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.
Last week, our team benefited from multi-TD performances from Jordan Howard and DeAndre Hopkins and the team scored 121 points. The total beat all but one team in the Outsports fantasy league.
With the playoffs in full swing for everyone, hopefully you have some Team Outsports Equality players on your roster, because we have been rolling all season long.
Here is this week’s lineup:
Week 15 start/sits
Start: Russell Wilson vs. Rams
Even after a week in which he threw three interceptions, the top fantasy quarterback still had a strong week. He nearly scored 30 points against Jacksonville, the league’s top defense. This week, he faces a Rams team that allowed 43 points to the Eagles last week. In a game that will likely decide who snatches the division crown, look for Wilson, arguably the most experienced player in clutch games, to shine for Seattle.
Sit: Cam Newton vs. Packers, Aaron Rodgers vs. Panthers
Newton is our QB2 for this team and is not worthy of starting over Wilson. However, a matchup against the Packers, who made the Browns look decent, is not a terrible one.
Rodgers could possibly play for the Packers this week, but even if he plays, nobody can be justified to start over Wilson.
Start: Jordan Howard vs. Lions (Saturday), DeMarco Murray vs. 49ers
Howard had multiple touchdowns last week against the Bengals as the Bears wiped out Cincinnati. The Lions have had their tendencies of giving up large amounts of yards to running backs, so look for Howard to be featured prominently during their Saturday afternoon scramble.
Murray had an off week against Arizona last week, but so did the entire Tennessee offense. Like Howard, the Titans’ backs have good weeks and bad weeks. Putting Murray in the starting lineup gives our team the best chance to maximize its potential.
Sit: Doug Martin vs. Falcons (Monday), Frank Gore vs. Broncos (Thursday), Giovani Bernard vs. Vikings
All of these guys warranted serious consideration from me as I was wondering who to start next to Jordan Howard. However, I had my reasons for benching all three.
Martin had a touchdown last week against the Lions but is also splitting carries with Peyton Barber. In fact, Barber outcarried Martin 12-10 last week, and against Atlanta on Monday, the Bucs will be passing the ball a decent amount to try and match the Falcon offense.
Bernard received the most carries from the Bengal backfield due to Joe Mixon’s injury, and he is a player to watch in these last few weeks as Mixon is banged up, but he has a difficult matchup against a stout Minnesota defense and will likely cede some carries back to Mixon.
Gore was a bellcow on Sunday as he carried the ball 36 times in the snow. On Thursday, four days removed from an overtime slugfest, it is likely that Gore will not carry the ball as frequent on Thursday. The man is exhausted and will likely have a light load Thursday night against Denver.
Start: DeAndre Hopkins vs. Jaguars, Marquise Goodwin vs. Titans
Even against arguably the best cornerback tandem in the league, Hopkins is still far and away our best player at the position. I still expect him to produce a solid amount for us this weekend.
Marquise Goodwin has been a fantasy surprise this season and is one of the year’s breakout players. He’s been hot as of late and he is clearly the WR2 for us this week.
Sit: T.Y. Hilton vs. Broncos (Thursday), Eric Decker vs. 49ers, Kenny Stills vs. Bills
Hilton and Decker have become fantasy non-factors in the last few weeks and do not warrant a start on our team. Stills will be up against a Bills team in Buffalo in what will likely be another snow game. We saw how last week ended in the passing game, so let’s advise to go against any Dolphins receivers this week.
Start: Rob Gronkowski vs. Steelers, Travis Kelce vs. Chargers (Saturday)
Gronk will have fresh legs after not playing this past week due to a suspension. His matchup against the Steelers will be difficult, but following a loss, I expect the Patriots to be incredibly focused and looking like a tough out.
Kelce also faces a very important game on Saturday night at home against the red-hot Chargers. If the Chiefs are going to win the game, Kelce will need to be an important part of the offense and expect Kansas City to go to him early and often.
Sit: Delanie Walker vs. 49ers
In his lone start last week, Walker scored his fewest total since before his bye week six weeks ago. Maybe if we bench him, it will have a reverse jinx effect.
Start: Baltimore Ravens vs. Browns
Despite giving up 39 points to the Steelers, Baltimore draws Cleveland this week and they should have an easier time with this one. Terrell Suggs and the defense should have fewer troubles this week as the Ravens look to get back on track and stay in the playoff hunt.
Start: Matt Prater vs. Bears (Saturday)
Prater did not kick a field goal until late in Sunday’s contest vs. the Buccaneers when he hit the game-winning field goal. Look for him to be active again this week as they play the Bears in a game they need to win to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Sit: Brandon McManus vs. Colts (Thursday)
McManus played very well on Sunday and outscored our starter Matt Prater, but looking at the chance to maximize the team’s potential, Prater has to be the guy worth the start.
Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts, who had 36 carries and 130 yards on Sunday.
Read more on these players’ LGBT views:
- 14 NFL Pro Bowlers say they would welcome a gay teammate (from 2017)
- NFL players react to Michael Sam coming out (from 2014)
- 62 active NFL players who have made statements in support of gays (from 2013)
- Carson Palmer, 12 Indianapolis Colts Would Embrace Openly Gay Teammate (from 2013)
Jeremy Brener is a student at the University of Central Florida who writes for Outsports. He can be reached via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and followed on Twitter.