Pats 7, 2012; Foxboro, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots running back Danny Woodhead (39) carries the ball against the Denver Broncos during the third quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

New England Patriots: Week 7 Fantasy Preview


After a frustrating loss against the Seattle Seahawks, the Patriots return home to face the hated New York Jets. With the exception of last week, the Jets have been giving up a ton of fantasy points to opposing offenses. Already poor against the run, the loss of Darrelle Revis will hurt their secondary, rendering a once-proud defense impotent against any respectable NFL offense. Adding more (jet) fuel to the fire, the Jets have been outscored 112-40 in the last three regular-season meetings with the Patriots. Everything seems to be lined up for New England to break out, so get your Pats into your fantasy lineup in Week 7!

The combination of a fired up Tom Brady coming off of an upset loss and New York’s depleted secondary should mean a great showing from TB12 this Sunday. The Jets have allowed just one passing touchdown since Revis went down, a trend that will inevitably end, quite possibly in this game. Brady averaged over 300 yards passing and 2 touchdowns against the Jets last year and you can expect at least that output on Sunday…Before shutting down the Colts’ Vick Ballard last week, the Jets had been porous against opposing running backs, giving up 7 rushing touchdowns. Look for Stevan Ridley to run wild this week as the potential exists for the Patriots to be sitting on a lead in this game. With Brandon Bolden on the injury report, there might be less distribution than usual which only enhances Ridley’s potential…There are a number of byes this week, making it more difficult to find viable starting running backs. If you’re desperate, Danny Woodhead makes for an interesting sleeper play. At the very least, he’s usually active in the passing game and with Bolden banged up, he might get more carries than usual as well.

Wes Welker couldn’t possibly have another huge game could he? He certainly could. The Jets might put Antonio Cromartie on Welker exclusively, but more likely they will move him around and utilize his speed to cover Brandon Lloyd as well. He just always seems to be open right now and should be in line for another 8+ reception/100 yard+ afternoon…Brandon Lloyd will once again have his hands full after matching up against Champ Bailey and the physical Seattle secondary in back-to-back weeks. Lloyd will see plenty of Cromartie, one of the faster corners in the league but should be moved around enough to be effective. You just never know when Lloyd will break out with a monster game, but don’t beat yourself up if it happens this week with him on your bench. Just make sure you have a legitimately better option…With Rob Gronkowski on the field, we will see on Sunday if the Jets’ signing of LaRon Landry – an acquisition made with Gronk specifically in mind – will pay off. You’re not going to bench the tight end, but your expectations need to be brought down to earth if they haven’t been already. Gronkowski’s hip is clearly bothering him and it’s quite possible that the Patriots look more to Hernandez as the pass-catching tight end in this game and the foreseeable future…For the second straight week, the Patriots defense put together a great stretch of football, only to falter late and ruin what might have been an above average day for your fantasy defense. What makes this matchup so tasty for them is how well they match up with the Jets. The Patriots could quite possibly have the worst secondary in all of football – which is convenient given that the Jets could quite possibly have the TWO worst quarterbacks in all of football. Eventually teams will realize they don’t have to protect the downfield pass against Mark Sanchez and defend accordingly. But in the case of the Patriots, they can’t protect the downfield pass making the issue moot. New England has done a stellar job at stopping the run and with the Jets running back situation an absolute mess – Shonn Greene is the only healthy running back with an NFL carry and there is talk of Tim Tebow getting some work out of the backfield for this game – they should continue their success in Week 8.

Oct 14, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez (81) celebrates a touchdown reception against the Seattle Seahawks during the second quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE

Week 7 Patriots Start of the Week

Aaron Hernandez is back. The tight end returned from his Week 2 ankle injury in a big way last week catching 6 balls, one of them a touchdown. He saw 9 targets and looked to be completely healthy. While he participated in limited practice this week, it looks as though that was just precautionary and he should be roaring to go Sunday in Foxboro.

The Jets’ secondary is hurting and just begging to be exposed by a 6’1” beast like Hernandez. Despite yielding just 55 yards per game to opposing tight ends this season, the Jets have not had to deal with the likes of the Gronk/Aaron tandem yet. While  Cromartie and the patchwork secondary are busy with the wide receivers, Hernandez should be able to exploit the middle of the field and possibly get open for some large gainers. Projection: 6 receptions, 97 yards receiving, 1 touchdown

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