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Fantasy football: Mike Vick at a crossroads


As you digest your leftover candy from Halloween, I present to you this week's edition of Higher/Lower/Over/Under. I hope it's more of a "Hey, wow I got a WHOLE candy bar from someone, not just one of the small ones!" reaction to the column instead of a "I can't believe that house gave me a gumball and three pennies. They stink." Reaction.

1: Times I hope to see those Pittsburgh Steelers throwback uniforms again. Under. Please, be under. First of all, they look like they're a prison team and secondly, I really think if you walked up to any player you could just peel off their numbers to reveal a new one below - sort of like at Wal-Mart, how they just take the 7 away from $7.99 price sign and behind it is a 4.

2: Weeks until the Eagles make a change at quarterback. Push. This is a bigger deal than just "Let's put Nick Foles in to see what he can do." You sit Michael Vick, he's done in Philadelphia and he's gone at the end of the season, because they can cut him with minimal financial worry. I think he has a big game this week, and I'd like to think he'll have a few more as the season goes on. But that's a big gamble and assumption to make if he's your fantasy quarterback. He can be replaced at any time after Week 9. Have a backup plan ready to execute at a moment's notice, because things will go off the rails if the Eagles lose Monday night, and Vick will be the fall guy. It's not all his fault but man, does he look at times like someone who got paid a year ago and decided to ease off the accelerator a bit. And if a change is made my stat man Bill Sudell will have a statistic for you he's been waiting to use all season long if/when said change happens.

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3: Weeks until Doug Martin gets a new nickname. Under. The Muscle Hamster joined us on NFL Fantasy Live this week and told us how he's canvassing for a new one via Twitter. I asked him what new ones fans have suggested and he told me 'Beast Hamster.' Which honestly, I kinda like. Imagine the pictures of this enormously beefed up Hamster with a look in his eyes and teeth like he could rip your head off. And, to be fair "Beast" anything right now is hot. For Martin, after a slow start to the season he's really come on the last few weeks. Hopefully you held onto him because at worst he's a good No. 2 running back right now. He could be one of those rare rookies who get stronger as the season goes on instead of hitting the wall. Or, if he does hit the wall, he'll just stiff-arm his way through it - right Letroy Guion?

5th: The end of season rank in fantasy points for Peyton Manning. Under. And by that I mean inside the top five. He ranks sixth right now, however Robert Griffin III, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady haven't had their bye weeks yet. The line of 'must-start' quarterbacks in fantasy goes like this: RG III, Rodgers, Brady, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Peyton. Everyone else is at best a strong play or a matchup-based quarterback. Peyton is probably the draft bargain of the season for you, considering he likely lasted until at least the fifth round or even the seventh. He won't be around that late for you next year.

75: Facebook posts about my Halloween costume. Over. Way over. Hey, when your three and a half year old daughter says "Daddy, I want to dress like you and you dress like me for Halloween", you do it. So she got the bald cap, 'Sons of Anarchy' t-shirt, jeans and sneakers while I got the ladybug dress with accompanying antennae hair band. One positive? I look much better in red than I ever thought I would.

60: Fantasy points for Reggie Bush in the next three weeks. Over. Michael Fabiano and I were debating this in the news room this week. The next three games, Bush plays at Indianapolis, vs. Tennessee, and at Buffalo. He christened it 'Cupcake City.' I think of it more as the Reggie Bush Victory Tour. He should average twenty points a game through this non-gauntlet easily. It's the equivalent of you and I using the wide open self-checkout in a grocery store instead of waiting in a long line behind people who are trying to pay with coupon cash-equivalents and post-dated third party checks.

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100: The number of 'Should I pick up Tim Tebow' questions I'll be asked until the Jets play again. Over. Don't do it. Will he play more? Yes. But the Jets aren't going to shift philosophies while they're still (and I make this clear - in their minds) in the playoff hunt. Rex Ryan is sticking by Sanchez not because he believes in him, but it shows everyone on the team - and potential free agents - that when the going gets tough, he sticks by his players and doesn't throw them under the bus. Tebow will still be limited.

188: Fantasy points for Lawrence Tynes this season. Under. He's at 94 after eight games, and projects to have even more fantasy points than David Akers, who totaled 184 last season. And this without making a 50-plus yarder this season. I can't see him keeping up this breakneck pace, and eventually the Giants will resume scoring touchdowns. But man is he fun to talk about. He actually has more fantasy points this season than Jay Cutler and Philip Rivers. If he was a running back, he'd be 11th overall in points. If he was a New York Jet, he'd be starting at wide receiver.

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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