Heading into week 9, Doug Martin was enjoying a productive rookie campaign. The Bucs newcomer was running well, involved in the passing game, and had the unquestioned support of the Tampa Bay coaching staff. That strong start finally led to Martin’s assumed peak in week 8, as he shredded the Vikings for 214 total yards and two scores. The “Muscle Hamster” had finally arrived! It was after that Thursday night breakout that Martin apparently gulped down a few dozen raw eggs and ran up the stairs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, because the little guy went Sly Stallone on the world of fake football as an encore. Doug Martin threw down one of the most astonishing performances in fantasy football history on Sunday, as he dropped a 51.2 point performance (with no PPR!) on the Oakland Raiders. 50! One player! Yes, that really happened! Let’s take a peek at this and other notable performances from a high flying week 9 in fake football land…
Doug Martin: 51.2 points in standard scoring, and 55.2 in PPR. This was not the total soring output of your QB, RB2 and TE, this was Mr. Martin’s Sunday afternoon in the black hole. Doug Martin is getting huge workloads, passing game work, and has the jaw dropping skills to put it all together. You are staring directly at a 2013 first round fantasy pick. I hope you’re wearing shades.
Brandon Marshall: It didn’t appear that Marshall would tear up the charts on Sunday, as the Bears jumped out to an early lead thanks to their incredible D/ST unit. However, Jay Cutler had other ideas. Like usual, Marshall was Cutler’s favorite dish in the red zone and ended up with three TD grabs for the fake football hat trick, to go with 122 yards and 9 catches. Marshall is options 1, 2, and 3 through 72 in the Chicago passing game and is now averaging just under 7.5 catches and 100 yards per game. Monster.
Mikel Leshoure: Speaking of hat tricks, Mikel Leshoure picked one up in the second quarter ALONE on Sunday, as the Lions spanked the Jags. Leshoure was a one man goal line wrecking ball, scoring on plunges of 7, 1, and 8 yards. Despite not racking up jaw-dropping yardage totals, Leshoure is averaging 4.7 ypc over his last four games, so he may not be just a goal line battering ram. Also, don’t read too much into the workload split between Leshoure and Joique Bell, as 5 of Bell’s 13 carries came in the 4th quarter with Detroit milking the clock.
Darren McFadden: The 2012 disappointment known as Darren McFadden hit rock bottom on Sunday, as the Raider running back came up lame after just 7 carries against Tampa Bay. ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that DMC has the dreaded high ankle sprain and is headed for a Monday MRI. Any hope that McFadden would salvage a useful season is now toast. Expect a multiple week absence, but more details will emerge on Monday.
Andrew Luck: Leading the NFL in passing yardage on Sunday was Colts rookie Andrew Luck, with a whopping 433 yards. Luck has a trio of soft defenses heading his way in weeks 10-12 (@Jac, @NE, vsBUF) so his promising rookie season should continue producing solid fantasy stat lines. Saddle up and ride this Colt into the fake football playoffs.
Isaac Redman: Mendenhall? Dwyer? Redman? Does it really matter? This week’s standout Pittsburgh running back was Isaac Redman, who rumbled to 147 yards on 26 carries (5.7 ypc) and a score. The Steeler backfield has been a revolving door of productive backs this season, which is even more impressing considering the offensive line woes that troubled the team in 2011. Dwyer and Mendenhall may be healthy this week, so keep an eye on the news out of Pittsburgh, but this backfield has been a tasty bounty of fantasy points and has four nice rushing matchups slated ahead in weeks 10-13.
Carson Palmer: Palmer joined Andrew Luck as the only quarterbacks to crack 400 yards passing in week 9, as he set season highs in nearly every passing category while the Raiders tried to chase down Doug Martin and the Bucs. Palmer is still not a startable fantasy quarterback in most formats, but he does get a bump with DMC out, as Oakland will most likely be throwing more. If you own Eli Manning, you may want to scoop up Palmer now, as he gets New Orleans in week 11 while Eli is at home building Legos with his brother during his bye.
Adrian Peterson: The best back in football started off Sunday’s outing with a 74 yard rumble, and ended up with 182 yards rushing on the day to go along with two touchdowns. Peterson’s last three single game rushing totals: 153, 123, 182. That is good.
DeAngelo Williams: Williams ended up with just under 10 fantasy points on Sunday, but this is just your friendly reminder from the good folks here at The Fake Football that Williams still is not worthy of picking up this week. Williams’ 5 carries outside of the TD run went for 7 total yards, which is as fun as drinking OJ after brushing your teeth. What is left of this jumbled backfield after Cam belongs mostly to Jonathan Stewart. Leave him on the wire.
Calvin Johnson: Megatron was rumored to be “limited” heading into Sunday’s game, so naturally he went for 129 yards on 7 catches. Never doubt the ‘Tron if he is active.
Andre Johnson: Like his third cousin (twice removed) Calvin, Andre Johnson hasn’t done a lot in the touchdown department in 2012. However, the H-Town stud has been on a quiet tear over his last three games, averaging 8.3 catches and 93 yards, despite not finding the endzone. The scores will come, and that day will be mighty sweet for Andre Johnson owners who have PHD’s in patience.
Eli Manning/Hakeem Nicks: Stinkfest of the week goes to Peyton’s nerdy little brother and his pal Hakeem, who decided to skip Sunday’s game with Pittsburgh. 125 yards, zero touchdowns and a pick for Eli barely outshined Nicks’ 1 catch for 10 yards in an absolute clunker of a fantasy day from the Giants. This makes back-to-back rough performances from the NYG passing game, which is becoming mildly concerning. A trip to Cincy is on deck for the G-Men.
Jordy Nelson: Jordy finally got his bum hammy ready to go for week 9, and then promptly injured his ankle in the first quarter of Green Bay’s game against Arizona and did not return. No updates have been leaked yet in regard to Nelson’s ankle, but plenty of fake football owners can give extremely detailed updates about the goose egg he left them in their box scores.
Jermaine Gresham: With Gronk on bye and Jimbo Graham not playing until Monday, somebody had to lead NFL tight ends in yardage, right? Well that man was Jermaine Gresham, who caught 6 passes for 108 yards. If you swiped Gresham to fill in for Gronk while he is out raving it up on his bye week, give yourself a nice warm pat on the back. Gresham is still a lower end TE play, but has quietly snuck up to 6th in receiving yards among tight ends this season.
Dwayne Allen: With fellow Colts rookie tight end Coby Fleener nursing a bad shoulder, Allen pulled in 6 catches for 75 yards against Miami on Sunday. Allen has a nice little two game stretch going for himself and Fleener should be out at least one more week, making Allen an interesting start. If you are playing Rudolph, Cook, or Bennett at tight end, swipe Allen now, who gets New England in week 11 while those chumps are on bye.