Saturday - Feb 23, 2019

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GRINDERS & GAMBLES: Week 2

There is nothing like the glorious start of football season! The excitement, the hope, the hate for your rivals. Once again we enter into another fantasy football season as the landscape is being set.

You may be basking in your glory or in a full panic after last weekend. You don’t have enough laurels to rest upon yet and/or your season isn’t over no matter how big of a dumpster fire your appears to be. It is Week 1, some of these players barely played in the preseason and they need to shake some rust off.

With that said, don’t hesitate to make some moves on the wire especially if you lost a player or two this weekend.

Quarterback

Case Keenum, DenverCase Keenum fared well in his first start in Denver. He should provide steady grinder numbers for you this season if you need some help.

Joe Flacco, Baltimore – Flacco is playing with the fire of a man who needs to find a job because he most likely will need a job soon. Baltimore went after Jackson and it is hard to imagine they are planning on having him riding the pine for the next few years. He should be a matchup play as either part of a platoon or as a streaming quarterback.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay – If you are expecting last week to be repeated against Philadelphia, you are probably wrong. I have a feeling we are seeing the early season turnstile defense from New Orleans that it had last year. New Orleans tightened up as the season went on and Philadelphia (who the Bucs get next) has a much better defense. Fitzpatrick is a pure gamble and Jameis Winston should be returning in Week 6. Of course, Winston hasn’t been great on the field and keeps running into trouble off the field.

Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams – Goff should grind you some points week to week with a decent floor and some upside but keep your expectations reasonable.

Blaine Gabbert, Tennessee – Because you are in a two-quarterback league. He is Blaine Gabbert. It is too bad New Orleans scooped up Teddy Bridgewater because Marcus Mariota looked bad before the elbow injury. Gabbert is probably the only person who couldn’t unseat Mariota right now.

Running Back

Phillip Lindsay, Denver – Lindsay flashed a bit in the preseason and looked great last week. He is probably going to be the hot pick-up of the week so be prepared to spend to get him. He shared reps equally with Freeman (both ended up with the same yardage too).  If you can’t get a hold of him, wait until after Week 3. The Baltimore defense looks legit and you may be able to trade for him or grab him if a disappointed owner dumps his shares.

Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers, and Jalen Richard, Oakland – I am putting these guys together because they are both gambles that are not the lead back for their teams. Richard had five rushing attempts and nine receptions while Ekeler had five rushing attempts and five receptions. They both flashed last year as well. They both can be dynamic, they both have great handcuff potential, and both are gambles. I expect an improvement from last year for them both but I also expect inconsistency. They are worth a grab in points per reception leagues (PPR) to see if the teams continue to utilize them as pass catchers on a more consistent basis.

The rest – All of the cash and top waiver picks will be for Lindsay and Ekeler. Here are some picks for the budget-minded or later waiver grabs.

Kerryon Johnson, Detroit – He is probably on a roster right now but I would keep an eye out for someone dropping him in shallower redraft leagues. It was a pure running back by committee situation in Detroit but Johnson looked good and you can only hope that after a dumpster fire game like that, Detroit rebounds. LeGarrette Blount left the game with an injury that may give Johnson a few more carries but he will have to share time with …

Theo Riddick, Detroit – Sometimes you go to the junkyard to find the parts you need for a repair. Riddick will always grind a few points out for PPR as the third down back. With the team getting crushed by the New York Jets and Matthew Stafford having a Jay Cutler‘esque meltdown, the team should look to slow things down a bit and work on that running game.

Darren Sproles, Philadelphia – Sproles caught 4-of-7 targets and had five rushing attempts. It was completely uninspiring. Philadelphia came in rusty and the game was rough. If Sproles isn’t on your wire he may end up there. He has a good schedule coming up until they run into Minnesota in Week 5 and should be able to grind you out some points in PPR.

Alfred Blue, HoustonLamar Miller is the bell cow but Blue got a few carries and vultured a touchdown from Miller. He is worth a gamble in deep leagues to see how this week turns out.

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