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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.

9/28 - When designing the RotoGuru sortable stats for the various fantasy games, I try to incorporate some distinctive (and useful) information that isn’t generally found elsewhere. For football, it’s the stats on opposing production by position.

For example, here is the report on Opposing RB - DraftStreet. Note that through the first three weeks, New Orleans has been the most accommodating to opposing running backs, followed by Carolina, Jacksonville, and Tennessee. Those relative rankings are pretty consistent for the other covered games as well.

Of course, three weeks is not a very significant sample, so it’s always helpful to drill down to look at some of the game by game details. Click on New Orleans opp RB and you’ll be transported to a page that shows the game by game details for each scoring system by position. On that page, if you hover your cursor over any scoring total, you should see a breakdown of the players who produced that total.

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9/27 - I wasn’t sure if the MNF officiating brouhaha would be enough to bring about a settlement of the NFL lockout or not. Evidently, it was. As supporting evidence, consider that the regular refs will be hustled into place for tonight’s game in Baltimore. I wonder how long it will take before the first blown call is witnessed tonight.

I’ve been working behind the scenes on recruiting for this year’s RIHC (RotoGuru Hoops Invitational Challenge). Invitations went out to the 12 managers who are invited to participate in the RIHC, and 24 additional managers were emailed advising them that they are pre-qualified for a AAA league (by virtue of finishing in the top 6 of one of last year’s qualifying leagues.) If you think you should be on one of those lists, please check the email account that you used for last year’s league. I’d like to get as many spots nailed down as I can in the next few days, before opening up the remaining recruitment process at the forum.

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9/25 - After watching the 4th quarter of last night’s NFL game, all I can say is, “Wow.” If I were a replacement official, I’d probably lay low this week. If I were a locked out official, I’d probably be more optimistic about the prognosis for a near-term settlement. And if you’re Golden Tate (or if he was starting for your fantasy team this week), life is good.

On the other hand, if the NFL wants cheap publicity, they’re getting it. You no longer have to turn to the sports pages or sports networks to see commentary on the impact of the replacement refs.

Only 27% of Football Pickoff slates posted positive scores this week. For the season, only one-third of all cumulative scores are now positive. If you register now and start with a clean slate (and a score of zero), you’ll rank ahead of two-thirds of all entries. What are you waiting for?

That said, the top score of the week was +487 from SkySail, with 12 correct picks, including a double of Minnesota over San Francisco. For the season, if you had taken the road less traveled with each pick and selected every consensus underdog, you would currently rank 5th overall with 676 points. Of course, if everyone tried that, it would be impossible to achieve, since the consensus underdogs would all become consensus favorites.

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9/24 - Arizona, eh? After a 3-0 start, they now face Miami, St. Louis, and Buffalo in the next three weeks. It’s not inconceivable that they could be 6-0 at that point. The schedule gets tougher after that (@Min, SF, @GB), and – as has been demonstrated many times already this season, “on any given Sunday…” – but yesterday’s 27-6 win over the Eagles was a no-doubter.

Robert Griffin III was touted this year as a possible second coming of Cam Newton. So far, so good, as he’s produced about 10% more fantasy points through three weeks compared with the first three weeks of Newton’s rookie season. And he’s 65% ahead of Newton’s current season production. Washington is admittedly only 1-2 so far, but offense isn’t the problem. And notably, Carolina was only 1-2 through three games last year.

The GuruGolf season has ended. Brandt Snedeker may have been the unlikely winner of the FedEx Cup, but in GuruGolf, the Long Island Spuds were anything but unlikely, cruising to a 24-stroke victory for the full season best ball title, the third overall GuruGolf championship for Bill Miller, who also won in 2006 and 2007. See the GuruGolf news page for a complete list of best and worst ball winners for the season.

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9/21 - As fate would have it, one of my fantasy football teams was matched up against a lineup with Andre Brown. Oh well.

When the Dodgers picked up several Red Sox players in the late-August blockbuster trade, they were 10 games over .500. Now they are only 4 games over. If they had simply played .500 ball since then, they’d be tied for the wild card slot. Instead, they’re 3 games back, with only 12 games left. I’m not blaming the trade for the recent backslide. Just sayin’.

I started some of the groundwork for setting up the upcoming RIHC leagues (basketball), and noticed that the final standings for some of last season’s qualifying leagues were never posted. If you were in one of those leagues and can assist in retrieving the results, please respond here.

