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Without Moss, Brady losing fantasy mojo

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Posted Nov. 08, 2010 @ 12:34 p.m. ET
By Michael Blunda

While the Patriots did not think they needed Randy Moss to be a good football team, it's becoming clear that Tom Brady needed him to be a top-tier fantasy quarterback.

Ever since losing Moss, his favorite downfield and red-zone target since 2007, Brady's numbers just haven't been the same. In the three games this season in which Moss caught a ball, Brady posted eight TD passes. In the five games since then, the QB has just six scoring tosses. And he has gone all season without a 300-yard outing, something that used to be automatic for the signalcaller. What gives?

Well, the Patriots' receiving corps simply isn't that special without Moss. The team no longer has a consistent deep threat, and in-season acquisition Deion Branch has done little since his first game. Wes Welker thrived in his slot role previously, but now defenses can constantly double-team him and force Brady to look elsewhere. The QB does have an impact player in rookie TE Aaron Hernandez, but it's not enough to make him a prolific passer on a regular basis.

While he's still good enough to have a monster game at the drop of a hat, it has gotten to the point where owners shouldn't feel obligated to start him every week. If you were able to grab Michael Vick or Kyle Orton off waivers early on, both likely will be better options the rest of the way. And even if Brady does manage to turn things around, odds are it won't start this week, when he has to face the ferocious Steelers on the road.

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