of the week unless Cincinnati picks up someone. Someone needs to be a pass-catching back and that is what Burkhead does.

Wendell Smallwood – He is still making some noise. He obviously isn’t there (or shouldn’t be there) in dynasty but he may be on the wire in redraft. Bring him in as a GAMBLE at running back. (D).

I can’t imagine Mike Gillislee or Bilal Powell are on your wires, but they are GRABS in shallower leagues.

Oakland running backs Jamize OlawaleDeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard may be around. They are all pure GAMBLES and could completely blank you.

Darren McFadden – He is just being activated. Maybe he gets some work if that want to rest Ezekiel Elliott for playoffs. Alfred Morris is probably first in line for relief but they are both GAMBLES and really dependent on Dallas being able to rest Elliott.



Tyler Boyd – A.J. Green is down and hopefully Boyd will snag some points. He should already be on a roster in dynasty but may be floating around in redraft. GAMBLE. (D)

Malcolm Mitchell – If Chris Hogan and Rob Gronkowski are banged up again, Mitchell may be the recipient of that love. GAMBLE.

Taylor Gabriel – If you need a GAMBLE.

Adam Thielen – He has turned into a nice GRINDER.

Rishard Matthews – Why are he or Tajae Sharpe on wires? GRINDER and GAMBLE, respectively.

Albert Wilson – Tyreek Hill should not be available in any league with more than 10 teams nor in any dynasty league but Albert Wilson and Chris Conley will also get some looks while Jeremy Maclin is out. The bad news: Kansas City plays Denver this week and in Week 16. The good news is that Kansas City has Atlanta next week if you need a fill in for Terrelle Pryor or Rishard Matthews.

Braxton Miller – In really obvious news, Brock Osweiler is officially the new Matt Flynn. Congratulations on your purchase, Houston. There are no lemon laws in football. With that said, Will Fuller is banged up which means Braxton Miller might get some more targets.



Logan Paulsen and Ben Braunecker – Zach Miller is injured again and Matt Barkley is the quarterback. Things are about to get uglier for Chicago. (Who thought that could happen?) I would try and avoid all Chicago players completely for redraft if it is possible but if you are desperate, grab one of these guys. I like picking up Braunecker in deeper dynasty leagues as a GAMBLE/STASH (D).

Dion Sims – He caught a couple of balls. Desperation GAMBLE.

Will Tye – Low-end GRINDER at best right now.

Lance Kendricks – He is still floating around wires. He has New Orleans coming up so he is a GRINDER with upside.

Jack Doyle – He has the New York Jets in Week 13, which isn’t a terrible matchup, and he is on a waiver wire near you. He should resume his GRINDER status if Andrew Luck makes it back soon. He may grind either way. Dwayne Allen is also out there for 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