Patriots fantasy focus

Posted Nov. 12, 2010 @ 2:51 p.m.
Posted By Kevin Fishbain

From a fantasy standpoint, Sunday night's game against the Steelers is very dicey for the Pats' offense, especially after its struggles were illuminated in Week Nine's loss to the Browns.

The obvious Patriots benching in fantasy is RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis. He followed up his career-high 112 yards against the Vikings with just 14 yards against the Browns. If the Pats are playing from behind, Green-Ellis loses snaps to Danny Woodhead, not to mention the fact that he'll be going up against the Steelers' league-best run defense. If the Pats get near the goal line, Tom Brady would be more effective throwing to his tight ends instead of handing to Green-Ellis.

WRs Wes Welker, Brandon Tate and Deion Branch have suffered with the Patriots' offense. Teams are jamming Branch and Welker at the line, and Tate has just one big catch since Randy Moss got traded. But the Patriots' best chance of success against the Steelers is through the air, so the receivers are not bad starts in fantasy.

TE Aaron Hernandez caught the first two touchdown passes of his career last Sunday, and Brady may be more apt to throw him the ball near the goal line. He is still a definite start at the TE position.

Because of the Steelers' run defense, Brady needs a big game for the Patriots to win, and that could happen against the Steelers 24th-ranked pass defense. A sprained foot slowed Brady this week, but he is expected to start, and he should be a start in all fantasy leagues.