Doug Martin and the 5 Greatest Fantasy Football Performances of the Past Decade
Every once in a while, it happens.
A player has an otherworldly performance in the NFL, translating to the sort of fantasy football outing that single-handedly carries teams to victory.
Week 9 of the 2012 season brought with it such a performance by rookie running back Doug Martin of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
As we celebrate—or curse—Martin's huge day, and give an honorable mention nod to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's 380-yard, six touchdown explosion against the Tennessee Titans in 2009 (which tied Martin), let's take a look at how that performance stacks up against the greatest single-game fantasy performances of the past decade.
Note: These scores were tabulated using a standard scoring system that awards one point for 10 rushing or receiving yards, 25 passing yards and each reception, six points for all touchdowns and subtracts two points for turnovers.
5. Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Week 9, 2012): 51 Fantasy Points
If Doug Martin's big game against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 8 was the rookie's coming out party, then his game against the Oakland Raiders was a Mardi Gras of fantasy football greatness.
To say that the Buccaneers tailback gashed the Raiders is like saying that the Grand Canyon is a fairly large ditch.
Martin rolled for 272 total yards, four touchdowns and 51 fantasy points, rushing for over 200 yards in the second half and becoming the first player in the history of the NFL to score three touchdowns on the ground from more than 45 yards out in the same game.
4. Shaun Alexander, RB, Seattle Seahawks (Week 4, 2002): 52 Fantasy Points
It's once again time to hop in the way-back machine, back to a time when the Seattle Seahawks were just opening a brand new stadium that was then known as Qwest Field.
The place, just as it is today, was rocking back then, due in no small part to performances like the one running back Shaun Alexander put on in the fourth week of the 2002 season.
Alexander, in only the second game ever played at the stadium, set an NFL record with five first-half touchdowns in a rout of the Minnesota Vikings, including a stretch of just over a minute when he scored three times on his way to 52 fantasy points.
3. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers (Week 4, 2011): 53 Fantasy Points
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was ruthlessly efficient in leading the Green bay Packers to a 15-1 record in 2011, throwing for over 4,600 yards and 45 touchdowns while tossing only six interceptions.
Rodgers threw one of those interceptions in a Week 4 showdown with the Denver Broncos, but Rodgers more than made up for it by passing for 408 yards, running for 36 more, and scoring six total touchdowns on his way to 53 fantasy points in a 49-23 Green Bay victory.
2. Clinton Portis, RB, Denver Broncos (Week 14, 2003): 54 Fantasy Points
Once upon a time, before first Clinton Portis and then Mike Shanahan plied their trade in the nation's capital, both men were employed of the Denver Broncos, where Shanahan's one-cut rushing attack generated any number of huge fantasy outings from several different players.
With that said, the granddaddy of those big games was an AFC West showdown late in 2003 between the Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs, where Portis tallied an eye-popping 54 fantasy points on the heels of 218 rushing yards, 36 receiving yards and five touchdowns.
1. Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles (Week 10, 2010): 57 Fantasy Points
With Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick on the verge of being benched, it seems like this game happened a million years ago instead of just two.
After returning to football following his prison sentence, Vick enjoyed a magical 2010 season, highlighted by a Monday night game against the Washington Redskins in Week 10.
Vick threw for over 300 yards, ran for over 80, and scored....wait for it...six total touchdowns and a mind boggling 57 fantasy points.
I watched that game, and remember it like it was yesterday.
We'll see if I feel the same way about Martin's game in a few years.