PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — We are into the 4th week of the Fantasy Football season and now is when we separate the men from the boys.  The first three weeks were easy, play the best players that you drafted, but that comes to an end this week with the start of BYE weeks. 

It starts slowly with only two teams, the Steelers and Colts, this week before doubling to four next week and before you know it six teams will be taking the week off in Week 7.  But let’s not look to far ahead. 

With only two teams off this week it should not affect your team too much yet.  Very few Colts are starters in most leagues, but Ben Roethlisberger, some of his receivers and possibly the Steelers defense being off will force owners to make tough choices this week.  That is why I’m here to help.

Here are my stars and duds for week 4.

Quarterbacks To Play:
Robert Griffin III – It is the 3rd week in a row that I’m going with the rookie, and why not, they are playing Tampa Bay.  The Bucs faced Cam Newton in week 1 and allowed 307 total yards to him, before letting Eli Manning throw for 510 yards in week 2.  However the Bucs D “limited” Tony Romo to 283 yards last week.  I see another big week for RG3 against the very suspect defense of Tampa Bay.

Peyton Manning –  We all watched Ben Roethlisberger carve up the Raiders secondary last week, so why would you think Manning wouldn’t do pretty much the same thing?  Manning will be at home, playing against a banged up and bad Raiders defense.  Oh yeah, and Manning just threw for 330 yards against maybe the best defense in the NFL last week.

Matt Schaub – Detroit combined for 442 passing yards last week against Tennessee, and that included Lions back-up QB Shaun Hill going 10-13 for 172 and 2 scores.  Schaub has been very quiet thus far thru 3 weeks, but in that time he has been very consistent.  He is bound to break out eventually, and with all of the offensive weapons Houston has going against the highly questionable Titans defense, this week is as good as any for that to happen.

Quarterbacks to Bench:
Cam Newton – Call it a sophomore slump if you want, but Newton has been awful in the first 3 weeks of the season throwing 5 picks to just 2 touchdowns in leading the Panthers to just 52 points in 3 games.  That plus the fact that the Falcons defense has been fantastic against the pass this season, picking off at least 2 passes in each of their 1st three games.

Mark Sanchez – I’m not how many people still have him in their line-up at this point anyway, but if they are hoping this might be his break out week, think again.  The Niners defense is as good as ever and much different from the Dolphins and Bill defense that allowed Sanchez to have those big weeks in week 1 and 3.

Running Backs to Play:
Mikel Leshoure He is now the main back in the Lions explosive offense.  He not only can give them a legit running attack, but he also is a threat in the passing game.  Last week in his first start he not only ran for 100 yards and a score, he also caught 4 passes that totaled 34 yards.

Jamaal Charles – Play the hot back and Charles is just that.  After a game in which he had 39 touches and 288 all-purpose yards you can be sure to expect him to get plenty of opportunities this week as well.

Running Back to Bench:
The Injury List Guys This week there are a bunch of starting running backs that are banged up and questionable for this week.  None of them are worth playing, even if they are declared the starter by their team, their coach or even themselves.  In this day and age of the NFL, every team has adequate backups and those will be the guys getting the majority of the snaps this week.  So avoid, Reggie Bush, C.J. Spiller, and Ahmad Bradshaw.

The Injury List Guys Back-Ups – I know that everyone loves to races to the waiver wire to put claims in on injured players back-ups, but it just isn’t worth taking a back-up if they are going to split time.  There is a reason they are not the starter, they aren’t good enough, so you don’t want a back-up split time using up a roster spot.

Wide Receivers to Play:
Eric Decker Decker has quickly become Mr. Reliable for Peyton Manning, think Austin Collie and Brandon Stokley from his days in Indy.  Last week the two hooked up for 8-136.

A.J Green – I like Green to have a huge game against the Jags this week primarily because everyone has big games against the Jags.  With Andy Dalton playing better the last two games (300+ yds and 3 TD’s each game) I would expect it to continue this week.

Wide Receivers to Bench:
Danny Amendola –
He was the hot name last week after his record-setting performance in Week 2, but this is just a bad match-up for the Rams and Amendola going up against the aggressive secondary of the Seattle Seahawks.

Steve Smith – A week after he is critical of his quarterback, two things can happen.  One, they made up this week and decided to work together to get their passing game fixed, OR two, they force things and it gets even worse.  I’m going with number two.  The Falcons defense is too good and the Panthers offense has been in shambles so far this year.

That is your Fantasy Friday update for Week 4, as always good luck and don’t forget to update your rosters.

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