It’s that time of the year again. Summer is fading, school is starting back. You begin to feel something coursing through your veins.
Football season –specifically, fantasy football season– is upon us again. Just as the first snowflake signifies winter, the first whistle blown signifies a brand new season on the gridiron.
We all know someone who plays it. Or, if you’re like me, you own multiple teams yourself. Prowling the internet, trying to weed out the draft busts from the sleepers, only to audible when it comes your time to pick.
Ah, yes, fantasy season. Where adults learn to live the life of an NFL general manager, all from the comfort of their office cubicle.
It shouldn't be this serious, but I know you can feel it too. This is the year.
You’ve compiled endless mock drafts. Looked through the all the numbers. This is your year, you’re going to draft the perfect team. You just know it.
The pressure mounts in anticipation for the drafts, each week countless hours are spent to find the ideal match-ups, sleep is lost as you labor over who to have in your lineup on Sunday morning.
All of this is in fun, but fantasy can get stressful, too.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a little time to reflect on some fantasy performances of the past? To consider fantasy stats with nothing at stake except for a fandom.
Well you’re in luck.
As I was preparing for my fantasy drafts this year, I couldn’t help but reminisce about the best performances at UNC. Salivating at the "fantasy" prospects of it. “Man, what if I had Quise in my lineup when they played Duke in 2015?"
Starting with the year 2000 –believe me, I would have gone further back but don’t have the resources to do so– I went through single-game performances in North Carolina football, trying to figure out the top ten performances.
There was a cluster at the top of the list –five names take up the top ten spots– so I had to find a way to make this list interesting, without just spotlighting one player.
The fantasy numbers were compiled using the scoring system listed below:
25 passing yards = 1 point
Passing touchdown = 4 points
10 rushing/receiving yards = 1 point
Rushing/Receiving touchdown = 6 points
Points per reception = 1
Interceptions = -2
Honorable Mention: Ryan Switzer vs. Pittsburgh 9/24/2016 42.8 Fantasy Points (FP)
He didn't quite make the top ten players, but he had a game that was within .06 points of being there, so I had to write him in.
Switzer was brilliant in the Tar Heels' epic come-from-behind win last September. He hauled in 16 passes –including 5 on an epic 17-play, 63-yard game-winning drive– placing him in a three-way tie for most receptions in a single game in UNC history.
With catches alone he earned 16 fantasy points. His yardage total of 208 gave him 20.8 points, pushing his total to 36.8. The six points from the touchdown rounded it out, giving Switz a final tally of 42.8 fantasy points.
Had Switzer not had a punt return called back in this one, his 48.8 fantasy. points would have placed him third all by himself on this list.
No. 5 Ronnie McGill vs. Furman 9-16-2006 43.4 (FP)
McGill legitimately had two performances, three years apart, within one fantasy point of each other. The other one – vs. Wake Forest on November 8, 2003 – was a rushing melee. This attack however, came from a rounded outing.
He rode the end zone to glory early in this one. A 58-yard touchdown reception, followed by a three-yard scoring run had McGill at 17.83 fantasy points at the end of the first quarter. He added to his scoring tally with a 30-yard scoring scamper in the third, and a one-yard plunge in the fourth.
Had he not had a relatively quiet second quarter scoring-wise, he could have worked his way to the top fantasy performance in Tar Heel history.
No. 4 Marquise Williams vs. Notre Dame 10/11/2014 46.62 (FP)
As you’ll see in the total list below, Quise owns this top 10, plastering his name on the slate four times. Quite a few of those contests came in the Tar Heels' record setting 2015, but his top performance was in 2014, in South Bend.
My favorite part about this one is that the score was 14-0 UNC before Williams even scored a touchdown. But he was involved with the next four Tar Heel scores.
This performance is remarkable, because it hit the benchmark for what we're taught is the standard for a good game. 300 yards passing? Check. 100 rushing? Check. A passing, rushing, and receiving touchdown? Remarkable.
A game that will go down as one of the best in UNC history.
T-No. 2 Hakeem Nicks vs. Boston College 10/25/2008 49 Fantasy Points
UNC had five offensive touchdowns in this one. Save a Ryan Houston goal-line plunge in the third, Nicks had them all.
The film from this one is a SportsCenter highlight reel. Nicks caught touchdowns from distances of 43, 40, and 26 yards, then added a 12-yard scoring run– the only rushing touchdown of his college career– for good measure.
Take a good look at his first catch in this one. A spectacular grab, followed by some shifty work to make it in. This game was Nicks' playground from the end of the second quarter onward.
T-No. 2 Giovani Bernard vs. NC State 10-27-2012 49 Fantasy Points
Gio was a man in this one. 31 touches from scrimmage for 230 total yards. Three scores, one of which won the game.
He started off in this one like he was shot from a cannon, scoring on runs of nine and one yard before the whistle even blew in the second quarter. This game was nearly our top score, but Sean Tapley vultured a 3-yard touchdown in the third, taking away the opportunity for what would likely have been a fourth Bernard score.
This legendary performance, capped off by a punt return as time expired to beat a bitter rival and become bowl eligible. This game has all the style points.
No. 1 Chesley Borders vs. Arizona State 10/5/2002 52.2 fantasy points
It’s surprising, right? A guy with nine career touchdowns receiving tops our list. He may have never been the number one guy, but since 2000, no other player has had a more prolific fantasy game than Borders did on October 5, 2002.
Borders was the first and last player in the end zone in this one. Per ESPN, Borders had TD grabs of 12, 32, 38 in the first three quarters before snagging a 74 yard touchdown that proved to be the game winner.
The receptions, yards, and touchdowns were all career highs for Borders.
The full list below
***I'm not perfect, but I try hard to be. If I missed a game on here, send me the boxscore, with a fantasy total, and we'll get lunch, my treat***