Week 4 is a critical week in Fantasy football. If you're 3-0 you certainly don't need our help. In fact you're probably enjoying a good belly laugh at our silly sleeper picks right now. However, most teams are 2-1 or 1-2. A win here and you stay in contention for a Fantasy championship. A loss, and well, the situation becomes pretty dire.
With that in mind, I have six quarterbacks to start if you're in a pinch and six big names to be leery of in Week 4. First, let's check in and see how we did last week.
Last Week's Quarterback Starts: B.J. Daniels (47.28 Fantasy points), Matt Schilz (35.98), Aaron Murray (31.62), Kain Colter (15.26), Danny O'Brien (11.56), Brett Smith (19.62), Chandler Harnish (6.40), Casey Pachall (12.16)
Grade: C. Daniels was the highest scoring Fantasy player in Week 3. Do I get a prize for that? Unfortunately trying to double down on Colter and Smith did not pay dividends.
Grade: B+. Only Lobbestael and Bray cracked the 20-point mark.
Start Em! Quarterbacks
Tommy Rees, Notre Dame vs. Pitt: Rees didn't light the world on fire last week, but he didn't have to do that as the Irish ran the ball effectively in the first half against Michigan State's two deep coverage. Teams will need to start moving safeties up to stop Cierre Woodand Jonas Gray, which is dangerous with Michael Floyd on the outside. Pitt's pass defense has been awful this year. They've given up over 1,000 yards passing in three games. Only UNLV has been worse. Rees will be over 300 yards passing on the day.
MarQueis Gray, Minnesota vs North Dakota State: Gray was a late scratch from last week's start list. The Miami RedHawks' defense scared me off. Being able to put up nearly 30 points against a quality defense makes last week's showing all that more impressive. The Gophers get North Dakota State at home this week, and Gray will be going for his third straight 100-yard rushing game. And if you are in a league that rewards running quarterbacks (4 points per passing TD), Gray has added value.
Keith Price, Washington vs. Cal: Jake Locker who? Price has thrown 11 touchdown passes in his first three games, four of those coming against Nebraska on the road. The Huskies get Cal at home this week where Price and Bears' quarterback Zach Maynard will duel it out. It should be a fun one; Maynard has scored over 25 Fantasy points in every game thus far and is worthy of being on the start list as well.
Ryan Aplin, Arkansas State vs. Central Arkansas: Aplin has a whopping four touchdowns thus far this season. However, two of those games have been on the road against Illinois and Virginia Tech. Home turf and an FCS foe should be a sight for sore eyes for the Red Wolves.
Corey Robinson, Troy vs. Middle Tennessee State: Robinson has thrown the ball 105 times in two games. Part of the reason is because they've played from behind against Clemson and Arkansas. Still, Robinson has held his own on the two-game road trip and they return home to face an 0-2 Middle Tennessee State squad. Look for his pass attempts to decrease, but he's still a solid QB2 play this week.
Trent Steelman, Army at Ball State: I typically shy away from option quarterbacks. Too unpredictable on a weekly basis. So I make this pick with the reminder that Steelman should only be used if you are out of options and desperate to fill your QB2 spot. Steelman has rushed for over 100 yards and three scores each of the last two games. Fresh off the upset of Northwestern, they'll be riding high into Muncie, Indiana.
Bryant Moniz, Hawaii vs. UC Davis & Chandler Harnish, Northern Illinois vs. Cal Poly: I'm not going to count Moniz and Harnish toward the official start/sit plays. Too easy. This is just reassurance for those ready to jump off a ledge after last week's performances.
Sit Em! Quarterbacks
Geno Smith, West Virginia vs. LSU: If West Virginia had any kind of running game I'd be more confident in their chances to pull the upset at home Saturday night. But they've been horrific and without a threat of the running game, LSU's defense will be able to tee off on Smith, provided this trend continues. This will also be LSU's third game against a Top 25 team on the road, so they are battled-tested and Mad Hatter-approved.
Collin Klein, Kansas State at Miami: Last week's 34+ point outburst was exactly what we expected from Klein in the offseason. However, last week was at home against Kent State. This week the Wildcats venture to Miami to face a team fresh off an upset of Ohio State. Klein and Co. will find the sledding a little bit tougher this week. Save this Kansas State running man for favorable Big XII tilts.
Tajh Boyd, Clemson vs. Florida State: Before I'm labeled as a non-believer from our strong contingent of Tigers fans, I'll point out that Boyd was one of our top quarterbacks coming out of high school in 2009. Saturday's come-from- behind win over Auburn was impressive, and Clemson's offense is explosive. However, time for a bit of a reality check. The Tigers have faced defenses that are ranked 107th and 117th in total defense in the FBS and an FCS school. Yes, I know the Tiger offense is a big part of those rankings. Still, if you don't see Saturday's game against the Seminoles as a step up in competition, you're drinking the orange Kool-Aid. Dabo and the boys are riding high and upset is in the air. But I would leave Boyd on the bench this week.
Matt Schilz, Bowling Green at Miami (Ohio): From start list to sit list, you could say I have no loyalty towards my Fantasy players. Even ones that scored 35 points last week. The RedHawks' defense is solid and fresh off playing two BCS schools on the road. Miami won't have to worry about a running quarterback this week, and that will suit them just fine.
Alex Carder, Western Michigan at Illinois: After being bottled up the first two weeks, Carder got to unload on rival Central Michigan in Week Three. However, the Broncos must once again pack the bus and head to Big Ten country. The Illini held Arizona State's Brock Osweiler (last week's sit list) relatively in check, and I'm sure they watched the tape of the Broncos' game against Michigan. Carder was lucky to get out of that one unscathed, and the Illini are averaging 3.67 sacks per game this season, tied for sixth in the FBS. Carder will see lots of pressure again this week.
Jeff Godfrey, Central Florida at BYU: Don't let the lopsided score of last week's Utah-BYU game fool you. That game snowballed on BYU at the end. BYU is a tough out at home. Easier games are ahead for Godfrey and the Knights. Heading to Provo, Utah is not one of them.