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8/31 - I added sortable stats yesterday for Fanduel football. FanDuel has made a couple of changes to their scoring formula since last season. The only one of import is the addition of ½ point per reception. The other is 2 points for a pass for 2-point conversion. (Previously, I believe only the conversion receiver got the points.) My database of 2010 FanDuel points uses the actual formula in place last season, so if you use that data, you should make a mental adjustment for reception points.
In addition to the two games I have already set up in the sortable stats, I will eventually be adding Draft$treet and Daily Joust. Draft$treet now has football contests for week #1 available. Daily Joust will have them available soon. Since I don’t have 2010 points calculated for either of these games, sortable stats would be of very limited value prior to the first week, so it’s possible I won’t have those set up until after the first games are played.
I know that many of you aren’t active participants in these daily contest sites. But enough of you are that the related affiliate fees (a small slice of the contest fees from RotoGuru referrals) are essentially paying the lion’s share of the 2011 revenue that is keeping RotoGuru alive and ticking. As you can see from the current tally of GuruPatron contributions (at the top of this page), these voluntary donations would no longer be insufficient to cover even the marginal costs of operating this site. But they are still an important supplement – so if you are so inclined, I’m always appreciative of your voluntary financial support.
8/30 - Football preparations continue apace, as August winds down. Sortable stats are now available for the FireLeague salary cap games. This is the game formerly know as RotoHog salary cap, which was formerly known as TSN salary cap, which was formerly known as Small World Football. There is a clone version of this game available on Facebook, offered under Fastpoint games. I’ll be referencing the data via the Fireleague.com portal this season, but I’m hoping they remain fully in synch with the Fastpoint version. The scoring formula is the same as last year’s. The Assimilator is not yet updated – hopefully later this week.
8/29 - Irene swept through Connecticut Sunday morning and left more than 50% of the state’s utility customers without power. Fortunately, RotoGuru World Headquarters was in the minority group – with electricity, phone, and cable all intact throughout. We lucked out big-time!
The hurricane wasn’t the only thing to blitz over the weekend, The RIFC draft continued to race along at a blazing pace, now in the 18th round after only 5 days. Draft rationales are also fairly current, and I know some of you find them to be interesting reading. Have at it.
The shortened Barclays tournament finished around noon on Saturday. Two teams shared the GuruGolf best ball honors for the weekend with a -42, while another pair tied for worst ball honors (+26). This week’s tournament, the Deutsche Bank Championship, doesn’t get started until Friday, so there is a long layover.
8/26 - The Oakland A’s survived a mild earthquake in New York on Tuesday. And they should escape Boston before the Hurricane arrives on Sunday, due to some “prescheduling”. But they couldn’t survive the Yankees’ bats yesterday. New York scored 22 runs, including a major league record 3 grand slams. Sixteen NY batters came up with the bases jammed. And the capper was that Oakland had surged to a 7-1 lead in the 3rd inning. Go figure.
Boston and Philly each pushed their scheduled Sunday game ahead to Saturday. The Yankees in Baltimore don’t have that option, as they are already scheduled for two games on Saturday. And there is still no word on the Atlanta@Mets series. Stay tuned.
Apparently, The Barclays golf tournament will not play a double round on Saturday, as there is not enough daylight – and Saturday afternoon’s weather is iffy as well. So that event will almost certainly extend into next week – assuming the course remains playable. Next week’s tournament doesn’t start until Friday, so they have an extra day of flexibility if they choose to use it.
If you live in the northeast, hunker down! Hopefully, I’ll be up and running throughout the weekend, although the storm is currently taking dead aim at RotoGuru World Headquarters. I’m confident the home office will survive intact. I’m not so sure about the power. And if it goes, who knows how soon it will be restored? Not a good time to be in the midst of several football drafts!
8/25 - Hurricane Irene is heading toward the eastern seaboard, but the pace is slow enough that baseball may not be significantly jeopardized until Saturday night or Sunday. The Yankees are scheduled to play a doubleheader in Baltimore on Saturday, which seems like a potential problem. I wonder if they’ll try to push one of those games up to Friday? Weekend series in Boston, New York (Mets), and Philly also seem to be candidates for forward-shifting. Stay tuned.
