Cold, windy weather and a tough Bears defense could make things difficult for the Patriots' offense and for fantasy owners who have reaped the benefits of their recent offensive surge.
Tom Brady has been a fantasy stud during the Pats' four-game winning streak, along with WRs Wes Welker and Deion Branch and touchdown machine RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Granted, we didn't expect the offensive output we saw last week against the Jets, but they'd be hard-pressed to score 40-plus points at Soldier Field on Sunday.
The Bears have the league's third-best overall defense and rank second against the run. That will make life difficult for Green-Ellis and RB-WR Danny Woodhead. Sunday's temperature will barely reach 20 degrees with snow and high winds. That could affect Brady's ability to throw the football.
Luckily, the Patriots' offense has been utilizing quick slants and short-to-intermediate passing routes, and the wind shouldn't affect those throws as much.
Brady is still a definite start, as is Welker. Branch could still have a good game, but Welker will get more targets. The Bears' cover-2 will allow the Patriots to dink and dunk, which will be great for PPR leagues.
At the tight end position, it was Aaron Hernandez who had a big game against the Jets. It's hard to tell which one will get the targets each week, but with such a stout Bears run defense, Hernandez may be a better option if Brady wants to throw a lot.
Don't expect a host of points from anyone on the Patriots' offense with Brady, per usual, being the safest bet to start on fantasy.