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.
Last week, the team enjoyed strong performances from the tight ends and it led to 119.38 fantasy points. That score beat all but two of the 10 teams in the Outsports fantasy league this week. With the playoffs upon us, hopefully the team continues its strong play.
Week 14 start/sits
Start: Russell Wilson vs. Jaguars
The top-rated quarterback in fantasy this season has a difficult matchup against the Jaguars on Sunday, but it doesn’t scare me from keeping him in the lineup over Cam Newton. In his last seven games, Wilson has eclipsed at least 20 fantasy points and it does not look like he is going to stop soon. In last week’s game against the Eagles, he flashed a lot of promise despite a difficult matchup. We’ll see if he can continue the magic this week.
Sit: Cam Newton vs. Vikings
This matchup concerns me. Newton faces arguably the top defense in the league on top of the fact that he had a decent number of struggles against New Orleans’s defense last week. The Vikings will provide more trouble than the Saints did and it shies me away from starting Newton this week.
Start: Jordan Howard vs. Bengals, DeMarco Murray vs. Cardinals
This position has probably been our biggest thorn in our side this season, but it is hard to go against these two. Sometimes, like last week, both guys will struggle. However, both have the capability to break out in any given week, and it’s hard not to warrant starts from both of these guys.
Sit: Doug Martin vs. Lions, Frank Gore vs. Bills, Giovani Bernard vs. Bears
Of the three, Gore is the guy I considered starting this week. A matchup against the Bills, who could possibly start Nathan Peterman with a banged-up Tyrod Taylor was tempting, but not enough to give him the start. The Bills could keep the Colts in the game, which would lead to more runs from the Colts offense.
Start: DeAndre Hopkins vs. 49ers, Marquise Goodwin vs. Texans
These two go head-to-head this week and they get the start here. Goodwin (8 rec, 99 yards) looked strong in his first start with easy-on-the-eyes quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo as his starter and earns himself a second straight start at WR2. He should be on every roster right now, preferably starting. Goodwin’s for real, guys. With Hopkins, you already know he is going to deliver week in and week out.
Sit: T.Y. Hilton vs. Bills, Kenny Stills vs. Patriots (Monday), Eric Decker vs. Cardinals
Hilton was close to getting a start from me this week, but even though he had a touchdown last week, I still have more faith that Goodwin will produce more than Hilton. It’s a risk because it could go either way, but Goodwin has been the more consistent receiver as of late and he should be starting over Hilton. I also do not like Hilton’s potential matchup of Gronk elbow smash recipient and potential AFC Defensive Rookie of the Year Tre’Davious White.
Start: Travis Kelce vs. Raiders, Delanie Walker vs. Cardinals
With Rob Gronkowski out this week with a suspension, Kelce is the easiest replacement to take over at our starting tight end spot. He scored two touchdowns in the first quarter last week and is the top target in the Chiefs offense.
What propelled me to start Delanie Walker in the flex spot over T.Y. Hilton was the amount of volume the Titans have used him in the offense recently. He has a touchdown in each of the last two weeks and has eclipsed 60 yards or more in every game since Week 6. He’s been behind Gronk and Kelce on the depth chart all season, but this is his chance to break out and play with the starters!
Start: Jets defense vs. Broncos
Yes, you read that correctly. The New York Jets make their first appearance to the lineup this season because they draw the lowly Broncos this week. Leonard Williams and Co. have been quietly beaten expectations and sit at 5-7 in the standings with a good chance to go 6-7 against Denver this week. The Broncos have a horrible QB situation and the Jets should take advantage early and often in this contest.
Start: Matt Prater vs. Buccaneers
Despite a struggle this week against Baltimore, look for Prater to bounce back this week as he heads to sunny Florida to take on the Bucs in a game with favorable kicking conditions.
Sit: Brandon McManus vs. Jets
McManus has not scored in double digits in the last three weeks, and that worries me as a fantasy owner. He’s not a strong option moving forward in a playoff push.
Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans
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.