If you had one of the players on the following list of best fantasy football performances of 2013, chances are, you won your matchup that week.
In this slideshow are the 15 best performances of the 2013 season. Scoring is from CBSSports.com and is based on a points-per-reception league, as a large majority of leagues use PPR scoring nowadays.
Now obviously, this is not strictly the 15 highest point performances in leagues, as the top 15 would all be quarterbacks and listing 15 quarterbacks would be boring. So, included on this list (ranked in order of significance) will be the best performances from running backs and wide receivers as well to make this an all-encompassing list.
All stats, games are prior to Monday night’s game.
As you would expect, Marshawn Lynch has been one of the more trustworthy running backs to lean on this year, and he has, for the most part, been consistent for his fantasy owners.
In Week 2 against the San Francisco 49ers, “Beast Mode” shined brightest when he tabulated 41.50 points behind 98 rushing yards and two touchdowns while also bringing in three catches for 37 receiving yards and an additional touchdown.
Lynch has been good for seven 20-plus-point performances this year, and he’s as good as it gets at the position.
As one of the relied-upon staples at running back, LeSean McCoy has been consistent and dependable all year. But this past Sunday, McCoy likely carried many of his fantasy owners in the playoffs with his best effort of the 2013 season.
Against the Detroit Lions in the blizzard in Philadelphia, McCoy was all the offense the Eagles needed, as he ran for 217 yards and two touchdowns and put up 42.35 fantasy points in the process.
As one of the best backs in the league, McCoy will continue to remain a must-start for the remainder of the year and beyond.
In all likelihood, this performance was probably wasted, as not many fantasy owners had Marvin Jones in their lineup, let alone on their roster.
Jones was marvelous in this affair, recording eight receptions for 122 yards and four touchdowns against the New York Jets. As a result of the 44.20 points he put up, he was probably the most added player after Week 8.
While he’s been too inconsistent since this breakout performance, Jones gets his props here with one of the best performances this year by a receiver.
Drew Brees could appear on this list a couple of times, as he’s had three 60-plus-point performances. However, his high-water mark for the season was the 60.85 points he put on the board in Week 4.
That week, he faced Miami at home on Monday night and torched the Miami Dolphins for 413 passing yards and four touchdowns.
Although overshadowed by Peyton Manning this year, Brees has been as good as gold for fantasy players, and that should continue to be the case for the foreseeable future.
Zac Stacy leapfrogged Daryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead to take command of the Rams backfield in the middle of the season. Since then, he has not looked back.
Stacy emphatically stated his case as the Rams' best running-back threat by carving up the Tennessee Titans in Week 9, rushing for 127 yards and two touchdowns while also reeling in six catches for an additional 51 receiving yards.
Stacy is now firmly entrenched as a must-start running back for the rest of the season. He heads into next year as a back to select in the first three rounds.
Josh Gordon could be on this list a couple of times, as he’s busted through this year to become one the league’s elite wideouts.
However, for this listing, we’ll go with his Week 13 performance (narrowly edging out his Week 12 performance, 43.7 points) for clarity.
In Week 13 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Gordon became the first receiver in NFL history to rack up more than 200 yards receiving in back-to-back games. On this day, he accumulated an amazing 261 receiving yards (on 10 receptions) to go with two touchdowns for 48.10 points.
Gordon is cementing himself as a top-five wide receiver and a beast no matter who is throwing the ball to him.
Just like Marvin Jones, Rainey’s Week 11 performance likely went for naught, as he was at best a last-ditch play given the fact he was basically the fourth-string running back on Tampa Bay with injuries to Doug Martin, Mike James and Brian Leonard being in the mix for carries at the time, too.
Rainey, though, made his mark in Week 11 against the Atlanta Falcons when he ran for 163 yards (on 30 carries) and two touchdowns.
Rainey, who is coming off a great Week 14 performance against the Buffalo Bills (127 rushing yards and one touchdown) as well, should make for a good No. 2 running back for the duration of the season. But his breakout should be short-lived with Doug Martin expected to take back the reins 2014.
