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.
For most leagues this is the final week of fantasy football. Whether you are competing in a Super Bowl or a Toilet Bowl, the wire is thin as even more players are falling.
I feel like this is going to be an amazing week for defenses with so many young quarterbacks and backups facing tough match ups. On top of that, I have it on good authority that it is winter in most places which can make a game tougher.
Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
He is the quarterback I feel most comfortable starting out of the bunch because I expect a grinder floor. Flacco put up solid numbers against the Browns and gets Indy this week. You could do worse if you are in a pinch.
Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles
Foles did well against the Giants. Oakland should put up more of a fight and I would temper expectations this week. It is in Philly though so this could turn into a dumpster fire game for the Raiders.
Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills
You are playing him in the hopes of a blow out that will give you garbage time production. I know New England has been mortal this year but it is at Foxboro and their defense has been stepping up.
Kapri Bibbs, Washington
He should be a decent gamble in PPR. He is going up against his old team but this isn’t exactly a storied type of game and the Broncos defense is still legit. Cousins could check down to him which would give him a serviceable stat line this week.
Peyton Barber, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Barber is a gamble. He is in a crowded backfield and the Panthers defenders are probably going to eat a delicious win this week against the struggling Bucs.
Wayne Gallman, New York Giants
Darkwa is there, the Giants are a mess, and “Eli face” is still throwing the ball, but it is desperation time and Gallman could eke you out a few points this week.
Elijah McGuire, New York Jets
It is still a crowded backfield but McGuire might see an uptick in work this week as the Jets resign themselves to a dumpster fire season.
Benny Cunningham, Chicago Bears
He is a desperation gamble. Maybe he catches some balls, maybe Tarik Cohen catches them, maybe there are no balls to catch. If you are down to scrubs on your wire and need to pull a few points out of the air, Cunningham might come through for you.
Shane Vereen, New York Giants
Vereen has been a low end PPR grinder. If you just need 5-10 points at the position he should come through for you.
Javorius “Buck” Allen
Santa Clause is far more stout than the Indy defense but the Indy defense is giving out more gifts this holiday season. Santa may have toys to give but Indy is giving rushing yards, passing yards, and fantasy points to all. Buck Allen is a nice gamble this week.