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Daily blurbs from the Guru
If this is your first visit to this site, you should first stop by my home page to find out what this site is all about. And please support this site's advertisers. They make free sites like this one possible.

Go forward to more recent blurbs.

8/31 - Tonight brings the final two games of the NFL preseason. These preseason games often don’t provide very useful information. But the injuries – or lack thereof – can be critical, especially if you’ve already drafted your opening roster. If you have key players on any of Indy, Cincy, Balt, or Atlanta, good luck tonight – and may your players find the bench early and often. Everyone else can exhale now.

Using my best Urkel impersonation: “Did I say that?” In Tuesday’s blurb, I mused that “as long as the Bostonians can block out the ghosts of seasons past, they should be able to avoid a sweep, if not take the series outright.” Actually, perhaps I was correct. They couldn’t block out those ghosts.

Lucas Glover and Brandt Snedeker continue to be the GuruGolf favorites this week, suggesting either that many teams are short on trades, or that many managers are very patient after neither made the cut last week. Or, that many managers consider last week’s result to be an aberration. In any event, scores are likely to be higher this week. Last year, this tournament’s cut line was at +3.

8/30 - There were some monster pitching performances yesterday. But you had to look past the usual names to find them. Aaron Harang pitched a complete game 2-hit shutout. Jeff Francis blanked the Giants. Roy Oswalt threw seven scoreless at St. Louis, fanning 9. Meanwhile, guys like Santana, Halladay, Penny, Sabathia, and Zambrano all ranged from mediocre to not-so-good.

Most GuruGolf rosters look to be locked and loaded already, but if you took advantage of the extra day to procrastinate this week, today’s the day. This will be the last tournament of the year that includes a 2nd round cut, as next week’s field is restricted to the top 70 in FedExCup points. (Apparently, “FedExCup” is all one word.)

Football Pickoff is up and running for 2007. No changes in rules since last year. But you do have to re-register, as I didn’t carry over any of last year’s registrations.

8/29 - It’s not often that a team hits 6 home runs and still loses by 7. But it happens.

The RIFC draft has completed, and now the waiting begins. My next objective is to get Football Pickoff activated. I hope to have that ready by the end of the week. Maybe by the end of the day. We’ll see.

You have an extra day to get your GuruGolf affairs in order this week. The current tournament doesn’t start until Friday, with the 4th round on Monday, which is Labor Day.

8/28 - About a month ago, the Yankees were on the other end of 16-0 type scores, and it almost seemed that overtaking the Red Sox was a matter of when, not if. But recently, the Red Sox have been busting out, and the Yanks have been busted. Now they face each other for a 3-game toot in Yankee Stadium. You’d think that as long as the Bostonians can block out the ghosts of seasons past, they should be able to avoid a sweep, if not take the series outright. But you never know. And in New England, when the Yanks and Sox face off, not much else matters.

Today’s schedule includes a rarity – a single-admission doubleheader, with Cincy at Pittsburgh. Granted, the twin bill results from a previous postponement, but still, most teams would split the games into separate admissions. In this case, I suspect a single admission weekday afternoon game in Pittsburgh would probably have had trouble attracting anyone.

8/27 - Erik Bedard, meet earth. Earth, Erik Bedard.

You didn’t have to be paying very careful attention to realize that Bedard had been one of the hottest pitchers in the majors since the All Star break. But yesterday he gave up 6 runs in a Camden Yards blowout to the Twins, demonstrating once again that there are no truly “safe” pitchers anymore. No more “Ran-dro”. Not even “Web-bed”.

The RIFC draft is winding down, with just 3˝ rounds to go. Once I get through that, I’ll need to start thinking about my salary cap team planning. The NFL season starts in just 10 days!

GuruGolfers had some problems this weekend. Of the five most popular golfers, only Carl Petterson made the cut, and then he proceeded to finish next-to-last among the survivors. The eligible field for this week’s event reduces to the top 120, and this will be the last tournament of the year which features a 2nd round cut. Choose carefully!

