Thursday - May 23, 2019

Home / Commentary / GRINDERS and GAMBLES: Week 4


Another week of players continue to break out and break down. “Grinders and Gambles” is waiver wire duct tape for teams needing to go a little deeper on wires.

Grinders are the guys who will get you some points. They may not have an upside but they will grind out 5-15 points depending on your scoring.

Gambles can get you a goose egg but also have tremendous upside.

GRAB – Highly recommended/buy now. Grabs are the players I think have the chance to exceed the Grinder/Gamble expectations.

(D)  added Dynasty/Keeper value.



Ryan Fitzpatrick – His performance this weekend was a lovely dish of sautéed choking in a dumpster fire Béchamel topped with a finely chopped case of color blindness. As a Miami fan, the meal was delicious. As a fantasy player, that was painful. Last week’s performance is why he isn’t leaving the Gambles section. The next few games may not be promising but he isn’t one to beat himself up after a bad day or spiral out of control. He has that very short memory you want in a quarterback; hopefully next week his memory will be strong enough to remember which color jersey his team wears. Seattle may be ugly, but depending on matchups he can definitely still be a GAMBLE.

Joe Flacco – When I said it wouldn’t be pretty, I didn’t expect it to be as bad as last weekend. This is waiver wire patching and he is still a GRINDER.

Carson Wentz – (D) So anyone hear about anything interesting happening in Pennsylvania over the weekend? Wentz has looked good. Remember he is still a rookie and he does have some tough matchups ahead. He also plays in the NFC East and is on bye this week. If you need depth or help GRAB/GAMBLE WITH UPSIDE.

Blaine Gabbert/Colin Kaepernick – Blaine Gabbert was terrible, but he plays Dallas this week and should bounce back some. The calls for Kaepernick to start have started and I am sure all of our social media feeds will be filled with the debate on so many levels. On the singular level of fantasy needs, this quarterback duo are both GAMBLES.

Cody Kessler –

Cleveland rookie QB Cody Kessler

He does have a pulse and is technically a quarterback. Your flex running backs and wide receivers will probably outscore him most weeks in superflex unless you are in a very deep league. Desperation GAMBLE.

Case Keenum – Even in a crushing victory, he was merely a decent fantasy start. He is already owned in multiple-quarterback leagues, but if he isn’t, give him a grab.

Trevone Boykin – Boykin looked good but he is still a rookie and behind Russell Wilson. He is a project for dynasty and maybe a desperation play if Wilson is out this week. (D)

Trevor Siemian – He crushed it for fantasy last week and he is playing Tampa Bay this week. GAMBLE/GRAB



Jay Ajayi – Desperation. Miami doesn’t love him even though he helped them prevail in Sunday’s train wreck. Miami could also just bring someone in, and probably will. That person will cost way too much money and like 27 picks. GAMBLE (D)

Dwayne Washington – Ameer Abdullah is still injured. The rookie might score you points week to week. GAMBLE (D)

Duke Johnson – Johnson is a points per reception GRINDER right now. Imagine what he would be if Cleveland wasn’t at the point where it was rotating a rookie and a former quarterback turned receiver? GRAB (D)

Karlos Williams and Knile Davis – If you have the room hold them. GAMBLE/STASH (D)

Bobby RaineyOrleans DarkwaPaul Perkins – Shane Vereen went down and may be out for the season (teams no longer have to designate their returning Injured Reserve player) Rashad Jennings may or may not be returning. The New York Giants running back by committee should be avoided unless you are desperate for points or just going Hail Mary one week. Bobby Rainey may be the guy for some points per reception value and Paul Perkins should already be owned in dynasty. GAMBLES (D)

Cameron Artis-Payne and Fozzy Whittaker – Cam Newton ‘Tolberted’ the rushing touchdown in a crushing loss for Carolina and a crushing loss of fantasy points. Whittaker is the safest play for a points per reception team. For dynasty, I am still on the Artis-Payne train. GRINDERS (D)

Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata – So that was a fun game. Expect to continue playing Three Card Monte for this backfield. GAMBLE IN A PINCH

Travaris Cadet – Just catching balls all night long. Points per reception GRINDER

C.J. Prosise and Alex Collins – Because I own several shares of Christine Michael. I know betting on my players to be injured sounds crazy but it is a proven method of success. If you have a deep roster go ahead and STASH/GAMBLE (D)

Jordan Howard – Everyone else in the Chicago backfield is banged up and Langford may or may not have a high ankle sprain. Howard has a good chance to be the guy. Keep in mind he is the guy in Chicago, with potentially Brian Hoyer at the helm and an offensive line made of paper maché. Still you should pull the trigger if you are needy. (D) GRAB/GRINDER WITH UPSIDE

Wendell Smallwood/Kenjon Barner – Who knows what’s going on with Ryan Mathews. But if he misses more time, these two will make excellent GAMBLES.

Kenneth Dixon – I have run for more yards this season than the Baltimore backfield. Coaches should gleefully give him the chance to take over once he is healthy. STASH/GRAB.

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