This week in Higher/Lower/Over/Under we'll serve up a round downstairs from Melville's, spotlight some kickers and defenses (for real, hey, they're part of fantasy too), welcome back a former 1,000 yard rusher to fantasy relevance, and see if the Dolphins offense are the new Saints. And I actually wrote that last bit with a semi-straight face.
3: Weeks until Tim Tebow starts at QB for the Jets. Over. Here's how it will play out in New York. I know it seems like next week will be the best time to make the move, especially in the wake of Santonio Holmes' injury. (After all, if there's no one to throw to, why not go to a quarterback who doesn't throw?) But even if the Jets lose against Houston, they'll only be a game out of first place in the AFC East. Rex Ryan will go to Tebow when he feels like his team can still save the season, but it will be as late as he can hope for, since you can only make this move once. That'll likely be after the Week 8 bye when the Jets schedule lightens up considerably. My advice is pick up Tebow now and stash him on your bench, because when he does take over he'll immediately become a top-ten fantasy quarterback.
10: How many times someone will ask me how to pronounce 'Zuerlein'. Over. First, just think of Steve Beurelein and you're all set. Secondly, how about this wave of young kickers who are booting all kinds of field goals from 50 yards and out? Zuerlein, Blair Walsh and Justin Tucker have been huge so far this season, and they're likely available on your waiver wire. Go pick them up, or try to get them as throw-ins in trades. You may not like them, but kickers are fantasy point producers too.
15: Movie stars linked romantically to Brigitte Nielsen before Sunday. Over. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, the Rocky IV connection with Dolph Lundgren. I can imagine what the talk was like on the set of 'The Expendables 2.' Oh, and is there a way to get her in 'The Expendables 3?' With Flavor Flav as a mad scientist who wears a clock around his neck that counts down time until he unleashes his evil plan that means the end of the world. (Hey, Hollywood, I think I may have something here.)
20: The number of 'Do I replace Tony Romo as my quarterback?' conversations I'll be involved in this week. Over. Throw DeMarco Murray in this conversation as well. It's not all Romo and Murray. The Cowboys offensive line is awful. So that cuts into the effectiveness of both players. Until they get it fixed, Romo will be on my bench (and I recommend starting guys like Dalton, Ponder, Luck, Roethlisberger, and maybe even Kolb and Palmer over him for now). And Murray becomes someone I consider for my flex spot. I have him in two leagues and this week I promoted Ryan Mathews and Chris Johnson ahead of him, and I would have had Dallas been on a bye or not.
25: Fantasy points for the Texans defense on Monday night. Under. But just barely. I'll tell you exactly how this is going to go. The Jets will run some smoke and mirrors early to keep it close, but eventually Houston will pull away amidst a barrage of turnovers. If the Jets score ten points I'll be surprised. Houston's 'D is a monster and is the closest thing to a 'must-start defense' this side of San Francisco. And what goes without saying is don't play any Jets this week (not that you were doing it anyway, but I had to say it just in case).
30: How many times Michael Fabiano will remind me that 'Cheers' turns 30 this week and how it's the greatest TV show ever. Over. Thing is, he's almost right. I remember it being the first great comedy I watched from its inception until conclusion. So did my wife. And about ten years ago, we ran into Casey and Jean Kasem at a Christmas party and my wife told her how much she loved her stint as Loretta Tortelli. And then Casey asked her to run her favorite lines from Jean's appearances. And my wife did. It was both enthralling and creepy.
50: Rushing yards for Rashard Mendenhall against Philadelphia. Over. It's not a great matchup, as the Eagles have only given up one touchdown on the ground in the last eight games, but they're rushing totals allowed for this year have gone like this: 99, 111, 99, 57. So there are yards there to be had, if not in the red zone. And in his first game back, he won't be the same running back he used to be just yet. So my advice, unless you have to, sit Mendenhall this week. If you have someone on your bench you can start that you're confident can give you more than five fantasy points, go with them and maybe look at Mendenhall for a week from now.
253: Receiving yards for Brian Hartline this week. Under. Okay, it's obvious. But what's not so obvious is that Hartline is a great flex play during the byes. He's Ryan Tannehill's favorite receiver which is worth its weight in fantasy points. Also not so obvious is that even though the secret is out on how good the Cardinals defense is, there are still a ton of yards to be had through the air against them (256 per game to be exact). So don't be afraid of starting your quarterbacks and wide receivers against them.