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1/31 - All you needed in order to excel last night were the tandem of Austin Croshere and Michael Doleac. Croshere scorched the nets for 34 points, while Doleac supplemented an 11-11 double-double with 5 steals, each tallying 48 TSNP. But I’m sure those stats go into the “interesting but irrelevant” category. Both are on the free agent list in every roto league that I’m in, and I suspect that’s where they’ll remain.
It looks like more than 100 GuruGolf teams will tee up a foursome for this week’s FBR Open. It’s a preseason event which won’t count in the final standings, but it will give me (and you) a good shot at testing the system under live conditions. If you’ve never tried GuruGolf before, this is a perfect time to try it out before we start playing for keeps.
1/30 - I failed to notice last week that we passed the halfway point of the NBA season. A full season consists of 1230 games, and game #615 was played on Jan 23. The good news is that if you’re still chasing the leaders in your league or division, there’s still ample time to make up ground. The bad news is that if you’re leading, there’s still plenty of time for things to blow up in your face. On the other hand, if you’re in a game that concludes at the All Star break, then your season is already 84% complete, and you’d better be closing in on your objective quickly.
In the “Who’d’ve thunk it?” category, somehow Minnesota beat Phoenix last night, ending the Suns’ latest win streak at 17 games. Kevin Garnett was a monster, scoring 44 points while adding 11 rebounds, 3 steals, and a couple of assists for his second straight 60+ TSNP night. Pao Gasol was the only other player to top 60 TSNP, and he’s now accumulated 110 TSNP in his last two games. Sadly, for those who picked him up on Friday, he’s also totaled the same 110 TSNP over his last three games. But I’m sure those teams are happy with the quick recovery – even though he now starts a 2-in-7 schedule slowdown. Of course, that assumes he remains on the Grizzlies for at least seven more days.
Today, I switched the GuruPatron odometer at the top of the page to display 2007 results. I’m appreciative of the eight people who have already donated $122 without any extra prompting. But I am also a bit concerned. Over the past few years, January has tended to produce more than $500 in donations. So although it’s very early in the year, suffice it to say that cash flow was negative this month.
1/29 - It doesn’t seem that long ago that people were wondering about the “Tiger slump” and whether he had lost his edge, or whether the field had simply caught up to him. And yet, it seems like eons ago. Clearly, there’s Tiger and then there’s everyone else.
And with Tiger’s 7th straight win on the PGA Tour, we launch the 2007 edition of GuruGolf. The season won’t officially start until February 15 with the Nissan Open, but you can now register, log in, and “practice” for the next two weekly tournaments. These preseason tournaments have no bearing on the standings, but they give you a chance to remember what you need to think about, and they give me a chance to scrape the rust off the system after the winter break. And they give the world two weeks to get entered before we start playing for keeps.
If you’ve played GuruGolf before, you don’t need to re-register, as your login and password are still valid (presuming that you remember them). Feel free to explore the site, and give it a good field test before the season starts. If you find a bug, a typo, or simply something that could be set up better, please post your feedback in the golf forum.
1/26 - ‘Twas another TNT night (“Thursday NBA Two-gamer”), so not much happened. Dallas lost a surprisingly un-close game, and the Nets dropped their third consecutive 1-pointer. The biggest news of the day was the announcement of the starting lineups in the NBA ALL Star game. But from a fantasy perspective, that’s of no consequence (unless one of those guys eventually gets injured in the game!) From the fantasy standpoint, the biggest news was that neither of the ankle sprains experienced by David West and Al Jefferson on Wednesday night were serious, and both expect to start tonight.
I guess that fans of the game look at the game scores and the league standings each morning. Fantasy managers, however, turn first to the injury reports.
1/25 - As I look over the NBA scoreboard from last night, what jumps out the most is that of all eleven games, there were no blowouts. The largest margin was Detroit’s 11-point win over Charlotte, but even that was a 3-point game midway through the 4th quarter. Four games went into overtime, and two other regulation games were settled by one and two points.
