Who doesn’t love a good Super Bowl? There is nothing like witnessing two teams reach a goal that they have been working for months to achieve. It all comes down to one game. While football is a team sport, we in the fantasy world enjoy looking in the number of individual players. It is exciting to see how all the great Super Bowl fantasy football performances stack up against one and other.
For this particular article, we will be looking at the greatest single-game fantasy performances in Super Bowl history. After going through all 52 Super Bowls, I have come up with two All-Super Bowl fantasy teams. Only one game per player was used in order to keep the list more interesting (otherwise this basically would have been an all-49ers team).
Here are the scoring settings that I used:
- 10 rushing/reception yards: 1 point
- 25 passing yards: 1 point
- Reception: 0.5 points
- Rushing/receiving TD: 6 points
- Passing TD: 4 points
- Interception: -2 points
- Lost fumble: -2 points
- 1 yard to 39 yard FG: 3 points
- 40 yards to 49 yard FG: 4 points
- 50 yards + FG: 5 points
- FG missed: -1 point
- PAT made: 1 point
- PAT missed: -1 point
- 0 Points Allowed: 10 points
- 1-6 Points Allowed: 7 points
- 7-13 Points Allowed: 4 points
- 14-20 Points Allowed: 1 point
- 21-27 Points Allowed: 0 points
- 28-34 Points Allowed: -1 point
- 35+ Points Allowed: -4 points
- Less than 100 Total Yards Allowed: 3 points
- 100-199 Yards Allowed: 2 points
- 200-299 Yards Allowed: 1 point
- 300-399 Yards Allowed: 0 points
- 400-449 Yards Allowed: -1 point
- 450-499 Yards Allowed: -2 points
- 500+ Yards Allowed: -3 points
- Sack: 1 point
- Interception: 2 points
- Fumble Forced: 0.5 points
- Fumble Recovered: 2 points
- Safety: 2 points
- Touchdown: 6 points
DEF position is strictly defensive stats, no special team totals were used.
Position – Name, Team – Super Bowl (Season) – Fantasy Points
QB – Steve Young, SF – XXIX (1994) – 41.9
RB 1 – James White, NE – LI (2016) – 38.9
RB 2 – Roger Craig, SF – XIX (1984) – 35.0
WR 1 – Jerry Rice, SF – XXIX (1994) – 38.9
WR 2 – Ricky Sanders, WAS – XXII (1987) – 35.4
TE –Rob Gronkowski, NE – LII (2017) – 28.1
Flex – Timmy Smith, WAS – XXII (1987) – 33.8
K – Don Chandler, GB – II (1967) – 16.0
DEF – Dallas Cowboys – XXVII (1992) – 36.5
Position – Name, Team – Super Bowl (Season) – Fantasy Points
QB – Joe Montana, SF – XIX (1984) – 37.14
RB 1 – Terrell Davis, DEN – XXXII (1997) – 33.5
RB 2 – Marcus Allen, OAK – XVIII (1983) – 31.9
WR 1 – Max McGee, GB – I (1966) – 29.3
WR 2 – Larry Fitzgerald, ARI – XLIII (2008) – 28.2
TE – Dan Ross, CIN – XVI (1981) – 27.9
Flex – Ricky Watters, SF – XXIX (1994) – 30.3
K – Ray Wersching, SF – XVI (1981) – 15.0
DEF – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – XXXVII (2002) – 34.5
Steve Young – Super Bowl XXIX
325 Pass Yards, 6 Pass TDs, 49 Rush Yards
It should come as no surprise that Steve Young and Joe Montana are on the list. Young had the highest scoring fantasy game in a Super Bowl, when he tossed six touchdowns against the Chargers. Furthermore, he did not commit any turnovers, and turnovers will be an interesting topic throughout this article.
Joe Montana – Super Bowl XIX
331 Pass Yards, 3 Pass TDs, 59 Rush Yards, 1 Rush TD
Young broke the passing touchdown record, previously held by Joe Montana. His five TD performance occurred in the biggest blowout in Super Bowl history (55-10 over the Broncos). That is, however, not Montana’s best fantasy performance. Montana’s Super Bowl XIX made the list because of his 59 rushing yards and rushing TD. Above all, this shows an advantage that a running quarterback has to offer in fantasy football.
