Predicting the uncertain: Week Six fantasy football start/sits

Let’s stop and consider one of the most shocking storylines from Week Five of the NFL season.

No, I’m not talking about the demise of Michael Vick and the Eagles, who dropped to 1-4 after losing to Buffalo. I’m not talking about the upstart Lions’ first Monday Night Football appearance in more than a decade, subsequent domination of the Bears and 5-0 start. I’m not even talking about the Tim Tebow fervor coming out of Denver.

The mainstream media (cough, ESPN, cough) will undoubtedly jam those storylines down the public’s collective throats all, overlooking an incredible quarterback duel that took place on the gridiron of Lucas Oil Stadium last Sunday.

Yes, I’m talking the epic showdown between future Hall-of-Famers Matt Cassel and Curtis Painter, a battle for the ages, evoking memories of legendary battles like Favre-Elway and Brady-Manning.

Cassel and Painter combined for 534 passing yards, six touchdowns and zero interceptions. Cassel’s posted a quarterback rating of 138.9, while Painter came in at 115.8.

Prior to Sunday, the odds of that quality of play coming from those two quarterbacks were longer than the odds of Paul Walker pulling off a decent emotional scene in the Fast and the Furious series.

The point is that the NFL is unpredictable. Fantasy football is even more so. Take Sebastian Janikowski, for example. The Raiders kicker booted four field goals last week, including three of 50 yards or more, good for 20 fantasy points. That type of production cannot be accounted for.

Fortunately, with a little work, many unpredictable performances become foreseeable. And fortunately for you, the Doctor got his M.D. solely so he could predict the future.

h2. Start

*Tony Romo, QB, Cowboys:* The Romocoaster should be an obvious start this week against New England’s league-worst passing defense. Coming off a bye week and recovering from injury, make sure to get Romo in your lineup.

*James Starks and Ryan Grant, RB, Packers:* Sometimes it seems like Green Bay is wasting its time by even trying to run the ball, since Aaron Rodgers makes throwing the ball look incredibly easy. The Pack will be playing with a lead all game against the Rams on Sunday, though, so expect a steady dose of Starks and Grant in the second half.

*Aaron Hernandez, TE, Patriots:* Having Tom Brady as your quarterback is like having Kevin Kaplan as your editor: He makes everyone around him better. Hernandez was targeted a team-high nine times last week in his return from injury, and this week’s matchup against Dallas will be a shootout. Hernandez and fellow tight end Rob Gronkowski are Brady’s favorite red zone targets. Put two and two together: Hernandez equals points.

h2. Sit

*Matt Schaub, QB, Texans:* I’m perpetually down on Schaub, mainly due to his player card picture “on espn.com”:http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/_/id/5615/matt-schaub. Seriously, go check it out. Dude looks like a goober. Pictures aside, Schaub will likely be without top target Andre Johnson for the second straight week. He also has the misfortune of facing a Ravens defense that has allowed the least fantasy points to quarterbacks all year. Baltimore’s secondary has given up only three touchdowns through the air while picking off six passes, which bodes ill for the Texans’ QB.

*Jahvid Best, RB, Lions:* Best had the best rushing game of his young career last week, scoring on an 88-yard scamper and racking up 163 yards on 12 carries against a porous Bears defense. Prior to that game, however, Best had struggled this year, averaging only 3.1 yards per carry in his first four games. Facing a rejuvenated San Francisco defense that has allowed only 76 yards per game on the ground, the Lions will go to the air (aka the machine that is Calvin Johnson) to move the ball.

*Dallas Clark, TE, Colts:* Clark is more bewildered without Peyton Manning at quarterback than “Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man”:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEFsyQdYT1o when Tom Cruise is trying to make him get onto a plane. Clark has yet to catch more than four passes in a single game, reaching a new low last week when he caught only one ball for seven yards while making three crucial drops in the Colts loss to the Chiefs. Until he shows he can produce without Manning, he belongs on your bench.

_Daniel is a junior in Media. Contact him for fantasy football/relationship advice at [email protected] Follow_ _him on Twitter @danielmillermc._