2020 Season: Week 8 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 8 Start/Flex/Bench

Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers (Thursday 8:20 pm)

ATL:  Start
RB Todd Gurley II, flex WR Julio Jones, and bench TE Hayden Hurst.

CAR: Start WR Robby Anderson, flex WR D.J. Moore, stream QB Teddy Bridgewater, and bench TE Ian Thomas.
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (Sunday 1 pm)

MIN: Start RB Dalvin Cook (if healthy, which he seems to be), flex WR Justin Jefferson, stream QB Kirk Cousins, and bench TE Irv Smith, Jr.

GB: Start WR Davante Adams, flex RB Jamaal Williams (if Aaron Jones is out, which is a possibility), stream the DST, and bench WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

Tennessee Titans at Cincinnati Bengals (Sunday 1 pm)

TEN: Start QB Ryan Tannehill/RB Derrick Henry/TE Jonnu Smith (if WR A.J. Brown is healthy obviously fire him up), flex WR Corey Davis, bench WR Adam Humphries unless Brown is out. He's a deeper flex in that case.

CIN: Start QB Joe Burrow/RB Giovani Bernard (not sure we're going to see RB Joe Mixon)/WR Tyler Boyd, flex WR Tee Higgins, bench WR A.J. Green. Still not ready to trust him yet but if he balls on Sunday for the third week in a row then I'll be changing my tune.

New York Jets at Kansas City Chiefs (Sunday 1 pm)

NYJ: WR Jameson Crowder and RB La'Mical Perine are the only players worth considering.
KC: Jeez, who don't you start? C'mon, they play the Jets. This one's easy. 

Indianapolis Colts at Detroit Lions (Sunday 1 pm)

IND: Start RB Jonathan Taylor, stream TE Trey Burton, bench the rest of 'em.

DET: Start WR Kenny Golladay, flex RB D'Andre Swift, and bench QB Matthew Stafford.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (Sunday 1 pm)

PIT: Start RB James Conner/TE Eric Ebron, flexing the WRs JuJu Smith-Schuster and Chase Claypool for the time being while we wait to hear word on Diontae Johnson. As this is my favorite team I will be tweeting about this game a fair bit so keep tabs with me on the WR corps. Bench QB Ben Roethlisberger if you can.

BAL: Until we know about RB Mark Ingram II's health, all I can really say is start WR Marquise Brown and TE Mark Andrews. Definitely nervous about QB Lamar Jackson and consider him a tough call bench. The only RB I would consider is J.K. Dobbins if Ingram II can't play and view him as a flex.

Los Angeles Rams at Miami Dolphins (Sunday 1 pm)

LAR: Start the DST, flex RB Darrell Henderson, and bench TE Gerald Everett/Tyler Higbee (I do not think either has a good game, even if Higbee is out).
MIA: Start RB Myles Gaskin. That's it. 

New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills (Sunday 1 pm)

NE: Start QB Cam Newton begrudgingly/RB Damien Harris, flex no one, bench everyone who's job it is to catch the ball.

BUF: Start but lower expectations on WRs Stefon Diggs/John Brown, flex WR Cole Beasley if you have to, bench QB Josh Allen and the RBs till we see who really wins out between Devin Singletary and Zack Moss.

Las Vegas Raiders at Cleveland Browns (Sunday 1 pm)

LV: Start QB Derek Carr/RB Josh Jacobs/TE Darren Waller, flex WR Henry Ruggs III and maybe WR Nelson Agholor in deep leagues, bench no one I guess. I love this matchup for the Raiders.
CLE: Start RB Kareem Hunt, stream QB Baker Mayfield and TE Harrison Bryant/flex WR Jarvis Landry, bench but keep tabs on WRs Rashard Higgins and Donovan Peoples-Jones. 

Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos (Sunday 4:05 pm)

LAC: Start 'em if you've got 'em. I like the Chargers offense as a whole in this one.

DEN: Start RB Melvin Gordon III/TE Noah Fant, stream TE Albert Okwuegbunam in deep leagues, bench QB Drew Lock and all WRs.

New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears (Sunday 4:25 pm) 

NO: Start RB Alvin Kamara, flex WR Tre'Quan Smith (WRs Emmanuel Sanders and Michael Thomas are currently unlikely to play), stream the DST, and bench QB Drew Brees.
CHI: Start the DST, flex RB David Montgomery, stream TE Cole Kmet, and bench WR Allen Robinson II.

San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks (Sunday 4:25 pm)

SF: Start TE George Kittle, flex WR Bradon Aiyuk, and bench the DST. 

SEA: Start WR Tyler Lockett, flex RB Carlos Hyde (or RB DeeJay Dallas if Hyde is out), bench the DST.

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles (Sunday 8:20 pm)

DAL: Start WR Amari Cooper, flex RB Ezekiel Elliott, stream Dalton Schultz (great match-up), and bench whoever the f*ck is playing QB, which by the end of the game could be offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.

PHI: Start everyone, but really WR Travis Fulgham since I am only picking one, flex RB Boston Scott (I expect RB Miles Sanders to stay out), stream TE Richard Rodgers, and bench K Jake Elliott (had to pick someone).

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Giants (Monday 8:15 pm)

TB: Start the DST, flex RB Leonard Fournette (super nervous about that one), and bench TE Rob Gronkowski.

NYG: Start WR Sterling Shepard, flex RB Wayne Gallman (I expect RB Devonta Freeman to sit this one out), and bench TE Evan Engram.

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