What a performance from Michael Vick on Monday night! I was down 40 fantasy points going into the game and ended up winning by nine! Is there a record of the all-time fantasy performances? That would be a lot of fun to read. Thanks! -- L.J. Paternosti, Lynwood, Calif.
Michael Fabiano: Vick was absolutely phenomenal against the Redskins, scoring 49 fantasy points on NFL.com. Of course, that performance led many of you (and myself) to wonder which players have scored the most fantasy points in a single game. Well, my close friend (and one of the best fantasy writers in the business) Tristan H. Cockcroft did a column about that a few years ago that focused on that question. If you watched Vick on Monday night, well, you witnessed a little bit of fantasy football history. In fact, it was the most fantasy points scored by a quarterback in a single game since 1960. That's one heck of a feat. Based on a standard scoring system, the best single-game fantasy stat lines (since 1960) are as follows: 1. Clinton Portis, RB, Broncos vs. Chiefs (2003): 54 fantasy points (218 rushing yards, 36 receiving yards, 5 TDs); 2. Shaun Alexander, RB, Seahawks vs. Vikings (2002): 52 points (139 rushing yards, 92 receiving yards, 5 TDs); 3. (tie) Vick vs. Redskins (2010): 49 points (333 passing yards, 80 rushing yards, 6 TDs); 3. (tie) Mike Anderson, RB, Broncos vs. Saints (2000): 49 points (251 rushing yards, 4 TDs); 5. (tie) Fred Taylor, RB, Jaguars vs. Steelers (2000): 48 points (234 rushing yards, 14 receiving yards, 4 TDs); 5. (tie) Priest Holmes, RB, Chiefs vs. Seahawks (2002): 48 points (197 rushing yards, 110 receiving yards, 3 TDs).
M.F.: The best tight end of that trio has been Pettigrew, and I'd prefer him over Shiancoe and Watson down the stretch. The Oklahoma State product has become a popular option in the pass attack in Detroit, catching 42 passes for 412 yards with three touchdowns. What's more, he's eighth in fantasy points among tight ends on NFL.com. Pettigrew also has a favorable schedule ahead with games against the Cowboys, Patriots, Packers and Buccaneers. None of those teams have been strong against tight ends.
M.F.: In most cases, I'm a stick-with-your studs kind of guy. As a result, I would have a hard time benching Peterson. He's a matchup-proof fantasy monster with a good history against this week's opponent, the Packers. Back in Week 7, Peterson ripped them for 172 scrimmage yards and one touchdown in a 28-24 loss. He has also rushed for a combined five touchdowns in his last five games against them. As much as I love Bradshaw this week, I'd bench him in favor of Charles. The Chiefs running back has been putting up great numbers lately, and this week's matchup against the Cardinals is a favorable one. Their defense has allowed the second-most fantasy points to runners.
M.F.: I realize that McFadden is playing the Steelers, but there is just no way I would bench him. Despite missing two games, he is still the sixth-rated running back (based on fantasy points) on NFL.com. The Steel Curtain also has a few dents in it due to injuries, which was evident last week against the Patriots. Green-Ellis, far from an elite runner, had 123 scrimmage yards against them. Speaking of Green-Ellis, I would start him ahead of Blount. He has a great matchup against the Colts, who have surrendered an average of 18 fantasy points per game to runners. Blount has a tougher task against the Niners -- their defense has allowed the ninth-fewest points to backs.
Hi Michael, great calls these past few weeks. You've really helped me get into playoff position! There is one question I have to ask, though, and it's about Randy Moss. He has been a constant disappointment this season and I am eager to drop him, but he is predicted to put up good points next week. Should I risk him one last time? -- T. Barrington, England
M.F.: Always glad to help! You're right about Moss -- he's been one of the biggest busts of the season. But based on his week's matchup against the Redskins, I think you have to start him. Their defense has allowed the second-most fantasy points to wide receivers, so Moss will be in a position to greatly improve on his one-catch dud last week. The Nashville Tennessean also reports that coach Jeff Fisher indicated that Moss would be more involved in the offense moving forward. If he can't exploit this cupcake of a matchup, well, then it might be time to cut ties.
M.F.: Freeman has been the better fantasy quarterback all season long, and he has a more favorable matchup this week as well. The underrated Buccaneers quarterback faces a 49ers defense that has allowed an average of 15 fantasy points per game to opposing signal-callers. On the flip side, Schaub goes up against the Jets. Their defense has allowed 13 or fewer fantasy points to two of the last three quarterbacks they have faced, one of which was Aaron Rodgers. At running back, I don't think Jones-Drew is a player to bench when the alternative is Blount. Sure, he's been pretty solid in some games, but Jones-Drew is the more consistent and valuable player. While he did post a few clunkers earlier in the season, Pocket Hercules has averaged a terrific 19.1 fantasy points in his last three games. I'd keep him active against the Browns in Week 11.
M.F.: Torain was listed as active and expected to start against the Eagles, but he couldn't get his hamstring loose in pregame warmups and was ultimately held out of the contest. He's likely to be questionable for Week 11. Clinton Portis (groin) continued to miss time and will likely be no better than questionable as well, so it does look like Williams is the Redskins runner to own in fantasy leagues. He went off for 30-plus fantasy points on Monday night and would have flex-starter value against the Titans if Torain and Portis were both to miss the contest. Their defense has allowed an average of 18 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs this season.
M.F.: Young does have a great matchup, but he's still not 100 percent due to a problematic ankle. As a result, I'd rather play it safe and start Flacco. He ranks 10th in fantasy points at his position on NFL.com, and the Panthers haven't exactly been stellar against quarterbacks lately. In fact, the last three signal-callers to face them have averaged 16.5 fantasy points on NFL.com. At running back, you're going to have to watch the injury report before making a final decision. If Jonathan Stewart or Tyrell Sutton returns from injuries, Goodson's value would take a blow. However, you won't have to worry about DeAngelo Williams -- he's been placed on injured reserve. Joseph Addai is targeting a Week 11 return, so Brown could wind up seeing far less carries as well. You might want to target Keiland Williams off the waiver wire just in case. If you're in a smaller league, Reggie Bush could even be available.
M.F.: Cassel has been very solid in recent weeks, but I'm still going with Sanchez. He has a great matchup against the Texans, who have allowed more fantasy points to quarterbacks than any other team in the league. Sanchez has also been hot in recent weeks, averaging a stellar 22.7 fantasy points in his last two games. As for Celek, it is time to cut ties if you can find a legitimate alternative off the waiver wire. His numbers have been dreadful when Vick is the quarterback -- that was evident on Monday night, as Celek scored a meager 0.80 fantasy points despite the fact that his team put 59 points on the board. Celek has also scored double-digit fantasy points just once all season. Check to see if Pettigrew, Kevin Boss, Todd Heap, Marcedes Lewis, Benjamin Watson, Kellen Winslow or Aaron Hernandez are on the waiver wire as possible replacements.
M.F.: I'm shocked at how poorly Lynch has played in Seattle, especially when you consider how favorable a schedule he has faced. Seattle's porous offensive line is partially to blame, but I have to wonder if Lynch is even in shape. He's been held under 3.0 yards per carry in three of his five games with the Seahawks, and Justin Forsett was a much more effective fantasy option in Week 11. With that said, I'd be starting Greene going forward. LaDainian Tomlinson could be running out of gas after a fast start, and Greene's carries have increased as a result. In fact, he saw more totes than L.T. against the Browns. Greene also has a nice matchup against the Texans in Week 11.