Four Downs: How 'bout those rookies! 

November, 4, 2012
The Sunday of Week 9 wasn't so much about how your own fantasy team performed, but whether your opponent had one of the players who exploded for many fantasy points, including a certain Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back. In the Sunday early-afternoon games alone, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck threw for a rookie-record 433 passing yards and Green Bay Packers leader Aaron Rodgers threw four touchdown passes, while Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall and Detroit Lions running back Mikel Leshoure scored three times, as well. Then came the late-afternoon games -- how about Adrian Peterson and Carson Palmer! -- and, of course, the Doug Martin show.

If your opponent had the fellow known as the "Muscle Hamster" in his lineup this week, you're probably not pleased, and probably not going to win. Certainly not everyone facing Martin will lose this week, but, well, good luck. Martin slaughtered the Oakland Raiders' defense for 251 rushing yards and four touchdowns, plus 21 receiving yards, making Sunday's performance a season-best 51-point fantasy game in standard formats. Nearly all of it came after halftime, too. It should have been more, but Martin lost 14 yards on his final three carries as the Bucs were running out the clock. Rest assured the one fantasy point he lost late will also affect final scores!

[+] EnlargeDoug Martin
J. Meric/Getty ImagesDoug Martin is coming on strong in his rookie season.
As for historic context, this is tied for fourth among the greatest individual fantasy performances since the 1970 NFL/AFL merger. Denver Broncos running back Clinton Portis produced 54 fantasy points (218 rushing yards, 36 receiving yards, 5 TDs) in 2003, Seattle Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander exploded for 52 fantasy points in 2002 (139 rushing yards, 92 receiving yards, 5 TDs), San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice fashioned a 52-point game in 1990 (225 receiving yards, 5 TDs) and Cincinnati Bengals running back Corey Dillon had a Martin-like effort in his rookie season of 1997 (246 rushing yards, 4 TDs). In recent lore, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick slaughtered the Washington Redskins for 49 fantasy points in 2010 (333 passing yards, 80 rushing, 6 TDs).