Fantasy Decisions: Week 7 Rankings and the Flex

The flex spot in your lineup can be one of the most infuriating positions on this planet.

In most leagues, you’re given the choice between starting a running back, a wide receiver, or tight end. For years, I followed the philosophy of absolutely always using a running back in that flex unless bye weeks forced me to throw in a wide receiver for the position. Running backs have always seemed like the safe play to me. I rationalized all this in my head saying, “Running backs are always going to get carries! You never know if Alex Smith is going to throw to Dwayne Bowe or Donnie Avery. How am I supposed to figure out whether Matt Hasselback has a good connection with T.J. Houshmandzadeh this week?”

But as the league turns more and more towards an aerial attack, suddenly many teams are using a wide receiver in a flex spot once reserved for RBs only. The two positions are quickly becoming near-equivalents for fantasy purposes. As of this morning, there are 29 running backs that have averaged at least eight points a game this season. And wide receiver? Well, there are 30 in the same category.

Here’s another stat for you. Of the top 40 flex options this year (based on average scoring per week): 17 are RBs, 17 are WRs, 6 are TEs.

Just remember your flex spot is a FLEX spot! It is not a RB3 spot. Receivers are being more utilized every passing year, so now is the time to jump on the bandwagon. Yes, wide receivers may seem more sporadic but in reality, you’re looking at the same stats as the running back position. So use that flex spot for the receiver you keep ignoring; he just might surprise you.

As we look forward to this weekend, don’t forget the Philadelphia Eagles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are both on bye so feel free to let Mike Glennon and Riley Cooper hang out on your bench. Lastly, the Patriots take on the Jets tonight in an AFC East battle. Set your lineups accordingly. Onto the rankings!



