In Week 5 of the 2012 fantasy football season, some players have tougher matchups than others. When considering who to start and bench this week, here are some star players at each position who have unfavorable statistical matchups in Week 5*.
QB Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers (99% owned)
Matchup: vs. Seattle Seahawks, least fantasy points to quarterbacks
Newton had his best fantasy game of the season in a losing effort against the Atlanta Falcons with three touchdown scores (one rushing). He'll have a much tougher task ahead of him against Seattle, as their tough defense is one of the best in the NFL and makes for a terrible matchup for the Panthers quarterback. The two worst performances by quarterbacks against the Seahawks this season were Kevin Kolb of the Arizona Cardinals in Week 1 (6.54 points) and Sam Bradford of the St. Louis Rams in Week 4 (7.64 points).
RB Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars (100% owned)
Matchup: vs. Chicago Bears, 3rd least fantasy points to running backs
Jones-Drew struggled in Week 4 against the Cincinnati Bengals and his matchup will not get any easier against the Bears. While he is certainly starting material every week, he may only be reliable for numbers from a RB2. He'll likely receive a large number of carries with the passing game struggling, it's just a question as to whether he'll reach the end zone or break off any big runs. The two worst top performances by running backs against the Bears this season were Steven Jackson of the St. Louis Rams in Week 3 (3.4 points) and DeMarco Murray of the Dallas Cowboys in Week 4 (8.1 points).
WR Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts (93% owned)
Matchup: vs. Green Bay Packers, 4th least fantasy points to wide receivers
Wayne has been a strong receiver all year long but could be less of a focal point against a Packers defense that has looked better this year. With the likes of Tramon Williams and Charles Woodson likely covering him due to his status as Andrew Luck's top receiver, Wayne could be pressured into a tough situation for success. The two worst top performances by wide receivers against the Packers this season were Brandon Marshall of the Bears in Week 2 (2.4 points) and Randy Moss of the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1 (10.7 points).
TE Jermichael Finley, Green Bay Packers (96% owned)
Matchup: at Indianapolis Colts, 2nd least fantasy points to tight ends
The Colts have done a pretty good job this year at limited opposing tight ends. With an extra week of practice to prepare for this big game, the Colts may make covering Finley a priority. While Finley has received a nice number of targets every week, he has not done much with them and has dropped too many passes for someone who should be an elite part of the Packers offense. The two worst top performances by tight ends against the Colts this season were Marcedes Lewis of the Jaguars in Week 1 (0.8 points) and Kyle Adams of the Bears in Week 1 (1.7 points).
K David Akers, San Francisco 49ers (99% owned)
Matchup: vs. Buffalo Bills, 6th least fantasy points to kickers
In Week 4 against the New York Jets, Akers was uncharacteristically inaccurate, missing two of his four field goal attempts. While he should easily bounce back against the Bills, they have also been susceptible at allowing too many touchdowns, which could put a dent in Akers value this week. The two worst performances by kickers against the Bills this season were Phil Dawson of the Cleveland Browns in Week 3 (two points) and Ryan Succop of the Chiefs in Week 2 (five points).
New England Patriots team defense (66% owned)
Matchup: vs. Denver Broncos, 6th least fantasy points to team defenses
Since the start of the season, Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense have looked better and better. While the Patriots have done a good job at stopping the run, they have struggle d against the pass. Look for Manning to exploit and focus on the passing game for what could be a tough time for New England's defense. The two worst performances by team defenses against the Broncos this season were the Oakland Raiders team defense in Week 4 (minus-two points) and the Pittsburgh Steelers team defense in Week 1 (four points).
*Point totals determined through standard Yahoo! scoring structure; player percentage owned data accurate as of October 4, 2012.
Fantasy Points Against, Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Football
Fantasy Points Against Seattle Seahawks Quarterback, Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Football
Fantasy Points Against Chicago Bears Running Back, Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Football
Fantasy Points Against Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver, Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Football
Fantasy Points Against Indianapolis Colts Tight End, Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Football
Fantasy Points Against Buffalo Bills Kicker, Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Football
Fantasy Points Against Denver Broncos Defense, Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Football
Cam Newton Game Log, Yahoo! Sports
David Akers Profile, Yahoo! Sports
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Austin Chang is a lifelong football fan, San Francisco 49ers supporter, and fantasy football player since 2005. Follow him on Twitter @_austinchang.
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