As you prepare for your fantasy football drafts, it is good to know which players have the potential for big fantasy performances each week. By looking at last year's leaders in single-game passing yards, it may help you decide which quarterback you think would be best for your team.
Below are the top five single-game passing performances from 2011.
1. Matthew Stafford, 520 passing yards (Week 17)
Stafford closed out the regular season with a career-high 520 passing yards and five touchdowns. Any Stafford owners in a Week 17 fantasy championship match likely claimed their league's title thanks to his big day. It helped that he was facing one of the league's top passing offenses in the Green Bay Packers, who defeated Stafford's Detroit Lions by a score of 45-41.
2. Tom Brady, 517 passing yards (Week 1)
Playing in the first Monday night game of the 2011 season, Brady led the New England Patriots to victory over Miami Dolphins by a score of 38-24. His 517 yards and four scores included a 99-yard touchdown to wide receiver Wes Welker in the fourth quarter. Trying to keep up with Brady, Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne totaled 416 passing yards himself.
3. Matt Flynn, 480 passing yards (Week 17)
In the second start of his career, Flynn couldn't match opponent Matthew Stafford's 520 passing yards, but his 480 were good enough for his Packers to win. His performance also helped him get a nice contract from the Seattle Seahawks, where he should compete for the starting job. He has big-game potential, and it will be interesting to see if Seattle chooses him over Tarvaris Jackson.
4. Cam Newton, 432 passing yards (Week 2)
Newton posted 854 passing yards in his first two NFL games, including 432 against the Packers in Week 2. Unfortunately, he couldn't continue at that pace and failed to reach 200 yards in the next game (158) or the last three of the season (149, 171 and 158). His rushing ability has him ranked among the top five quarterbacks heading into the 2012 season, but as a passer he only topped 300 yards in one other game.
5. Tom Brady, 423 passing yards (Week 2)
Brady followed his great Monday night performance with another 423 yards six days later. He passed for at least 300 yards in 11 of his games last year and is an easy first-round draft pick.
Mike Patton is a co-host on the Deep Sleeper Fantasy Football Podcast. He has been a fantasy enthusiast since 1997 and has won championships in baseball, football, basketball, hockey and pick 'em leagues.