2020 Season: Week 6 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 apply to most fantasy rosters.

Week 6 Start/Flex/Bench

Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans (Sunday 1 pm)

HOU: Start QB Deshaun Watson/RB David Johnson/WR Will Fuller V, flex at best Brandin Cooks, bench the rest.
TEN: Start QB Ryan Tannehill/RB Derrick Henry/TE Jonnu Smith/WR A.J. Brown, flex no one, bench the rest.
Baltimore Ravens at Philadelphia Eagles (Sunday 1 pm)

BAL: Start QB Lamar Jackson/TE Mark Andrews/RB Marquise Brown, flex RB Mark Ingram if you have to, bench the rest. DST and K Justin Tucker are almost always a play.

PHI: Start RB Miles Sanders, flex WR Travis Fulgham, stream Carson Wentz if you are desperate, and bench everyone else, including WR Greg Ward.

Atlanta Falcons at Minnesota Vikings (Sunday 1 pm)

ATL: Start WR Calvin Ridley, RB Todd Gurley II, K Younghoe Koo, flex WR Julio Jones if he is healthy, but bench all of the other Falcons WRs regardless along with QB Matt Ryan. 

MIN: Start RB Alexander Mattison, WR Adam Thielen, flex WR Justin Jefferson, though you could start him in a pinch, stream QB Kirk Cousins, and bench both TEs (despite TE Irv Smith Jr.'s solid point total in Week 5), along with the DST.


Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (Sunday 1 pm)

CLE: Start RB Kareem Hunt/WR Odell Beckham Jr., flex WR Jarvis Landry & stream TE Austin Hooper (Steelers are fairly stingy against TEs but Hooper has been getting opportunities lately), bench the rest.
PIT: Start QB Ben Roethlisberger/RB James Conner/TE Eric Ebron, flex WRs JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson if healthy, bench WR Chase Claypool if Johnson is healthy. Give Claypool a week to see if he receives maintains increased usage. 

Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts (Sunday 1 pm)


CIN: Start RB Joe Mixon because you likely have to/K Randy Bullock, flex WR Tyler Boyd, bench the rest. 

IND: Start RB Jonathan Taylor/K Rodrigo Blakenship/Colts DST, flex no one, bench the rest.  
Detroit Lions at Jacksonville Jaguars (Sunday 1 pm)

DET: Start WR Kenny Golladay, TE T.J. Hockenson, and QB Matthew Stafford, flex RB D'Andre Swift if you think this is finally his week, and bench everyone else including WR Marvin Jones Jr. and RB Adrian Peterson.

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

Chicago Bears at Carolina Panthers (Sunday 1 pm)

CHI: Start WR Allen Robinson II and RB David Montgomery, flex nobody, but stream TE Jimmy Graham, and bench QB Nick Foles and the rest of the WR corps.
CAR: Start RB Mike Davis, flex WR Robby Anderson, stream the DST, and bench everyone else including WR D.J. Moore and QB Teddy Bridgewater

Washington Football Team at New York Giants (Sunday 1 pm)

WAS: Start... well, honestly I would not start anyone, but you could reasonably flex WR Terry McLaurin and RB Antonio Gibson, and maybe RB J.D. McKissic as a desperation play because of bye weeks, but I would bench everyone else given you cannot trust QB Kyle Allen's health yet. Stream the DST and the aforementioned Allen if you literally cannot find anyone else who is viable (it is a decent match-up after all).
NYG: Start TE Evan Engram, flex RB Devonta Freeman, stream QB Daniel Jones and the DST, and bench all the WRs (Washington gives up a lot to QBs but not so much to WRs) including WR Darius Slayton.

Denver Broncos at New England Patriots (Sunday 1 pm)

DEN: I genuinely need to know who the QB is and where RB Philip Lindsay is regarding his health. I'll tweet out my picks (@HermsNFL) for this game when we know more. 
NE: Start QB Cam Newton, flex RB Damien Harris (really tough defensive draw) if need be with minimal expectations/WR Julian Edelman if healthy, bench the other WRs and RBs. 


New York Jets at Miami Dolphins (Sunday 4:05 pm)

NYJ: WR Jameson Crowder is the only usable fantasy asset.

MIA: Start 'em if you got 'em. I'd consider all Dolphins aside from WR Isaiah Ford.

Green Bay Packers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Sunday 4:25 pm)

GB: Start WR Davante Adams if healthy (he should be), RB Aaron Jones, and QB Aaron Rodgers, flex WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling and start TE Robert Tonyan until further notice because of the upside, but know that neither has a particularly great match-up against Tampa Bay (so tread carefully) and bench the DST despite their current Top-10 pace.

TB: Start WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin (because you have to), flex RBs Ronald Jones II and Leonard Fournette (if healthy, which he should be), stream TE Cameron Brate, and bench the DST and QB, Tom Brady.

Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers (Sunday 8:20 pm)

LAR: Start WRs Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp (because you have to), stream QB Jared Goff (meh match-up, but he has been good through five weeks), flex nobody because this a bench worthy match-up for underperforming TE Tyler Higbee and the RB corps.

SF: Start RB Raheem Mostert and TE George Kittle, and maybe stream the DST if that is an option for you, but this could be a rough match-up if QB Jimmy Garoppolo is still injured and unable to have confidence in his ankle, so bench everyone else, including exciting rookie WR Brandon Aiyuk.

Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills (Monday 5 pm)

KC: You know who the big dogs are. Let 'em rip and consider flexing WR Mecole Hardman. Bench the DST in a bounce-back performance from the Bills.

BUF: Start QB Josh Allen/WRs Stefon Diggs and John Brown if healthy, flex WR Gabriel Davis is Brown is a no-go/RB Zack Moss if for some reason you are in a strangely desperate position, bench the DST.

Arizona Cardinals at Dallas Cowboys (Monday 8:15 pm)

ARI: Start QB Kyler Murray and WR DeAndre Hopkins, flex RBs Kenyan Drake and Chase Edmonds due to potentially high volume and TD opportunity, along with WR Christian Kirk, who seems to have re-established himself as the WR2 in Arizona, stream the DST if you think Dallas QB Andy Dalton is going to choke, but I would personally bench the DST in anticipation of a high scoring game.

DAL: Start RB Ezekiel Elliott, along with any of the WRs Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and CeeDee Lamb, but I would flex the WRs instead due to the uncertainty around who Dalton will favor (I weirdly think Gallup could benefit if he can catch the ball), and similarly I would stream Dalton Schultz if he is available and you need him, rather than rating him a start (Arizona is a weirdly mediocre match-up). Full-on bench the DST, which you should have been doing anyway.

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