The Hornets/Bucks game, postponed on January 13, has been rescheduled for April 3. I have adjusted all of the various schedule functions to reflect this change (I think). Be aware also that the Phoenix at Denver game, postponed back in December, will be played on Feb. 5. If you are using an obsolete schedule, it may not reflect that “extra” game, which is now less than two weeks away.
1/24 - If you drafted David West onto your roto team way back in October, it’s been a long wait, but he’s making it worthwhile. During the opening two weeks of November, he played 7 games, averaged 36 minutes per game, and produced 29 TSNP/G, with every game in the range of 22-33 TSNP. Since his return, he’s still averaging 36 minutes per game, but 40 TSNP/G, with a low game of 37.5 TSNP. Those who jumped in quickly in the TSN game have gotten a nice reward, both financially and pointwise. But one has to wonder whether this is the new and improved David West, or merely a tease.
Ditto for Carmelo Anthony, who has also returned to action without a break-in period. Last night’s 53.3 TSNP should make him a popular pickup this week, as those who wanted to “wait and see” have now probably “waited and seen” enough. Denver is off for two days, but then plays as many games as any team until the All Star break.
1/23 - Carmelo and Iverson passed their first test. Then again, Denver won easily against a 10-32 team with no discernable defense. And, neither of the two stars produced more than 40 TSNP even though the Nuggets scored 115 points. So, from a fantasy perspective, the jury is certainly still out. It’s entirely possible that the pairing will help the team but hurt both players’ statistical averages. Time will tell.
As expected (or at least feared), Dwyane Wade sat out the game against the Knicks last night, although he apparently came close to playing. The Knicks didn’t seem to notice, though, as they stormed out of the gate to an early 29-3 deficit, and then spent the remainder of the game trying to make it respectable.
1/22 - Each of yesterday’s NFL winners had a scary period yesterday. For the Bears, although they never trailed on the scoreboard, they appeared poised for a meltdown in the third quarter when New Orleans had closed a 16-0 gap to 16-14 with apparent momentum. But then, with Katrina-like fury, Chicago stormed back to win in a rout. Several miles to the southeast, the Colts were able to control the climate but not much else in the first half. It took a significant comeback just to put the game in doubt again, and although it was Joseph Addai who finished the deed, that final Colts drive was certainly Elway-esque in many respects.
And so we have our contenders. And now, we have a 2-week wait. Some would say that yesterday really marked the end of NFL games for the season. The one remaining episode is really more of a spectacle, and not really a game.
About 1-in-4 Football Pickoff slates had both games picked correctly yesterday, but neither of the two entrants who had correctly called the first eight playoff games were among them. While the fullseason and midseason prizes are already settled, some of the GuruPatron prizes and divisional bragging rights are still up for grabs. The early Pickoff line has Indy as a 70/30 favorite, similar to the early betting lines.
In Hoops, Garnett was suspended for a game, and Dwyane Wade played through an ankle sprain on Sunday afternoon, although it still wasn’t enough to overcome the Mavs. Tonight, Wade’s availability vs. the Knicks is in question, and the way popular players have been dropping of late, his situation compounds the difficulties of navigating through a very turbulent period in the TSN Hoops game. Meanwhile, Carmelo Anthony returns from exile tonight. Although no one knows for sure how the statistics will flow with Iverson and Carmelo sharing the court, with Memphis as tonight’s opponent there should be ample scoring opportunities for both shooters.
1/19 - So much for the anticipated return of Shaq. He didn’t play last night, and reportedly will still be in street clothes tonight. He has said that he doesn’t want to return until his left knee is “1000 percent”. Aside from the obvious mathematical challenge, it seems unlikely that Shaq will ever be at 100%, let alone 1000%, but since Miami is 18-20 and currently tied for the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference, I assume the team will be anxious to have him back at some modestly lower efficiency.
For most people, the sports highlight for this weekend will be the two NFL playoff games. The first game kicks off at 3pm ET on Sunday, which is when picks for Football Pickoff will be frozen. Interestingly, although the Bears are the betting favorite, they are currently a 62/38 underdog in Pickoff. That could shift by gametime, of course. I don’t ever recall a betting favorite being such a lopsided underdog in Pickoff.
