-- THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley amassed 456 scrimmage yards and six touchdowns over his past two games. He became the first player since at least 1950 to reach 45 PPR fantasy points in ESPN fantasy football leagues in consecutive games, and he did it during the fantasy football playoffs.
In other words, Gurley was largely responsible for a lot of the fantasy football championships that were clinched on Christmas.
And a lot of the beneficiaries are paying it forward by donating a portion of their winnings to Shriners Hospitals for Children, an organization Gurley has built close ties with over the years. Several of those donating to Shriners notified Gurley through his Twitter account.
"Man, that was dope," Gurley said. "That's real cool, just seeing that on social media. It doesn't matter what the money amount is -- $10, $5, $25. Just to see that and people caring, that means a lot."
Gurley disappointed a lot of fantasy football players last season, when he followed up being named Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2015 by gaining only 885 yards on 278 attempts in 2016. Even though he will sit out the regular-season finale as the playoff-bound Rams rest key players, Gurley will finish 2017 with 2,093 scrimmage yards and 19 touchdowns, two figures that currently lead the NFL.
Rams players are firm in their belief that Gurley should be the MVP, even though the award has gone to a quarterback in nine of the previous 10 seasons.
Those who drafted him for their fantasy leagues probably believe the same.
"When you're doing good, fantasy is good," Gurley said. "But when you're doing bad, it's not good at all. You're like, 'Man, leave me alone.' You get a bunch of tweets and messages. People seem super excited. I guess because we played the day before Christmas, everybody was like, 'Man, thank you so much for making my Christmas.' I'm like, 'Hey man, whatever I can do to bring the holiday spirit up, I'm with it.' "