8/24 - TSN added a bunch of players – many of them rookies – to their salary cap football game this week. That was normal. What was unusual is that they also repriced (upward) more than 50 players who had already been priced in July. The biggest adjustment was for Brodie Croyle, whose price climbed from $500,000 to $3.7 million. Many other players were bumped up from $500K to $2m. Obviously, since the season has yet to start, it doesn’t really impact the game. But if you had done some work on your roster already, or even if you had developed some spreadsheets with prices, you may need to go back to the drawing board. My sortable stats were updated yesterday, so you can use them as a resource. However, until the season begins, I guess you’d better keep one eye on the TSN site as well, since you can’t necessarily rely on these prices remaining unchanged.

Correction from yesterday’s blurb: I reported that Rod Pampling was the highest ranked golfer to be snubbed in GuruGolf this week. That honor actually belongs to Geoff Ogilvy, ranked #24 in Fed Ex points.

Enjoy your weekend. On Sunday, I’ll be part of a mixed cappella group singing the National Anthem at the New Britain Rock Cats AA game. If I can make a recording, I’ll share it next week.

8/23 - Among the ridiculous features of the 30-3 blowout in Baltimore yesterday, I found the following to be the most striking:

  • Baltimore led 3-0 after three innings, and trailed only 5-3 after five.
  • The 8th and 9th hitters in the Texas lineup went 8-for-12, scoring 9 runs, and batting in 14.
  • Although everyone in the Texas lineup scored at least once, two players failed to knock in a run
  • Eleven batters in the Texas lineup struck out.
  • Perhaps the most ridiculous: Wes Littleton earned a save for Texas.

The Barclays tournament teed off early this morning. Lucas Glover is the popular GuruGolf favorite, on almost half of all active rosters. With a high quality field from top to bottom, 129 different golfers are represented on at least one roster (out of a field of 138). Of the nine snubbed golfers, Rod Pampling was the highest ranked (in Fex Ex points) at #49.

8/22 - For those of you in games which allow daily transactions, you all had Garret Anderson, didn’t you?

Me neither. Then again, his two HRs only brought his season total to 8, so if you saw this one coming, you should be playing the stock market, not fantasy sports.

Tomorrow morning, the first round of the Fed Ex Cup playoffs begins. The field will be successively reduced after each week, based on total playoff points. I believe the first two tournaments still include a typical cut after the second round, since the starting fields are larger than a normal no-cut tournament. But the last two weeks will presumably be without mid-tourney cuts. Consequently, it may be more difficult to make up ground after next week in GuruGolf, as the season ends after the last of these four playoff tournaments.

8/21 - Sometimes it pays to be in the dark.

I had my RotoHog baseball lineups set yesterday, and then noticed that called for 100% chance of rain in Chicago. Not wanting to risk squandering two reliever spots with potential postponements, I pulled Isringhausen and Jenks in favor of two guys who, naturally, remained in their respective bullpens all day. Ugh. Had I still been vacationing, I’d have probably been in good shape, as I would have sacrificed the weather checks in deference to my dial-up slowness – although it was also raining buckets where I was vacationing, so maybe I’d have had plenty of time to kill.

In any event, it smarts when you outsmart yourself.

Speaking of RotoHog, they have launched their football game. I’ve really enjoyed the baseball version, and would recommend giving their football offering a shot if you like salary cap games. For more discussion, see this thread at the football forum.

8/20 - I gotta tell ya, this high speed internet thing is going to catch on!

After living with dial-up access for three of the last four weeks, the return to broadband is a glorious thing. It seems that most sites – fantasy games, analysis, scoreboards, etc. – are designed to assume that broadband is pervasive (as I’m sure it is), and therefore many pages are so slow to load that a dial-up user simply learns to get by on a minimalist approach whenever possible. If you try to play fantasy sports at a high level, there are a lot of information/analysis concessions that have to be made just to maintain sanity – or at least to avoid staring at slow page loads for hours per day.

