Ben Roethlisberger's 35-point output Sunday night cemented his place in the fantasy football record book. That gave him 79 fantasy points combined between this and last week (when he had 44), and shattered Michael Vick's previous mark for the most by any quarterback during a two-game span since 1960.
Here are the top five among quarterbacks during that span:
Most Fantasy Points, Consecutive Games
Quarterbacks, Since 1960
There have been only five instances of any player managing greater than 79 fantasy points in consecutive games. All of them were accomplished by running backs:
Most Fantasy Points, Consecutive Games
Any Position, Since 1960
Brady scoring in ... bunches
The turnaround is complete.
With his 27-point fantasy performance Sunday, Tom Brady now has five consecutive games with at least 20 points, marking the first time in his career that he has enjoyed a streak of that length. It comes on the heels of a four-game stretch to begin the season during which he failed to exceed 13 points in any one week, totaling 35 fantasy points.
Brady's rebound isn't a mere 2014 storyline; it has historical implications. Only once since 1960 did any player manage a greater difference in fantasy points between his first four games of a season and Games 5-9: LaDainian Tomlinson, who scored 59 fantasy points in his first four games of 2006 and 175 in his next five games en route to setting the single-season record with 410.
Brady is the eighth player to improve by at least 80 fantasy points in Games 5-9 comparative to Games 1-4, and the list of those who have done it is significant: Every one of the previous seven to do it managed a fantasy points-per-game mark far closer to his Game 5-9 rebounds than his sluggish Game 1-4 start.
Martin and Harris, incidentally, did so during their rookie campaigns, so they're not entirely worthwhile comps for Brady.
But it's Brees' 2007 that has one eerie similarity to Brady's 2014. Consider: Brees' first four weeks' fantasy point totals were 1, 13, minus-1 and 6. Brady's were 9, 9, 13 and 4.
Brady is now on pace for 297 fantasy points, which would be his fourth-highest single-season fantasy point total during his 14-year NFL career. To think, after four weeks, he was on pace for a mere 140, which would've been his worst in any of his 13 healthy NFL seasons (he missed 15 games with a knee injury in 2008).
Incidentally, Brady's 133 fantasy points the past five weeks combined represent his greatest total during any five-game stretch of his career except for an especially elite, nine-game stretch during his record-setting 2007. During that season, he managed a five-game peak of 159 fantasy points (Weeks 6-11).
• Matt Asiata enjoyed a true "big-game vulture" day, scoring three touchdowns of 7 yards or shorter en route to 25 fantasy points. It was neither his first day with three scores nor with 20-plus fantasy points in his career -- he had two previously (3 and 24 in Week 15 of 2013, 3 and 27 in Week 4 of 2014) -- but it was his first that came in a game he did not start.
It was only the 19th time since 2001 that a running back scored three touchdowns in a game he did not start; Jerome Bettis is the only one to have done so twice (2004, Week 1; and 2005, Week 17). And by using a set of "big-game vulture" criteria -- 10 carries or fewer, 3.0 yards per carry or worse, three or more rushing scores -- we find that Asiata was in some truly exclusive company:
Unfortunately, fantasy owners in only 7.2 percent of ESPN leagues benefited from Asiata's outburst. This number has been refined, effective this week; the percentage is calculated excluding teams which have not shown activity in the past seven days.
• Jeremy Maclin, with his wide receiver-best 27 fantasy points Sunday, is on track to make Philadelphia Eagles history. He now has 122 fantasy points for the season at the team's midway point; that puts him on pace for 244. Mike Quick owns the team's record by any wide receiver or tight end in a season, with 212 fantasy points in 1983. Maclin would need to average 11.4 fantasy points per game to break Quick's record, which isn't asking much, considering he has averaged 15.3 per game thus far.
• Speaking of franchise feats, Ryan Tannehill's 27 fantasy points gave him 137 for the season, and put him on pace for 274 this season. Dan Marino is the only Miami Dolphins quarterback to have scored more fantasy points in a single year: He had 353 in 1984 and 312 in 1986. And if you're now thinking, "Well, that's the Dolphins, a team that has had Marino, Bob Griese but no other prolific passers," consider this: Last year, in a record-setting season for quarterbacks in terms of total fantasy points scored, only six quarterbacks scored more than 274 fantasy points.
• Though Peyton Manning fell short in his 16th career head-to-head battle with Brady -- that number including postseason games -- he managed 21 fantasy points to extend his streak of games with 20-plus fantasy points to 10. Aaron Rodgers (12, in 2011) is the only quarterback with a longer streak since 1960.
Speaking of Brady-Manning battles, their combined 48 fantasy points were the second most in any of those 16 meetings, their 50 in Week 10 of 2009 the only one greater. It was only the third regular-season battle between the two -- out of 12 such regular-season contests -- during which both scored 20-plus fantasy points: Week 9 of 2005 (Manning 24, Brady 22) and Week 10 of 2009 (Brady 25, Manning 25) were the others.
• Allen Hurns, a Week 1 standout who had been somewhat quiet since, suddenly exploded Sunday with his second game of 2014 with exactly 23 fantasy points. That made him only the ninth rookie wide receiver since 1960 to manage multiple games with at least 23 fantasy points:
Randy Moss, 1998 Vikings (3 games)
Allen Hurns, 2014 Jaguars (2)
Lee Evans, 2004 Bills (2)
Anquan Boldin, 2003 Cardinals (2)
Willie Gault, 1983 Bears (2)
John Jefferson, 1978 Chargers (2)
Sammy White, 1976 Vikings (2)
Isaac Curtis, 1973 Bengals (2)
Ken Burrow, 1971 Falcons (2)
• Speaking of rookies, Martavis Bryant, inactive for the Pittsburgh Steelers' first six games of 2014, has scored touchdowns in each of his first three NFL games. That helped fuel a fantasy point total of 46 in those three contests, which ties him for second most among wide receivers in their first three career NFL games since 2001: Roy Williams (50) had more, while Anquan Boldin (46) had the same as Bryant.