LaDainian Tomlinson’s 2006 campaign is clear people’s choice for greatest fantasy football season ever

LaDainian Tomlinson is your fantasy football all-time champion. (Photo by Amber Matsumoto/Yahoo Sports)
LaDainian Tomlinson is your fantasy football all-time champion. (Photo by Amber Matsumoto/Yahoo Sports)

For those of you who either weren’t playing fantasy football in 2006 or didn’t have the pleasure of rostering LaDainian Tomlinson, here’s what that experience generally looked like:

LaDainian Tomlinson was a fantasy football cheat code in 2006.LaDainian Tomlinson was a fantasy football cheat code in 2006.
LaDainian Tomlinson was a fantasy football cheat code in 2006.

That was a title-winning team, as were most Tomlinson squads. The season was an extended coronation. Please don’t ask me how or why I ended up with three quarterbacks on my season-ending roster. I can’t recall; it’s definitely not an expertly move. 

But having Tomlinson on your roster in ’06 meant you could make literally dozens of mistakes throughout the season, yet still cruise into the playoffs. His season was just that absurd.

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We’ve revisited the essential details over the course of our recently completed bracket series, but just in case you somehow missed ‘em, here’s a partial list of the records set by LaDainian in 2006:

– Most rushing touchdowns (28) and total TDs (31) in a single-season;

– Most touchdowns in a calendar month (13, November);

– Most consecutive games with multiple touchdowns (8);

– Most fantasy points in a single season in both standard (427.1) and PPR (481.1); 

This picture of LaDainian Tomlinson seemingly leaving a bolt of lightning in his wake is an apt comparison to his 2006 season. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Sportschrome/Getty Images)This picture of LaDainian Tomlinson seemingly leaving a bolt of lightning in his wake is an apt comparison to his 2006 season. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Sportschrome/Getty Images)
This picture of LaDainian Tomlinson seemingly leaving a bolt of lightning in his wake is an apt comparison to his 2006 season. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Sportschrome/Getty Images)

Tomlinson also led the NFL in rushing (1,815), caught 56 balls, threw a pair of touchdown passes and finished with 2,323 yards from scrimmage. Tomlinson also closed his fantasy season by rushing for over 100 yards in nine straight games. Somehow, from Weeks 8-16, he averaged 169.4 scrimmage yards and 2.5 touchdowns per game. 

We may never see an extended stretch of November-December production quite like that from any running back ever again. It was an almost unfair binge. Tomlinson’s ’06 season was always the favorite in our bracket contest, and he pretty much dominated every matchup. He dismissed 1975 O.J. Simpson, 2019 Christian McCaffrey, 1995 Jerry Rice and 2013 Peyton Manning en route to the title. Rice gave him a decent battle, but Tomlinson still took him down, 54-46.

As someone who benefited from LaDainian’s huge year, I’m certainly not gonna argue with the results.

We should note that back in ‘06, LaDainian wasn’t actually the consensus No. 1 overall fantasy pick. Larry Johnson and Shaun Alexander both generally went ahead of him. When all the numbers were in, however, LDT was nothing less than the greatest draft choice in the history of our game.

So congrats, fantasy G.O.A.T., and thanks for all the trophies. 

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