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Key NFL Week 13 matchups to leverage in fantasy football start/sit decisions

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws during the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Football is a game of matchups. There is a saying in fantasy football to “start your studs,” but we really want to rely on the players who will score the most fantasy points. Talent plays a big factor in which players score the most, but matchups also heavily contribute.

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Digging deep into the PFF database, here are four cases where the combination of how the two teams play or use their players will lead to bigger games by the offenses involved in Week 13.

Kirk Cousins continues to be overlooked

Cousins is having a career year. His PFF offensive grade of 88.5 ranks second-best among all quarterbacks. This has translated to fantasy football success, as he’s the QB9 on the season and QB2 over the last four weeks. His most recent fantasy success can be attributed attacking more downfield while still throwing the ball accurately. His 8.9 average depth of target over the past four weeks is fourth-highest in the league. His 75% adjusted completion percentage is much higher than any QB with a higher average depth of target.

This week he faces a Lions team that has given up the most passing yards on deep passes (872). The team is in the top five in completion percentage allowed on deep passes, as well as the bottom five in forced incompletion rate on deep passes. The loss of Dalvin Cook should lead to slightly more passing — and more passing down the field — which should only help Cousins' fantasy production.

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