Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Fantasy sports is a purely statistical game. Winning is a matter of getting more hits, touchdowns, rebounds and power play goals. That means selecting the best individual game performances comes down to numbers...not emotion, personality, contract size or reputation.
Below you will find our choices for best single-game fantasy performances in each of the four major sports.
Roy Halladay, Philadelphia - Facing the Florida Marlins on May 29th, Halladay threw a 115-pitch perfect game that included 11 strikeouts. Neither offense was there that day, as the Phillies could only muster one unearned run against Josh Johnson and the Marlins bullpen, only adding to the drama (IP 9, H 0, R 0, BB 0, K 11).
Brandon Morrow, Toronto - While Morrow may have been less than perfect, yielding a single base hit to Rays third baseman Evan Longoria and two walks, his 17-strikeout, one-hit effort on August 8th ranked as our No.2 pitching performance of 2010 (IP 9, H 1, R 0, BB 2, K 17).
Dallas Braden, Oakland - Braden threw the first perfect game of 2010 while pitching against Tampa Bay on May 9th. It included only six strikeouts, which is why it ranked third on our list (IP 9, H 0, R 0, BB 0, K 6).
Shin-Soo Choo, Cleveland - Choo didn't come into the league with much fanfare, so he's been kind of a "hidden gem" over his first three full seasons. Since becoming a starter midway through 2008, he's batted at least .300 in each season with an OPS of no less than .883. On September 17th against the Kansas City Royals, Choo put up the best offensive game of 2010, going 4-for-5 with three home runs and seven RBIs.
Dustin Pedroia, Boston - The 2008 AL MVP was largely disappointing in 2010, when he played just 75 games and got 302 at-bats due to injury. However, on June 24 in a wild 13-11 win over the Colorado Rockies, Pedroia went 5-for-5 with three home runs, 15 total bases, four runs scored and five RBIs.
Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees - He's no longer the 50+ home run hitter he was when he was younger, but he can still put it together once in a while. Facing the Royals on August 14th, A-Rod had one of those games. He hit three home runs and knocked in five while adding a stolen base, something neither of the other "three home run guys" did.
Michael Vick, Philadelphia - In Week 10 the Eagles were at Washington for a Monday night game. It wasn't much of a contest as Vick displayed all the talents which keep defensive coordinators up at night. He threw for 333 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 80 yards and two more scores. His 55 fantasy points was the highest total of the season.
Darren McFadden, Oakland - McFadden had two great performances, in Week 7 and Week 14, both totaling 51 points. In Week 7 he ran for 165 yards and three scores and caught two balls for 31 yards and another touchdown. In Week 14, the first round of the fantasy playoffs, he came up big again, with 209 yards from scrimmage (123 rushing, 86 receiving) and three touchdowns.
Jahvid Best, Detroit - It was Week 2 against Philadelphia Best did everything he could to help his team and your fantasy lineup pull off the upset. He ran for 78 yards and two scores and caught nine balls for 154 yards and a third touchdown. He matched McFadden's two big days with 51 fantasy points.
Kevin Love, Minnesota - Facing the New York Knicks on November 12th, Love put on quite a show, scoring 31 points, pulling down 31 rebounds and dishing out five assists. Love's 30-30 night was the first in the NBA since Moses Malone accomplished the feat in 1982 and Love's 31 rebounds set a franchise record for the Timberwolves (Pts 31, Reb 31, Ast 5, Stl 0, Blk 1).
Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers - Eight days after Love's big game, Griffin showed his fantasy value with a 44-point, 15-rebound, seven-assist game against the same Knicks squad. Griffin has been worth the wait for fantasy owners after losing the entire 2009-10 season to injury -- he is averaging 21.2 ppg and 12.4 rpg through the first 32 games this year. (Pts 44, Reb 15, Ast 7, Stl 2, Blk 1).
LeBron James, Cleveland - James was still winning games for the Cavaliers on February 18, 2010 when he dropped 43 points on the Denver Nuggets. But he didn't stop there, posting 15 assists, 13 rebounds, two steals and four blocks. The only bad facet of his game was a 1-for-9 shooting night from three-point range. (Pts 43, Ast 15, Reb 13, Stl 2, Blk 4).
David Lee, New York Knicks - Facing what soon would be his new team, the then- Knicks PF/C tossed in 37 points and added 20 rebounds and 10 assists against the Golden State Warriors on April 2nd. Perhaps this is the reason they went out and obtained his services for 2010-11. (Pts 37, Reb 20, Ast 10, Stl 0, Blk 1).
Stephen Curry, Golden State - In his rookie season, Curry made quite a fantasy impact and none more than on February 10th against the Los Angeles Clippers. Not only did he post a triple-double, but he also poured in seven three pointers. (Pts 36, Ast 13, Reb 10, Stl 3, Blk 0).
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh - Crosby is obviously a fantastic offensive machine and has been one of the top fantasy players since coming into the league in 2005-06. On January 19th of this year against the New York Islanders, Crosby was simply electric with two goals and four assists in a 6-4 Penguins win.
Nicklas Backstrom, Washington - Backstrom is not only good, but in the perfect situation on a line with Alex Ovechkin. In a game on February 4th he scored one goal and assisted on four others, two with the big left-winger.
Alex Ovechkin, Washington - Over his first five seasons, Ovechkin is averaging 53-plus goals a season, but he can also dish out the assists too. In a game on January 15th, he scored one time but handed out four assists. He did all that in less than 18 minutes of ice time.
Martin Brodeur, New Jersey - Facing the rival New York Rangers on January 12th, Brodeur knocked away 51 shots in a 1-0 shootout win.
Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings - Just a couple of weeks ago, Quick matched Brodeur's performance with a 51-save shutout against the Detroit Red Wings.