Monday - Sep 21, 2020

Home / Commentary / Grinders and Gambles – Week 16

Grinders and Gambles – Week 16

This is it kids, unless you are in one of those leagues that likes to watch owners scramble to cover resting starters, this is your Super Bowl. Hopefully you have a team where you aren’t asking these questions.

For those who are out but in dynasty, if you have access to your waiver wire, there may be someone who might be a nice gem for next season out there. Just don’t grab someone or cut someone that affects the teams still in it. Don’t be that guy.

Played together, “Grinders and Gambles” can help patch holes in a team or be the extra push you need to get those wins.

Don’t sit obvious plays for these guys. They are for when there are no obvious plays or you have question marks all over your bench. These are the guys for leagues where you need to go deeper.

I am going to add some dynasty/keeper notes in here for those who still have wire access or whose trading will open up at the end of this week. These are guys who may have been cut in shallower leagues and keeper leagues, and/or you may be able to trade for cheaply once trades reopen. I will also do some postseason articles with updates on bargains and patches.

In keeper leagues where you trade picks for keepers or leagues with salary caps, if your league allows you to launder a player (throw them back and buy them cheaper or grab them at a lower pick), there are quite a few guys on this list who qualify.

GRINDERS – The guys who will get you points in a pinch.


Alex Smith – It’s our last week together, I think I should leave him here. He will grind for you. He also makes a decent stash in deeper dynasty leagues as a dependable back up.


If you are playing musical quarterbacks with a bunch of backups right now and like to platoon or stream quarterbacks, these are some grinders to grab to start out your season next year. Everyone but Tony Romo can probably be laundered if you took them too high unless you are in a superflex/2QB league.

Alex Smith – See above. I don’t think there is a better backup for someone who is going to go high risk or stream and he can also be used in a platoon.

Joe Flacco – He probably was dropped down to an Injured Reserve spot but if you are in a keeper he may have been cut. Flacco is a grinder.

Tony Romo – I can’t believe I am actually sticking him on this list. It should be obvious that you should own Tony Romo in fantasy football. “But he chokes.” Okay, generally speaking when Tony Romo “chokes,” it involves throwing an interception after three or four touchdowns in some crazy shootout. If you are a Dallas fan the wins and losses matters. If you are playing fantasy football it doesn’t matter. Use Romo’s injury, age and that whole illusion that “Romo sucks” to get yourself a nice bargain at quarterback.

Ryan Tannehill – The hate is growing strong down here. He has his issues. We have so many needs he should be sticking around for a few more years. Who knows what the offseason will bring in Miami. Seriously though, don’t break the bank.


Running Back

Shaun Draughn – If he plays he should grind again but he will probably be a low-end grinder with Blaine Gabbert struggling and potentially losing touches to preserve his health.

Charcandrick West – The timeshare cut into both players value but without Spencer Ware, West is a great start. He will give you low-end grinding if Ware is getting snaps, and is a grinder with crazy upside without Ware. If you are trying to patch holes West should serve as a great patch.

Bilal Powell – I know he is probably owned in your league and has been. I just saw a league where he is on the wire. He has been on fire the last few weeks. New England is a tough matchup but Powell should come through for you. High-end grinder.


Khiry Robinson – He was getting grinder numbers week to week. With the amount of injuries this year he could have been cut to make room for another player. If you need some running back depth he could be a nice add.

Duke Johnson/Isaiah Crowell – I really have spent far more time talking about Cleveland players than I ever expected this year. Both backs have been getting grinder numbers with upside. Both backs have enough talent to carve out a roll next year if they stick around. Johnson probably went high and in leagues where your keepers have a cost you may be able to launder Johnson.

Wide Receiver

Jerricho Cotchery – Grinding.

Marvin Jones – Grinding.

Brandon LaFell – Grinding.

Cotchery and Jones both have the same grinder potential with upside this week. If you need an 8-12 point floor, these guys should give it to you. LaFell is going against the New York Jets so that lowers his floor some. I would almost move him to gambles.


Stevie Johnson – He has been banged up for a while and may be available for a buy low or sitting on the wire. With a healthy Keenan Allen he is still a grinder.


Tight End

Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Grinding and you need to own him in dynasty.

Will Tye – Grinding. If you are playing in a dynasty/keeper he may be overlooked because of the question marks surrounding him. Grab him if you have the room. He is a rookie grinding at tight end.

Zach Miller – A decent grind this week.

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