1.     Aaron Rodgers

2.     Philip Rivers

3.     Andrew Luck

4.     Peyton Manning

5.     Jay Cutler

6.     Tom Brady

7.     Russell Wilson

8.     Drew Brees

9.     Carson Palmer

10. Cam Newton

11.  Colin Kaepernick

12.  Matthew Stafford

13.  Brian Hoyer

14.  Joe Flacco

15. Kirk Cousins

16.  Matt Ryan

17.  Tony Romo

18.  Jake Locker

19.  Ben Roethlisberger

20.  Eli Manning


1.     Arian Foster

2.     Demarco Murray

3.     Matt Forte

4.     Le’Veon Bell

5.     Marshawn Lynch

6.     Jamaal Charles

7.     Giovani Bernard

8.     Eddie Lacy

9.     Ben Tate

10. Andre Ellington

11.  Branden Oliver

12. Lamar Miller

13.  Alfred Morris

14.  Justin Forsett

15.  Andre Williams

16.  Ronnie Hillman

17.  Frank Gore

18.  Shane Vereen

19.  Fred Jackson

20.  Joique Bell

21.  Fred Jackson

22.  Chris Ivory

23.  Mark Ingram

24.  Bishop Sankey

25.  Jonathan Stewart


1.     Demaryius Thomas

2.     Antonio Brown

3.     Julio Jones

4.     Jordy Nelson

5.     Dez Bryant

6.     Alshon Jeffery

7.     Brandon Marshall

8.     Randall Cobb

9.     Steve Smith

10.  Golden Tate

11.  Emmanuel Sanders

12.  Andre Johnson

13.  Kelvin Benjamin

14.  Mike Wallace

15.  Mohamed Sanu

16.  Julian Edelman

17.  T.Y. Hilton

18.  DeSean Jackson

19.  Michael Floyd

20.  Percy Harvin

21.  DeAndre Hopkins

22.  Pierre Garcon

23.  Reggie Wayne

24.  Rueben Randle

25.  Keenan Allen


1.     Rob Gronkowski

2.     Julius Thomas

3.     Greg Olsen

4.     Jordan Reed

5.     Antonio Gates

6.     Martellus Bennett

7.     Jordan Cameron

8.     Delanie Walker

9.     Travis Kelce

10.  Larry Donnell

11.  Vernon Davis

12.  Dwayne Allen

13.  Jason Witten

14.  Jared Cook

15.  Heath Miller


1.     Seahawks

2.     Bills

3.     Patriots

4.     Texans

5.     Browns

6.     Cardinals

7.     Lions

8.     Broncos

9.     Ravens

10.  Bears

11.  Cowboys

12.  Chargers

13.  Titans

14.  49ers

15.  Packers


1.     Arian Foster

2.     Demarco Murray

3.     Matt Forte

4.     Le’Veon Bell

5.     Marshawn Lynch

6.     Demaryius Thomas

7.     Antonio Brown

8.     Jamaal Charles

9.     Giovani Bernard

10. Julio Jones

11.  Jordy Nelson

12.  Eddie Lacy

13.  Dez Bryant

14.  Rob Gronkowski

15.  Ben Tate

16.  Andre Ellington

17.  Branden Oliver

18.  Julius Thomas

19.  Alshon Jeffery

20.  Lamar Miller

21.  Alfred Morris

22.  Brandon Marshall

23.  Randall Cobb

24.  Justin Forsett

25.  Andre Williams

26.  Steve Smith

27.  Golden Tate

28.  Emmanuel Sanders

29.  Ronnie Hillman

30.  Frank Gore

31.  Shane Vereen

32.  Andre Johnson

33.  Kelvin Benjamin

34.  Mike Wallace

35.  Mohamed Sanu

36.  Greg Olsen

37.  Julian Edelman

38.  Fred Jackson

39.  Joique Bell

40.  T.Y. Hilton

41.  DeSean Jackson

42.  Chris Ivory

43.  Mark Ingram

44.  Bishop Sankey

45.  Jonathan Stewart

46.  Michael Floyd

47.  Percy Harvin

48.  Jordan Reed

49.  Antonio Gates

50.  DeAndre Hopkins

Send in your lineup questions, waiver wire wonders, or trade help to


United Methodist Church youth director Mary Ann Kaiser must wait until at least October before a decision is made on whether she can become a minister because she is openly gay.

Photo Credit: Emily Ng | Daily Texan Staff

After years of work to receive ordination, Mary Ann Kaiser will have to wait months or even years for religious authorities to decide if she can become a minister as an openly gay woman. 

Kaiser, a youth director and justice associate at University United Methodist Church on Guadalupe and 24th streets, was removed in June from enrollment in her church’s ordination process by religious authorities overseeing the church because of her sexuality. James Dorff, a Bishop of the Southwest Texas Conference that oversees Kaiser’s church, rejected an appeal by Kaiser’s pastor this month.

Dorff said it was not in his authority to challenge a decision by the Board of Ordained Ministry, the body that removed Kaiser from enrollment. He was given 30 days to review the matter. 

“I was disappointed,” Kaiser said. “I would have rather had a ruling against me than a non-ruling, as it would have at least held some conviction.” 

Dorff cited the United Methodist Church’s book of rules in his ruling, which states “homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching” and that a “self-avowed practicing homosexual” cannot be ordained.

“I understand that he’s trying to be a pastor and a leader to the whole community, which holds a variety of opinions,” Kaiser said. “But it’s hard to hear nothing of substance as a response to this important and very timely issue of justice.”

Kaiser’s case, which was approved by the District Committee of Ordained Ministry for ordination in April after seven years of preparation, will now head to the October meeting of the United Methodist Church’s Judicial Council.

The council is made up of members elected from churches nationwide and could uphold Dorff’s decision or require him to conduct further review.

Kaiser said the decision indicated a lack of transparency and accountability about the operations of the Board of Ordained Ministry, and that it was frustrating that Dorff would avoid a ruling on the basis of a technicality without taking a stance on gay clergy. 

The board did not interview Kaiser before making their decision, a usual requirement before they choose to deny ordination.

“This is a serious lingering question for me,” Kaiser said. “There seems to be a level of unbridled authority functioning that should concern Methodists of all varieties.”

Joy Butler, chair of the Southwest Texas Conference’s Reconciling Team, called Dorff’s decision unfair.

“I believe that being biblically obedient means that orientation and gender identity should not be a barrier to following a call to be a leader in Church,” Butler said. “Jesus taught us to love all, and many of his followers included those who were denied a voice and excluded from society.”  