Also in the storm’s path is this week’s golf tournament, in Edison, NJ – just west of Long Island. They are currently in a rain delay this morning, but this is only the teaser for what’s likely to come. As the first event in the FedEx Cup, I’m sure they don’t want to have to shorten the tournament, but they may have no choice. It’ll probably only be a tropical storm by then – but that’s sufficient to mess up a golf course (and tournament).
Speaking of which, Trevor Immelman and Anthony Kim are the two most widely owned GuruGolfers for The Barclays, each on about 20% of active foursomes. Both golfers enter the tournament needing to make the cut in order to be assured of advancing to the next round.
8/24 - Back in April and May, much was made about the apparent return of pitching dominance - presumably partly related to the stronger PED testing program. But maybe it was just the colder spring weather. In any event, last night’s scoreboard suggests that there’s no shortage of hitting or scoring. There is one 2-0 game and a 2-1 game, but every other game has at least 9 combined runs scored, and the average for those 14 games is almost 13 runs scored. Half of those losing teams scored 5 runs or more.
Today we have a rare schedule twist. The Reds and Marlins are playing a doubleheader, one of which is a make-up from a game to be canceled tomorrow. With the hurricane headed toward Miami, they decided not to wait. Plan your rosters accordingly.
All of the RIFC drafts are now underway. So far, the top two QBs seem to be going a bit ahead of their ADPs, and Chris Johnson seems to be getting pushed back a bit (presumably based on his holdout status). The first WR seems to be going a tad earlier than ADPs as well, generally in the 8-11 range. But no big surprises.
The FedEx Cup playoffs start tomorrow with The Barclays tournament. (Actually, its official name is just “The Barclays”, but that seems to be missing a noun.) For the rest of the Playoffs (and the GuruGolf season), the week to week field will be a matter of survival. So if you’re trade constrained, just pick well.
8/23 - Justin Verlander won his 19th game of the season last night, and looks like a shoo-in for the A.L. Cy Young award. Arguably, he could be in the discussion for MVP.
His current success seems like no surprise today. But in the RIBC draft last March, he was only the 13th starting pitcher drafted, and that wasn’t until late in round 4. He was expected to be good, but he wasn’t expected to be this good. Pitchers drafted ahead of him included Josh Johnson and Ubaldo Jimenez (gulp).
The hottest hitter in baseball over the past 15 days has been … Carlos Gonzalez - based on the scoring system for all three of the covered daily contest scoring systems. CarGo was my first round pick (#7 overall) in the RIBC draft, but until lately (11R, 18RBI, .386/.714 in the last 13 games) he hasn’t been deserving of a first round selection – nor has he been the best hitter on my roster. It’d be nice (for my team) if he could stay healthy and produce like this for the rest of the season.
8/22 - The RIFC drafts have started. The two AAA leagues are midway through the first round, and the other two leagues will be underway within the next few days. No big surprises yet - but fun to track. Use the link at the start of this paragraph to follow the progress of each of the drafts. From there, each league draft is separately linked at the top of the page, where you can also see the “as of” status.
LAMBES EAGLES rode Webb Simpson to GuruGolf’s top best ball score for the Wyndham Championship. Worst ball honors went to Duffers #2, taking advantage of solid 4-round conributions from old timers John Daly and David Duval. The Dog Days Contest ended in a 2-way tie for best ball, but the tiebreaker (greatest roster value gain during the contest) awards the best ball prize to No More. The corresponding Worst Ball Contest was won by RotoGuru Hall of Famer Long Island Spuds, who needed much of his built-up lead to get through a final weekend with only one golfer making the cut.