James White – Super Bowl LI
29 Rush Yards, 2 Rush TDs, 14 Receptions, 110 Receiving Yards, 1 Receiving TDs
The coveted title of Super Bowl RB1 belongs to the legendary runner… James White? Okay, so he only ran for 29 yards in Super Bowl LI, but he made up for it by catching a Super Bowl record 14 receptions. The decision to use 0.5 PPR as the scoring format looms large with the RB rankings. In standard scoring, White would fall off of the first team completely. However, his three touchdowns are enough to have him in this article regardless.
Roger Craig – Super Bowl XIX
58 Rush Yards, 1 Rush TD, 7 Receptions, 77 Receiving Yards, 2 Receiving TDs
Roger Craig finishes as the RB2 for his performance in Super Bowl XIX. Like James White, he did not have a huge day on the ground, with only 58 yards, but he caught seven passes and had three scores. A couple of themes begin to become apparent; the hat-trick of touchdowns, the 49ers players. Both trends will continue.
Timmy Smith – Super Bowl XXII
204 Rush Yards, 2 Rush TD, 1 Reception, 9 Receiving Yards
In the first flex spot, we have Timmy Smith, the record holder for rushing yards in a Super Bowl. His 204 running day was also accompanied by two scores. As a result, in a non-PPR setting, Smith has the highest-scoring Super Bowl performance for a running back. Other than the top scoring pair, no WR had enough fantasy points to supplant either RB in the flex spots.
Terrell Davis – Super Bowl XXXII
157 Rush Yards, 3 Rush TDs, 2 Receptions, 8 Receiving Yards, 1 Fumble Lost
Terrell Davis’ performance in Super Bowl XXXII is incredibly impressive, even without the knowledge that he only played three quarters of football due to a severe migraine. Regardless, 157 yards and three touchdowns is a lot more production. He would have been the RB2 on the first team had he not fumbled in the game. Instead, he drops all the way to the second team.
Marcus Allen – Super Bowl XVIII
191 Rush Yards, 2 Rush TD, 2 Receptions, 18 Receiving Yards, 1 Fumble Lost
Speaking of fumbles, Marcus Allen would also have moved up to the first team had it not been for one gaffe. He fumbled during Super Bowl XVIII. However, that is where the bad news ended for Allen, as he set a record for rushing yards in the game with 191. That figure would, of course, be passed by Timmy Smith, as mentioned earlier.
Ricky Watters – Super Bowl XXIX
47 Rush Yards, 1 Rush TD, 3 Receptions, 61 Receiving Yards, 2 Receiving TDs
Rickey Waters’ Super Bowl XXIX had a very similar stat line to fellow 49er Roger Craig: not many rushing yards, but a lot of receptions and three touchdowns. Super Bowl XXIX is the only game on this list to feature three teammates (Rice, Waters, Young). That is due to the 49 points that the 49ers scored, the third-highest total in Super Bowl history.
Jerry Rice – Super Bowl XXIX
9 Receptions 193 Receiving Yards, 3 Receiving TDs, 10 Rush Yards
This is probably not a surprise, but Jerry Rice is the WR1. If multiple appearances by a player were allowed, Rice would have held the top two spots. His performance in Super Bowl XXIX did not get him an MVP, but he was certainly instrumental in helping Steve Young receive that honor. Interestingly enough, his record of 215 receiving yards in Super Bowl XXIII is only his third-best fantasy performance in a Super Bowl, because he only scored 1 TD.
Ricky Sanders – Super Bowl XXII
9 Receptions, 193 Receiving Yards, 2 Receiving TDs, -4 Rush Yards
Rickey Sanders had an amazing game in Super Bowl XXII as Doug Williams’ favorite target. The signal-caller led Washington to glory after Joe Theismann was forced to retire because of an injury that he suffered in 1985. In the final game of the 1987 season, Williams, with the help of Sanders, pulled the team up from a 10-0 deficit. At the time, it was the largest comeback in Super Bowl history (that distinction now belongs to the Patriots in Super Bowl LI). Even more noteworthy was a 35-point second quarter during which Sanders caught both of his touchdown passes. Those 35 points still stand as a Super Bowl record for the most scored by one team in a single quarter.
