5 Weekly Individual Performances No One Saw Coming In 2013 Fantasy Football
5 Performances We Didn't See Coming
We've all been there. After meticulously examining every statistic from every feasible angle in your monumental decision of whether to start Pierre Garcon or Vincent Jackson as your WR2 in Week 12, perennial waiver-wire loiterer Tiquan Underwood puts up 108 yards and scores two touchdowns to outscore both players combined.
Yes, it's admittedly an imperfect science and anomalies like this occur almost too often for them to even be considered anomalies. But this is fantasy football. Frustrating sometimes, yet at the end of the day, we all still play it.
It's outliers like Underwood in Week 12 that make fantasy sports so applicable to such a vast amount of people. With good timing and a little bit of luck, even a first-timer can take down a fantasy vet if their cards are right.
The NFL has had a substantial amount of parity over the last few seasons, as perpetual bottom-dwellers have risen to the top and vice versa. It's pro football and sometimes we lose perspective that all teams and players are capable of performing well at this level.
Occasionally, fans need a reminder that even a fourth-string running back from Western Kentucky can look like a league MVP candidate, if only for one Sunday. It's what makes football great, and in turn, makes fantasy football great.
With that being said, here's five players who irritated fantasy owners by putting up monstrous numbers in 2013 while firmly planted on the the majority of league waiver wires.
5. Week 9: QB Case Keenum
20-for-34, 350 yards, 3 TD. 28.6 standard league points
With only one game as a starter under his belt, rookie Case Keenum appeared not to have lost a step from his record-setting college career, burning the Indianapolis Colts' secondary to the tune of 350 yards.
Keenum took over for an injured and underperforming Matt Schaub in Week 7 and aside from his stellar Week 9 performance, he didn't appear to be a starting-caliber signal-caller. But for owners who started usually reliable options like Matt Ryan (219 yards, TD, 3 INT) or Cam Newton (249 yards, TD, 2 INT), Keenum's Week 9 success was a slap in the face.
4. Week 10: WR Rishard Matthews
11 rec, 120 yards, 2 TD. 24 standard league points
Little-known Rishard Matthews had a coming out party on Monday night in Week 10 when the Miami Dolphins took on in-state rivals the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. QB Ryan Tannehill looked for Matthews early and often, finding him 11 times by the game's end.
Matthews put up more yardage and touchdowns in Week 10 than he had in Miami's previous eight games combined. Unfortunately, if you impulse-added Matthews in Week 11, you were probably disappointed, as he didn't do much after his Monday night explosion.
3. Week 10: WR Tavon Austin
2 rec, 138 yards, 2 TD, 98-yard return TD. 32.2 standard league points
Tavon Austin was one of the most discussed rookies heading into the season, but was quickly put on the back burner as OC Brian Schottenheimer was unable to find effective ways to incorporate him into the St. Louis Rams offense. That changed briefly in Week 10.
Austin saw his usual limited snap count, but made his touches count. He had only two receptions, turning both into long touchdowns while showcasing his spectacular speed that was so highly touted entering the 2013 draft. Frustrated fantasy owners who took a chance on drafting Austin wept at the sight of him on the back end of their benches.
2. Week 15: RB Matt Asiata
30 carries, 50 yards, 3 TD. 3 rec, 15 yards. 24.6 standard league points
Ah, the complete unknown that crawls from depths of irrelevance to assist in you winning or losing a fantasy championship strikes again. If you picked up Matt Asiata and his 4.77 40-time off the waiver wire in the midst of this year's fantasy playoffs, I salute you, my friend.
Asiata was the Minnesota Vikings' third-string back before Adrian Peterson and backup Toby Gerhart were both ruled out for Week 15. Peterson himself only put up more points than Asiata did against the Philadelphia Eagles twice in 2013. Though he gained only 50 yards on 30 carries, his three short rush TD's have forever preserved Asiata's place in fantasy playoff lore.
1. Week 11: RB Bobby Rainey
30 carries, 163 yards, 2 TD. 2 rec, 4 yards, TD. 34.7 standard league points
When Mike James, who was already starting in place of injured Doug Martin, went down with a broken ankle in Week 10, third-stringer Brian Leonard took over starting duties for the remainder of the game. Most assumed Leonard would again receive the starting assignment in the Bucs' Week 11 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons.
Wrong. Bobby Rainey exploded out of the woodwork, scoring three times, twice on the ground, including a 43-yard scamper where Rainey heaved his 5-foot-8 frame directly up the middle and somehow emerged unscathed for the long TD. Irked fantasy owners cringed at the realization that Week 11's top RB option was sitting unclaimed on the wire.