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.
Another week is in the books and we are starting to get a better feel for this year’s football landscape.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay – I stand corrected. Technically, it was a slight decrease in points but “Fitzmagic” hasn’t turned into “Fitztragic” yet. I am always going to worry when I start him due to his volatile numbers. Will the Steelers be his Kryptonite? Maybe, but he makes a fun gamble. He also may be keeping the job.
Joe Flacco, Baltimore – Reality has come crashing in this week for the Ravens. With that said, Flacco has been steady for fantasy football. He should make a nice grinder with some upside.
Blake Bortles, Jaguars – Bortles is another quarterback who is going to be inconsistent but potentially fun to play. Even when Blake was really bad, he had some great fantasy days.
Josh Rosen, Arizona – Deep league, dynasty, and superflex owners should look at picking up Rosen. The Cards are looking terrible. You do have to keep in mind that the Rams defense is legit and Bradford might bounce back against Chicago but Allen is worth a grab for those needing a deeper dive.
Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills – Deep leagues and superflexes owners should take a look at Allen. He has been terrible but in his defense, it was his first start and I am pretty sure that the Bills accidentally provided their receivers oven mitts instead of gloves on Sunday. He is a desperation gamble.
Running back became dire quick and, as always, it is the thinnest position on the wire.
Corey Clement and Darren Sproles, Philadelphia – Sproles was out for this week’s game and his catches were picked up by Clement. We could see those catches being divided up upon Sproles’ return. Clement should have PPR value during Sproles absence. Sproles is the cheaper back, but Clement is the clear pick up for now.
Corey Grant, Jacksonville – Fournette’s hamstring kept him out this week. Grant is another PPR grab who may be able to eke you out some points even upon Fournette’s return.
Chris Ivory, New York Jets – McCoy is banged up but he should be playing in Week 3. If he wears down or his injury worsens, there are some points to be squeezed out of the Buffalo offense if you are desperate enough. Chris Ivory will most likely be the favored back in the offense if McCoy goes down. Ivory may have lost a step but he still offers a seasoned veteran presence that is needed. Another back to keep an eye on is Marcus Murphy. Murphy is only worth a flier in deep leagues and leagues that award points for return yards as an end of the bench stash but he needs to catch the ball if he wants to stay on the field.
An Indianapolis running back – If you are a Mixon owner you may be scrambling for a running back. Nyheim Hines was the back that scored but Marlon Mack and Jordan Wilkins look to be the better targets. The backs received equal carries and with Wilkins receiving 3 passing targets and Mack getting 2, Mack may be on your wire if an impatient owner dropped him but Wilkins will be on most wires. Wilkins will also be the cheaper buy. If you are a Mixon owner that needs someone to fill in for the next few weeks take a shot at Mack or Wilkins. Both could turn into grinders.
Giovanni Bernard, Cincinnati – He should be on a team in PPR but if he isn’t, he should be a priority target. With Joe Mixon looking at several weeks of recovery from a knee procedure, Bernard could step up for fantasy owners.
Javorius “Buck” Allen, Baltimore – Buck Allen has been an active part of the passing game for the past two weeks. Keep in mind some of his value comes from touchdowns (which are harder to predict) but Allen is making a case for himself as a PPR grinder.
Aaron Jones, Green Bay – Jones returns this week and has an opportunity to carve out a role in a rather anemic backfield.