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Grinders and Gambles – Week 4

Welcome to Week 4’s collection of pickups for leagues where your bench and/or waiver wire is thin. 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.

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



Andy Dalton Don’t let last week fool you. He is still a “Grinder,” he is just a “Grinder” with upside now that he has so much talent around him he could probably play blindfolded and still score. The fact that he has shown better poise and decision making is a bonus. If for some reason he is still sitting around on a wire, grab him.

Ryan Fitzpatrick I go fetal every time I have to put a New York Jet on here but football’s smartest player has been everything you have come to expect. He is going to toss a few to the other team but he should get you 15-25 points a week depending on the format even with the Jets’ banged up receiving corps.


Running Back

Bilal Powell With Chris Ivory being (surprise!) injured, Powell is getting more work. Yes, that is two Jets on the same page, my cousins in Jersey would be so proud.

Charles Sims – I loved Sims this spring and summer but as preseason came upon us the love for Doug Martin by the team seemed to be pushing Sims’ value lower and lower. That makes him a bargain and still available in many leagues. He has great “Grinder” points-per-reception league value, getting you 8–12 points a week.

Darren McFadden

Cowboys RB Darren McFadden.

This is a 1-2 week guy at best assuming he doesn’t pull a quad reading this. Joseph Randle is still the guy, Christine Michael may very well be coming, and McFadden is still made of paper mâché, but with Tony Romo out, Dallas is going to run and McFadden should eke you out 5-10 points if you are suffering from the bye week blues. I don’t see a huge upside but he’s a good fill-in for rosters where you need points or are riding some “Gambles.”


Wide Receiver

Allen Hurns He is a good points-per-reception league “Grinder” with some upside. Keep in mind, his Week 3 was made by a long touchdown but he looks like he might be a 4-5-catch for 50-70 yards guy. He has been limited this week so keep an eye on his practice reports.

John Brown This is the last place I ever thought I would list John Brown and I assume he will eventually reach a point where he gets so good he doesn’t qualify for this article. With the Carson PalmerLarry Fitzgerald renaissance making the world (and my fantasy teams) a better place, Brown has provided his owners flex/”Grinder” numbers. Right now he is a “Grinder” with fantastic upside.


Tight End

Gary Barnidge What? I know he is always on here. Someone needs to like him! He was silly good last week as a “Gamble” but I expect him to be a low-end “Grinder” with upside most weeks. As long as Josh McCown is at quarterback, he should at least get you 5-10 points in a PPR league as a safety valve.

Zach Ertz Ertz has been a huge disappointment this year but Philadelphia is starting to look up and Ertz is another low-end “Grinder” with upside.

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