With another season of NFL Football on the horizon also comes another season of Fantasy Football.
With no openly gay players in the league, we formed a fantasy team from players who have shown their support for LGBT issues in interviews with Outsports and other media.
Here’s a roster of our team. Beginning next week, I will list start and sits for each position.
Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
Carr is looking to return to his 2016 fantasy form after a lackluster 2017 where he had just 3,500 yards passing and 13 interceptions.
Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
Newton remains one of the best running QB’s in the game. He stills lacks a top receiver, but he will try it out with first-round draft pick D.J. Moore. He will hope that Moore will help him get his yards and completion percentage closer to where he was in his 2015 MVP campaign.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
After an injury-filled campaign, Rodgers became the highest-paid quarterback earlier in the offseason. Rodgers remains the top fantasy QB in the game despite losing WR Jordy Nelson.
Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
This is the first season of Wilson’s career since his first where the Seahawks aren’t expected to be a major playoff threat. Wilson ended last season as the No. 1 fantasy QB and looks to repeat that this season.
Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts: Luck is returning after missing all last season with a shoulder injury. If fully healthy, he can be a fantasy star.
Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals
With Jeremy Hill officially out of Cincinnati, Bernard becomes the clear No. 2 running back. But with another year under Joe Mixon’s belt, Bernard will likely become the main running back on passing downs mostly.
Frank Gore, Miami Dolphins
Gore begins the next chapter of his career in the same city where his college career began. He becomes a mentor to younger backs Kenyan Drake and Kalen Ballage. Though Drake is expected to get the majority of the carries, Gore could see some run in an offense looking to find its identity.
Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears
Howard is the lead back in an offense that now led by former Chiefs OC Matt Nagy. Chiefs RB Kareem Hunt led the league in rushing yards last season and Howard has potential to perform that feat this season.
Kyle Juszczyk, San Francisco 49ers
With Jerick McKinnon out for the year, the 49ers will look to rely on other backs to run the ball. While it may not be Juszczyk getting the bulk of the carries, he could see some action as the game’s best fullback.
Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers
Adams becomes one of the newest members to Team Outsports Equality after his first Pro Bowl appearance last season. Adams is one of the most elusive receivers in the league and he has Aaron Rodgers throwing to him, so that should count for something.
Marquise Goodwin, San Francisco 49ers
Goodwin had a career year last season, and with a full year of Jimmy Garoppolo as his quarterback, he is expected to continue his ascent into fantasy stardom.
T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts
Hilton had a down year with injury and quarterback troubles. But with Andrew Luck back on the field, Hilton is likely to storm back onto the scene as one of the top receivers in fantasy football.
DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans
Hopkins is one of the best receivers in the game. He has been flying off fantasy draft boards in the first round in millions of leagues and with a full offseason of his Clemson buddy Deshaun Watson, the sky’s the limit.
Kenny Stills, Miami Dolphins
With Jarvis Landry gone, the Dolphins receivers will need to find someone to disperse his targets to. Stills is one of the first options and will reap the benefits of Landry’s departure.
Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings
Another strong addition to the squad, Thielen had a breakout year last season. Minnesota gave him a new contract in the offseason and he is one of the first receivers off the board in fantasy drafts this season. One thing is certain: Thielen is for real.
Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams
Woods’ first year in LA was a success and he will look to repeat his production from last season. Sammy Watkins is out and Brandin Cooks is in, but Woods figures to still be an important part of the offense.
Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
After contemplating retirement earlier in the offseason, Gronk decided to come back for his ninth season with the Patriots. He remains the top tight end in the game and is a must-start every week.
Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
If Gronkowski’s No. 1, Kelce’s No. 2. It will be interesting to see how Kelce performs with a quarterback with a ton of potential like Patrick Mahomes vs. a bridge quarterback like Alex Smith, his QB for the past five years.
Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans
Walker is like fine wine. He gets better as he ages. His best years have come as a Tennessee Titan, and he enters his sixth season as arguably the best receiver in the Titans passing game.
Brandon McManus, Denver Broncos
McManus continues to kick in the Mile High City, where field goals can come in from as far as 60 yards.
Matt Prater, Detroit Lions
Prater, the previous Broncos kicker, has done well in his four years with the Detroit Lions. Half of his games take place indoors, which is a huge benefit for kickers and fantasy owners alike.
Start of the Week
Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers vs. Dallas Cowboys
Newton is a prime start this week as he faces a Dallas Cowboys defense in total flux. Many newcomers are playing in the secondary and the Cowboys struggled on defense last season against mobile QB’s. There are many uncertainties about Week 1, but Newton having a good game is one thing I am confident about.
Sit of the Week
Kenny Stills, WR, Miami Dolphins vs. Tennessee Titans
Stills’ place in the Dolphins’ offense has a very wide range. He could become the top receiver for Ryan Tannehill or he could fade into the background as the likes of Danny Amendola and DeVante Parker take over. I would pump the brakes on starting Stills until his role in the Miami offense becomes more clear.
Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans
Walker won the 2018 Pro Bowl Most Valuable Player award.
Read more on these players’ LGBT views:
- These eight players would support a gay teammate (from 2018)
- 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.