This week in Higher/Lower/Over/Under we'll debate the pecking order of the top fantasy quarterbacks and tell you who might be making their way into that club. The fantasy world of defenses is on its ear, and people are panicking on Cam Newton and the Patriots offense. Also, we'll look back at a 1980's classic (well, two of them) and say a proper farewell to Opie Winston.
3: How many "Matt Ryan or RG III" debates I'll be in this week on NFL Fantasy LIVE. Over. These two have proven themselves to be the best fantasy quarterbacks in 2012. They're 1-2 in overall fantasy points. Who would I rather have for the long haul? Probably Ryan, because he's a proven commodity who is breaking out. Much like Newton last season, at some point RG III will come down to earth a little bit. Not a lot, but enough for his wax wings to melt a little bit. But instead of crashing to the ground he grabs hold of a cloud and floats. Hey, it's my mythology and I can change it if I want to.
4: How many times Bill Belichick will grab an official Sunday against Buffalo. Under. First of all, Belichick never would have done that if it was Ed Hochuli. He would have bounced off Hochuli's sinewy-strong frame. But the big takeaway so far this season is that New England is not the juggernaut we thought they'd be in 2012. Their offensive numbers are good, just not what we're used to. Tom Brady is still great, just not as great. Same for Rob Gronkowski, and Wes Welker. But you still have to play all of them because they give you enough over whoever you're going to replace them with.
10: The place Andy Dalton will finish this season in fantasy points for quarterbacks. Under (which means inside the Top 10). He's just outside it right now and he has made huge leaps from last season where now he's a 300-yard passing threat every week, which is something he was not in 2011. He's averaging 289 yards per game despite having just the 22nd most passing attempts so far - his completion percentage is hovering around 70%. He's a No. 2 fantasy quarterback right now, but may be your No. 1 in a couple of weeks.
10: Fantasy points for the Cardinals, Seahawks and Rams defenses this week. Over. Arizona and Seattle have shown to be Top Five fantasy defenses so far this season - they both have young playmakers and are extremely aggressive. They're almost must-starts. The Rams are a little trickier because, yes, it's the Rams, but they're greatly improved over a year ago thanks to the additions of Cortland Finnegan and Janoris Jenkins. They're playing a Seattle team whose offense is much different on the road than it is at home. I'd play them this week, easy.
13: How many times I've read the 'Fred Savage remembers The Princess Bride 25 years later' column. Over. I still sometimes start conversations by asking someone if they have six fingers on their left hand. This movie stands the test of time because it has something for everyone. Sure, the Billy Crystal 'Miracle Max' scene is what everyone remembers, but there haven't been many things EVER that were funnier than the Cary Elwes/Wallace Shawn iocane challenge scene. You have a different favorite scene? As you wish.
15: The number of times I'll see Billy Sims' name on TV this week. Over. Mikel Leshoure had the best debut for a Lions running back since, yes, Billy Sims in 1980. I remember 1980. I was in love with Erin Gray from 'Buck Rodgers.' Leshoure's worth obtaining any way you can in any league, be it free-agency or in a trade. The Lions drafted him to be a superstar and he showed he was every inch of it in Week 3. Kevin Smith didn't even carry the football against Tennessee. Kevin Smith the director has more fantasy value right now. He will no longer Chase Amy into the end zone.
25: Number of times I'll watch owners push the panic button on Cam Newton. Over. Take it easy on him. Ron Rivera says his team is still calm, and you should be too. His fantasy points this season were, 12.5, 25, 10.5. That's one great week, and two bad ones. We're hearing how the team is concerned about his 'mental makeup' after the loss to the Giants. He'll be fine. Keep playing him. And if you're aggressive, try to trade for him - his value is the lowest it's ever been right now and I've seen people ready to move on from him. He just needs to learn how to deal with personal adversity.
30: The number of hours I'll spend obsessing over Opie's death on 'Sons of Anarchy.' Over. The final look on his face summarized his character for the entire run of the series: how he always wanted to do the right thing but could never get it correct. It was brilliant. He has the two most memorable moments from the show, along with "Agent Stahl, put your hands on the wheel, please." I really can't stop thinking about that scene. S.O.A. is the best guilty-pleasure TV show there's ever been. I'm so obsessed I buy the shirts they wear on the show so I can wear them.
1,000: How many people have called me to express sympathy after Darrelle Revis' torn ACL. Over. I explained to everyone how I'm processing all the stages of grief. I'm through acceptance, and am to the point where I believe the Jets can win without him, since they only play two elite wideouts the rest of the schedule (Andre Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald). What he does, the Jets can adjust to. Not that it isn't a big blow: it is. But it's not a death knell. Except if you own the Jets defense in fantasy - they'll be giving up a few more points than normal and won't be a 'must-start' every week. Play the matchups. And help me light candles for Revis.
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