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Key Fantasy Matchups for Sunday’s Pats-Chargers Matchup


Patriots WR Randy Moss vs. Chargers CBs Quentin Jammer and Antonio Cromartie
Despite having some of the most talented corners in the league, San Diego currently ranks last in the NFL in pass defense; they allow more than 265 yards per game. Moss and quarterback Matt Cassel seem to be on the same page after their 66-yard scoring hookup against the San Francisco 49ers. Cassel looked deep to Moss on two other occasions in that game, too. Stretching the field with Moss is key to New England’s offensive success, and Jammer or Cromartie will have the task of preventing Moss from having another big day.

Patriots KR Ellis Hobbs vs. Chargers special teams

Hobbs’ mark of 34.2 yards per kickoff return is tops in the league by nearly three yards; he had been an above-average returner but seems to have kicked it up a notch this season. His returns have allowed New England to start with excellent field position, which comes in handy for Cassel and the rest of the offense. San Diego isn’t the worst coverage team in the league, but it is in the bottom third in terms of yards allowed per return. The Chargers will have to work hard to limit Hobbs this week.

Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson vs. Patriots run defense

Tomlinson’s toe is still hurting, and the league’s top back is not in top form. Last Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins was the third time this season that Tomlinson averaged less than three yards per carry. In addition to LT’s lost step because of the toe injury, his offensive line isn’t clearing holes in the same manner it did in previous seasons. New England’s run defense has been a bit softer than normal, this season but the Patriots’ front, led by defensive end Richard Seymour, could be due to clamp down.

Chargers WR Vincent Jackson vs. Patriots defensive backs

The Chargers might be without receiver Chris Chambers (five touchdowns) because of an ankle injury, which would give Jackson (17 receptions) even more of a chance to excel. Chambers’ absence would also mean potential playing time for wideout Malcom Floyd; the duo of the 6-foot-5 Jackson and the 6-foot-5 Floyd could pose problems for the Patriots in the red zone. New England’s secondary suffered a blow when it lost cover corner Asante Samuel in free agency and could be vulnerable to the Chargers’ explosiveness.

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