With fantasy football so popular, we decided to start our own Outsports team comprised of players who are LGBT supportive.

With no openly gay players in the league, the idea is to form a fantasy team from players who have shown their support for LGBT issues in interviews with us and other media.

Keep in mind that all of the players on our roster have expressed support of LGBT equality. Players benched are not against LGBT equality, but simply the players we do not feel you should start on your fantasy team this week.

Our team struggled last week. Despite a strong performance from first-time starter Russell Wilson, the team only managed 82.56 points. That landed us closer to the bottom in the Outsports fantasy week. Last week, we take an L, but this week, we bounce back.

Week 8 start/sits


Start: Russell Wilson vs. Texans

It’s hard to look past Wilson’s 30+ point performance last week and not start him again. Also, Houston has a Top 3 scoring offense in the league, which means that there is reason to believe Sunday will be a high-scoring game in the Pacific Northwest. Look for Wilson to come up big on Sunday.

Sit: Cam Newton vs. Buccaneers

Newton has been so inconsistent this season. When he’s good, the Panthers look like one of the best teams in the NFC. When he’s not, the Panthers can’t score, and that makes it hard for them to win games. You just never know which Cam you are going to get, and that makes it too risky to start him.

Running back

Start: Jordan Howard vs. Saints, Doug Martin vs. Panthers

Both backs have tough matchups, but both guys are also dynamic enough to keep a spot in the starting lineup. Howard is looking for a bounce back week, and the Bears will need him to come in the clutch this week against a high-octane New Orleans offense. For Martin, the team will need him to shine in what is a must-win game for the team. Look for Tampa to go to him early and often this week.

Sit: Frank Gore vs. Bengals, Mike Tolbert vs. Buccaneers, Giovani Bernard vs. Colts

Gore is the odd man out this week. Watch him go out and get two touchdowns because I benched him. There isn’t really a reason behind Gore’s benching, but he’s our RB3 this week, and only two running backs can sniff the starting lineup.

Tolbert is not of much fantasy relevance, but if LeSean McCoy were to get injured…

Bernard is someone I considered putting in the flex this week. He has a nice matchup against the Colts, but I am skeptical of placing him in the starting lineup due to Joe Mixon’s gradual increase in carries.

Wide receiver

Start: DeAndre Hopkins vs. Seahawks, T.Y. Hilton vs. Bengals

Our one-two punch is back this week! Hopkins will battle Richard Sherman, but the Texans are so dependent on him on offense that he is still a fantasy must-start. Hilton will rebound after being blanketed by the Jaguars’ secondary last week.

Sit: Marquise Goodwin vs. Eagles

Goodwin is also someone I considered for the flex spot but the tight end depth for our team is super good that I wanted to be able to start both tight ends. He has looked very good in recent weeks though, so it makes it difficult to place him on the bench.

Tight end/flex

Start: Rob Gronkowski vs. Chargers, Travis Kelce vs. Broncos

Gronk is due for a touchdown after not scoring one on Sunday night. Chargers play tight ends well, but Gronk is not like any other tight end. The Chiefs will play Denver this week, and the Broncos allow the fifth-most points to opposing tight ends. Kelce is an excellent play here at the flex spot.

Sit: Coby Fleener vs. Bears

Fleener is having an off year with only one game of more than 50 yards. Hopefully he bounces back this week against Chicago, but he still is not someone I am comfortable starting this week.


Start: Minnesota Vikings vs. Cleveland Browns

Harrison Smith and Co. head to London to face the Browns without Joe Thomas and an uncertain Browns’ QB situation. I like my chances here.


Start: Matt Prater vs. Steelers

It should be a high scoring game on Sunday Night Football this week, and I am excited to have Prater back. He should do well at home with some rest.

Sit: Brandon McManus vs. Chiefs

It was disappointing to see the Broncos put up a goose egg last week, and their performance leaves me hesitant to play McManus in the starting lineup.

LGBT focus

Joe Thomas, Cleveland Browns

“It’s amazing that the opinions in the locker room have changed 180 degrees from when I first started playing football to where they are right now. I think every locker room in the NFL would accept an openly gay teammate with open arms now, whereas it was such a taboo thing to even talk about when I first got into the league. I think that speaks to the tremendous progress that LGBT issues have had in such a short period of time.”

Tackles may not be on our fantasy team, but this guy is a Hall of Famer for LGBT rights just like he is on the field. Thomas played 10,062 consecutive snaps dating back to his rookie season. On Sunday, Thomas tore his triceps and will miss the rest of the season. Outsports is wishing a speedy recovery to Thomas and we hope to see him back on the field for 10,062 more snaps.

Read more on these players’ LGBT views:

Jeremy Brener is a student at the University of Central Florida who writes for Outsports. He can be reached via email ([email protected]) and followed on Twitter.