Fantasy is a speculative game. Predict the future, and you look like a genius. Don't, and you're painfully human. Gazing into the crystal ball here's our view on 10 intriguing over/unders for Week 6.
Vick Ballard, now starting against the Jets with Donald Brown sidelined, final Week 6 RB rank 22.5 (In other words, will he deliver RB2-level stats in 12-team leagues)?
Brad — UNDER. The once proud Jets defense is a shell of its former self. This season, the Puddle Jumpers have surrendered 4.7 YPC to RBs. Ballard will give way to Mewelde Moore on third-downs but is a strong candidate for a 17-75-1 afternoon.
Brandon — UNDER. Meaning he'll be a top 22 RB in Week 6. Jets allowing a very unRex-like 4.9 YPC. And the Jets have to be on alert first and foremost in the passing game given Luck's early success. Space should be available for Ballard.
Scott — With all due respect to the plus matchup, I'm going OVER. If Ballard has special talent, it hasn't flashed yet: 21 carries, 42 yards. He's only caught one pass. Indy's run blocking currently ranks 27th on Pro Football Focus; good luck finding holes.
Defense/Special Teams Dilemma. Pick your poison: Tampa (vs. KC), Miami (vs. StL) or Detroit (at Phi)
Brandon — MIAMI. Love that they are at home against a lousy offense — Rams have been 8th-most generous offense in fantasy to opposing defenses. And Miami has already been getting it done as a fantasy defense, ranking in the top 8 in QB sacks and INTs
Scott — Put on your snappiest white suit and meet me in MIAMI. The Dolphins defense has cut its teeth against legitimate opposition, and this week it faces an offense with no blocking and no downfield threats. Get ready to duck, Sammy Bradford.
Andy — TAMPA. This group has defended the run well (3.2 YPC), they're coming off a bye, and facing a depth chart QB.
Rashard Mendenhall total yards against Tennessee 94.5
Andy — OVER. It would help my cause if this game remains competitive for, say, three quarters. But you have to love Mendenhall's tape from Week 5, and this is an awfully friendly matchup.
Dalton — OVER. I was wrong about taking a wait-and-see approach with Mendenhall last week, as he looked fantastic. I expect Thursday night's game to be relatively close, and Mendy should exceed 20 touches, resulting in 100 yards from scrimmage.
Brad — OVER. My obnoxious affections for Illinois running backs wouldn't let me think any other way. Plus,Tennessee is the NFL's Titanic defensively. It's given up 173.9 total yards per game to RBs this season.
Pick a Packer: Alex Green or James Starks
Dalton — As someone who had far too many shares of Cedric Benson than I'd like to admit, this question pains me. Can the answer be neither? If not, then I'll say STARKS. I get that Green is far more explosive, but Starks has a better chance at a goal-line carry and is far more trusted in pass protection, so he'll be on the field more.
Brad — GREEN. McCarthy's declaration his backfield will be a 'hot hand' situation definitely favors Green, fresh off a respectable 10-63 effort at Indy. On the excitement scale, Starks barely moves the needle. He's clunky, slow and largely average.
Brandon — STARKS. Mike McCarthy says he'll ride the hot hand, but he has a much longer history with Starks and, when a coach has concerns about pass pro (as he does with Green) in an offense that pretty much is thinking pass all the time, it makes me lean towards Starks even more.
Aaron Hernandez, assuming he's active, receiving yards at SEA 54.5
Brandon — UNDER. Back in the fire off a four-week layoff, I'm not believing he'll get his usual workload. And Seattle has the kind of defensive speed to deal with a less than 100 percent Hernandez.
Scott — UNDER, and clearly under at that. The Seahawks defense is nasty, especially at home. Hernandez probably won't be 100 percent and he plays a position where timing is critical. I will not be proactive ranking him, or starting him, in Week 6.
Andy — UNDER. As of this writing, we don't even have confirmation that he'll play. So betting that he'll exceed <em>any</em> yardage total carries some risk.
