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Fantasy Football: Week 13 Start 'Em - Trust Stafford Down The Stretch

Nate Weitzer identifies some fringe options you may want to consider starting in the final week of the Fantasy Football regular season!

In seasonal fantasy football, matchups often boil down to which owner makes the right start/sit decisions. You can't hold allegiances to projections or name recognition, you simply have to play the guys you think will wind up with the most fantasy points.

Here are the fringe options that might should be in your fantasy lineup in Week 13.

Week 13 Start 'Em Plays

QB Matthew Stafford vs. LAR

While the Rams finally expect to have Aqib Talib (ankle) in uniform, one player shouldn't change the entire complexion of a struggling defense. There is tremendous strength up the middle, but the Rams are vulnerable on the edge and down the seams. Stafford is 38-31 with 128 touchdowns and a 90.8 passer rating in his career at Ford Field. He has a true No. 1 receiver in Kenny Golladay and a tough slot back in Theo Riddick, but most importantly, he'll be forced to throw throughout the second half with the Lions (+10) expected to trail.

RB Gus Edwards @ ATL

After consecutive 100-yard games, it would seem Gus Edwards needs no recommendation. But the return of Alex Collins (foot) to practice will worry a lot of owners. Still, Jackson has earned the right to lead the Ravens backfield with a 5.83 YPC average on 40 carries over their last two wins. He's a clear compliment to Lamar Jackson and the Falcons can be had on the ground. Atlanta ranks 31st in DVOA rush defense and is giving up the most receptions (88) to opposing RBs for the second straight season. Despite being limited in practice by an ankle issue, Edwards belongs in starting lineups.

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RB Dion Lewis vs. NYJ

Dion Lewis has been very quiet over the last couple of weeks, but that could change against the slow Jets defense. Gang Green continues to blitz at one of the highest rates in the league under HC Tood Bowles and Lewis is the perfect blitz-counter on short screen passes. He caught six balls for 40 yards and a TD in his last meeting with the Jets as a member of the Patriots and Titans HC Mike Vrabel knows how to utilize Lewis in similarly creative fashion.

WR Dante Pettis @ SEA

While seeing “at Seattle” on the schedule is daunting, Dante Pettis will be worth using this week if either Pierre Garcon (knee) or Marquise Goodwin (knee) remain out for San Francisco. Pettis was flashing big-play upside earlier in the season before suffering a knee injury of his own, and showed that he still has burst with 77 receiving yards and a TD in Week 12. The Seahawks have given up 89 or more yards to six different wideouts over their last five games and Pettis is quicker than most of Seattle's hulking secondary.

 Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

WR Taylor Gabriel @ NYG

The Bears could play if safe by holding out Mitchell Trubisky (shoulder), which would actually do little to affect the prospects of Taylor Gabriel. Chase Daniel is a capable pocket passer and hit Gabriel on 7-of-8 targets for 49 yards in his Bears debut on Thanksgiving. Gabriel creates the most seperation (on average) of any of Chicago's receivers and that will lead to more looks from Daniel. He also drew 8 targets in Trubisky's last start in Week 11 and faces a Giants team that has allowed the sixth-most pass plays (44) of 20-plus yards this season.

TE Kyle Rudolph @ NE

Targeting the Patriots with TEs has paid off all year and Kyle Rudolph could be the latest oversized target to burn the reigning AFC champs. With Stefon Diggs (knee) questionable and Adam Thielen sure to draw bracket coverage from defensive mastermind Bill Belichick, the targets will have to go somewhere for Kirk Cousins in the Vikings pass-heavy offense. Rudolph snared 7-of-7 looks for 63 yards against the Packers last Sunday and is due for positive TD regression after an eight-game scoreless stretch.

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