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Daily blurbs from the Guru
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8/30 - I launched Football Pickoff yesterday. Same rules as in past years. Enter up to three times. No cost. Invite your friends and family.
Believe it or not, this will be the 14th season for Football Pickoff. It was originally launched during the 1999 NFL season based on some development discussion at the RotoGuru forum. The rules have changed only slightly since that opening season.
GuruGolf tees off tomorrow morning in a rare Friday opening round. This will be the last GuruGolf tournament with a 2nd round cut.
8/29 - Three studs took the hill last night, all legitimate Cy Young contenders: Verlander, Strasburg, and Sale. Their combined line for the night was 14.2 IP, 27 HA, 17 ER, 2.32 WHIP, 10.43 ERA. Two of them got zero run support as well, but Detroit came back to tie their game at 8, taking Verlander off the hook (before losing anyway). Yikes!
The final NFL preseason games are tonight and tomorrow night. Many teams won’t even play their key players, so not much is to be learned, other than who gets cut and who survives to week #1.
8/28 - The RIFC draft has just completed round 6, and most of the qualifying leagues are at the same place or a bit further. So far, it’s been a pretty straightforward draft, with most teams filling the starting offensive player spots, and very few picks that seem too premature. For example, 12 (of 14) teams have a QB, 10 teams have exactly 2 RBs (two teams already have 3), 12 teams have either 2 or 3 wide receivers, and 7 teams have a tight end. Only 5 IDPs have been taken so far – 2 linemen, 3 linebackers. Perhaps the outlier team so far is the one with 2 LBs among the first six draft picks.
From this point, strategies begin to diverge. Some teams go after IDPs once the offensive starter slots are filled. Other teams prefer to line up offensive depth while deferring on IDPs. And the sequence of players taken starts to look less like they’re coming from the same ranking list. It gets a bit more interesting. And frustrating, if the teams ahead of you seem to be peeking at your short lists.
8/27 - Most of the iconic baseball broadcasters from the days of my youth are not only retired, they’re dead. But Vin Scully, who started his Dodger gig before I was born, keeps chugging along.
All of the RIFC league drafts are now in full swing. You can track all four with the link in the prior sentence (or this link if you prefer the grid format.) Rationales for the main RIFC are now being posted here.
In GuruGolf, BluesCrew II romped to a four stroke best ball win in The Barclays, in spite of losing one golfer to the cut. Worst ball honors were shared by two teams. Just three events remain in the GuruGolf season, and the next one is the last with a mid-tournament cut.
8/24 - Here’s hoping your fantasy baseball lineups were loaded with Red Sox and Angels hitters last night, and not pitchers.
Two of the four RIFC leagues have begun their drafts. For those who want to follow the progress, here are the links: RIFC AAA#1 & RIFC AA. The other two leagues plan to start drafting on Sunday. Bear in mind that these leagues use a “Bonzai” draft order, which is a typical snake sequence except for the third round, which is reversed. Thus, the manager with the first pick in round #1 drafts last in each of round 2-4.
I was asked this morning about Football Pickoff for 2012. I expect that site to be ready around September 1st.
8/23 - Washington GM Mike Rizzo reaffirmed that Stephen Strasburg will be shut down before the end of the regular season, and will not pitch in the playoffs. I give him credit for sticking to his guns. But I’m pretty sure when he first came up with that decision, he had no idea that the Nats would have the best record in baseball. Surely, there was some way to keep Strasburg’s innings down while retaining his capacity to pitch in October. Seems to me like a failure to adapt to the changing situation.
GuruGolf rosters are really diversified this week. J.B. Holmes, Webb Simpson, Carl Pettersson, and Bud Cauley are each on 18% of active foursomes, and 114 of the 124 golfers in the field are on at least one GuruGolf squad. This may be the week that clarifies the GuruGolf contenders from the pretenders.
8/22 - For a season in which a team is out of contention by mid-August, shutting down a young pitcher early has few adverse consequences. And until this season, the Nationals have probably never been serious contenders in mid-August, so a pending Strasburg shutdown would not be particularly controversial (other than among Strasburg’s fantasy owners).