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9/20 - A few curious facts about the Baltimore Orioles:

  • They lost their first two extra inning games on April 10 & 11. Since then, they are 15-0 in extra innings.
  • They are 27-8 in 1-run games.
  • Over the course of the season, they’ve been outscored by 10 runs. (By comparison, the Yankees have outscored their opponents by 100 runs.)
  • Based on runs scored and allowed, the Bill James formula for expected wins produces an expected W-L of 73-76, versus an actual record of 85-64.
What’s it all mean? I guess they’ve had a knack for winning the close games and losing the blowouts. Or else they’ve been incredibly lucky. Or both.

I posted the 2012-13 NBA schedule yesterday, in the various RotoGuru formats. Scroll down to find the links in the basketball section of the left menu. And let me know if you see any errors. I have a process for putting this all together, but when I only do this once per year, I’m susceptible to forgetting or bungling elements of the process.

The Tour Championship teed off at 11:35am this morning. Jim Furyk is the most widely held GuruGolfer, owing mostly to his relatively cheap price. Of the more expensive golfers, Phil Mickelson has the greatest sponsorship. For the full season GuruGolf standings, the best ball title seems to be pretty securely in hand, but the worst ball title is definitely still up for grabs.

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9/19 - NFL football is now in full swing. Baseball is winding down, with some teams playing out the string and others fighting for a postseason berth. So what did I spend my morning doing? Coding up the 2012-13 NBA schedule, of course. It’s not ready yet, but I should have it posted within the next day. The regular season starts on October 30, although preseason games start two weeks from Friday.

After a one week hiatus, the PGA Tour wraps up the FedEx Cup (and the GuruGolf season) starting tomorrow morning. Only 30 golfers are in the field, but many GuruGolf teams will need to roster at least one (cheap) inactive golfer in order to afford a complete foursome.

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9/18 - I returned from my weekend UConn football road trip late last night, so I’m still in catch-up mode, at least with regard to fantasy sports issues and stats. I processed all week #2 football stats this morning, and as far as I know, everything has been updated correctly. Please let me know if you disagree.

Football Pickoff had a couple of minor glitches over the weekend, each which I believe has been properly resolved. This was a good week to go with home teams, as 14 of them won. Only two entered slates performed better, headed by grunge, who went 14-1, doubled St. Louis, and skipped the Thursday game (probably unintentionally). Overall, only about 41% of slates posted a positive score, and a YTD score of zero now puts you in the upper half of the standings.

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9/13 - I finally bit the bullet and set up a Facebook page for RotoGuru. I’m not yet sure what I’ll use it for. It certainly won’t replace the message forum. But it might be a more effective medium for some communications, promotions, and/or blurbs. I’m sure it will evolve over time, as do all things RotoGuru. For now, if you’re a Facebook user, visit and “like” it.

If you’re waiting for GuruGolf action to start, you’re in for a long wait. The Tour Championship is still a week away.

I’m heading off on my annual UConn football away game road trip, this year to Maryland. Back on Monday.

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9/12 - Notre Dame is moving to the ACC. UConn may be getting its wish. I think that Connecticut has secretly been hoping that the ACC would add Notre Dame, thereby creating a league with an odd number of teams (15) and giving the ACC an impetus to seek one more team. Working against that is that Notre Dame football is not moving to the ACC. But the Irish have committed to play five football games per year against ACC teams, so maybe that’s not such a distinction from a scheduling standpoint. We’ll see.

If you look at the Football Pickoff standings today, they’ll look different than they did yesterday. I’m reprogramming the standings process to be more automated, and discovered yesterday that the points for doubled games and bonus points were not being properly reflected in the standings – even though they were accurately calculated on each individual recap page.

If you’re playing any of the affiliated salary cap football games, be aware that the weekly point pages are now regularly updated after each game date. Look for the “Weekly Points” links in the football section of the left menu. For example, Fireleague points are shown here.

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9/11 - The first week of NFL stats are now in the books. I have all stats processed and the sortable stats and related reports are up and running for all games, although I’m still in the process of reviewing and reconciling a few discrepancies. If you notice any apparent errors, please let me know.

The top score in the opening week of Football Pickoff was +576 by koz-ivan, who picked 14 games correctly. Overall, it was a fairly balanced week, with about half of all slates posting positive scores. It was a stellar week for the Dart brothers, as the Random Dart placed 8th overall, and the Smart Dart finished 20th. The Random Dart is a computer-selected entry that randomly picks each game based on 50/50 odds. The Smart Dart picks each game based on the implied odds of the game – so a 75/25 favorite has a 75% chance of being selected. And then there was my entry. Yikes!