Butler, who started a letter-writing campaign directed at Dorff during the 30-day period with the support of the Reconciling Ministries Network, said many United Methodists who are not socially progressive recognize the unfairness in the board’s decision to deny Kaiser an interview, which is outlined as part of the ordination review in the denomination’s rule book.

“United Methodists are wondering why the Board is stepping out of line from protocol and refusing to fully review her ordination path,” Butler said.

Butler said she hopes the Judicial Council ruling will provide some clarity.

Kaiser said she is moved by the outpouring support for her and a more inclusive church, but also said she has lately become disillusioned by the church’s policies.

“I wonder how long my denomination will continue to pretend our policies of discrimination don’t contribute to a culture which greatly harms LGBTQ folks, and all in the name of God,” Kaiser said. “Of course the Bishop cannot change this policy, but I do wish leaders would start making a public witness against this in the South as they have been doing in the North.”

Kaiser will have to wait until 2016 for a new decision if a ruling is not made in October, when the United Methodist General Conference meets to discuss church policy.

Mary Ann Kaiser has been in the ordination process for seven years. Kaiser was told this month she could not be a deacon because she is a lesbian.

Photo Credit: Emily Ng | Daily Texan Staff

After about seven years of enrollment in the process to become an ordained minister, Mary Ann Kaiser of the University United Methodist Church was suddenly removed from candidacy because of her sexual orientation. 

“I was very surprised when I found out that the board met and decided to remove me from the ordination process, even though they had not yet interviewed me or otherwise met me, solely on the basis of my identity as a lesbian,” said Kaiser, a youth director and justice associate at the church on UT’s campus.

The Board of Ordained Ministry decided at the Southwest Texas Annual Conference earlier in June to remove Kaiser from the ordination process. Kaiser had previously been voted and recommended for ordination in full acknowledgement that she is gay. The decision to remove Kaiser from the ordination process wasn’t made locally, but instead by church leaders who oversee multiple churches in Texas.

United Methodist Church‘s policy that does not allow openly gay clergy to be ordained was met with opposition from Austin churches. In addition, the board has been accused of mishandling Kaiser’s process of removal from ordination. The final decision could have a lasting impact on the church’s relations with the LGBT community and it could cause greater divisions among the liberal and conservative elements within the church.

Rev. John Elford, the pastor at University United Methodist Church, spoke on behalf of Kaiser and argued that Kaiser should be ordained. He said the board failed to follow proper procedures that are outlined by United Methodist Church’s own rulebook, the Book of Discipline. Elford said the Book of Discipline requires the board to interview all candidates before denying the ordination process.

“On what grounds can [Kaiser] be removed from candidacy if she has not been interviewed?” Elford asked.

Kaiser was voted and recommended for ordination by the District Committee on Ordained Ministry in April 2013. This committee, among other responsibilities, recommends and votes for candidates to be ordinated. Her meeting and interview with the Board of Ordained Ministry was scheduled for January 2014, although she was removed in early June.

Kaiser said she has been deeply disappointed by the board’s decision and their handling of it. 

“I was shocked at the Board’s decision to act preemptively,” Kaiser said. “I didn’t expect anything at all to happen with my ordination process until my next scheduled interview.”

Bishop James Dorff, the area provost of the North Texas Annual Conference, has 30 days to investigate the matter and revise his previous decision to remove Kaiser. The denomination’s judicial council will automatically review the decision.  

“My decision will be based on my understanding of the Book of Discipline, which I have pledged to uphold,” Dorff said in a statement. 

After the 30 period, Dorff’s ruling will be posted on UMC’s Annual Conference website,

“The ordination of gay clergy members is a really hot topic that has fractured the church,” said Eileen Flynn DeLaO, a former journalism professor who taught religious reporting at UT and a former religion reporter for the Austin American-Statesman. 

The UMC Book of Discipline has a few lines declaring that “homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching” and that a “self-avowed practicing homosexual” cannot be ordained.

“These are the declarations that are guiding the board’s decision to remove Kaiser,” DeLaO said.