8/17 - Arizona’s comeback win over Roy Halladay in the 9th inning in Philly is one they should hearken back to if they end up facing the Phils in the playoffs. It’s also one that the Phillies should just sluff off, as they should be on cruise control for now. Then again, there was 1964… Long time Phillies fans probably twitch when that year is mentioned. If you’re not sure what I’m referring to, google “Phillies Phold”
The Wyndham Championship tees off early tomorrow morning. This is the last tournament prior to the start of the Fex Ex Cup playoff series, so many of the top golfers are sitting this one out, hoping to be ready and eligible play in each of the final four events. It’s also the final event in the GuruGolf Dog Days Contest. Get your foursomes ready!
I’ll be away for a short hiatus in Rhode Island on Thursday and Friday, so I will dispense with blurbs until next week. RIFC managers – get prepared for your drafts!
8/16 - Much has been made of the fact that Albert Pujols has never been linked to steroid use. But another slugger who has probably aroused even less suspicion is Jim Thome, who bombed home run #600 last night in Detroit. It’s hard to believe that he’s already 40, with 20 years in the big leagues. I can still remember going to see him play for the Canton-Akron Indians AA team when they visited New Britain, CT, probably in 1991. He was one of the lynchpins of the Cleveland teams that regained respectability in the 90s, and one of the last from their '95 and '97 World Series teams to jump ship when he signed with the Phillies in 2003 (for which my mother still hasn’t forgiven him!) In addition to hitting 600 dingers, he has a career OBP of .408, as he was always willing to take a pitch when the opposition pitched around him. His career total of 1710 walks ranks #8 all time, sandwiched in between Mickey Mantle and Mel Ott. But when he swung, he swung hard – racking up 2453 career strikeouts so far, second only to Reggie Jackson.
Will this season be Thome’s swan song? He pondered retirement after last season, but decided to come back, and now that he’s reached the home run milestone, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him hang them up. But he’s one guy that just about every baseball fan will be sorry to see go (other than those Cleveland fans who still feel jilted.) If he does exit, expect to see him in Cooperstown five years down the road.
8/15 - From the perspective of GuruGolf managers, the right guy won yesterday’s playoff in the PGA Championship. Keegan Bradley was on 10 different GuruGolf foursomes; Jason Dufner appeared only once. Dufner’s “collapse” may not take on “Van de Velde-ian” stature in PGA lore, although it is nevertheless impressive to blow a five stroke lead with four holes to play. The difference this time is that it wasn’t completely Dufner’s issue. He did bogey three of the final four holes in regulation, but Keegan Bradley still had to birdie 2-of-3, all the more impressive in that he could very well have been on tilt after a triple-bogey on the 15th hole.
The top best ball score of the GuruGolf weekend was a -43 by Supermole, who had neither of the playoff contenders. Ditto for the worst ball medalist, TD4, whose +65 was solidified with a final round score of +19. For the four majors combined, the best ball contest winner is Cyberwahoo2, with a 13 stroke margin over the runner-up. The 4-major worst ball champion was Knights, with a 5-stroke margin.
FanDuel has started offering a baseball "Spare Change Contest" on Mondays. The entry fee is only $1. You can enter multiple times, although this week's contest has an overall limit of 833 entrants. The total prize pool is $750, with a first prize of $75, and 75 total prizes.
If you are already registered at FanDuel, then here's the contest entry page. (or go to the Fanduel home page and scroll down to the $750 MLB Spare Change contest. If you have not registered at FanDuel, then start here.
Thanks to Gurupie Tosh for suggesting today’s quote.
8/12 - I started making preparations for football yesterday. The first (and easiest) update was the 2011 NFL schedule, all neatly formatted on one grid for all 32 teams and 17 weeks. (If you want to put it in a spreadsheet, just copy and paste.)
Bye week scheduling is a bit different than in recent years. This year, there are no byes until week #5. For each of weeks #5-8, six teams have a bye. Then, in each of weeks 9 & 11, four teams have a bye. The period of four consecutive 6-bye weeks will be something you’ll want to plan for – or at least consider the implications of - when drafting your teams. Be prepared.
I’ll begin to get player prices posted for the various covered games, although there’s clearly no rush at this point. My plans are to provide coverage for the three daily contest sites – Fanduel, Draftstreet, and Daily Joust – as well as the Fireleague salary cap game (see yesterday’s blurb). It’s possible that other games will be added, although these are the ones that I’m currently preparing for. FanDuel already has contests available for week #1, although I don’t know why anyone would want to start picking a lineup in early August. Whatever. Football fever, I guess.
