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Patriots fantasy focus

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Recent posts by Kevin Fishbain

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Posted Dec. 03, 2010 @ 2:34 p.m. ET
By Kevin Fishbain

QB Tom Brady might not match the numbers we've seen the past three games, but he is still a great fantasy option. RBs BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead, on the other hand, may struggle on Monday night.

Brady has been as good as ever during the Patriots' current three-game winning streak. He had a perfect QB rating of 158.3 in his four-touchdown performance against the Lions and hasn't thrown an interception since Week Six. But he will face the best cornerback duo in the league in Antonio Cromartie and Darrelle Revis and a Jets defense that picked him twice in Week Two. in that Week Two loss, Brady found success through the air on the Pats' two TD drives but his reliance on Randy Moss cost the offense. He should be able to rack up some yards and a couple TDs, but don't expect to see another through-the-roof passer rating.

Same goes for his top two wide receivers, Deion Branch and Wes Welker, who have been on a surge during the win streak. Both should get their receptions and yards, but it won't be easy against the Jets' corners. Expect the Jets to jam Welker often at the line and keep him from getting yards after the catch. Both wideouts are risky fantasy options.

Monday night could be a prime game for Brandon Tate to finally show he can be a deep threat, but we haven't seen enough from him consistently to suggest starting him in fantasy.

At the tight end position, Aaron Hernandez had a huge game against the Jets last time, catching six passes for 101 yards. Rob Gronkowski has seen more snaps than Hernandez of late and could be the tight end to start this week, especially considering his six TDs this season. Expect the Pats to avoid throwing at Cromartie and Revis, and the tight ends up the seam could be their key to yards through the air. Gronkowski is not a bad start in fantasy this week.

Green-Ellis and Woodhead have excelled during the recent stretch, but they face the league's second-best rushing defense on Monday night. Green-Ellis' best bet for points will come if the Patriots get near the goal line, but he had just 19 yards on 10 carries the last time these teams met. Woodhead has yet to face his former team and could get a lot of offensive snaps, especially if the Patriots fall behind, but both backs' fantasy numbers will likely take a hit.

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