It's safe to say there's much less luck involved in fantasy basketball than fantasy football. Over the course of an 82 game season, your top players in basketball will usually get their numbers, unlike fantasy football where 1st round picks constantly underperform (see LaDainian Tomlinson, Brian Westbrook, Steven Jackson). In basketball, you can put your guys in a position to win, but sometimes players don't get their averages, and you lose. It's extremely devastating when this happens on a Sunday in a head-to-head league. Over the past four weeks, one of my teams has lost 3-4 points due to herculean efforts by the opponent and/or sub-par performances by players in my organization. This blog is not about crying over spilled milk, it's just a testament to the fact that anything can happen on a Sunday.
In Week 1, I thought I had a 5-3 victory in the bag. I had a 16 point lead in the points category so all I needed was Jamal Crawford and Mike Miller to outscore Quentin Richardson and Ryan Gomes. Well, Q-Rich goes off for 28 points, J-Craw scores 1 and the rest is history; I have to settle for a 4-4.
Two weeks later, I'm in another tight battle. Going into Sunday, points, assists and rebounds are all in play. To be fair, I did win by one assist, but I lost by three points, thanks to a 4th quarter 3-point explosion by Steve Nash and 5 points from Raja Bell. Also, the underperforming Mike Miller plays 34 minutes and explodes for 8 points.
This past week, I'm up 5-3 going into Sunday with 3 categories in play. I pick up Hughes and J.R. Smith for some added 3-point and scoring punch. Well, K-Mart goes off for a season-high 26 points, Tayshaun Prince chips in 20, Bargnani scores 14 (7-8 in garbage time) and I get zero production from Maggette, Smith, Udrih and others. Result - a 3-5 loss.
Crazy, unexpected things happen on Sundays and you have to move on. One team in my league was knocked out of playoffs a couple of years ago because Chuck Hayes recorded a career high 5 steals on a Sunday. I was denied an opportunity to advance to the championship round last year because Mike Miller and Jeff Green combined for 10 3's on a Sunday. An owner in one of my leagues lost two categories this past Sunday because Randy Foye decided to do his best Chris Paul imitation.
All you can do in a head-to-head league is do your homework, put your team in the best position to win, and hope for the best.