Max McGee – Super Bowl I
7 Receptions, 138 Receiving Yards, 2 Receiving TDs
We hear a lot of talk about how the NFL has evolved into a much more pass-happy league. However, this did not prevent some great individual performances by receivers in the early Super Bowls. Max McGee had probably the greatest hangover game in history. That morning, he told starter Boyd Dowler, “I hope you don’t get hurt. I’m not in very good shape.” Dowler ended up getting injured early and McGee had to play in spite of spending most of the night before partying. This shows how before the merger, teams cared more about their respective championship games than the Super Bowl itself. In spite of his state in Super Bowl I, McGee helped the Packers capture that initial AFL-NFL contest.
Larry Fitzgerald – Super Bowl XLIII
7 Receptions, 127 Receiving Yards, 2 Receiving TDs
While most performances on the list came from the winning side, there are a few of players who had great individual games despite being on the losing side. Larry Fitzgerald almost brought the Cardinals their first Super Bowl and first NFL title since 1947. Interestingly enough, only 11 yards separate Fitzgerald and Max McGee in deciding the difference between WR1 and WR2 on the second team.
Rob Gronkowski – Super Bowl LII
9 Receptions – 116 Receiving Yards, 2 Receiving TDs
I am certain the stats matter little to players who have lost in the Super Bowl. Similarly to Fitzgerald, Rob Gronkowski was on the losing end of a Super Bowl that he dominated as an individual. The top tight end fantasy performance is most noteworthy for being the most recent among all positions on the list. In Super Bowl LII, Gronk led the Patriots in receptions with 9, and he also set the Super Bowl record for yards by a TE, with 116. Only 0.2 fantasy points separate him from the TE2: Dan Ross.
Dan Ross – Super Bowl XVI
11 Receptions, 104 Receiving Yards, 2 Receiving TDs
You know Dan Ross, the legendary Bengals tight end. Okay, so legendary is may be too strong of a word, but Ross does have his place in history. He holds the TE record for most receptions in a single Super Bowl, with 11. Ross was at one point tied for most receptions by any player in the Super Bowl, however, that distinction now belongs to James White. Like Gronk and Fitz (see how that fits) he also lost in the Super Bowl. As a result, Super Bowl XVI kick-started the 49ers dynasty and ultimately paved the way for several great championship performances (some of which were on this list).
Don Chandler – Super Bowl II
4 FGs Made (39, 20, 43, 31), 3 PATs
Ray Wersching – Super Bowl XVI
4 FGs Made (22, 26, 40, 23) 2 PATs
Only two kickers have ever scored four field goals in a single Super Bowl game. As a result, both Don Chandler and Ray Wersching made this list on the strength of that record. Chandler gets the first team nod for having converted on three point after attempts, compared to two by Wersching. In contrast to other positions, kickers have not yet had any monster performances in the Super Bowl.
Dallas Cowboys – Super Bowl XXVII
17 Points Allowed, 362 Yards Allowed, 4 Sacks, 4 Interceptions, 8 Fumbles Forced, 5 Fumbles Recovered, 2 TDs
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Super Bowl XXXVII
21 Points Allowed, 269 Yards Allowed, 5 Sacks, 5 Interceptions, 1 Forced Fumble, 3 TDs
The Cowboys set a record for turnovers in a Super Bowl game by forcing nine in Super Bowl XXVII. The previous record also belonged to the Cowboys in Super Bowl XII. That turnover record, combined with two defensive touchdowns, is why the Cowboys made the first team. The Buccaneers defense actually scored three times in Super Bowl XXXVII, but made the second team because they only had six turnovers. Consequently, the three touchdowns that the Bucs defense scored were enough to place them above the 1985 Bears for their Super Bowl XX performance.
Thank you for reading. Hopefully, you enjoyed learning about the best Super Bowl fantasy football performances in history. However, that history is still being written. Perhaps a player in Super Bowl LIII will make this list.
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