Brady exceeded all expectations last week, but he could come crashing back to earth against a stout Chargers defense on Sunday. You’re not going to bench Brady under most circumstances, but tempering expectations to something like 250 yards and 2 scores would be prudent.
Welker is the only Patriots receiver I would recommend this week due to his incredible chemistry with Brady. He should be in the 6-80-1 range at best.
Deion Branch/Chad Ochocinco
I wouldn’t mess around with either of these guys this week. Don’t expect either player to exceed 4 catches and 50 yards.
Aaron Hernandez/Rob Gronkowski
The Patriots used both tight ends extensively in Week 1, and I would not be surprised if they followed a similar gameplan against San Diego. The biggest weakness of the Chargers defense is stopping the tight end, so look for both players to split up 8 catches for 130 yards and a score. Start either player with confidence.
Benjarvus Green-Ellis/Danny Woodhead
The Patriots didn’t use BJGE much in Week 1, opting to use Woodhead extensively between the 20s to take advantage of his matchup versatility and pass protection skills. Starting either of these players is a gamble in a game that figures to be lower-scoring than most New England contests, but you could make an argument for flexing BJGE in TD-heavy leagues or Woodhead in PPR and yardage-heavy leagues. They should combine for 80-100 yards and a possible score.
Expect somewhere around 1-2 FGs and 3 extra points.
Patriots Defense/Special Teams
The Chargers are explosive on offense but wildly inconsistent in terms of turnovers and special teams play. Expect 2-3 sacks and 1-2 turnovers with at least 21-24 points scored. If your team counts special teams scores and yardage as part of defensive scoring, starting the Pats is a no-brainer. They are otherwise a marginal play.