There have been some fantastic fantasy football seasons, but the top 10 performances of all time were quite something to behold. For this article, we will use PPR scoring because if standard scoring is used, all 10 performances belong to quarterbacks. Which players rank among the top 10 fantasy seasons of all time?
Top fantasy football seasons of all time
There was a lot that had to be taken into account when it came to making this list. We already discussed why we are using PPR instead of non-PPR scoring, but there is another element to consider. With the NFL consistently expanding the number of games in the season, the playing field for this list is naturally biased towards 16- or 17-game seasons.
The alternative to include historical seasons was to look at PPR points per game (PPG). However, when people talk about the record for fantasy points scored in a season, they are referring to the overall score, not PPG. Additionally, part of reaching the top of this list is a player’s ability to remain healthy for close to a full season, and PPG can negate an element of that. Therefore, the main list will look at overall points with points per game listed below.
10) Lamar Jackson | 415.7 fantasy points
Lamar Jackson’s first season as a starter in 2019 saw him put up a performance that crept him onto the bottom of the list. The somewhat incredible part of this performance that sees him rank 10th in terms of top fantasy seasons of all time is that Jackson missed Week 17 to rest for the playoffs.
Jackson threw 3,127 yards with 36 touchdowns across 15 games. He added 1,206 rushing yards with seven touchdowns on 176 rushing attempts. His last seven games saw him throw for 24 touchdowns as the Ravens won 11 straight to close out the year. Jackson’s outing saw him named MVP for the 2019 NFL season.
9) Patrick Mahomes | 417.1 fantasy points
The year before Jackson’s incredible first full season as a starter, Mahomes produced a very similar showing. While Mahomes outscored Jackson by 1.4 fantasy points on the season, his total came across 16 games. Therefore, Jackson actually scored more on a per-game basis.
Mahomes finished the season with 50 passing touchdowns and 5,097 passing yards. He added 272 rushing yards and two scores. Mahomes’ performance helped the Chiefs to a 12-4 record, and the QB was named MVP.
8) Marshall Faulk | 419.7 fantasy points
Marshall Faulk’s first appearance on our list of the top fantasy football seasons of all time came despite him missing two games in the middle of the year. Across the 14 games he played, the Rams went 13-1, with Faulk rushing for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns. Faulk added another 765 receiving yards and nine touchdowns on 83 receptions for a total of 2,147 yards and 21 total TDs.
7) Cooper Kupp | 439.5 fantasy points
Kupp’s 2021 performance sees him as the only WR on this list. The Rams pass catcher pulled in 145 of his 191 targets for 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns. Kupp’s 75.9% catch rate is tied for the third-highest among any receivers with more than 150 targets on the season. He crossed 100 receiving yards in 11 of 17 games.
6) Preist Holmes | 440.7 fantasy points
The move from Baltimore to Kansas City sparked a change in Priest’s fortunes. After managing just 2,102 yards in four years with the Ravens, Priest’s career burst into life in Kansas City. His second year with the Chiefs is his first on this list, with 1,615 rushing yards and 21 rushing touchdowns. Those numbers come despite him missing the final two games of the season.
Priest then added a further 672 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns on 70 receptions. That meant he finished with a league-leading 2,287 total yards and 24 total touchdowns in just 14 games. Priest would win the Offensive Player of the Year Award with that performance.
5) LaDainian Tomlinson | 443.8 fantasy points
Tomlinson’s first appearance on our list of top fantasy football seasons of all time came off the back of the best receiving performance of his career. Tomlinson had 725 receiving yards and four touchdowns on 100 receptions. That contributed to a league-leading 2,370 total yards. He concluded the year with 1,645 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns.
An interesting element of this season for Tomlinson is that more than 10% of his points for the season came in Week 17. Against the Raiders, Tomlinson had 260 total yards, two touchdowns, and eight receptions for 46 fantasy points. Those points were likely lost for a lot of fantasy managers, as fantasy leagues traditionally end in Week 16.
4) Preist Holmes | 445 fantasy points
After making this list for the first time in 2002, Priest would score more fantasy points the following year. On a per-game basis, 2002 was better as Priest managed just 4.3 more fantasy points in 2003 despite playing two extra games. He would finish the 2003 season with 1,420 rushing yards, 27 rushing touchdowns, 690 receiving yards, and 74 receptions.
Priest finished with 2,110 total yards and led the league in both rushing and total touchdowns with his mark of 27. At the time of the performance, he was second on this list, behind only Faulk’s performance in 2000.
3) Marshall Faulk | 459.9 fantasy points
Much like his earlier performance on this list, Faulk’s second performance on the list of top fantasy seasons of all time came despite him playing just 14 games that season. The two performances are extremely similar. In 2000, Faulk had 1,359 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns. He added 830 receiving yards and eight touchdowns on 81 receptions.
Faulk finished the season with 2,189 total yards with 26 TDs on 334 touches. Faulk won MVP that season, despite having fewer total yards than either of the previous two seasons (2,227 and 2,429). At the time, Faulk set the record for the top fantasy football season of all time.
2) Christian McCaffrey | 471.2 fantasy points
After a steady start through the first two years of his career, McCaffrey produced an incredible stat line in his third season. McCaffrey was an elite dual-threat back during the 2019 season, topping 1,000 yards in both rushing and receiving. He led the league in terms of touches (403), total yards (2392), and total touchdowns (19). A huge part of McCaffrey’s 471.2 fantasy points was his 116 receptions, giving him almost 25% of his total points for the season.
1) LaDainian Tomlinson | 481.1 fantasy points
In 2006, Tomlinson generated a showing that has seen him remain on the throne of this list of the top fantasy seasons of all time. Tomlinson led the league with 1,815 rushing yards and 28 rushing touchdowns. He added 508 receiving yards and three receiving TDs on 56 receptions.
Tomlinson finished the season with 404 total touches for 2,323 yards and 31 touchdowns. The performance saw him voted as the league MVP that season. The 2006 campaign saw Tomlinson go on a nine-game stretch of rushing for more than 100 yards. Additionally, he had eight straight contests with multiple rushing scores, with a total of 21 rushing touchdowns in that stretch.
Top fantasy football seasons on a per-game basis of all time
10) Lamar Jackson, BAL | 27.71 PPG (2019)
9) LaDainian Tomlinson, SD | 27.74 PPG (2003)
8) Preist Holmes, KC | 27.81 PPG (2003)
7) Christian McCaffrey, CAR | 29.45 PPG (2019)
6) Marshall Faulk, STL | 29.98 PPG (2001)
5) Don Hutson, GB | 30.05 PPG (1942)
4) LaDainian Tomlinson, SD | 30.07 PPG (2006)
3) Christian McCaffrey, CAR | 30.13 PPG (2020)
2) Preist Holmes, KC | 31.48 PPG (2002)
1) Marshall Faulk, STL | 32.85 PPG (2000)