Jan 9, 2013
—Written by Brian Dezelske
—Edited by Marc Caviglia
Now that the 2012 NFL regular season is over, and with that the fantasy football season, it’s time identify and highlight the most significant fantasy performances of the year—and there were many to choose from. In order to sift through the plethora of amazing performances, certain factors needed to be taken into account: 1) The amount of fantasy football points that were put up, 2) When it happened, 3) How fantasy relevant the player was at that time.
With these factors all taken into account, this is the list we came up with for your pleasure. Feel free to chime in with your most significant performances of this year. Hope you enjoy!
Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
Week 6; 338 passing yards, 6 TDs; 38 points
This was an important game—not just for the Green Bay Packers wanting to prove they were a legitimate contender (2-3 thru Week 5)—but because fantasy owners worried about the production they had been getting from their top pick, Aaron Rodgers, up to that point.
He had only put up 41 combined fantasy points through the first three weeks of the season. It wasn’t until Week 4 when Rodgers started turning it around. He put up seven touchdowns in the next two games then exploded for six scores against the Houston Texans, who were thought to be the best team in the NFL at that point.
His production dipped once again as the season wore on, but then rebounded beautifully for the Week 15 and 16 playoff push—quickly erasing any chance of owners crying in their beers over the potential of a first-round bust. In the end, Rodgers finished tied with Tom Brady for second overall in fantasy scoring with 329 points.
Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins
Week 6; 182 passing yards, 1 TD; 138 rushing yards, 2 TDs; 34 points
Week 6 of the 2012 NFL season will live on as the week Robert Griffin III “officially” arrived onto the fantasy football scene. It’s true he had good games before this point in the season, but it wasn’t until that amazing 76-yard touchdown scamper up the left sideline against the Minnesota Vikings that fantasy owners felt comfortable playing him on a weekly basis.
He finished that game with 138 yards rushing and two scores; he added another 182 yards passing and a touchdown to cap off his huge day. RG3 finished with 34 fantasy points which happened to be his best fantasy score of the entire year.
Overall he had an incredible rookie season that helped lead the Washington Redskins to an NFC East Championship. His first fantasy season wasn’t too shabby either; he finished with 304 points and tied with Peyton Manning for fifth overall in scoring.
Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 9; 251 rushing yards, 4 TDs; 51 points
Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie running back, Doug Martin, made waves in Week 8 against the Minnesota Vikings when he blew up for 214 total yards and two touchdowns. However, it was the following week when he became a household name in the world of football.
On the road in Week 9, Martin shredded the Oakland Raiders for 51 fantasy points on the strength of 251 yards rushing and four touchdowns. His 51 points was the single highest score of the entire season. To give you an idea on how big a day this was, the next highest score was 39 points by Russell Wilson (Week 15) and Alfred Morris (Week 17).
He wrapped up a fantastic rookie campaign tied with Arian Foster for the second-most fantasy points among running backs with 248. Unfortunately, some owners will only remember the two-point clunker he posted in a critical Week 15 game that sent a lot of owners to the rail.
Matt Schaub, QB, Houston Texans
Week 11; 527 passing yards, 5 TDs; 37 points
Matt Schaub had a very good football year, but a very average fantasy football year. However, in Week 11, he rose above everyone and shredded the Jacksonville Jaguars for 527 yards and five touchdowns in a 43-37 overtime win. It was a fantastic performance for a guy who only scored more than 20 fantasy points twice this year.
The only negative outcome to his monster day was the number of owners who started him in the following weeks thinking he would stay hot. Unfortunately that didn’t happen as he only threw four touchdowns the rest of the season.
He ended the 2012 fantasy season No. 17 among quarterbacks with a mediocre 218 points.
Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks
Week 15; 205 passing yards, 1 TD; 92 rushing yards, 3 TDs; 39 points
Russell Wilson wasn’t a real viable fantasy option until about Week 9 when he posted 20 points against the Minnesota Vikings, so to finish as the 11th-highest scoring quarterback is pretty amazing stuff. What’s better is how clutch he was, especially in the middle of the fantasy playoffs.
In Week 15, he posted the second-highest fantasy score of the year with 39 points against the Buffalo Bills, but it wasn’t how he had been doing it up to this point. He scored three rushing touchdowns and put up 93 yards rushing as well; he added 205 yards passing and another score for good measure. It was interesting because, as a quarterback with great speed, he had not scored a rushing touchdown up to this point.
He would continue to make owners who were still alive happy. In Week 16 he threw four touchdowns and posted 22 fantasy points, and Week 17 saw him get his fourth rushing TD of the year and another 25 fantasy points in helping many people capture Shiva Bowl glory.
Just Missed the Cut
Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants
Week 2; 510 passing yards, 3 TDs, 3 INTs; 26 points
Eli’s performance would have garnered much more consideration if it weren’t for the three picks he tossed on this day.
Jamaal Charles. RB, Kansas City Chiefs
Week 3; 288 total yards, 1 TD; 34 points
This was significant for fantasy owners because Charles was coming off a horrific week where he only put up three yards on six carries.
Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans
Week 7; 195 rushing yards, 2 TDs; 31 points
It only took a year and a half, but Chris Johnson finally threw his hat back into the ring as a potential top fantasy option with this performance against the Buffalo Bills.
Andre Johnson, WR, Houston Texans
Week 11; 273 receiving yards, 1 TD; 33 points
The main recipient of Matt Schaub’s 527-yards and five touchdowns in Week 11 was Andre Johnson; his 273 yards receiving ranks ninth all-time for a single game.
Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Week 16; 224 receiving yards, 2 TDs; 34 points
There wasn’t a hotter, more consistent player in the second half of the NFL season than Dez Bryant, and he capped it off with this performance in many Week-16 fantasy championships.