6 Players You Should Start in Your Flex Spot

Richard Janvrin@@RichardJanvrinFeatured ColumnistOctober 3, 2017

6 Players You Should Start in Your Flex Spot

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    Ah, the flex position. In fantasy football, we always find ourselves deciding between the last four players on our bench to start in that spot most weeks.

    In some ways, the flex spot resembles a roster spot in which you're willing to take a bit of a risk on.

    After all, if they were good enough they'd be one of the staples in your lineup.

    However, you could have had an excellent draft and be starting WR2s for example in that spot. If so, well aren't you just a lucky dog.

    In this slideshow, you'll find six players outside of the obvious ones you'd start in your flex spot.

    They range from relatively safe, volume-dependent or boom-or-bust players.

    Without further ado, let's start with the backfield in Baltimore.

Alex Collins, RB, Baltimore Ravens

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    According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is set to miss time due to a transverse process fracture in his back. 

    What does this have to do with Baltimore Ravens running back Alex Collins, you ask?

    Well, the Ravens will be on the road against Oakland in Week 5.

    We all know the Ravens offense to this point has been abysmal. However, Collins has been a huge bright spot. In Week 4, Collins ran for 82 yards on nine carries.

    There wasn't a ton of competition in the running game for Collins as fellow back Terrance West rushed four times for negative seven yards.

    With Carr out, the Raiders will look to backup quarterback E.J. Manuel.

    Newsflash: He's not good.

    After coming off two straight miserable losses, the Ravens might actually have a chance to lead in this game.

    Collins has proved that he should be the guy, and in a game against a backup quarterback who isn't very good, he should see a solid workload.

    In a flex spot, Collins has the chance to net you double-digit fantasy points in Week 5.

Will Fuller, WR, Houston Texans

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    In his first week back following a broken collarbone, Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller put up two touchdowns in the team's 57-14 domination of the Tennessee Titans.

    Week 5 poses a slightly more difficult challenge as the Texans will host the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs.

    Fuller is a unique player, however. He has speed that is difficult to defend. With DeAndre Hopkins on the other side of the field, opposing defenses are forced to lock on to him. The Chiefs may have cornerback Marcus Peters, but he can't defend both Hopkins and Fuller.

    As we saw in Week 4, Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson is not afraid to throw it deep to Fuller. Even if that doesn't work, Watson still throws to Fuller on shorter routes. Although Fuller scored two touchdowns, he only posted four catches for 35 yards.

    Fuller will always have the boom-or-bust label attached to him, but the way the Texans offense is playing right now, take advantage of it.

Devin Funchess, WR, Carolina Panthers

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    Coming off a two-touchdown performance in Week 4 against the New England Patriots, Carolina Panthers wide receiver Devin Funchess will look to keep it rolling versus the Detroit Lions.

    Unfortunately for Funchess, the Lions secondary, equipped with cornerbacks Darius Slay and Quandre Diggs, is pretty darn good.

    This comes down to anticipated volume. For what it's worth, my faith in fellow Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin is dwindling by the day.

    Funchess is a player who has been on the team for some time, but he and Newton finally look like they're clicking.

    The matchup is not ideal, but as a flex play, Funchess and his potential seven-plus targets is something I'll take a risk on.

Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New England Patriots are set to meet on Thursday Night Football in Week 5.

    It's never fun for players to play on a short week.

    However, there is one player in that game who's not exactly playing on a short week: Buccaneers running back Doug Martin.

    Coming off a three-game suspension, Martin's legs are as fresh as they'll ever be.

    Fellow running back Jacquizz Rodgers has shown he deserves a role, but in a short week why not give Martin the first go of it?

    The Patriots have been abysmal on defense this season. They've been particularly bad against pass-catching running backs, ranking 28th in defensive DVOA against them.

    This is the kind of game we can expect to be high scoring, so someone has to be the primary beneficiary of that.

    Martin will be one of them. If he can get 20 touches in his return, he should turn that into enough fantasy points to warrant a flex spot.

    Give him a chance. He has a ton of upside in his first game.

Latavius Murray, RB, Minnesota Vikings

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    Following the season-ending injury to running back Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, the team will be in search of someone to pick up the workload.

    As we've seen in the past, fellow Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon has proved time and time again he's not able to be an every-down back.

    Because of that, expect see Latavius Murray get the first crack as the primary ball-carrier.

    In Week 5, the Vikings will be on the road against the Chicago Bears in what is rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky's first start.

    The Vikings defense should do enough to help keep this game close if not propel the Vikings ahead, so Murray should see a fair amount of touches.

    Also, it's not like Case Keenum has been totally incompetent. He has shown he can move the offense if Sam Bradford misses more time.

    Murray isn't exactly the most talented player in the world, but when it comes to the running back position anticipated volume plays a huge factor in production.

Torrey Smith, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

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    Warning: The following player has a chance to be a total bust or make you happy in Week 5.

    That player? Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Torrey Smith.

    At home in Week 5, the Eagles will host the Arizona Cardinals.

    Looking at the Cardinals defense, at first glance they have a defense you may be reluctant to attack. However, their top-three cornerback—Patrick Peterson, Justin Bethel and Tyrann Mathieu—rank as the 43rd, 59th and 100th cornerbacks in the league, respectively, according to Pro Football Focus.

    Smith is a deep threat. Because of that, we need for he and quarterback Carson Wentz to connect. Smith has had an issue with drops this season, so we need a bit of luck on our side.

    On a team that has Alshon Jeffery lined up on the other side of the field, Smith should see a few one-on-one matchups.

    When that happens, get ready for bombs away from Wentz.

    This is a risky proposition, but something tells me Smith will get his first touchdown in an Eagles uniform this coming week.

                

    Statistics courtesy of Football Outsiders and Pro Football Focus.