1/18 - The immediate impact of the 8-player trade between Golden State and Indiana was that the Warriors were left so shorthanded that they had to quickly sign developmental league player Renaldo Major to a 10-day contract in order to be able to dress eight players for last night’s game (including Adonal Foyle, who was injured and unable to play). So, Major got to play major minutes last night in his NBA debut. Unfortunately for him, his impact was fairly minor. And with the team off until Saturday, it looks like this may have been his 27 minutes of fame. At least he had more points than personal fouls (5 vs. 4).
There are only two NBA games scheduled tonight, and it’s possible that Shaq could return to action in the first contest. I wonder who will be there for the Pacers? Perhaps their new players will have arrived and be ready for action. If not, maybe they can swing a quick deal for Renaldo Major!
1/17 - For a change, the big producers in last night’s limited NBA action were the marquis names - TMac, Dirk, and LeBron. The only one of those three who was on the winning side of the scoreboard, however, was Dirk.
I was asked yesterday about the probable launch date of GuruGolf. While many fantasy golf games have already started, I typically wait until after a few of the opening tournaments have passed before cranking it up. One reason is to avoid the need to adjust the software to accommodate the only five round tournament of the season, which is this week’s Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. The other reason is that I’m chronically unprepared in early January, having spent December focused on Hoops, Football, and Christmas. I’m tentatively aiming for a January 29th launch, with the first two February tournaments being “practice” weeks during the registration period. The first tournament “for keeps” will probably be the Nissan Open, as it has been for the past couple of years. Stay tuned…
1/16 - Phoenix and Memphis had combined for 148 points at halftime. But the Grizzlies ran out of gas after the break, scoring only 50 in the final two quarters. You didn’t need to have players from those two teams to have a big night, though. In total, 35 players produced 40 TSNP or more. That’s the record so far for this season, and only the second time there have been more than 30 over that threshold. Curiously, the other time was just 3 days ago (31).
New (old) ball effect? Probably not. Probably just a fluke.
1/15 - It was an exciting weekend of NFL playoff football, with every game decided by field goals. Arguably, the Indy/Balt game wasn’t really decided in the classic sense by “a field goal”, but since there were no points scored other than by field goals, the game was certainly decided by “field goals.”
In Football Pickoff, 14 slates had all four games picked correctly. Last week, 23 slates were unscathed. And for the two weeks combined, two slates have gone 8-0, headed by joshjech, who doubled well also.
Both of the upcoming Conference Championship games have compelling subplots. New Orleans has taken on the mantle of “America’s feel good story” this year, and will be the rooting favorite everywhere but Chicago. And in the AFC, it’s Peyton vs. the Pats one more time, although this one will be played in the dome for the first time. It also features (and could come down to) Vinatieri kicking against his former team. Fun stuff.
In TSN Hoops, Mikki Moore has suddenly become the hot commodity. Go figure!
1/12 - Jason Kidd had his 82nd career triple-double, bringing his team from behind to beat the Bulls in Chicago. Phoenix didn’t need as much versatility from Steve Nash. All they needed was for him to set up his teammates, which he did successfully 21 times. As a result, three Suns topped 40 TSNP.
The NBA has a very full slate for the next two days, with 12 games tonight and 10 more tomorrow. Fourteen teams play both nights. Just think of all those opportunities for players to get injured!
If you’re still competing in Football Pickoff, don’t forget to log your choices by tomorrow afternoon’s first kickoff.
1/11 - Nick Collison followed up Tuesday’s monster performance with a very respectable 36 TSNP outing last night. But before you all start jumping on the Collison bandwagon, be aware that Seattle plays only 4 games in the next two weeks. By the time he gets back into regular action, he’ll have probably forgotten how to do it.
The long layoff hasn’t seemed to hurt Dwyane Wade, however, as he scored 29 points with 13 assists last night in Seattle. Still, the best overall stat line of the night belonged to [yawn] Kevin Garnett, with 19 points, 17 boards, 5 assists, 4 blocks, and 2 steals.
The NBA offers only two games tonight, but the nightcap should be an entertaining one, with LeBron in Phoenix. Cleveland is only 7-9 in road games while the Suns are 15-3 at home, so the team score may not as interesting as the individual performances.