Enuff whining. I am grateful to know that most RotoGuru pages still seem to be reasonably dial-up friendly. And I’ll try to keep that in mind as the site develops.

Football preparation is now in full swing. Four RIFC league drafts are in process, and if you are interested, you can follow them with these links (sequential picks on the top, position grids on the bottom):
RIFC     AAA #1     AAA #2     AA

You can also read the RIFC rationales for each player here. Be aware that the RIFC uses some scoring rules that are atypical, including points for punt/kick return yardage, and six IDPs (individual defensive players). The league is also very deep, with 14 managers and 24 roster slots. Consequently, relative player values sometimes differ in this format vs. rankings published in most mainstream sources.

8/3 - The Yankees and White Sox put up dueling snowmen in the second inning of yesterday’s scoreboard. Somehow, Chicago prevailed, although the quick Yankee rebound sure must have been demoralizing. Regardless, the Yanks are now only 3 games behind Cleveland in the Wild Card race. Those two teams face each other next week in Cleveland, where I understand the entire series is already sold out.

This will be my last blurb for the next two weeks, as I head to Ohio for the annual family pilgrimage. During that time, I imagine that Bonds will get his long awaited HR(s), ARod will get his 500th, and maybe even Glavine will win #300. The PGA Championship will have come and gone. And by the time I return, many football drafts will be in full swing – including some of my own.

8/2 - If you are interested in a joining a fantasy football league with other Gurupies, there are still six openings for the AA RIFC league. The winner even qualifies for a spot in next year’s RIFC, while those teams who make the playoffs (8 out of 14) will qualify to move up to a AAA league next year – assuming that the league’s farm team structure remains unchanged next year. The AA League is also still looking for a Commissioner. If you have any interest, please sign up here.

The Reno-Tahoe Open has teed off. Anthony Kim and Lucas Glover are the dominant GuruGolf favorites this week, with most of the tour’s top golfers playing in Akron. Expect some low scores, as last year’s winner shot -19, and ten golfers finished at -15 or better. The cut line last year was only -1, however.

8/1 - The baseball trade deadline precipitated a flurry of moves. But the biggest trade of the day came from the NBA, with Kevin Garnett joining Ray Allen and Paul Pierce in Boston. It’s way too early to know just how that’s going to work out. But one thing seems clear – the Celtics will get a lot more TV exposure next season than in recent years.

Up here in New England, the biggest baseball trade was the Red Sox getting Eric Gagne. Barring a Papelbon blowout, I’m not convinced that was a necessary move, and if Kason Gabbard eventually develops into a quality starter (although who knows?), it may backfire. But from the Red Sox perspective, the biggest benefit was probably that by getting Gagne, the Yankees didn’t.

I loaded up the TSN Ultimate Football player prices in the sortable stats yesterday. The Football Assimilator is not yet updated, but I hope to get that done soon. Rookies are not yet in the TSN database, so the data may be of limited use for awhile – but for those who can’t get started on football soon enough, you have another tool to work with.

The Reno-Tahoe Open tees off at 10am ET tomorrow. Be aware that this is the “secondary” PGA event this week. Most of the golfing world will be watching the Bridgestone Invitational, where most of the top golfers are in action. But GuruGolf will “play” in Reno, where the tournament offers a cut after the second round. As of this morning, about 70% of all GuruGolf rosters still have inactive golfers, so there’s a lot of roster tweaking to be done today. Get to it!

2007: July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2006: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2005: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2004: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2003: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2002: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2001: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2000: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

1999: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

1998: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March

RotoGuru is produced by Dave Hall (a.k.a. the Guru), an avid fantasy sports player. He is neither employed by nor compensated by any of the fantasy sports games discussed within this site, and all opinions expressed are solely his own. Questions or comments are welcome, and should be emailed to Guru<>.

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