Week 9 brought us some of the biggest performances of the 2012 NFL season thus far. What does that mean? Beyond high-scoring fantasy matchups, not a whole lot.
As is usually the case, the big performances were met with some pretty disappointing ones. Even in a week full of huge fantasy numbers, there were plenty of duds.
It often takes just one expectations-exceeding or disappointing performance to lose a fantasy football contest. Which players decided Week 9's matchups?
One of the NFL's best players in 2012, Adrian Peterson busted out with another huge performance against the Seahawks, who actually have a good run defense. Peterson entered the end zone twice while rushing for 182 yards.
This was clearly a huge performance from Peterson, and it undoubtedly made the difference for many owners.
The entire New York passing attack struggled against the Steelers, with Eli Manning playing especially horribly. Manning's fantasy production was nonexistent in Week 9.
With just 125 yards, zero touchdowns and an interception, Manning couldn't have produced much less. Anyone starting him received nothing from the quarterback position.
Brandon Marshall has been one of the league's better wideouts in 2012, and this didn't change in Week 9. Marshall's nine catches for 122 yards and three touchdowns made for an incredible performance.
The Chicago wideout was especially dominant in points-per-reception leagues due to his nine receptions. Even in non-PPR leagues, though, Marshall was a player everyone wishes they had.
Antonio Brown suffered an injury, but that doesn't make his production any less disappointing. With just two catches and 19 yards, the Steelers star contributed almost nothing.
Fantasy owners don't care why a player disappointed, just that he did. This is a prime example of that, as many owners are surely disappointed in Brown's Week 9 performance.
This will probably go down as the best fantasy football performance of 2012. It's hard to imagine anyone besting 251 rushing yards and four touchdowns in a single game.
Doug Martin put together a huge performance last week as well, but this was on an entirely different level. This is essentially the pinnacle of fantasy football production.
Even if the rest of their team did almost nothing, Martin owners likely won this week.
Darren McFadden's seven rushes for 17 yards led to what was a truly dreadful fantasy football performance. Simply put, McFadden didn't do much with the too-few carries he was given prior to suffering a high-ankle sprain.
The star running back was among the highest-drafted players in 2012, but he hasn't contributed much all year. In Week 9, this was especially true, and owners received way too few points here.
Only three interceptions held Carson Palmer back, as he threw for 414 yards and four touchdowns. Even so, Palmer dominated for the likely few owners actually starting him.
No quarterback outperformed Palmer in Week 9, as he threw the ball 61 times with decent success. No owner starting Palmer was expecting much, but they were greeted with a pleasant surprise.
As the Cowboys fell to Atlanta, Dez Bryant contributed an impressive one catch for 15 yards. Bryant owners were left wanting more, as he failed to make any positive impact.
The young wideout has been horribly inconsistent throughout the year, and this type of performance hasn't at all been a rarity. Many owners were expecting a big week against the Atlanta defense, but that clearly did not happen.
Three forced fumbles, an interception and two defensive touchdowns. That is why San Diego's defense had one of the best defensive fantasy performances of any team this year.
Facing Kansas City, the Chargers' defense was expected to have a pretty big game, as it did. This type of game was still somewhat unexpected, though, as San Diego likely propelled many teams to victory.
With four catches and 36 yards, Tony Gonzalez wasn't completely invisible. He just wasn't overly noticeable, either, as he failed to make much of a significant impact.
Gonzalez has been excellent to his owners this year, but he let them down somewhat here. This just wasn't Gonzalez' week.
This wasn't a great actual performance from Aaron Rodgers, but it was still excellent for fantasy football. Rodgers completed less than 50 percent of his passes for just 218 yards, but four touchdowns make a huge difference.
Even as owners increasingly expect massive output from Rodgers, he impressed in Week 9. This type of game frequently leads to victory.
No one will claim Stevie Johnson is among the NFL's best fantasy football wideouts, but he's a legitimate starter. In Week 9, though, Johnson produced just three catches for 29 yards.
Essentially, any Johnson owner was left with no production from the Buffalo star's roster spot. As any fantasy player knows, one game like this can cost you the matchup.
Seventy yards usually doesn't make for an overly impressive point total from a running back. Then again, running backs don't usually have three touchdowns, as Mikel Leshoure did.
The multiple trips to the end zone clearly made the difference for Leshoure, and it likely did for many fantasy owners, as well. Owners probably weren't expecting a whole lot from the young running back, but they were greeted with a pleasant surprise.
Alfred Morris' 13 carries for 76 yards was actually rather good production. However, with no touchdowns, this isn't a good fantasy football performance.
Morris has been fantastic all year long, so this was a rare exception. Playing against Carolina, Morris seemed to have a real chance to dominate, though.
As he broke the NFL rookie single-game passing yards record, Andrew Luck not surprisingly had a pretty good week for fantasy football. 433 yards and two touchdowns isn't a bad performance by any stretch.
For a rookie, Luck has been an unbelievable fantasy football quarterback. His owners likely didn't spend high draft picks, but he has performed better than all but a few quarterbacks.
Hakeem Nicks had just one catch for 10 yards against the Steelers. Those 1-2 points (depending on scoring) aren't exactly what owners were looking for.
Nicks' 2012 season has been disappointing thus far, largely due to injury. However, even when healthy here, he failed to produce, leaving many owners hanging out to dry.
Against Tennessee, the Bears forced seven turnovers and scored once on an interception and again on a blocked punt. These stats are all pretty good for fantasy football.
Chicago's defense has been incredible for fantasy purposes all year, but it really stepped up here. This type of performance is simply rare and will win many matchups.
With two catches for six yards and a fumble, Jared Cook was impressive in his horrific play. Not many expect much from Cook at this point, but this is beyond awful.
In many leagues, Cook actually ended up with negative points. That's actually impressive in how bad it is. Fortunately, not many owners were left starting Cook, as he's been pretty bad all year long.
Despite not breaking 100 receiving yards, Eric Decker had quite the game. His eight catches, 99 yards and two touchdowns led to many happy fantasy football owners.
In a points-per-reception league, Decker was clearly more valuable, but he was excellent in both systems. As a lower-end starting wideout, Decker outperformed many teams' higher-drafted receivers.
By a lot.
Not a great fantasy football tight end, Brandon Pettigrew is starting for a decent number of teams but not a ton. His one catch for 11 yards surely left his owners disappointed.
Pettigrew will never be premier in fantasy football, but he should be much better than this. Even at tight end, a game like this can be devastating to someone's shot at winning.