8/11 - The Indians started a three game series against the Tigers on Tuesday, down four games in the division standings. Tuesday night (or Wednesday morning, more accurately) was the 14-inning 7-hour Tribe win on a walkoff HBP. Last night, newly acquired Ubaldo Jimenez pitched 8 solid innings in a 10-3 rout. Tonight, they face Justin Verlander in the series finale. I think they’re going to wish they had saved some of those excess runs for today. Regardless, it’s good to see them stay alive. Had they lost the opening two games to Detroit, you could probably draft the epitaph already.
The PGA Championship is underway, and the carryover GuruGolf favorite is Brian Davis, appearing on 35% of active rosters. This morning’s scoring looks pretty low for a major tournament, with 19 golfers currently under par. Tiger Woods was one of them for awhile, birdying three of the opening five holes before promptly giving all three of those strokes back just two holes later, dropping him a stroke behind Adam Scott and you-know-who.
8/10 - Last spring, RotoHog moved their salary cap baseball game to within the Facebook framework, meaning the the game was only accessible if you had a Facebook account. The interface was also changed, enough so that I was unable to adapt my data-gathering scripts to accommodate, at least in time for the start of the season. There didn’t seem to be any great hue and cry from the Gurupie community, so I just let it pass for baseball.
While the Facebook version will also be available for salary cap football (under the label of Fastpoint games), I have also discovered a branded version of the same game that exists outside of Facebook: Fireleague. The Fireleague interface is very similar to the “classic” RotoHog/TSN setup, so that I should be able to adapt my programs to get at salary and position data. Since this game will coexist with the Fastpoint Facebook game, it’s quite possible that player prices will be identical across the two platforms. That’s true for draft prices. But if you want to take advantage of the full range of RotoGuru tools – sortable stats, Assimilator, etc. - I suggest that you enter via the Fireleague portal.
The PGA Championship tees off early tomorrow morning. Get those foursomes set! Because this is a major tournament, a prize will be awarded to the tournament’s top bestball and worstball teams, and this will also be the final event in the Majors only Contest, which includes the results from just the four major tournaments.
8/9 - DraftStreet is launching a new PGA contest format this week. For those of you unfamiliar with DraftStreet, it offers daily and weekly contests for all of the major sports, which can be head-to-head contests or multiple player contests. Typical contests cost $5 to enter, although there is a range of price/prize structures, including free contests.
For golf, you have a bankroll of $100,000 to assemble a team of 6 golfers. Points are awarded based on individual hole scores and also tournament finish:
Albatross: 4.5 pts
Note that each golfer is scored independently. This is not a best ball format.
I printed out a listing of player prices for the PGA Championship in the Golf Forum. Rory McIlroy is the most expensive at $28,430. Rocco Mediate is the cheapest at $6,338.
If you are interested and haven't registered at the DraftStreet site, please use this link to do so: Register at DraftStreet
8/8 - Steve Williams’ comment about the “bigness” of caddying for WGC-Bridgestone winner Adam Scott rings more of sticking it to Tiger than of the relative merits of this particular win. But who could blame him? And, although he’ll never carry Scott’s bag for as many wins as he carried for Tiger, Scott does now hold the edge since the start of 2010.
As long as everyone follows through, the four RIFC leagues have now filled. If you signed up for a league, make you you now get registered at the hosting site. See your league thread (or email your commissioner) for details.
In this weekends’ secondary PGA tournament, four GuruGolf teams tied for the top best ball score of -52. Two of those teams had tournament winner Scott Piercy, who not only earned them an extra GuruGolf trade, but maybe also saved one as Piercy is now eligible for this week’s PGA Championship. On the worst ball side, LAMBES CLUBHOUSE rode a solid +15 in the final round to post a one stroke victory (+45).
