Ryan Fitzpatrick rewards his sons for picking him up in their fantasy football league

Ryan Fitzpatrick’s kids had even more reason to celebrate their father’s career afternoon.

“So my 9-year-old son, Tate, convinced my 11-year-old-son, Brady, to put me on his fantasy team today,” the well-traveled 35-year-old Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback told NBC Sports columnist Peter King. “I didn’t even know Brady played fantasy football. I guess it was a good decision.”

Starting in place of suspended Tampa Bay starting quarterback Jameis Winston, Fitzpatrick completed 21-of-28 passing attempts for a career-high 417 yards and four touchdowns against zero interceptions, leading the Bucs to a 48-40 victory against the host New Orleans Saints. The 14-year veteran rushed for another 36 yards and a touchdown in arguably the biggest upset of the NFL’s Week 1 schedule.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had a phenomenal day against the Saints. (AP)

How many fantasy owners even had Ryan Fitzpatrick?

Fitzpatrick was the only player in most Yahoo fantasy leagues to post more than 40 points this week, the sort of individual score that swings a weekly matchup in someone’s favor. He wasn’t even drafted in at least 99 percent of Yahoo fantasy leagues, so Fitzpatrick’s sons were among the few who even had the Harvard product on a roster, let alone starting him in the opening week of the season.

Winston remains suspended for another two weeks after violating the league’s personal conduct policy (allegedly groping an Uber driver two years ago), so Fitzpatrick will get at least two more chances to help his sons win their fantasy league. The Bucs face the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers — a pair of traditionally hard-nosed defenses — in the next couple weeks, and a few thousand fantasy owners joined Fitzpatrick’s sons in adding him to their rosters for Week 2.

Is Fitzpatrick a legit fantasy QB now?

From the sound of it, even Fitzpatrick is skeptical about a repeat performance.

“I’m realistic about how hard this game is,” he told King. “I’ve thrown six touchdowns in a game. I’ve thrown six interceptions in a game. How do you come back from those? This game is a week-to-week proposition, and you better understand that. I’ll go home tonight and we’ll feel good about this one because it’s a big accomplishment beating the Saints here. But then I’ll get ready for the next one — the next one will be all that matters.”

Depending on how Fitzpatrick performs against Pennsylvania football’s finest, the Bucs could have a quarterback controversy on their hands, and his sons may have an even tougher personnel decision.

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