2020 Season: Week 4 Start/Flex/Bench


Charles Herrmann (@HermsNFL)
The Lateral Chief Editor

Malcolm McMillan (@McLateralFF)
The Lateral Writer

Start/Flex/Bench is basically The Lateral's version of rock, paper, scissors. No... that doesn't seem right. It was some other three-word game. Not sure why the name is escaping me, but I think the youths these days refer to it as FMK on the interwebz.

Regardless of what the name of that silly other game is, the point of the exercise is simple; for every match-up in a given week, Charles and Malcolm will give their picks for who you should start in your lineup, throw into your FLEX spot/stream if we're talking QB or TE, and who to leave on the bench. Charles will pick for all the AFC teams, and Malcolm will pick for all the NFC teams. 

Other things to keep in mind are this exercise is done with a 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 FLEX, 1 K roster playing PPR format in a 12-man league in mind, but ultimately the picks should be applicable to most fantasy rosters.

Week 4 Start/Flex/Bench

Denver Broncos at New York Jets (Thursday 8:20 pm)

DEN: Start RB Melvin Gordon III/TE Noah Fant, stream the DST, bench everyone else.
Start no one, stream the DST if you're in a serious bind, and I'll go beyond benching; you're probably fine to drop any Jets player aside from WR Jamison Crowder. 
New Orleans Saints at Detroit Lions (Sunday 1 pm)

NO: Start RB Alvin Kamara and WR Michael Thomas (if available), start/stream QB Drew Brees, especially if Thomas is back, flex WR Emmanuel Sanders if Thomas is back, flex WR Tre'Quan Smith if Thomas sits out, and bench the DST.

DET: Start QB Matthew Stafford and WR Kenny Golladay, flex WR Marvin Jones Jr., or RB Adrian Peterson if you are desperate, stream TE T.J. Hockenson, and bench everyone else including RB D'Andre Swift.

Los Angeles Chargers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Sunday 1 pm)

LAC: Start RB Austin Ekeler/WR Keenan Allen/TE Hunter Henry, still got to flex RB Joshua Kelley, bench QB Justin Herbert and the Chargers DST if and only if there is a slam dunk streamer out there.  

TB: Start 
QB Mike Evans, flex RB Ronald Jones, stream the DST, and bench QB Tom Brady and WRs not named Mike Evans unless Scotty Miller is out, in which case you should flex WR Justin Watson.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Cincinnati Bengals (Sunday 1 pm)

Start QB Gardner Minshew II/RB James Robinson, flex WR D.J. Chark based on health, bench the rest.
CIN: Start QB Joe Burrow/WR Tyler Boyd/RB Joe Mixon (because what else are you going to do with him?), flex/stream no one, bench WR A.J. Green. 

*BONUS: please dear god, stash WR Tee Higgins*

Minnesota Vikings at Houston Texans (Sunday 1 pm)

MIN: Start 
RB Dalvin Cook and WR Adam Thielen, flex WR Justin Jefferson, stream QB Kirk Cousins, and bench everyone else (this means you, TE Irv. Smith Jr. fans).

HOU: Start 'em except for Duke Johnson Jr., consider WR Randall Cobb more of a flex play.
Seattle Seahawks at Miami Dolphins (Sunday 1 pm)

SEA: Start 
QB Russell Wilson, along with WRs Tyler Lockett, and D.K. Metcalf, monitor the RB Chris Carson situation and then start RB Carlos Hyde if Carson is out. I would not flex anyone, and bench TE Greg Olsen and the DST, who despite a stream-worthy match-up are injury-riddled for this game.

Start QB Ryan Fitzpatrick/RB Myles Gaskin/TE Mike Gesicki, flex WRs DeVante Parker and Preston Williams, bench (better yet just bail on) RB Jordan Howard, and the DST that you should probably never play ever. 