Jordy Nelson receiving yards versus Jonathan Joseph and the Houston Texans 69.5
Scott — UNDER. I've finally thrown up the white flag on Nelson, giving him the lowest ranking of the year on my clipboard. He only needs one play to make everyone happy, but the timing and accuracy is missing with Green Bay's YAC game. Kareem Jackson is having a nice coverage year in Houston, too.
Andy — UNDER. Here's your projection: three catches on six targets, 55 yards, one TD.
Dalton — OVER. Joseph has allowed 7.7 YPA this year, so it's not like he's been exactly shutdown. Still, Houston has given up the second fewest fantasy points to opposing WRs, and Nelson has obviously been a big disappointment. I'm betting on that changing come Sunday night.
Andrew Luck, coming off a 386 combined yards thrashing of Green Bay, total yards at NYJ 299.5
Scott — I'm head over cleats for this kid, but I have to go UNDER. The Jets back seven is still a respectable lot, and Luck might have to make do without a lot of Reggie Wayne this week (he'll be coverage target No. 1 in the Meadowlands).
Andy — UNDER. Luck delivers some sneaky yardage via the ground game, but I think this game should be fairly low-scoring and messy. Can't go over.
Dalton — UNDER. I have Luck on a bunch of my teams this year, so I'm a big fan, and I know he's thrown for more than 300 yards in three of four games this year, but he's going outdoors against a desperate Jets team that's far more vulnerable against the run than pass. Luck is the real deal, but he falls short of this number this week.
Alfred Morris rushing yards versus Minnesota 89.5
Andy — OVER. I can easily see a 30-carry, 90-yard, no-touchdown effort from Morris.
Dalton — UNDER. I expect this to be very close, and I'm a full believer in Morris, but Minnesota's run D is very stout (although he previously gashed a similarly impressive TB run defense for 113 rushing yards earlier this year). And the fact RGIII looks likely to play certainly helps.
Brad — UNDER. I'm heavily invested in 'The Butler,' but it's hard to see him escaping the 80s against such a stalwart defense. MJD has the highest ground total (77) against the Vikings this year. Morris would need 35 carries to eclipse that number.
Dwayne Bowe, assuming Brady Quinn is under center, at TB 74.5 receiving yards
Brad — UNDER. Quinn is only slightly better than Blaine Gabbert. In other words, he's a borderline abomination. Another 9-6 thriller could be in order for KC, hindering Bowe's chances for a standout performance.
Brandon — OVER. Tampa Bay allows a league-high 9 yards per pass attempt. And the first (of three) passes Quinn attempted last Sunday was a 20-yard strike to Bowe. Are we really thinking that Quinn is such a major step down from Cassel?
Scott — I'm going UNDER (respect to Talib; no respect to the KC pass throwers), but fear not, Bowe sympathizers. You'll get a late touchdown that has no impact on the actual game.
QB conundrum: Matt Schaub (vs. GB), Kevin Kolb (vs. Buf), Alex Smith (vs. NYG), Christian Ponder (at Wash), Andy Dalton (vs. Cle)
Brad — SMITH. His swelled 'bird' is no longer an issue. Foreseeing Corey Webster, the league's worst cover corner, getting torched by Michael Crabtree at least a dozen times.
Brandon — DALTON. Giving Big Red the slight nod here, though Cleveland's pass defense should be better with Joe Haden back. That said, can't ignore that 318/3 line Dalton hung on the Browns in Week 2.
Scott — DALTON is the play here — even if Joe Haden has his groove on, the deep Bengals receiving corps will find other matchups they like.
Andy — PONDER. This one seems like a layup. The only QB that hasn't passed for 300 yards against the 'Skins so far this year is Josh Freeman...who threw for 299.
Dalton — SCHAUB. His fantasy value doesn't approach his real life value thanks to the Texans' terrific defense and run-heavy offense, but Green Bay should be able to put up points Sunday night, resulting in Schaub attempting a season-high in pass attempts. For what it's worth, I dropped Joe Flacco for Schaub this week in Yahoo!
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