Scott Engel of RotoExperts.com previews Super Bowl XLVI for fantasy purposes and helps you seal up the top spot in the NFL.com Playoff Challenge.
If you carried Tom Brady over from previous rounds, you can expect some optimum production this week and a boost in the final standings of your group. The Patriots realize that not only must they keep Brady clean, but the QB will also try to get rid of the ball quickly as the Giants unleash their formidable pass rush. The Patriots' offensive line has done a solid job of protecting the QB in the postseason and Brady knows how to deal with aggressive pass pressure. Look for quick hits to Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez, who should both pile up a healthy amount of catches.
How effective Rob Gronkowski is remains to be seen, but he will at least command a lot of defensive attention and boost the production of Welker and Gronkowski. Do not overrate the possible scenario in which Gronkowski is not 100 percent either. Brady has always thrived no matter who his targets are, and you must maintain a lot of confidence in him. The Patriots who truly cannot be trusted are the running backs. You never know which version of BenJarvus Green-Ellis will show up in any given week, and Danny Woodhead is completely unreliable for fantasy purposes.
The Giants cannot lean on Brandon Jacobs because of New England's very physical defensive line, but Ahmad Bradshaw can slip and slide through the front seven and is clearly the best RB choice in this matchup. The New England secondary could be completely overmatched against the Giants pass-catchers. There is no way to double either one of the top two WRs, because Eli Manning will simply find out who else is open and spread the ball around well.
Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz are major must-starts in this game, and Mario Manningham is a touchdown threat. Jake Ballard helps Manning move the chains, but is clearly the third-best TE option in the final game of the Fantasy playoff season. Manning is playing his best football in terms of decision-making and there is a strong possibility he will outproduce Brady. Expect a minimum of 275 passing yards and two touchdown passes.