But the Nats are not only in contention, they sport the best winning percentage in baseball, and should easily advance to the postseason - barring an epic collapse. One might argue that shutting down Strasburg for the rest of the regular season might be OK in this situation as well, since he’d probably miss at most 5 starts. But you’d certainly want him pitching in the playoffs. And you’d certainly want the Nats to do whatever it takes to win the division, and not merely squeak in as a wild card team (given the one-game playoff format for wild card teams.) So if it were up to me and I was convinced that an overall innings limit was desirable, I’d find a way to limit his September workload without a full shutdown. Start him every 7 days, for example. Limit him to 80-90 pitches per outing (or less). Whatever it takes to keep him reasonably sharp, but not push the limits. The only team that could unseat Washington as division champ is Atlanta, currently 7 games back. Make sure Strasburg is available to pitch in the last Nats-Braves series in mid-September. Give him two limited starts after that series, and see where things go. The situation would be trickier if Washington were in a closely contested race. But that does not seem to be where things are heading.
GuruGolf tees off tomorrow morning for The Barclays, which is the first round of the FedEx Cup. That means there are only four events remaining in the GuruGolf season. The race for the best ball championship is certainly not yet settled, although only two teams are within 25 strokes of the frontrunner. The worst ball standings are much more congested at the top, where 18 teams are within 25 strokes of the leader. Keep plugging away!
8/20 - I’m finally finished with all of my extended vacations for the summer. Time to make preparations for football.
In addition to the usual daily (weekly football) contest sites, I will once again be providing the typical RotoGuru coverage for the Fireleague Salary Cap football game. I’m hoping to have sortable stats up for that game by the end of this week.
The Wyndham Championship is still in process as I draft this blurb on Monday morning. Once the rain-delayed 4th round is completed (early afternoon), I’ll do the normal end-of-tourney processing and enable player transactions for the start of the FedEx Cup.
I won’t be posting a blurb on Tuesday as I’m taking the day to help move my daughter into off-campus housing at Hofstra.
8/8 - The fourth golf major tournament tees off tomorrow morning in South Carolina. In Gurugolf, prizes are awarded for each major, and also for the four majors combined (best ball and worst ball), so a lot of RotoGuru logo golf balls will be up for grabs this weekend. Make sure you give your foursome(s) an appropriate pep talk tonight.
We’re now down to just five openings in the AA RIFC Qualifying league. If you have an interest, sign up now. We hope to have this league filled within the next few days. No experience necessary.
Believe it or not, I’m heading out tomorrow for my fourth vacation trip of the summer. (I have a very accommodating boss.) Blurbs will be suspended until mid-August. But I’ll still be checking in regularly, with laptop and mobile hotspot always in tow.
8/7 - You know how pitchers are sometimes described as having a “dead arm?”
I’ve been sitting at the computer for quite awhile this morning, trying to come up with a blurb. But nothing seems to be getting written. I think I have a “dead brain.”
The one drum I want to keep banging in is to encourage sign-ups for the RIFC AA football league. If my tally is correct, we still have 7 opening for a 14-team league. Please consider joining this league if you’d like an active football challenge, complete with relatively deep rosters and individual defensive players. The league winner gets to join the top RIFC league next year. The remainder of the 8 playoff teams get promoted to a AAA league next year.
8/6 - I’m back at RotoGuru World Headquarters, but only for a few days. Don’t blink!
The primary order of business for August is the organization and then drafting for the RIFC (RotoGuru Invitational Football Challenge) leagues. As of this morning, the main league and the two AAA leagues are filled. However, there are still openings available in the AA league. For more information, please visit this thread.
On to golf: This weekend’s Reno-Tahoe Open used modified Stableford scoring, and one consequence of that system is that you don’t get many scores worse than a +2, since any player can pick up at any time and take a double bogey. This year, only one player recorded a +3: Eric Axley, 7th hole, second round, took a 6 on a par 3. He must have wanted the practice. Didn’t help, as he finished 3rd from the bottom. But I digress.
Curiously enough, 9 GuruGolf teams tied for the top best ball score this week, -55. I never remember such a big a logjam at the top. But in worstball scoring, we had a similarly remarkable feat, as RV-JeffG carded a worst ball score of +58, a full 10 strokes better (worse?) than the runner-up. And, as noted, no scores on his card were worse than a +2.
You may have noticed that I added a news ticker above, courtesy of RotoInfo.com. Of particular note, I find that RotoInfo is one of the earliest sources of MLB starting lineup info. Worth bookmarking.
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<firstname.lastname@example.org>.
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