Brutal bye week alert! Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver and Green Bay are on bye. This could be the week to sneak in some wins or try and limp through unscathed depending on your rosters.
Welcome to Week 7’s collection of starts and 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 or you have question marks all over your bench. These are the guys for leagues where you need to go deeper.
GRINDERS – The guys who will get you points in a pinch.
Landry Jones – Kansas City is quarterback friendly but temper your expectations.
Teddy Bridgewater – Unless it’s dynasty or a two quarterback/Super-flex league, he is probably on your wire. He has not been spectacular to say the least. Minnesota is one of those teams that should be doing more but just can’t pull it together. Bridgewater has been struggling. He is a low-end grinder against a defense that let Jay Cutler tear it up.
Ronnie Hillman – Should be on a roster by now. If he isn’t, grab him while he’s on a bye. Less competition to get him.
Theo Riddick – There is still a running back controversy in Detroit and Ameer Abdullah is still very talented. Abdullah had a stinger this week but should see more time. Riddick should grind for owners though, particularly in points per reception leagues.
Chris Polk – Chris Polk is doing some relief work and is a very low-end grinder in points per reception leagues. A weekly 5-10 points with very little upside as long as Arian Foster is healthy (and from what we have seen this season, the upside isn’t much more if Foster isn’t healthy).
Jamison Crowder – Crowder got four catches for 40 yards against a very mean New York Jets defense. He needs to be owned and can grind away as a WR3/flex for you.
Bryan Walters – How do you know when you’re really going deep for some points? When you pick the fourth or fifth target on Jacksonville to start. Jacksonville is fantasy friendly and opposing teams are now aware they have an Allen problem to deal with. Walters is a low-end grinder. Unless the entire wide receiver corps gets food poisoning a la Bridesmaids, I wouldn’t bank on any upside. Bye week desperation grinder. Maybe he gets 5-10 points in points per reception leagues.
Stedman Bailey – Bailey has a tougher matchup this week if there are healthy Cleveland corners. He has been quietly grinding away in points per reception leagues and is good for a few targets. He is an 8-10 points guy.
Stefon Diggs – Two weeks ago, I told you to grab him, I am hoping you listened. If he keeps it up he will be too good to be on this list. Minnesota says he might not stay the starter. Charles Johnson is hurt and Diggs looks good. He should stay a thing.
Derek Carrier – He is only a play as long as Jordan Reed (better hands) is out. He is grinding you 5-10 points a week with little upside. Washington plays Tampa Bay this week. Without Reed, Carrier is viable.
Ed Dickson – Seriously, at this point every tight end with a pulse is probably off the board. The only thing you can hope for is no whammies. Greg Olsen is the tight end to own, Dickson is the tight end to own if you have no other choice in the world and need 2-5 points (points per reception leagues). He’s a super deep desperation grab.