Super Bowl XLVI is loaded with fantasy football superstars. From Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and Wes Welker to Eli Manning, Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz, it's an owner's paradise. That had me thinking -- if I could construct a gangbusters fantasy team from just one Super Bowl, imagine what I could do if I used all 46? The possibilities are endless! Who would I start at quarterback? Or at that tough-to-decide-on flex spot -- do I go with a running back or wideout?
And who in the world should I start at kicker and defense?
In the spirit of celebrating this Sunday's title tilt, I went back into the archives and found the best single-game performances by players at the major fantasy positions based on NFL.com's standard scoring system (sans negative points). So without further ado, here's the "perfect" fantasy Super Bowl lineup.
Steve Young, QB, 49ers (Super Bowl XXIX): Young's 325-yard, six-touchdown performance in a 49-26 win over the San Diego Chargers was the greatest ever for a quarterback in the Super Bowl. He completed a solid 67 percent of his passes, didn't throw an interception and led the Niners in rushing yards (49). Furthermore, Young shattered the previous record of five touchdown passes (Joe Montana, Super Bowl XXIV) in the big game and finished with a total of 41.9 fantasy points.
Terrell Davis, RB, Broncos (Super Bowl XXXII): Despite being hindered by a migraine in the first quarter, Davis put the Broncos on his broad shoulders and led them to a 31-24 win over the Green Bay Packers. He rushed for 157 yards, scoring a Super Bowl record three touchdowns and a solid 34.5 fantasy points, the most of any player at his position in the big game. Davis, whose scores all came on 1-yard runs, was named the game's MVP for his outstanding efforts.
Timmy Smith, RB, Redskins (Super Bowl XXII): Smith came out of nowhere to rush for what is still a Super Bowl record 204 yards with two touchdowns and 33.3 fantasy points in a 42-10 win over the Broncos. Amazingly, he rushed for more yards in that game than he did in the entire 1997 season (126). Smith's Super Bowl success ended up being an anomaly. He rushed for just 476 yards over the next two seasons and left the game altogether after the 1990 campaign.
Jerry Rice, WR, 49ers (Super Bowl XXIX): Considered the greatest wide receiver ever, Rice was a touchdown machine on the NFL's grandest stage. As with Young, Rice makes this list for his performance in that 49-26 win over the Chargers. Rice had 10 receptions for 149 yards with three touchdowns -- notching three scores in a Super Bowl for the second time -- and scored a ridiculous 33.9 fantasy points. Rice quickly got into the stat sheets, scoring on a 44-yard pass from Young three plays into the contest.
Ricky Sanders, WR, Redskins (Super Bowl XXII): Sanders was on fire against the Broncos, posting nine receptions for what was a record 193 yards with two touchdowns, compiling 31.3 fantasy points. The speedster averaged 21.4 yards per reception and found the end zone on long downfield strikes of 80 and 50 yards from MVP Doug Williams. His yardage total in the game would have accounted for 31 percent of his yards during the entire 1987 season, so it was the definition of a breakout performance.
Marcus Allen, R/W, Los Angeles Raiders (Super Bowl XVIII): There were some great options at the flex position, but it would be hard not to start Allen. He led the Raiders with what was a Super Bowl record 191 rushing yards and two touchdowns in a 38-9 win over the Redskins. The most memorable moment of the game, and one that will live forever in Super Bowl lore, was Allen's 74-yard run in the third quarter to put his team ahead 35-6. He finished with 32.9 fantasy points.
Dan Ross, TE, Bengals (Super Bowl XVI): Tight end has not been a productive position in these games, so Ross' performance was far and away the best in fantasy-land. He led all receivers in the contest with 11 catches, was second to Cris Collinsworth in receiving yards with 104, and found the end zone twice in a 26-21 loss. Ross, who scored on passes of 4 and 3 yards from Ken Anderson, would have been considered an elite tight end in the early 1980s, had fantasy football been as popular then as it is today.
Don Chandler, K, Packers (Super Bowl II): The oldest performance at the major fantasy positions came from Chandler, who helped kick Green Bay to a second consecutive Super Bowl championship in a 33-14 win over the Raiders. He connected on field goals of 39, 20, 43 and 31 yards and added three extra points. While not as famous as the kicker he opposed in this contest, George Blanda, Chandler was a real hero in this game. He retired after 12 years with the Packers and New York Giants.
Buccaneers defense (Super Bowl XXXVII): Defensive touchdowns are like gold in fantasy football, and the Buccaneers had no shortage of them in Super Bowl XXXVII. In fact, this unit found the end zone three times against the Raiders -- safety Dwight Smith scored on interception returns of 44 and 50 yards, and linebacker Derrick Brooks found the end zone on a 44-yard interception return of his own. Tampa Bay forced five interceptions in all, recorded five sacks and posted a ridiculous 33 fantasy points.