Yahoo Fantasy Football expert Brandon Funston answers 10 frequently asked questions as the fantasy football season gets underway.
1. Should I get my running back’s “handcuff?”
Funston: If your running back is a top-10 guy, it makes sense. I mean, I’m not handcuffing Toby Gerhart from Jacksonville, but I’m definitely handcuffing Jamaal Charles in Kansas City.
2. Should I avoid drafting players from the same team?
Funston: It depends on the situation. I’d take every player from Denver I could get. I would take a lot of players from the Patriots and the Eagles as well. Those are some of the top offenses in the league. If you have [players from] offenses that are going to struggle, there will be weeks when if you have their QB and their WR, you aren’t going to get anything.
3. Should player performance from last year’s NFL matchups affect my starting lineup?
Funston: It’s a minor factor. Don’t put a whole lot of weight on it. Only if it’s like a tiebreaker situation, and I almost never look beyond last year. The NFL changes so much from year to year that anything from two years ago is ancient history. If it’s a close call between two guys, and I look back and see one guy had 140 receiving yards against the team he’s playing that week, that might be enough to give him the nod.
4. Should I pay attention to field conditions and adjust my lineup accordingly?
Funston: Wind is about the only thing I concern myself with. If it’s snowing and it’s going to be a blizzard, maybe then, but rain doesn’t typically mean a whole lot. But high winds definitely have an effect, especially on kickers.
5. Should I adjust my starters based on weekly matchups or stick with a set lineup week to week?
Funston: I definitely play matchups, but I do believe there’s a certain set of players whom you just don’t bench. Your first-round picks are guys you should rarely ever consider benching. If you have two running backs, and one has a significantly better matchup than the other, even though the other one has been playing better for the season, I’m willing to take the risk and start the guy with the more favorable matchup.
6. Rank these players in order: LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles, Adrian Peterson.
Funston: You just ranked them for me.
7. Should my league award 4 points or 6 points for passing TDs?
Funston: Four points. I liken it to an NBA assist. You’re not scoring, but you’re facilitating the score.
8. Should I give special consideration to players performing in primetime games such as on Thursday and Monday Night Football?
Funston: Those factors aren’t that big of a deal. But I love having a “Monday Night Hammer,” as I call it, a guy who can give me the last laugh so to speak. Avoid guys on Thursday because it’s such a short [time to prepare] unless they’re coming off a bye.
9. Should I avoid rookie wide receivers?
Funston: Typically, yes. It often takes a little while for rookie receivers to adjust.
10. How much stock should I put in the pre-season games?
Funston: I heard a reporter say Randall Cobb from the Packers looked ordinary [in the pre-season.] Well, he never looks ordinary in the regular season when he’s healthy. He’s a great player. I would completely ignore that stuff when you know it’s to the contrary—we’ve seen him in actual games be a star. Some of it you have to take with a grain of salt, but when it comes to [keeping track of] position battles, I think it’s very important.
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