There are some NFL players you simply don't sit in fantasy football, but even the best of the best fail us badly from time to time.
Guys like Drew Brees, Jamaal Charles, Calvin Johnson and Jimmy Graham are all top fantasy stars for a reason. Most weeks, they're locks to earn you a nice chunk of points and put you on the fast track for a victory.
However, every once in a while, highly unfavorable matchups pop up on the schedule. With that in mind, here's a look at a few top fantasy studs who will run into trouble this weekend.
Peyton Manning vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Talk about a perfect storm.
The undefeated Chiefs come into this game after taking a week off to rest up for the second-half push. Featuring the NFL's top-ranked defense in terms of points allowed, sacks and forced turnovers, Kansas City has the players to shut down Denver's offense.
Peyton Manning is banged up. He was hit repeatedly in Week 10 against the San Diego Chargers, coming up a bit lame at times. His offensive line has been hit hard by injuries this year, and therefore, he's been hit harder and more often than anyone in Denver would like to see.
In addition to the terrifying group of pass-rushers the Chiefs trot out every week, Kansas City features a trio of talented cornerbacks capable of locking down Denver's talented receiving corps. Brandon Flowers, Sean Smith and rookie Marcus Cooper have frustrated receivers all year long.
Combined with the methodical, run-first offense Kansas City features, the Chiefs have the pieces in place to make life miserable for Manning and his fantasy owners on Sunday night.
Eddie Lacy at New York Giants
Eddie Lacy cooled off last weekend against the Philadelphia Eagles after blowing up the month before with four double-digit performances.
Without Aaron Rodgers in the lineup, teams can play Green Bay's offense much differently. Whether it's Scott Tolzien, Matt Flynn or Seneca Wallace behind center, opposing defenses aren't worried about getting beat deep, which allows them to focus more on Lacy.
As a result, the Eagles were able to clamp down on Lacy on Sunday, allowing just 73 yards on 24 carries (three yards per carry). He only scored eight fantasy points last weekend, and he's going to struggle to hit that mark this weekend against the suddenly surging New York Giants.
Despite the team's overwhelming struggles early in the year, the Giants feature one of the NFL's most formidable fantasy run defenses. New York ranks No. 11 behind the Seattle Seahawks, allowing 13.4 points per game.
Lacy will not find many open lanes to run through in New York, and the Giants will keep him bottled up all afternoon.
A.J. Green vs. Cleveland Browns
The Cincinnati Bengals are reeling after losing two straight overtime games, and the rested Cleveland Browns are looking strong with Jason Campbell behind center.
The Browns already beat Cincy once this year, and they have an excellent chance to win this game, especially if Joe Haden does what he did in Week 4 against A.J. Green.
Green was held to seven catches for 51 yards in that contest, earning his fantasy owners just five points (ESPN.com standard leagues). It wasn't the first time Haden got the best of Green either, though the battle hasn't always been one-sided.
Cleveland's defense has been downright scary this year, though. Defensive coordinator Ray Horton is maximizing the talent on the roster, and the Browns rank No. 3 in the league in total defense.
In terms of fantasy, Cleveland ranks No. 9 in the league, allowing just 17.3 points to opposing receivers per game.
This is a favorable matchup for owners who are interested in starting Cleveland's defense, but it doesn't bode well for Green and the Bengals.
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