No one has stopped Brady, so maybe the weather will

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The answer to the big question hasn't changed all season: No, nobody has a chance of stopping Tom Brady and the unbeaten Patriots.

But maybe -- and this is a big maybe -- a showdown against Tom Brady in the fantasy football playoffs doesn't spell certain doom.

Consider the past couple of weeks, when new defensive schemes limited him to three scores. That's three total in two games, following a 10-game streak in which Brady hit three or more TDs every week.

And this week he faces the Steelers' top-ranked defense.

Fantasy foes of Brady may have an even better weapon, though: The simple fact that it's really cold outside.

In the windy and blustery Baltimore weather Monday, Brady looked cold, uncomfortable and -- gasp -- even a little inaccurate.

Brady's next three games are in New England, where sleet, snow or freezing temperatures can botch up a passing game. In fact, in his home December games over the past five years, Brady has thrown three or more TDs just twice. He's only put up one 300-yard game.

Of course, he didn't have Randy Moss or a chance to make history then. And he'll probably still have another huge game or two. Or three or four. But at least there's a sliver of optimism.

START 'EM

Roddy White, WR, Atlanta. The Saints don't ever cover people, and White has emerged as a reliable No. 1. He's a lock for his first 1,000-yard season, and has 100 yards and a score in each of his past two games.

Matt Hasselbeck, QB, Seattle. He's averaging 284 yards and a couple scores in his past five home games, and he faces a beat-up Arizona secondary that hasn't been much on covering people lately.

Braylon Edwards, WR, Cleveland. Edwards is living right after his 67-yard score in which he appeared to clearly have been down by contact. Take that luck, plus the Jets' bad luck, and he should be good for 200 yards this week.

Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans. He should have the 5-7 Saints looking like championship material against the Falcons.

Jerious Norwood, RB, Atlanta. With the season long over and an offensive line that can hang with any practice squad, the Falcons have finally decided it's time for speedy youngster to get the carries.

Tarvaris Jackson, QB, Minnesota. I'm eating nearly a season's worth of words here, but Jackson's looking sharp for Minnesota. He may get bored between long runs by Adrian Peterson and throw a few touchdowns on San Francisco.

SIT 'EM

Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants. Manning is 1-0 when forbidden to throw the ball unless it's an absolute emergency, so start him only if your league awards handoff points.

Torry Holt, WR, St. Louis. It certainly feels ridiculous to suggest benching Holt in the fantasy playoffs. Marc Bulger should be back, but how long till he's knocked out again? With Gus Frerotte probably out, there's a chance Brock Berlin ends up at QB.


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