If you drafted Larry Sanders on your fantasy basketball team this year, raise your left hand.
And now with your right hand, repeatedly punch yourself in the face as hard as you can.
Good. Now your face and hand hurt so much you can finally stop thinking about how upset you are with Larry Sanders destroying your fantasy hoops season.
Or, preferably, you now have a concussion and the associated short term memory loss has wiped all memories of the Milwaukee Bucks’ bust of a big man from your mind.
Life is better without Larry Sanders, murderer of fantasy hoops dreams.
I should know. I wasted one of my two coveted Keeper spots on Sanders this year.
It’s “The Why” That Hurts
Forget the how. It’s the why that hurts when it comes to Sanders’ stinkfest of a fantasy season.
We all know how his season skidded off the rails. The pre-season bar fight and broken thumb. The sloppy play after finally returning. An illness. The fractured orbital bone. We get that.
That’s how his putrid season unfolded, but what really ticks off his fantasy owners is why this was so maddening.
Why Sanders’ no-show season hurt so much is because fantasy owners were counting on him to singlehandedly win the blocks category for them. There is no greater fantasy asset than a player who dominates a single category, and blocks can be dominated like no other.
Fantasy owners either wasted a Keeper slot on Sanders or paid a heavy premium in their drafts to get him. In their minds, they had already won blocks every week.
And then Larry Sanders sucked the joy out of their seasons.
The Lofty Projections
Before every fantasy season I find as many reputable sites offering stats projections and average the stats for all relevant players in the league. Here were Sanders’ projections from ESPN, Rotoworld, and CBS Sports:
Sanders Projected 2013-2014 Stats: 11.6 PTS, 10.5 REB, 1.3 AST, 0.9 STL, 3.1 BLK.
Yes, 3.1 blocks per game.
Sanders’ fantasy owners were expecting him to win the category by himself.
Few things are more enjoyable to a fantasy hoops owner than watching a player block five or six shots in a single game. Opposing owners just give up on that category and focus on the ones where they actually have a chance. This is a huge advantage and it is unique to blocked shots.
Throw in the rebounding and consistent scoring and Larry Sanders owners were salivating over getting at least one game a week with something around 15 points, 15 rebounds, and five blocks.
Then the injuries, illnesses, and sluggish play destroyed Larry Sanders’ season.
And in the process, he destroyed my season as well.