Ben Roethlisberger

Fantasy Football: Start or Sit?

Week 4 of the fantasy football season is here and the deadline to set your lineup is quickly approaching. There are always players that are borderline options for your team, so here are two players at each of the three key fantasy positions — quarterback, running back and wide receiver — that you should start and sit.

Players to Start:

1. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh — Big Ben has had a very average start to the fantasy football season so far, putting up 16 points a game. In fact, he’s listed as 20th-best fantasy quarterback option. But this week, the Steelers match up against a Houston squad that struggles to defend the pass, so expect big numbers from Roethlisberger.

2. Tim Hightower, Washington — Hightower did not have a great game against Dallas on Monday night, with only 41 yards on 14 carries. But this week Hightower should bounce back against a weak Rams defense. Expect him to get many goal line carries and at least one touchdown this week to give many owners a nice 15- to 20-point boost.

3. Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City — Bowe was a top-five fantasy receiver last season, but the Chiefs have gotten off to a 0-3 start and Bowe’s numbers have reflected that. So far he’s averaged only 8 points a week thus far. This game should be different though as Kansas City’s top receiving option is going against a weak Minnesota secondary. Expect him to see the ball early and often and to finally have a 100-yard game.

Players to Sit:

1. Michael Vick, Philadelphia — Vick has been all over the news this week with his comments about the referees not protecting him the way they do other quarterbacks. But the problem for fantasy owners this year is Vick not protecting them, as he’s failed to live up to his status as a top-10 pick. He has only averaged 17 points a game so far and has been off the field almost as much as he has been in the huddle. With his hand injured now, you just can’t trust him.

2. Frank Gore, San Francisco — Gore has been unproductive and hurt much of this season. This week he is questionable once again. Even if he does see the field he won’t be very effective as a result of his injury. Owners should sit him this week, and if you need help filling in for him look at his backup Kendal Hunter, who should see the bulk of the carries against a weak Eagles front seven.

3. Anquan Boldin, Baltimore — Revis Island is not a fun place for wide receivers to be and Boldin will find himself there this week. It would be a smart move for his owners to look elsewhere for wide-out production, as Boldin will most likely be stranded.

Printed on September 30, 2011 as: Hightower in line for big week, Boldin set to visit Revis Island

Aaron Rodgers has turned the Green Bay Packers into Super Bowl champions once again.

ARLINGTON — Aaron Rodgers has turned the Green Bay Packers into Super Bowl champions once again.

Rodgers threw three touchdown passes and Nick Collins returned an interception for another score, leading the Packers to a 31-25 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.

This was Green Bay’s fourth Super Bowl title. The Packers won the first two Super Bowls with Vince Lombardi coaching Bart Starr, and captured another with Brett Favre in January 1997.

The Steelers trailed 21-3 before halftime. Ben Roethlisberger got them within 28-25 midway through the fourth quarter with a touchdown pass and a nifty 2-point conversion. The Packers answered with a field goal, giving Roethlisberger one last chance.

Needing to go 87 yards in 1:59 with one timeout left, Roethlisberger couldn’t make it across midfield.

As the Packers ran out the clock, fans chanted, “Go Pack Go!” Rodgers — who was named the game’s MVP — wound up with the ball, bouncing up and down. He hugged Clay Matthews Jr. near midfield as confetti shot out of cannons and silver streamers dropped.

“This is a great day to be great, baby,” said wide receiver Greg Jennings.

“We’ve been a team that’s overcome adversity all year,” he added. “Our head captain goes down, emotional in the locker room. Our No. 1 receiver goes down, more emotions are going, flying in the locker room. But we find a way to bottle it up and exert it all out here on the field.”

This was only the second time Pittsburgh lost a Super Bowl. The Steelers still have the most wins with six and are tied for the most appearances with eight.

The crowd at Cowboys Stadium was 91,060 paying attendees, or 103,219 counting “credentialed attendees.” It fell short of the record.

Green Bay led 21-17 after three quarters, but the Packers were without cornerbacks Charles Woodson and Sam Shields and receiver Donald Driver.

The Steelers had the momentum, the experience and the crowd — tens of thousands of fans twirling “Terrible Towels” and making things tough for Rodgers to bark out signals at times.

But on the first play of the fourth quarter, with Pittsburgh possibly driving for a go-ahead touchdown, Rashard Mendenhall fumbled on a hit by Clay Matthews Jr. The Packers took over at their own 45.

Jennings caught his second TD pass of the game to give the Packers a 28-17 lead with 11:57 to play — their third touchdown following a takeaway.

The Packers’ final points came on a 23-yard field goal by Mason Crosby with 2:07 left.

Christina Aguilera got the game off to a rocky start by flubbing a line in the national anthem. The Steelers didn’t do much better at the outset.

Green Bay jumped ahead 14-0 with touchdowns on consecutive plays: a 29-yard touchdown catch by Jordy Nelson, then Collins’ interception, which featured a weaving return, a dive into the end zone and hip-swiveling dance toward the Pittsburgh sideline by B.J. Raji, the Packers’ jumbo-sized nose tackle.

Rodgers stretched the lead to 21-3 by drilling a 21-yard touchdown pass to Jennings. The ball whistled past safety Ryan Clark, with Jennings making a tough catch look easy just before getting popped by Steelers safety Troy Polamalu. That drive also was set up by an interception, a pickoff at midfield by Jarrett Bush.

Roethlisberger’s miserable first half turned a little better at the end.

Taking over deep in his own territory after Jennings’ touchdown, he threw a 37-yard completion to Antwaan Randle El. That started a seven-play, 77-yard drive that ended with an 8-yard touchdown catch to former Super Bowl MVP Hines Ward.

Also on that drive, Woodson hurt his collarbone diving for a pass. He spent the second half in street clothes, with his left arm in a sling, appearing quite uncomfortable. Driver was out with an ankle injury, and Shields hurt a shoulder.

With two defensive backs out at the half, everyone expected the Steelers to come out throwing in the third quarter. Nope. They gained all 50 yards on their opening drive on the ground, with Mendenhall bowling in from the 8 for the touchdown. He jumped up and flung the ball into the stands with a two-handed basketball chest pass.

The first Super Bowl held at $1.2 billion Cowboys Stadium came following a week of ice and snow that caused all sorts of problems. Hopes for an uneventful gameday were ruined when several sections of temporary seats — holding about 1,250 people — were deemed unsafe.

Celebs were everywhere: from former President George W. Bush to baseball slugger Alex Rodriguez, who was seen having popcorn shoveled into his mouth by actress Cameron Diaz. Hollywood stars John Travolta, Harrison Ford, Calista Flockhart, Mark Harmon, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas were in attendance, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson was seated near new Cowboys coach Jason Garrett; on Garrett’s other side was Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher.

Football stars were sprinkled around, too. The newest Hall of Fame class, chosen Saturday, took part in the pregame coin toss, with Deion Sanders handling the flip.