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Fantasy football: Don't sit Matt Stafford in Week 7


This week in Higher/Lower/Over/Under we're going to tackle Matthew Stafford, Steven Jackson, horror and zombies (I guess you could say Stafford and Jackson have had zombie-like fantasy production and you wouldn't be wrong). We're also waving goodbye to a ten-year era of dominance in fantasy, and we'll recommend starting Chris Johnson (really) before ending with barbeque sauce.

1: Touchdown passes for Matthew Stafford Sunday against Chicago. Over. I know it's been a rough ride for Stafford, who hasn't had a running game or another receiver to take the pressure off of Calvin Johnson. The Bears are a horrible matchup for him, but I believe in the pedigree of the player. His comeback win over Philadelphia will be the springboard to a scorching second-half of the season. Don't sit him because you like the matchup of Brandon Weeden or Ryan Fitzpatrick this week. You play your studs, especially when they're getting hot.

2: How many more times I'll play Steven Jackson this season. Under. It's clear the offense is moving more towards Daryl Richardson who looks like a younger version of Jackson. Jackson hits the holes slowly, and well, when a team says they'll let you be a free agent after this season is over, how much can you be in their plans? He's a major 'sit' for me the rest of the way.

7: How many times I'll be woken up screaming because I'm having nightmares about the Herschel leg scene from the season premiere of 'The Walking Dead.' Hopefully under. I still can't get over how fast, brutal and matter-of-fact the "I've been bitten by a zombie on my calf so how can I survive" decision and subsequent action was made by Rick. Nightmare city. Like watching the Jets throw the football.

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12: The number of 'What's up with the Ravens defense' questions I'll get this week. Over. This is not your older brother's Ravens defense. It's old, missing playmakers and susceptible on the ground and through the air. DeMarco Murray was on his way to a huge day against Baltimore before getting hurt. The Ravens now rank 26th overall in total defense. What an end of an era. For the last ten years it's been "Do I really want to start my guys against the Ravens defense" to "Hey, I have to start all my guys against the Ravens defense." It's sort of sad, really.

15: The number of touchdowns for James Jones this season. Under - but it won't be his fault. He leads all players in touchdown receptions so far this season with seven. But with Green Bay's offense going back to what it was last year - dink and dunk and then downfield, you'll see the values of Jordy Nelson, Jermichael Finley and Greg Jennings (when healthy) all go up. Cedric Benson's injury means the Packers will go away from trying to run the ball and back to their 2011 form where they barely ran it at all. Jones will still be worth playing, but he won't match Nelson's touchdown total from last season.

17: How many times Michael Fabiano and I had questions for each other about the season premiere of 'American Horror Story.' Under, actually. Last year, I remember loving the pilot episode even though I had no idea what was going on. (TV is like that for me.) This year, I feel like I have a pretty good feel about what's happening. Although, if you're near people who are talking about the show and you don't watch it, it must be weird to overhear a conversation start with "I like that they introduced the aliens and that spider right away, but you don't know if they turned Tate into Bloody Face or not."

30: How many times I'll be asked on Twitter if Chris Johnson should be in your starting lineup this week. Over. Yes, he looked a little better against the Steelers. But this is how far he's fallen - when he gets 11 fantasy points we jump up and say "Hey, that's great for Chris Johnson!" But this is a big week simply because he's playing against the Bills, who are allowing over 170 yards per game on the ground, dead last in the NFL. Hey, if William Powell and the Cardinals can do it, why not Johnson? Johnson also plays the Colts the following week, so he's a great play then as well.

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50: Rushing yards for Felix Jones Sunday. Over. Carolina's rush defense is pretty malleable (allowing over 127 yards per game and having given up four rushing touchdowns this season). However he's not someone who Dallas can give the football to 20 times -- he hasn't done that hardly at all in his career. Philip Tanner is going to get some chances as well, so I see Jones with a 12-15 carry day, topping 50 yards with a touchdown. He's a terrific spot start this week considering half the league's stars are on a bye, but don't expect him to give you a 15-20 point day.

10,000: How many dollars I would pay for a jar of McDonald's McJordan barbeque sauce. Under. This is where we're at now after a Chicago man paid that on eBay for an unopened jar of it this week. I'm more amazed that the guy who put it on eBay kept setting the minimum price at $10,000. And I'm even more amazed that the guy, who once sold seven McDonald's restaurants that he owned and now has his own restaurant chain, wouldn't take anything less than that for it. There's a world out there I have no idea about. And their vote in elections counts just as much as mine.

Jason Smith hosts NFL Fantasy Live on the NFL Network and writes fantasy and other pith for Talk to him on Twitter @howaboutafresca, and listen to his Fantasy Podcast with Michael Fabiano and Elliot Harrison every week on He only asks you never bring up when the Jets play poorly.


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