Although he’s been hurt for the last five weeks and is of no use to his owners right now, Aaron Rodgers got off to yet another good start.
In Week 2, Rodgers shredded the Washington Redskins en route to a 65.75-point performance. On the day, he racked up 480 passing yards while passing for four touchdowns.
It’s too bad Rodgers had to come down with a shoulder injury, as he would have been set for another stellar campaign. There is a chance Rodgers can come back, and if that’s the case, he’ll make for a compelling start.
Alshon Jeffery has been one of the biggest breakout stars of the 2013 season, and like a few others on this list, you can highlight a few fantastic games.
But for this exercise, we’ll examine his Week 13 performance against the Minnesota Vikings in which he racked up 49.15 points. On the day, Jeffery registered 12 receptions for 249 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
Combining with Brandon Marshall, Jeffery gives the Chicago Bears two game-changing receivers, and Jeffery has now become a must-start.
Stuck in a rut while posting mediocre performances in Week’s 8-12 (zero touchdowns and not topping 71 yards receiving in any game during that stretch), Eric Decker made every fantasy owner either very happy for sticking with him or very angry if they benched him, as Decker came alive in Week 13 with a monster performance.
In his game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Decker put up 49.40 points while recording eight receptions for 174 receiving yards and four touchdowns.
Decker will always be good for a decent low-end No. 2 wide receiver or high-end flex player.
While quiet for most of the season (at least in the scoring department), Andre Johnson erupted in Week 9 with a season-defining performance.
Johnson, who only has five touchdowns on the year, got more than half his total in one game in Week 9, when he registered an astounding nine receptions for 229 receiving yards to go with three touchdowns against the Colts. On the night, Johnson compiled 49.90 points.
While he won’t get you many touchdowns, Johnson is always good for the receptions and yards. And who does Johnson play this week? The same Indianapolis Colts.
Engaged in a shootout with Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, Tony Romo probably had the best outing of his career back in Week 5—albeit in a losing effort.
Regardless, his fantasy owners were certainly happy with the results and the 69.75 points. On the day, Romo passed for an astonishing 506 yards with five touchdowns. A late interception derailed a possibly better outcome, but nonetheless, Romo was fantastic in his showdown with Manning and the Broncos.
Although much-maligned, Romo will always make for a high-end quarterback for fantasy purposes.
A best performance list would not be complete without arguably the game’s best receiver, Calvin Johnson.
“Megatron” came within seven yards of breaking Flipper Anderson’s all-time record of receiving yards in a single game when he hauled in a staggering 14 receptions for 329 yards vs. the Dallas Cowboys in Week 8. He also added a touchdown to his incredible stat line, which resulted in 52.90 points.
You know what you are getting from Johnson, and that's top-of-the-line production across the board.
Incredulously, Nick Foles joined Peyton Manning this season by throwing an NFL-high (tied with five others) seven touchdowns in one game, when Foles absolutely lit up the Oakland Raiders in Week 9.
In that game, Foles passed for 406 passing yards and seven touchdowns while putting up 75.45 points on the board.
Foles is now a formidable start at quarterback and is a top-10 option for the rest of the season and for next season as well.
Who else would top the list?
Manning could pretty much have this list all to himself, as he has been phenomenal all year. He’s set to break Tom Brady’s all-time touchdowns in a season record. With 45 touchdown passes, Manning is only six touchdowns away from breaking the record with three games to play.
Manning set the tone for his MVP-caliber season in Week 1 when he ambushed the Baltimore Ravens on opening night to the tune of 462 passing yards and a NFL-high seven touchdowns (tied with five others).
That epic game resulted in Manning scoring a whopping 79.10 points, which is the highest point total this season, although Foles came close. On the season, Manning has topped 60 points three times and over 50 points nine times. He has thrown for at least two touchdowns in all but one game and over 300 yards passing in all but two games.
Simply put, Manning is your fantasy MVP.