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Top 20 fantasy performances of 2013 (5-1)


It won't be too long from now that we're knee deep in training camp. That means the new NFL season will be upon us in earnest. (By the way ... now's a good time to sign up for NFL Fantasy Football in 2014.) But until then, let's take some time to reminisce over the season that was 2013 by reliving the 20 best individual fantasy performances of the season. Check back here daily as we count down all the way to No. 1.


No. 5: Romo goes toe-to-toe with Peyton


Love him or hate him, there's no denying that Tony Romo is a legitimately productive fantasy football quarterback. The Cowboys signal-caller reinforced that idea by going head-to-head with the current king of the heap ... and winning. On the stat sheet, anyway.

The Broncos and Cowboys played a game for the ages in Week 5 -- it already gave us the No. 13 game in our countdown -- and for as good as Peyton Manning was, Romo was better. The Dallas veteran racked up 506 yards and FIVE touchdown passes, including an 82-yard strike to Terrance Williams.

Yet the game turned like so many others involving Tony Romo -- with an interception. It was Romo's lone blemish and led to Denver's game-winning field goal as time expired. While Cowboys fans were once again anguished, fantasy owners could still rejoice in a 40.94-point performance. Not too shabby.

No. 4: Decker rules Chiefs


Generally speaking, there are far worse gigs out there than being a Peyton Manning receiver. Eric Decker reminded us of that in Week 13.

By that point in the 2013 season, the once-red hot Kansas City Chiefs had started to take on a little water. Far be it from the Broncos to let a struggling team up off the mat. Peyton Manning threw five TD passes in a 35-28 win, but Decker was the big star of the day. The veteran wideout registered eight catches. More importantly, he set career highs with 174 receiving yards and four touchdowns.

All in all, it was a tidy 42.40-point day -- good enough to top Josh Gordon's 38-point afternoon. Decker might struggle to hit those heights with the Jets this season, but he was certainly good enough when fantasy owners needed him.

No. 3: Foles picks Raiders apart


When Nick Foles took over as the Eagles' starting quarterback in Week 6 of the 2013 season, there weren't many fantasy owners clamoring to add him to their roster. Less than a month later, nothing was the same.

Foles grabbed his second appearance on our countdown -- and a piece of history -- in a lights-out performance against the Raiders. Philly's QB threw for 406 yards and tied an NFL record with seven touchdowns, accounting for 45.24 fantasy points. It also began a string in which Foles topped 20 fantasy points in five of six games.

The Eagles ran away with a 49-20 win over the Raiders and Foles flew off the waiver wire en masse. In the process, he also helped Riley Cooper land in our Top 20 countdown as well. Teamwork!

No. 2: Peyton ... for openers


If you guessed Peyton Manning was the other player to make two appearances in our countdown ... well, you were likely among many. No surprise that the man who set an NFL record for touchdown passes would have had more than one big fantasy day.

But talk about setting a tone; Manning kicked off the season in grand fashion. In front of a packed house in the first game of the new campaign, Peyton torched the defending champion Baltimore Ravens for 462 yards and tied a record with seven TD passes. Manning connected with four different players for scores -- including two each to Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas and Wes Welker.

Manning exited Week 1 with 46.28 points on his resume. It was just the first in a string of huge weeks for the man who would abscond with the fantasy scoring title in 2013. But it wasn't enough to top our countdown, because...

No. 1: Charles in charge


Yeah, you knew this was coming right?

NFL fans and fantasy owners alike watched with rapt attention in Week 15 when Jamaal Charles ran over, around and through the Raiders defense. The most remarkable thing about Charles' huge game was how little of it came as a rusher. The chief Chief had just 20 yards and a touchdown on the ground (eight carries). It was through the air where Charles made hay. He caught eight passes for 195 yards and four scores -- the final one being a 71-yard catch-and-run to put the game out of reach after the Raiders rallied to get within four.

And one more thing ... Charles scored all of his 51.50 points in THREE QUARTERS! We shudder at the thought of what kind of numbers he might have posted had Andy Reid left him in the game. Nonetheless, we tip our cap to you, Jamaal. It was truly a performance to remember.

Marcas Grant is a fantasy editor for NFL.com and a man who encourages you to keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars. You can follow him on Twitter @MarcasG.

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