Getting our head around the Patriots-Saints clash on Monday night has been a challenge. Where are the weaknesses on these teams? Does one of them have any statistical advantage over the other?

We dug and dug -- and we've got some data, which is good because chances are you own at least one Patriot or Saint on your Fantasy roster.

New Orleans and New England rank at the top of the NFL in total offense heading into their matchup. Both have averaged more than 400 yards per game; the Patriots are averaging 29.0 points per game while the Saints are scoring 36.9 points per game. Both have 20 or more passing touchdowns and 11 or more rushing touchdowns.

But it's defense that separates them: Against the pass New England is averaging 187.3 passing yards per game with 14 touchdowns allowed. The Saints are giving up more yards -- 214.9 per game -- but have allowed just nine scores through the air. Only three teams have allowed fewer.

But the Patriots might have an edge when they run the ball: The Saints have given up 12 rushing touchdowns on the season -- only one team ranked in the top 20 vs. the run has allowed more. So while both run defenses allow over 100 yards per game on average (New Orleans 115.7; New England 109.4), the Patriots run defense has yielded just three scores on the ground.

That should bode well for Laurence Maroney, but that's assuming that Maroney is going to carry the ball a lot for the Patriots. He'll get his share of work, but everybody knows that the Patriots love to put the ball in the air.

With that being the case, there's some overwhelming data that hints that Tom Brady could have a big game on Monday. In 10 games this season, Brady has played five defenses that run a 4-3 scheme and five defenses that run a 3-4 scheme. The change in schemes is one more linebacker in the 3-4 instead of the 4-3, but for Brady and the Patriots it makes all the difference.

Opp. Brady vs. 4-3 defenses Opp. Brady vs. 3-4 defenses
vs. BUF 39/53, 378 yards, 2 TDs, INT @NYJ 23/47, 216 yards, INT
vs. ATL 25/42, 277 yards, TD vs. BAL 21/32, 258 yards, TD
vs. TEN 29/34, 380 yards, 6 TDs @DEN 19/33, 215 yards, 2 TDs
vs. TB* 23/32, 308 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs vs. MIA 25/37, 332 yards, TD, INT
@IND 29/42, 375 yards, 3 TDs, INT vs. NYJ 28/41, 310 yards, TD
TOTAL 145/203 (71.4 pct.), 1,718 yards, 15 TDs, 4 INTs TOTAL 116/190 (61.0 pct.), 1,331 yards, 5 TDs, 2 INTs

Clearly, Brady has played much better against 4-3 schemes like the Saints this season. Having one more defender on the line of scrimmage is enough for Brady to find open receivers. One such receiver is Wes Welker, who has three of his four touchdowns against the 4-3 along with a few more catches. Another is Randy Moss, who has four of his five 100-yard games against 4-3 defenses this year along with five of eight touchdowns. But the sneaky Patriots receiver who has played significantly better is tight end Benjamin Watson, who is averaging 19.0 yards per catch with three touchdowns against the 4-3 compared to 12.36 yards per catch and one touchdown in the same amount of games versus the 3-4 schemers.

Now, not to throw cold water on Watson as a Week 12 sleeper, but the Saints are efficient against opposing tight ends -- they haven't allowed a single touchdown to tight ends this season and only Brent Celek had over 100 yards receiving against them in Week 2. But in games against top-tier tight ends, the Saints have given up some solid totals to wide receivers that benefit from safety coverage being assigned to the tight end. We have a hunch that Watson will play a lot on Monday if only to create slightly better coverage for New England's receivers.

Just for kicks, we went back and took a look at how Drew Brees has done this season against 3-4 defenses like the Patriots. The only two he's seen are defenses the Patriots play against twice a year: The Jets and the Dolphins. In those two games he totaled 488 yards passing. He added one touchdown and three interceptions, all against Miami, which included a 298-yard performance. And it's worth noting that his completion percentages in those games were two of his three lowest of the season.

But the 3-4 defense is not a regular problem for Brees. In four matchups over the last two years against 3-4 defenses he totaled 12 touchdowns and one interception with a 300-yard game in every single matchup. Did we mention he had nearly 300 yards against the Dolphins earlier this year? The scheme won't bother him.

The likelihood that the Patriots will game plan for the Saints similar to how they planned for the Colts is high. Both teams are pass oriented, both have a myriad of receivers and both have well-protected quarterbacks. With that in mind, don't forget that Manning threw for 327 yards and four touchdowns just a few weeks ago against the Patriots. New England also has allowed multi-touchdown games to Indianapolis' passing offense in five of their last six. It would be a shock to see Brees struggle, which means he and his receivers should do well.

It all should make for an excellent game.

Steelers-Ravens showdown

There's no love lost between these bitter AFC North rivals. The Steelers and Ravens played three times last year -- twice in the playoffs and once more to determine the AFC Champion. Naturally, this means both teams are quite familiar with each other.

Baltimore lost all three meetings to Pittsburgh, and a big reason for it was because they couldn't get its passing game going. As a rookie, Joe Flacco actually did his best in his first game against the Steelers, hitting tight end Daniel Wilcox for a touchdown and adding 192 yards. He didn't throw an interception but he did fumble the ball away once. Yes, that's his best outing -- he had two interceptions in the home meeting in 2008 with no touchdowns and threw three interceptions and no touchdowns at Pittsburgh in the title game. Not only did Flacco not even score but he didn't throw for over 150 yards in the other two matchups. He was also sacked 10 times over the three games.

