With the NFL All-Decade series, we're revisiting and recapping the top fantasy performances of the decade. In this edition, we'll reminisce over the most explosive QB showcases of the last 10 years, and all the fantasy weeks thereby single-handedly won and lost. There's little doubt in my mind that when a similar list is made to look back at the 2020s, young superstars like Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson will also have earned their spots.
For the QBs, fantasy points are calculated based on:
- 1 point for 25 passing yards
- 4 points per passing TD
- -2 points per INT
- 1 point per 10 rushing/receiving yards
- 6 points per rushing/receiving TD
- 2 points per two-point conversion
- -2 points per fumble lost
10) Ryan Fitzpatrick: 42.28 fantasy points - Buccaneers 48 @ Saints 40 (Week 1, 2018)
21-for-28, 417 yards, 4 TDs; 12 carries, 36 yards, 1 TD
Fitzpatrick's storied career reached a crescendo during the first three games of the 2018 season, in which he recorded 400-plus yards each time and set the league on fire. During Week 1's shootout against Drew Brees, the journeyman established himself as a unique story in league history, becoming the first signal-caller to throw at least four touchdown passes in a single game with five different teams.
9) Aaron Rodgers: 42.88 fantasy points - Packers 44 @ Jets 38 (Week 16, 2018)
37-for-55, 442 yards, 2 TDs; five carries, 32 yards, 2 TDs
Rodgers' opening possession began with a touchdown pass to Davante Adams, and he capped overtime in a similar fashion. With this monstrous road effort in tow, Rodgers avoided leading the only Packers' squad in franchise history to go an entire season without a win away from Lambeau.
8) Mitchell Trubisky: 43.46 fantasy points - Bears 48 vs. Buccaneers 10 (Week 4, 2018)
19-for-26, 354 yards, 6 TDS; three carries, 53 yards
Much can be said about Trubisky's short career, but this stellar Soldier Field blowout against a then-on-fire Bucs squad can't be taken away. All five of Trubisky's touchdowns came in the first half, so he could've tentatively finished higher on this list had Tampa Bay been able to make it a game.
7) Aaron Rodgers: 43.76 fantasy points - Packers 42 vs. Raiders 24 (Week 7, 2019)
25-for-31, 429 yards, 5 TDs; two carries, six yards, 1 TD
An entry from recent memory. Rodgers threw five TDs and posted a career-high passer rating of 158.3, otherwise known as a perfect mark. He also ran in for a score himself, rubbing salt in the wounds of everyone up against him in fantasy that week. Perhaps most impressively, he connected with six different pass catchers for 20-plus yard gains during the contest while operating without Davante Adams.
6) Drew Brees: 44.30 fantasy points - Saints 52 vs. Giants 49 (Week 8, 2015)
39-for-40, 505 yards, 7 TDs, 2 INT
Brees notched a career-best mark in terms of passing yards in "The Superdome Duel," going down as the victor in an all-time shootout against Eli Manning. The game fittingly ended on a nail-biting field goal as time expired.
5) Ben Roethlisberger: 44.78 fantasy points - Steelers 51 vs. Colts 34 (Week 8, 2014)
40-for-49, 522 yards, 6 TDs
Boldly donning Pittsburgh's striped throwback jersey, Big Ben churned out the best statistical performance of his long career. His highlight toss came in the form of score No. 2 for Antonio Brown, throwing a perfect dime after breaking free of a would-be sack and rolling out of the pocket. Roethlisberger would follow it up with another six-TD performance against the Ravens in Week 9, setting an NFL record as the only QB with 12 total touchdowns across two contests.
4) Nick Foles: 45.24 fantasy points - Eagles 49 @ Raiders 20 (Week 9, 2013)
22-for-28, 406 yards, 7 TDs
Foles' career has taken some strange turns, but his highs have been as great as any player in league history. One such moment came when he tied the league's single-game passing TD record while replacing an injured Michael Vick, meaning just about nobody started him in fantasy. He logged the record-setting performance in barely over three quarters of playing time.