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9/10 - The NFL season is not quite the marathon that the MLB and NBA seasons are, but if your team (or fantasy team) started off poorly, Drew Brees’ quote should give you hope.

We always tend to exaggerate the impact of outsized performances in week #1. So if you drafted guys like Robert Griffin III or C.J. Spiller or Randall Cobb, it’s natural to feel a sense of exhilaration. Just remember that it’s only one week, and they could all be injured by next Sunday. Oh wait – I have all three on my RIFC team! This will probably turn out to be my peak result of the season. But I’m not complaining!

I’m in the process of reviewing all of my football stats processing, and hope to have points and sortable stats updated by later today. By tomorrow morning, I hope to have everything working. Until then, assume that any apparent anomalies are still “work in progress.”

In GuruGolf, Rory McIlroy has become a beast. Five GuruGolf teams tied for the top weekend bestball score of -51, and it’s not surprising that all have team values of at least $5000, as it seems like the high priced golfers generally dominated this week. Three teams tied for worst ball honors (+48) as well, with less lofty team values.

We’re now down to the final week of GuruGolf, but we have to wait an extra week to put a ribbon on the season, as the Tour Championship doesn’t start until September 20.

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9/6 - One NFL game is in the books. 109 Football Pickoff entrants already have negative points (-65). I don’t actually post Football Pickoff scores until after slates are locked, so those people can wait until Sunday to see their red number.

The Yankees got a reprieve last night, salvaging their series finale against the Rays while Baltimore lost. Tonight’s MLB action features only five games, but one is the Yankees at Baltimore. This weekend’s 4-game series in the final meeting of those two teams. The Yanks and Rays still play three more in New York next weekend. And perhaps most critically for New York, Baltimore and Tampa Bay face-off against each other 6 more times, including the final three games of the regular season.

Art Modell passed away at age 87. While many now identify LeBron James as the local sports villain in Cleveland, Modell was (and probably still is) a bigger pariah in Cleveland after moving the Browns to Baltimore in 1996.

The BMW Championship teed off late this morning with only 70 players still alive in the FedEx Cup. 63 of those golfers are active in GuruGolf this week, headed by Bryce Molder and Bud Cauley.

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9/5 - The NFL season launches tonight, and that means your Football Pickoff picks for the Cowboys-Giants game will be locked in at 8:30pm ET tonight. As of this morning, the implied odds in the Pickoff game are roughly 70/30 in favor of the Giants. AccuScore has the Giants predicted as a 60/40 favorite, suggesting that the Cowboys are the higher value pick as of this moment. That could shift before gametime, of course.

Then again, you could always wuss out and skip picking this game. Last year’s grand prize winner didn’t even start picking until week #5.

If post All-Star game trends continue, the Yankees can share tee times with the Red Sox in early October. Baltimore has now caught the Yankees atop the A.L. East, and Tampa Bay is nipping at their heels after back-to-back wins over the Yankees in Tampa. New York is 2 games under .500 since the ASB, and travels to Baltimore for a critical 4-game series starting tomorrow. If they drop out of the division lead, they become one of five teams with a viable shot at the two wild card slots and a dreaded one-game playoff series.

The BMW Championship tees off tomorrow morning with just 70 golfers, and no 2nd round cut. Make sure you have your foursome set by the opening tee time. And if you are short of funds, don’t leave a spot vacant. That will invalidate your team for the tournament. Instead, mosey on over to the complete Price List page and pick up a cheap non-entrant. Richard Zokol or Michelle Wie are always popular placeholder options. Or you could go upscale and take Annika Sorenstam.

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9/4 - The four RIFC drafts are complete. I posted a tally of consolidated draft results for the four leagues. All that’s left now is to play out the season!

I’m in the process of gathering data and updating the sortable stats for the various covered football games. So far, player data for FireLeague and FanDuel are up. I’ve got three more weekly contest sites to go, and hope to have those done within the next day or so. Although I know the first game is tomorrow night, I assume most players in weekly contests will skip Wednesday and wait until the weekend to enter.

In GuruGolf, congrats to Duffers#3, whose -53 was 3 strokes better than the runner-up for the Deutsche Bank Championship. BluesCrew posted a 6 stroke victory in worst ball, paced by a +22 in the final round.

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2012: August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2011: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2010: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2009: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2008: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2007: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . 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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