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
His ownership is picking up. Still grinding.
Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills
I have no idea why the Bills thought…”hey we are in playoff contention, let’s bench our quarterback and start a rookie!” but the rest of the AFC East and the Chargers are grateful. The Bills are evaluating the two quarterbacks to determine who is starting this week. They have some nice matchups. If they decide to go back to Taylor he should make a great gamble. If they go with the rookie again, Marcus Peters should make a nice play in IDP leagues this week.
Blaine Gabbert, Arizona Cardinals
Blaine Gabbert wasn’t crushed by the Jags. I am as surprised as the many, many owners of the Jags D/ST were this weekend. It may one of those bizzaro world weeks and the universe will reset this week, but if you need help, Gabbert is a gamble. Keep in mind, he has some nice matchups during the fantasy playoff stretch.
Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
Beathard did not make it through the weekend and Jimmy G is getting the start. His schedule for fantasy playoffs isn’t ideal but if you platoon him, he may help you limp through to the playoffs. He has Houston Week 14. If he can pull it together he will make a decent gamble.
Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears
Superflex gamble but if you are scraping the bottom for a QB he has San Francisco this week. San Francisco defense – making even marginal quarterbacks look good.
Geno Smith, New York Giants
If you can stop laughing long enough to push the add button and need a body for a superflex, Geno Smith is getting the start. Just know you are starting a gamble who could zonk you this week. You are very desperate if you are still reading this and he is a pure, unadulterated, long shot gamble. Also, now is the time to look at stashing Davis Webb in superflex dynasty leagues.
Trying to roll the hard 6 – they need to take the starting spot and then not be terrible. Superflex and crazy deep leagues:
T.J. Yates, Houston Texans
Tom Savage has not been awesome…unless you are the opposing defense. He is amazing for other teams. Savage is “still the starter” but how long will that last? If he doesn’t pull it together this weekend we could see Yates taking over and if you are fighting for a playoff spot and will end up in the 5 or 6 seed, Houston has the 49ers in Week 14.
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
Captain Checkdown has to check down. Like Whoopi Goldberg and the kid from Sixth Sense, it seems that Smith might be seeing ghosts. He is back to dumping the ball off. Smith is a low end grinder right now. It is amazing the Chiefs haven’t yanked him yet but after the Nathan Peterman experiment failed, they may have some reservations replacing him. He just got the coaches “vote of confidence” so Mahomes should be stashed in deep leagues and 2 QB leagues to see how this shakes out.
Davis Webb, New York Giants
See Geno Smith above. With the way the season is going, the Giants are going to need to see what they have at quarterback. It wouldn’t be surprising if Webb comes in towards the end of the season.