In the case of most running backs in fantasy football, we’re more than satisfied with our RBs scoring one touchdown and rushing for 100 yards. There are days, though, when we see a running back explode and find the end zone several times while also padding on the yardage.
There have been some weeks in fantasy football in which a running back put up enough points to beat an entire team along the way. Throughout NFL history, though, these five running backs had the best single-day fantasy points total, leaving owners crying with joy and their opponents wondering how unlucky they could be.
Note: For this list, we used standard scoring instead of PPR (points-per-reception).
5. Doug Martin (51.2)
There are some big-time names on this list, but the “Muscle Hamster” had one of the shorter careers for a fantasy stud. Martin had some fine performances in his brief window, but none finer than his one against the Raiders in 2012. Martin received 25 carries, rushing for 251 yards and four touchdowns.
Meanwhile, he added four catches for 21 yards, bringing his total scoring to 51.2 points. Surprisingly enough, Martin’s rushing yardage total was the highest in the top five of scoring, and he would have been number one on the list had he scored just one more time.
4. Jamaal Charles (51.5)
At one time, Jamaal Charles was a fantasy running back stud who was routinely putting up huge numbers. In 2013, the Chiefs were well on their way to the playoffs thanks in large part to Charles, and they were taking on a Raiders team looking forward to the season coming to an end.
Charles lit up the Raiders in what would end up being a 56-31 shootout. The rushing stats don’t sound great, as he had just 20 yards on only eight carries. However, Charles had eight catches for 195 yards and four touchdowns, including a 71-yard scamper. Charles ended the day with 51.5 points and was the season’s top fantasy running back.
3. Shaun Alexander (53.1)
In a very unexciting game on paper, the 0-3 Minnesota Vikings visited the 0-3 Seattle Seahawks early on in the 2002 season. The game would be a must-watch for fantasy owners, though, especially those with Shaun Alexander. Alexander finished with 139 yards on the ground, which doesn’t sound that great, but there was much more.
Alexander had four rushing touchdowns and would have had a solid day for a WR1. He finished with 92 receiving yards and scored one more touchdown through the air. In total, Alexander ended the day with 231 yards and five touchdowns, good enough for 53.1 fantasy points.
2. Alvin Kamara (53.2)
Alvin Kamara had an absolute field day on Christmas against the Minnesota Vikings, and it could have been even better. Kamara started off the first quarter with touchdown runs of 40 yards and 1 yard, and he didn’t slow down from there. All in all, Kamara found the end zone six times.
Kamara didn’t have that many yards, totaling 155 on the ground and 17 through the air, but the touchdowns more than made up for that. Many fantasy owners were upset when there was another one-yard touchdown, but it went to Taysom Hill instead of Kamara.
1. Clinton Portis (55.4 Points)
In what was one of the biggest games of 2003, the 11-1 Kansas City Chiefs headed to Denver to take on the 7-5 Broncos who were fighting for a playoff spot. Running back Clinton Portis fought harder than anybody, and he had one of the best fantasy days ever for an NFL running back. On 22 carries, Portis was able to rush for 218 yards and a whopping five touchdowns.
He added another 36 yards through the air to pad on to his points total. All in all, Portis scored 55.4 points on the fantasy scoreboard. Strangely enough, he still finished nearly 80 yards behind the all-time single-game record, but the touchdowns gave him a legendary fantasy total.