8/5 - We have just 4 openings left for a spot in the RIFC AA league for 2011. We hope to fill these spots over the weekend, so if you have been procrastinating, get your dibs in now. The draft will probably start early in the 4th week of August, and run for the better part of 2 weeks, so you’ll need to have web access from about August 20 through Labor Day, although as a slow draft, you’ll only need to make about two picks per day, and you can set up queues in advance to handle that. Most people who complete in the RIFC league format find it one of the most fun leagues they are in – good competition, deep rosters including individual defensive players, and opportunities to advance to the next level. There is no cost (although a $5 donation to help defray hosting costs at myfantasyleague.com is appreciated). Act now, while supplies last!
8/4 - I seem to have regained spam control at the forum. If the spam-blocking software ever fails, though, there are approximately 100 attempted spam posts trying to get through every hour. Kind of scary!
Roy Halladay gave up 5 runs in 7 innings. Ryan Howard made a double error in the first inning. But the Phillies still won, 8-6, in Colorado. Things just seem to be going their way. A lot of teams are in tight divisional races for the post season. The Phillies are not one of them.
The Reno-Tahoe Open is underway, and this week’s most popular golfers are Brian Davis and John Merrick, each on about 40% of active foursomes, and both on about 17%.
8/3 - Some days it’s no fun to run a web site.
Since late last night, there have been hundreds of attempts by automated bots to post spam at the RotoGuru Message forum. Much of the obvious spam was blocked, but a great deal of nuisance posts did get through – and those attempt continue.
As such, I’ve ramped up my spam blocking software to be much more aggressive today. In the past two hours, I’ve successfully blocked 40 such posts – although I also managed to snag a few legitimate posts in the process. If you try to post something today and encounter an unusual problem, just send me an email and I can adjust the software to compensate. Hopefully, either the attempts will dissipate (as they often do), or else my spam sniffing software will becoming more discerning with practice.
Unfortunately, being in spam-fighting mode all morning, I’ve had no time to draft (or even think about) an on-topic blurb today. However, while I continue to throttle the “evil doers”, don’t forget to set your GuruGolf lineup for the Reno-Tahoe Open. Yes, I know it’s not the marquis PGA tournament this week, but it does offer a cut, and that’s the way I’ve chosen GuruGolf tournaments for many years.
8/2 - Do you think Derrek Lee likes being back in the National League? In his first game since his trade from Baltimore to the Pirates, he homered twice. It wasn’t enough for Pittsburgh, who still lost 5-3 to the Cubs. I guess they needed a couple of dingers from their other new player, Ryan Ludwick, who could only muster up a walk in four plate appearances.
I’m leery of the Indians new starter, Ubaldo Jimenez. Admittedly, his away splits are pretty decent this year – 3.38 ERA, .183 BAA, 1.08 WHIP. But the sample size is small (10 games), and over the past decade, not many pitchers who were struggling in the NL have improved with a move to the American League, while movement in the other direction has been beneficial more often. Granted, I don’t have stats to back up that statement, just anecdotal evidence, gut feel – and a sense of foreboding. We’ll see.
8/1 - August. Football planning month.
If you want play in one of the RIFC Qualifying Leagues, this is the week so sign up. To play in a AAA league, you need to have qualified by playing in a previous RIFC league. But a AA league is open to anyone. Sign ups are in the RotoGuru Football Forum. Look for a league with RIFC and sign-up in the title.
RIFC leagues offer several features not commonly found in public leagues, including deeper rosters (24 players), individual defensive players (IDPs), punt and kick return scoring, and a slow online draft process that will probably run for 11-12 days starting around August 24-ish. If you’ve never played in a league with IDPs, this might be a good opportunity to cut your teeth, so to speak. There is no cost to play, although a voluntary $5 donation is requested to defray the cost of the hosting system. Top finishers in each league get bumped up to the next level next year.
The top best ball score in GuruGolf this weekend was -47 from Northeastern Chieftains, three strokes better than the runner-up. Louky 3 claimed the top spot in worst ball with a +46, in spite of losing Mickelson to the cut.
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
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 toGuru<email@example.com>.
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