Cleveland Browns at Dallas Cowboys (Sunday 1 pm)

CLE: Start RBs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, flex WRs Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, bench QB Baker Mayfield/TE Austin Hooper/the Browns DST.
DAL: Start the usual suspects of 
QB Dak Prescott, RB Ezekiel Elliott, and WR Amari Cooper, flex WRs Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb, stream TE Dalton Schultz, and bench WR Cedrick Wilson.

Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers (Sunday 1 pm)

ARI: Start QB Kyler Murray, WR DeAndre Hopkins, flex RB Kenyan Drake, consider streaming the DST (but there are probably better options out there), and bench 
WRs Andy Isabella and Christian Kirk.

CAR: Start RB Mike Davis, flex WRs D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson, bench QB Teddy Bridgewater due to the low TD upside.

Indianapolis Colts at Chicago Bears (Sunday 1 pm)

IND: Start RB Jonathan Taylor/WR T.Y. Hilton, stream TE Mo Alie-Cox, bench the rest.
CHI: Start WR Allen Robinson II, flex RB David Montgomery, stream TE Jimmy Graham, bench QB Nick Foles.

Baltimore Ravens at Washington Football Team (Sunday 1 pm)

BAL: Start QB Lamar Jackson/RB Mark Ingram II/WR Marquise Brown/TE Mark Andrews/Ravens DST, maybe flex RB J.K. Dobbins but with no real level of confidence, bench the rest.
WAS: Start 
WR Terry McLaurin (but mentally prepare for a disappointing game), flex RB Antonio Gibson if you are desperate, bench TE Logan Thomas and the DST.

New York Giants at Los Angeles Rams (Sunday 4:05 pm)

NYG: Start WR Darius Slayton (but I really prefer him as a FLEX), stream TE Evan Engram, if you are lucky enough to be in a league where someone dropped him, bench everyone else including QB Daniel Jones, RB Devonta Freeman, and WR Golden Tate.

LAR: Start WRs Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp, along with TE Tyler Higbee, flex RB Darrell Henderson, stream QB Jared Goff and the DST, bench RB Malcolm Brown and RB Cam Akers (even if Akers is healthy).

New England Patriots at Kansas City Chiefs (Monday 7:05 pm) 

NE: Start nobody with Cam Newton now out with COVID-19, flex WRs Julian Edelman and N'Keal Harry (way more comfortable with Edelman than Harry), bench but keep an eye on the RB group with James White coming back and perhaps even Damien Harris.
You drafted the big-name Chiefs players with high picks for a reason. You know what to do.
Buffalo Bills at Las Vegas Raiders (Sunday 4:25 pm)

BUF: Start QB Josh Allen/RB Devin Singletary/WRs John Brown and Stefon Diggs/Bills DST, flex RB Zack Moss if healthy, bench the rest.

LV: Start RB Josh Jacobs/TE Darren Waller, flex WR Hunter Renfrow, bench the rest.

Philadelphia Eagles at San Francisco 49ers (Sunday 8:20 pm)

PHI: Start RB Miles Sanders and TE Zach Ertz, flex WR Greg Ward, bench everyone else, including QB Carson Wentz and new TE Hakeem Butler.

SF: Start TE George Kittle, who is about the only person we can definitively say is starting in Week 4. If healthy, also start RB Raheem Mostert. Flex WR Brandon Aiyuk, along with RB Jerick McKinnon if he is healthy and Mostert is out, stream the DST, and bench whoever is the QB, along with RB Jeff Wilson Jr. (unless you are really desperate for a FLEX and Mostert is out). 

Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers (Monday 8:15 pm)

ATL: Start QB Matt Ryan, WR Calvin Ridley, and WR Julio Jones if he is healthy (seems likely), flex RB Todd Gurley II, and WR Russell Gage if he is healthy (but I expect he will miss this game), bench TE Hayden Hurst.

GB: Start QB Aaron Rodgers, RB Aaron Jones, WR Davante Adams (who I expect to be back), and K Mason Crosby, flex WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, bench the rest.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans (Not happening)

Please do not play anyone from this game. They will get you 0.00 points.

Follow The Lateral on Twitter (@TheLateralFF)