2020 Season: Week 5 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 5 Start/Flex/Bench

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Chicago Bears (Thursday 8:20 pm)

TB: Start QB Tom Brady and RB Ronald Jones II, along with WR Mike Evans if he is healthy. Flex WR Scotty Miller regardless of Evans' health, stream the Tampa Bay DST, and bench TEs Rob Gronkowski and Cameron Brate and RB Ke'Shawn Vaughn.
CHI: Start WR Allen Robinson II, flex RB David Montgomery (as a volume play, you are forced to), and bench everyone else including WR Darnell Mooney, though you can consider streaming TE Jimmy Graham if you are desperate and you will probably have to start the DST in a bad match-up.
Buffalo Bills at Tennessee Titans (Sunday 1 pm)

NOTE: Due to COVID-19 there is a real danger this game will not be played. Include players from these teams in your lineup at your own risk.

BUF: Assuming they play, start QB Josh Allen/RB Devin Singletary/WRs Stefon Diggs and John Brown (if healthy), flex WR Cole Beasley if Brown does not play, bench the banged up RB Zack Moss unless you're really in desperate need for a flex play

TEN: Assuming they play, start RB Derrick Henry and TE Jonnu Smith, flex no one, bench the rest.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (Sunday 1 pm)

JAC: Start QB Gardner Minshew II/RB James Robinson/WR D.J. Chark, flex WR Laviska Shenault Jr., bench the rest.

HOU: Start QB Deshaun Watson/RB David Johnson/WR Will Fuller V, flex no one, bench the rest.


Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens (Sunday 1 pm)

CIN: Start RB Joe Mixon/K Randy Bullock, flex WR Tyler Boyd, bench the rest.
BAL: Start QB Lamar Jackson/TE Mark Andrews/WR Marquise Brown, flex RB Mark Ingram II, bench RB J.K. Dobbins. Roll with K Justin Tucker per usual.

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons (Sunday 1 pm)


CAR: Start RB Mike Davis, WR Robby Anderson, and K Joey Slye stream QB Teddy Bridgewater, flex WR D.J. Moore, and bench WR Curtis Samuel.

ATL: Start WRs Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage, flex RB Todd Gurley and WR Olamide Zaccheaus (only if Julio is out), and bench TE Hayden Hurst and the DST.
Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs (Sunday 1 pm)

NOTE: Due to COVID-19 there is a real danger this game will not be played. Include players from these teams in your lineup at your own risk.

LV: Assuming they play, only RB Josh Jacobs and TE Darren Waller are worthy of rolling out in a lineup.

KC: Assuming they play, you know the usual suspects. WR Mecole Hardman is looking more and more like a boom-or-bust flex though.

Arizona Cardinals at New York Jets (Sunday 1 pm)

ARI: Start WR DeAndre Hopkins and QB Kyler Murray, flex RBs Chase Edmonds and Kenyan Drake (in that order), stream the DST, and bench the other WRs Andy Isabella, Christian Kirk, and Larry Fitzgerald.
NYJ: Aside from WR Jameson Crowder as a WR3/flex, there is no other usable Jets player in this game.


Philadelphia Eagles at Pittsburgh Steelers (Sunday 1 pm)

PHI: Start RB Miles Sanders and TE Zach Ertz, flex WR Greg Ward if you are desperate, and bench literally everyone else in what should be a rough game for the Eagles.

PIT: Start QB Ben Roethlisberger/RB James Conner/DST, stream TE Eric Ebron, follow the health statuses of WRs JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson. Start 'em if they play, bench them if they don't unless you hate yourself.

Los Angeles Rams at Washington Football Team (Sunday 1 pm)

LAR: Start WRs Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp, flex RBs Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown (though I lean towards benching Henderson), stream QB Jared Goff (start him if you have him) and the DST (turnover upside with a new QB under center), and bench WRs Josh Reynolds and Van Jefferson.
WAS: Start RB Antonio Gibson and WR Terry McLaurin, stream TE Logan Thomas, bench QB Kyle Allen and the DST (though they may be viable if Kyle Allen can keep them off the field and rested).


Miami Dolphins at San Francisco 49ers (Sunday 4:05 pm)

MIA: Start QB Ryan Fitzpatrick/RB Myles Gaskin/WR Devante Parker, flex no one, bench the rest but keep an eye on WR Isaiah Ford.

SF: Start TE George Kittle, K Robbie Gould, and the DST, flex RBs Raheem Mostert (if healthy) and Jerick McKinnon (move to a start if Mostert is out), along with WR Brandon Aiyuk, and bench whoever the Niners go with at QB and WRs Kendrick Bourne and Deebo Samuel.

New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (Sunday 4:25 pm) 

NYG: Start WR Darius Slayton, flex RB Devonta Freeman, WR Golden Tate, stream QB Daniel Jones, bench TE Evan Engram and the DST.
DAL: 
Start QB Dak Prescott, RB Ezekiel Elliott, WR Amari Cooper, WR CeeDee Lamb, flex nobody, but stream TE Dalton Schultz (start him if you have him), and bench WR Michael Gallup (yes I am serious).

Denver Broncos at New England Patriots (Sunday 4:25 pm) 

NOTE: Due to COVID-19 there is a real danger this game will not be played. Include players from these teams in your lineup at your own risk.

DEN: 
Assuming they play, it's RB Melvin Gordon III as a start, consider WRs Tim Patrick and Jerry Jeudy as flexes, bench RB Philip Lindsay until we can see what he looks like assuming he comes back from injury.
NE: Playi
ng any WR is dependent on the status of QB Cam Newton. If Newton plays, start him and WR Julian Edelman (if healthy) and flex WR Damiere Byrd in deep leagues. If Newton does not, I'd bench all WRs. Of the RBs, start James White, flex Damien Harris, bench Rex Burkhead.

Indianapolis Colts vs Cleveland Browns (Sunday 4:25 pm)

IND: Start RB Jonathan Taylor/TE Mo Alie-Cox, consider flexing RB Nyheim Hines, bench the rest.

CLE: Start RB Kareem Hunt, flex WR Odell Bekcham Jr., bench the rest.

Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks (Sunday 8:20 pm)

MIN: Start RB Dalvin Cook, WRs Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson, flex nobody, but stream QB Kirk Cousins, and bench both TEs (which you should have already been doing).

SEA: Start QB Russell Wilson, RB Chris Carson, WRs Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf, flex WR David Moore, stream the DST if you are desperate, and bench TE Greg Olsen.

Los Angeles Chargers at New Orleans Saints (Monday 8:15 pm)

LAC: Start RB Joshua Kelley/WR Keenan Allen, flex no one, bench the rest.

NO: Start RB Alvin Kamara, WR Michael Thomas (if healthy), flex WR Emmanuel Sanders, stream the DST (probably not available in most leagues though), and bench QB Drew Brees, WR Tre'Quan Smith, RB Latavius Murray (flex if you are extremely desperate), and TE Jared Cook (start if you are extremely desperate).

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