Those low totals bled into his receivers' production big time. Only one receiver, Derrick Mason, topped even 50 yards receiving over all three games. Mason had 137 yards on eight catches in the first game in Pittsburgh. No one else on the Ravens came close. And as you might expect, no one on the Ravens ran especially well -- in fact, Baltimore's best rusher in the series was a guy who has barely run the ball at all this season: Le'Ron McClain. This isn't to say that Ray Rice will come up empty handed here, but he'll really have to make a dent catching the ball out of the backfield to be effective as the Steelers remain tops in the league against the run.

But the Ravens aren't slouches against the run, either, and they've had a long-standing history of limiting Pittsburgh's run game. When he was a Fantasy stud, Willie Parker was always a must-sit against the Ravens since he never did well against them, and chances are Rashard Mendenhall won't be able to fully extract revenge either after the Steelers broke his shoulder in his lone start in 2008.

That means Roethlisberger will have to throw, which hasn't been a problem for him all season. Big Ben is on pace to set a career-high in pass attempts for a season by nearly 100 tries and has done a great job locating and hitting his targets. Heath Miller hasn't been effective against the Ravens; he last scored on them in 2007 and has a career-high of 62 yards receiving against them. Hines Ward had a 100-yard game against Baltimore last year with two other games in the 50-yard range with no touchdowns. Mike Wallace is a rookie and has never played the Ravens.

But if there's ever been a Ravens killer, it's Santonio Holmes. Get this -- Holmes has scored in five straight meetings with the Ravens including all three meetings last season. Two of the three scores were on long plays of at least 35 yards, too. Holmes last did not score on Baltimore as a rookie, and it was in a game where he still had five catches for 90 yards.

Given the way Holmes has been playing lately -- at least six catches and 85 yards in each of his last three -- you almost have to find a way to play him in Fantasy this week. Throw in the Ravens' suspect pass defense that just lost cornerback Fabian Washington for the season, and he's a very appealing option.

History says these players will enjoy Week 12 ...
Joseph Addai At least one TD in each of last five vs. Houston
Cedric Benson 245 rush yards in last three vs. Browns
Bernard Berrian 10 rec., 203 yards, 2 TDs vs. Bears last year
Antonio Bryant 108 yards, TD in last game at Falcons
John Carlson Six rec., 95 yards, 2 TDs in Week 1 vs. Rams
Dallas Clark 14 rec., 119 yards in Week 9 game vs. Texans
Fred Davis Eight rec., 78 yards, TD in Week 7 vs. Philadelphia
Lee Evans 3 TDs, 410 yards in last six vs. Dolphins
Matt Forte 198 total yards, 2 TDs in two career games vs. Vikings
Antonio Gates 20 rec., 199 yards, TD in last three vs. Chiefs
Devin Hester 67 yards, TD at Minnesota last year
DeSean Jackson 136 total yards, 2 TDs in Week 7 game vs. Redskins
Steven Jackson 556 total yards, four TDs in last six vs. Seahawks
Vincent Jackson TD in three of last four vs. Chiefs (142 yards in Week 7)
Andre Johnson 100-plus receiving yards in two of last three vs. IND
Julius Jones 100-plus rush yards, TD in two of last three vs. Rams
Peyton Manning 12 TDs, two INTs, three 300-yard games in last six vs. Texans
Mohamed Massaquoi Eight catches, 148 yards in Week 4 game vs. Bengals
Chad Ochocinco 506 yards, 6 TDs in last six vs. Browns (two in Week 4)
Carson Palmer 16 TDs, 8 INTs in last five vs. CLE (DNP in '08)
Adrian Peterson 588 total yards, 8 TDs in four career games vs. Bears
Philip Rivers 8 TDs, 4 INTs, two 300-yard games in last four vs. KC
Visanthe Shiancoe 88 receiving yards, TD in two '08 games vs. Chicago
LaDainian Tomlinson 264 total yards, TD in last three vs. Chiefs
Reggie Wayne 394 yards, 2 TDs in last four vs. Texans (at least seven catches per game)
Ricky Williams 96 total yards, TD in Week 4 meeting with Bills
History tells a sad story for these players ...
Donnie Avery 150 total yards, no TDs in three career meetings vs. SEA
Marc Bulger Two TDs, six INTs, zero 250-yard games in last six vs. SEA
Matt Cassel One TD, three INTs in Week 7 game vs. Chargers
Marshawn Lynch 177 total yards, TD in last three vs. Miami
Donovan McNabb One TD in last three vs. Redskins (came in Week 7)
Santana Moss No TDs in last 10 vs. Eagles
Matt Ryan No TDs, two INTs in each game vs. Bucs in 2008
Roddy White No TDs in eight career games vs. Tampa Bay
Cadillac Williams No TDs, no 100-yard games vs. ATL since rookie year

How do you think history will treat you? E-mail your Fantasy Football questions to Be sure to put Attn: History Lessons ing the subject field. Please include your full name, hometown and state and we'll get to as many as we can.