3) Aaron Rodgers: 45.92 fantasy points - Packers 49 vs. Broncos 23 (Week 4, 2011)
29-for-38, 408 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT; nine carries, 36 yards, 2 TDs
Rodgers may not be a dual-threat QB in the vein of Lamar Jackson or Michael Vick, but fantasy managers are very familiar with his tendency to run the ball in for a score when given the opportunity. His stunning Week 4 performance lit the flame for Rodgers to ultimately win his first league MVP award, and it remains the definitive moment of his best fantasy season. It also warrants being pointed out that Rodgers is not just the only QB to appear on this list multiple times. He occupies three spots. GOAT stuff.
2) Peyton Manning: 46.28 fantasy points - Broncos 49 vs. Ravens 27 (Week 1, 2013)
27-for-42 passing, 462 yards, 7 TDs
Call it revenge for the Mile High Miracle, call it an all-time great getting his due – no QB has begun a fantasy season more explosively. Manning's performance ranks him within the select group who've achieved the single-game passing record of 7 TDs. Julius Thomas scored his first career touchdown in the contest, burgeoning what would become a lethal connection.
1) Michael Vick: 49.32 fantasy points - Eagles 59 @ Redskins 28 (Week 10, 2010)
20-for-28 passing, 333 yards, 4 TDs; eight carries, 80 yards, 2 TDs
No surprises here. Lamar Jackson may have topped Vick's rushing record, but the No. 1 overall pick of the 2001 NFL Draft can still claim the top fantasy performance of the 2010s. Vick's first play from scrimmage resulted in an 88-yard bomb to DeSean Jackson for a TD, and the all-timer didn't stop there. In what's gone down as one of the most dominant single-player performances in NFL history, Vick piled up six total TDs before letting up on the gas.
11) Deshaun Watson: 41.74 fantasy points - Texans 53 vs. Falcons 32 (Week 5, 2019)
28-for-33 passing, 426 yards, 5 TDs; four carries, 47 yards, 2 fumbles
12) Cam Newton: 41.60 fantasy points - Panthers 38 @ Giants 35 (Week 15, 2015)
25-for-45 passing, 340 yards, 5 TDs; eight carries, 100 yards, 1 fumble
13) Russell Wilson: 41.34 fantasy points - Seahawks 27 vs. Saints 33 (Week 3, 2019)
32-for-50 passing, 406 yards, 2 TDs; seven carries, 51 yards, 2 TDs
14) Tony Romo: 40.94 fantasy points - Cowboys 48 vs. Broncos 51 (Week 5, 2013)
25-for-36 passing, 506 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT
15) Josh Allen: 40.46 fantasy points - Bills 42 vs. Dolphins 17 (Week 17, 2018)
17-for-26 passing, 224 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT; nine carries, 95 yards, 2 TDs
16) Drew Brees: 40.54 fantasy points - Saints 43 @ Falcons 37 (Week 3, 2018)
39-for-49 passing, 396 yards, 3 TDs; three carries, seven yards, 2 TDs
17) Matt Ryan: 40.16 fantasy points - Falcons 37 vs. Saints 44 (Week 3, 2018)
26-of-35, 374 yards, 5 TDs; four carries, 12 yards
18) Drew Brees: 40.06 fantasy points - Saints 46 vs. 49ers 48 (Week 14, 2019)
29-for-40, 349 yards, 5 TDs; one carry, one yard, 1 TD
19) Josh McCown: 39.52 fantasy points - Bears 45 vs. Cowboys 28 (Week 14, 2013)
27-for-36 passing, 348 yards, 4 TDs; three carries, 16 yards, 1 TD
20) Russell Wilson: 39.40 fantasy points - Seahawks 50 @ Bills 17 (Week 15, 2012)
14-for-23 passing, 205 yards, 1 TD; nine carries, 92 yards, 3 TDs