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Key NFL Week 4 matchups to leverage in fantasy football start/sit decisions

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) celebrates during the second quarter against Seattle Seahawks 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 large 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.

Kirk Cousins is a fantasy starting quarterback

Since Week 11 of 2020, Cousins is the highest-scoring quarterback in fantasy football. He has dropped back a league-leading 430 times during this span, and the opportunities aren't going away. Cousins is one of two quarterbacks with over 3,000 passing yards over these 10 weeks. He has averaged 2.6 touchdowns per game 

Related content for you: Week 4 WR/CB mismatches and shadow coverages to leverage in DFS & fantasy football leagues via Ian Hartitz

Cousins doesn’t have nearly as many big-time throws as other quarterbacks and has plenty of interception luck, so he's unlikely to maintain such a pace for an entire season. But he can still be a top-10 QB and is available in over half of ESPN leagues.

This week Cousins gets a Browns pass defense that has been very average outside of sack total. Their run defense has been strong, and Dalvin Cook will either play hurt or be out altogether. This could lead to even more passing than usual out of the Minnesota offense.

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