Back in April, the Reconciling Ministries Network announced that Kaiser would be married to her lesbian partner, Annanda Barclay, in August at the network’s convocation. The network, a supporter of Kaiser’s ordination, is a pro-LGBT Methodist organization that mobilizes United Methodists to create full inclusion of all people regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

“A woman who privately identifies as a lesbian but does not pursue a same-sex relationship would likely be eligible for ordination, according to church policy,” DeLaO said. 

Because of her public relationship, Kaiser is not subject to the exception anymore, hence the removal from the ordination process. 

According to DeLaO, the ordination of gay clergy has divided other Christian dominations as well, and she believes it is highly likely that it would have the effect of causing great disruption within the United Methodist Church. 

“While many liberal Methodists are working to overturn the ban on gay clergy, other Methodists would feel betrayed because they believe the Bible is clear in its teaching on homosexuality,” DeLaO said. “And many conservative Methodists might leave the church and form a new denomination.”  

Supporters of gay ordination have a different biblical interpretation, as they believe that if a person feels called by God to the ministry then that call should be answered, DeLaO said.

“I think the tide is turning in favor of openly gay clergy,” DeLaO said.

Kaiser also believes the general sense of acceptance for the LGBT community in the church has shifted greatly over the years.

“There is still a long way to go but the fact that conversations are happening and that so many churches are standing in opposition to the United Methodist Church laws hostile to the LGBT community reveals how much things have changed and must continue to do so” Kaiser said. 

Kaiser is not the only one who is happy about this issue being discussed publically and raising awareness. She said she has received emails and Facebook messages from LGBT members in the United Methodist Church from all over the country who have been rejected from the ordination process because of their sexual orientation.

The board’s decision also resulted in a call for action by Kaiser’s supporters. According to the Reconciling Ministries Network’s website, Southwest Texas Annual Conference’s meeting was preceded by a Twitter blast with more than 240 participants defending Kaiser. This was in addition to emails and letters written to Dorff. 

Kaiser and the LGBT community are currently awaiting Dorff’s decision.

“It is hard to imagine, if this decision is upheld by the bishop and the judicial council and made final, the vocation I have spent years, money, school and passion working toward being thwarted,” Kaiser said. “I can still work in churches as someone who is not ordained (as I do now) but it is limiting — both vocationally and theologically.”

Baseball manager of operations files memorandum notifying supervisors of relationship with UT student

Drew Bishop, manager of baseball operations and a former Longhorns pitcher, filed a memorandum Feb. 6 alerting Texas head coach Augie Garrido that he was dating a student employee in Intercollegiate Athletics.

"I do not have evaluative or supervisory oversight of her," Bishop, a 2008 graduate of UT, wrote to Garrido in a document obtained by The Daily Texan.

Bishop told Garrido he had reviewed the situation with Rich Burns, Athletics' assistant director for human resources, and it was determined there was no conflict of interest or any "other areas of concern under HOP 3-3050, Consensual Relationships."

Bishop's letter to Garrido came six days after The Daily Texan obtained correspondence between athletics director DeLoss Dodds and assistant football coach Major Applewhite regarding "inappropriate, consensual" relations with a student trainer during the week of the 2009 Fiesta Bowl. 

Also, three days prior to Bishop's letter, the UT System Board of Regents announced a task force to review policies regarding student-employee relationships.

In October, women's track and field coach Bev Kearney admitted to an "intimate consensual relationship" with a student-athlete that occurred 10 years ago. Kearney resigned in January after learning the University was ready to begin the termination process. 

According to a policy in the University’s Handbook of Operating Procedures, instituted by UT in 2001, all relationships must be disclosed to appropriate members of the University. 

“The University strongly discourages consensual relationships between supervisors and subordinates, teachers and students and advisers and students,” the policy states. A failure to report the relationship will result in “disciplinary action, up to and including termination.”

MBABANE, Swaziland — The Anglican Church has ordained its first female bishop in Africa. 

Ellinah Wamukoya, 61, was consecrated Satuday to serve as the church’s bishop in Swaziland, a tiny, impoverished nation surrounded by South Africa that is the continent’s last absolute monarchy.

It has been 36 years since the church’s General Synod declared it had no fundamental objection to ordaining women as priests, and 18 years since the first women were ordained. Meanwhile, sister churches of the Anglican Communion in Australia, New Zealand and the United States already have women serving as bishops.