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Fantasy football: Week 16 start/sit advice for Team Outsports Equality

Here's our weekly fantasy starting lineup of NFL players who have expressed support for LGBT equality.

New England Patriots v Pittsburgh Steelers
Rob Gronkowski is our fantasy tight end
Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

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, 107.98 points was the team’s total. The score was a direct result of big days from Rob Gronkowski, Marquise Goodwin and the Ravens defense as they counterbalanced the poor performances of the running backs and Russell Wilson.

As many approach championship week, decisions on who to start and sit have now become more crucial than ever. Hopefully this column will help out as much as it can.

Quarterback

Start: Russell Wilson vs. Cowboys

Despite an off game against the Rams last week, I’m expecting Wilson, still the top fantasy QB, to bounce back against the Cowboys. The team never got into a rhythm on offense against Los Angeles, but in a must-win situation on the road, look for Wilson to thrive under the pressure.

Sit: Cam Newton vs. Buccaneers

It’s a favorable matchup for Cam, and I was close to playing him over Wilson, but I felt better about Wilson’s ability to break out for a big game. Newton will likely also have a big game, but if I had to choose, Wilson’s my guy, like he’s been ever since he joined Team Outsports Equality.

Running back

Start: Jordan Howard vs. Browns, Giovani Bernard vs. Lions

It’s a slight change from what we are used to, but I like Bernard as my RB2 this week paired up with Howard. First of all, Howard is going to rake in the yards against the Browns and it will be very important for our team. However, Bernard is my RB2 because he has gotten double-digit carries in the past two weeks and with Joe Mixon not likely to play, he might see the bulk of the carries. Also, Cincy is facing Detroit, a team prone to give up big rushing yards to opposing backfields. Hopefully this risk pays off.

Sit: Frank Gore vs. Ravens (Saturday), DeMarco Murray vs. Rams

Murray, along with the whole Titan offense, has been inconsistent over the past few weeks and I have developed distrust with all of them. Murray is an even bigger risk to start over Bernard now given how shaky the offense has been.

Gore gets the seat simply because I’m not exactly sure how the Colts will divide carries between him and rookie Marlon Mack. You have to wonder if a guy his age at this point of the season is just totally gassed. I’m not taking that risk either.

Wide receiver

Start: DeAndre Hopkins vs. Steelers (Monday), Marquise Goodwin vs. Jaguars

This pair worked wonders last week, so we are keeping them in together. Goodwin faces a good Jags secondary, but if Hopkins was able to score a TD off of them last week, I believe Goodwin has a shot to do the same. Both of these guys have been tremendous over the past few weeks, and now it’s like I have a WR1A and 1B.

Sit: T.Y. Hilton vs. Ravens (Saturday), Eric Decker vs. Rams, Robert Woods vs. Titans, Kenny Stills vs. Chiefs

All of these guys have many reasons why they warrant a benching. The main reason is that they are not on the level of Hopkins and Goodwin. However, none of these guys have played at the level as of late to make me excited to start any of them for a championship matchup. Some have been more disappointing than others but none are really trustworthy in a championship with pride, and perhaps cash, on the line.

Tight end/flex

Start: Rob Gronkowski vs. Bills, Travis Kelce vs. Dolphins

We are sticking with our guys at TE and the flex spots. We’ve stuck with them all year long and there is no reason to deviate from what we have done because they have been super effective. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Both have solid matchups this week and it is possible that both find the end zone.

Sit: Delanie Walker vs. Rams

Walker had a touchdown against the 49ers, but his consistency is not as promising as Gronk’s or Kelce’s. Therefore, we keep on with Gronk and Kelce as Walker watches from the sidelines.

Defense

Start: Los Angeles Chargers vs. Jets

Casey Heyward leads a defense that just allowed 30 points against the Chiefs, but now face QB Bryce Petty in a game they must win to keep their playoff hopes alive. I like the Chargers’ chances to get after Petty early and often and force turnovers left and right.

Kicker

Start: Matt Prater vs. Bengals

As the seventh-best kicker in the game, signs point to Prater being the better option on Sunday. The Lions are also a team that scores in droves, facing a Bengal team that gave up points in droves to the Vikings last week.

Sit: Brandon McManus vs. Redskins

Despite a breakthrough in the last few weeks, it is not enough for me to want to replace Prater to bring McManus on to start the final game. We’re going to stick to our guns.

LGBT focus
Rob Gronkowski on having a gay teammate

New England Patriots v Pittsburgh Steelers
"If that’s how they are, that’s how they are. I mean, we’re teammates so, as long as he’s being a good teammate and being respectful and everything, that’s cool."
Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

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 (jeremybrenerchs@gmail.com) and followed on Twitter.