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Patriots fantasy focus: Week 17

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Recent posts by Kevin Fishbain

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Posted Dec. 31, 2010 @ 9:21 p.m. ET
By Kevin Fishbain

This is a tough week to have Patriots players on your fantasy roster — a big reason why most leagues conclude in Week 16, not Week 17. Unlike the Eagles and maybe the Jets, Patriots starters should get decent playing time, but with Wes Welker's injury in last season's finale looming in everyone's minds, don't expect a whole lot from the stars.

QB Tom Brady should start and probably play at least the first half, which could gain him a touchdown or two. But the Dolphins have a solid pass defense and will bring lots of pressure, so Week 17 is not a game to have Brady as your starter.

In the running game, with not a lot of depth behind them, RBs BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead should still get a decent number of touches. But veteran Fred Taylor could be the back who gets the most carries. Green-Ellis is always a good bet for a score, but considering the Dolphins have a very good front seven, he's not a good start.

The best fantasy bet on the Patriots this week is TE Rob Gronkowski. Again, the Welker injury has to be on the minds of Bill Belichick, so that could limit Welker's and Deion Branch's time on the field. Aaron Hernandez could be rested after missing Week 16, so Gronkowski, no matter who is at running back or wideout, could be the guy who gets the most snaps. He tallied 4-54-2 receiving last week in Buffalo and has scored nine touchdowns in 2010.

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