Running backs have almost always been considered the lifeblood of fantasy football, but a select few have found immense statistical success in the Super Bowl. In fact, a mere seven backs have won the MVP honor in 43 championships -- the last was Terrell Davis in Super Bowl XXXII -- and a total of 17 runners have rushed for 100-plus yards in the big game. In the second part of our three-part series that combines Super Bowl success and fantasy football, we'll look at the top 10 running back performances in the ultimate sports championship on the planet.
1. Terrell Davis, Denver (Super Bowl XXXII): Despite the effects of a migraine headache in the first quarter, Davis was able to put the Broncos on his shoulders and lead them to a 31-24 win over the Green Bay Packers. He rushed for 157 yards with a Super Bowl record three touchdowns and scored 34.5 fantasy points, the most of any player at his position in the big game. Davis was awarded MVP honors for his efforts.
2. Timmy Smith, Washington (Super Bowl XXII): Smith came out of nowhere to rush for a Super Bowl record 204 yards and two touchdowns in a 42-10 win over the Broncos. Smith's two scores came on runs of 58 and four yards and were part of his 33.3-fantasy point performance. His success on the grandest stage would not be a window into the future, though, as he rushed for just 476 yards and three touchdowns the rest of his career.
3. Marcus Allen, Los Angeles Raiders (Super Bowl XVIII): Allen led the Los Angeles Raiders to its third title in club history with what was a Super Bowl record 191 rushing yards and two touchdowns in a 38-9 win over the Washington Redskins. The most memorable moment of the game, and one that will live in Super Bowl lore, was Allen's 74-yard run in the third quarter that put his team ahead 35-6. He would finish with 32.9 fantasy points.
4. Roger Craig, San Francisco (Super Bowl XIX): A versatile back, Craig was a prominent contributor in the Niners' 38-16 win over the Miami Dolphins. He rushed for 58 yards, caught a team-high seven passes for 77 yards and found the end zone three times for a total of 31.5 fantasy points. Craig's three scores set a Super Bowl record -- he found the end zone on a two-yard run and on passes of eight and 16 yards from Joe Montana.
5. Ricky Watters, San Francisco (Super Bowl XXIX): While it was Steve Young who was the hero of the 49ers' 49-26 win over the San Diego Chargers, Watters also produced a solid stat line. The Notre Dame product rushed for 47 yards, caught three passes for 61 yards, tied a Super Bowl record with three total touchdowns and finished with 28.8 fantasy points. His touchdowns came on a run of nine yards and catches of 51 and eight yards.
6. Emmitt Smith, Dallas (Super Bowl XXVIII): The NFL's all-time leading rusher, Smith rushed for 132 yards and two touchdowns in a 30-13 win over the Buffalo Bills. He posted 92 yards and both of his scores in the second half. Smith, who hit pay dirt on runs of 15 yards and one yard, totaled 27.8 fantasy points and earned MVP honors for his performance. The win was Dallas' second consecutive in the Super Bowl.
7. Larry Csonka, Miami (Super Bowl VIII): In the oldest performance in our top 10 among running backs, Csonka rushed for what was a record 145 yards with two touchdowns in a 24-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings. Csonka, who earned MVP honors, scored on runs of five and two yards and finished with 26.5 fantasy points. With the win, Csonka and the Dolphins became the second team to win back-to-back Super Bowls.
T-8. Thurman Thomas, Buffalo (Super Bowl XXV): In a game that will forever be remembered for Scott Norwood's failed 47-yard field goal attempt with mere seconds left on the clock, Thomas' performance was somewhat overshadowed. He posted 190 scrimmage yards, scored on a 31-yard run and finished with 25 fantasy points in a 20-19 loss to the Giants. What made his stat line even more impressive is that the Bills had the football for just 19:27 minutes.
T-8. Eddie George, Tennessee (Super Bowl XXXIV): This Super Bowl will forever be remembered for how it ended. Rams LB Mike Jones tackled Titans wideout Kevin Dyson at the 1-yard line as time expired to preserve a 23-16 win, but George recorded a solid stat line nonetheless. He rushed for 95 yards, caught two passes for 35 yards, scored touchdowns on runs of one and two yards and finished with 25 fantasy points in the contest.
10. John Riggins, Washington (Super Bowl XVII): Riggins put the Redskins on his back and led them to a 27-17 win over the Dolphins for the franchise's first-ever Super Bowl title and first NFL championship since 1942. The Diesel carried the football a record 38 times for what was a record 166 yards and scored on a 43-yard run to finish the game with 24.1 fantasy points. It was Riggins' fourth consecutive 100-yard rushing performance in the playoffs.