1/10 - Last night’s “From Out of Nowhere” Award goes to Seattle’s Nick Collison, with 29 points, 21 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, and 70.5 TSNP. Sometimes, playing against Phoenix brings out the best in the opposition. On the other hand, Luke Ridnour managed only 6 TSNP, so the Sun boost certainly isn’t uniformly enjoyed.
We also had a rare 50+ TSNP outing from LeBron. It was also the second leg of back-to-back 50 pointers,a feat he hasn’t accomplished since mid-November. So far this year, King James has only 9 games (out of 34 played) in the TSNP 50s, and none above that decile. That’s only slightly more than 25% of the time. Last season, he reached the 50s or higher 48% of the time, including 9 times in the 60s, 3 in the 70s, one in the 80s, and two in the 90s. Not aging gracefully! But, as I noted last week, the Cavs are winning.
Thanks to Gurupie Blooki for suggesting today’s quote.
1/9 - I guess it’s a good day not to be living in Ohio any longer. For those who have to get up to go to work in Columbus this morning, the atmosphere is probably not too jovial.
Ohio State fans aren’t the only morose souls this morning. 85 of the top 100 teams in TSN Ultimate Hoops have Mo Williams and his newly sprained shoulder. The good news is that the prognosis is uncertain, and he’s only listed as day-to-day. That’s also the bad news, as uncertainty is often more troubling to deal with than certainty, even if it’s adverse certainty. And although unforeseen injuries can certainly hurt a fantasy team, the Milwaukee Bucks must really be reeling now, after also learning that Michael Redd will be out for 4-6 weeks. (That’s Michael Redd from Ohio State, no less!) Not a good day for Bucks or Buckeyes!
1/8 - The AFC may have the best teams, but the NFL had the best games in the first weekend of the NFL playoffs. The end of the Dallas-Seattle game had all sorts of twists and turns, culminating in Tony Romo’s “Bill Buckner moment”. The Giants at least made Philly execute that same play. And yet, when all was said and done, all four home team favorites emerged on top. Ho hum.
Twenty-three Football Pickoff slates had the optimum result of 186 points, which included doubling the Seattle win. Picking underdogs may have been a wildly successful strategy this season, but not this weekend. On to the next round!
The NBA schedule features three games tonight, but they’ll go largely unnoticed, with the college football championship finally getting to the field of play.
1/5 - Kobe didn’t even score in the first quarter, taking only one shot. But but the end of the (overtime) game, he had 42 points, 10 rebounds, and 9 assists. Just Kobe being Kobe, I guess.
Remember that Football Pickoff is still open for business during the playoffs. All picks for this weekend will be frozen at 4:30pm Saturday. Don’t forget!
1/4 - Somewhat surprisingly, Kevin Garnett isn’t the most widely owned player in the TSN Ultimate game. I know he’s got a lofty price, but by January, every competitive team has room for at least a few studs. Over the last 15 days, he’s outpointed every player in the TSN game by more than 100 TSNP. He’s also the top producer over the last 30 days, even though he’s spotted one or two games to most of the other point leaders over that span. I realize his schedule is temporarily less dense than some other top players, and he’s lost about 10% of his ownership over the last two days. But in my case, I’ve been using way too many trades to deal with injured players lately (Odom, Wade, Paul, Yao…), and there’s no way I was going to use two trades to flip in an out of KG. And after last night’s 62 TSNP in an overtime win over the Spurs, I’m not feeling any “holder’s remorse”.
Although the Spurs-TWolves game went into overtime, they still only managed to combine for 204 points. The Warriors-Grizzlies game lasted only the regulation 48 minutes, but they scored 279 combined points. The score was 101-99 at the end of the third quarter! And as you might expect in such a game, five players topped 50 TSNP (and a sixth had 48). In fact, you could have started with those six players and assembled a very affordable team last night ($63.4 million) that would have produced 574 TSNP. Of course, nobody did.
1/3 - If you aren’t playing fantasy hoops, you’re probably entering the lull in your fantasy sports year. Then again, you probably aren’t even visiting this site for the time being. The NFL postseason doesn’t offer much in the fantasy vein (although there are a few options for those who need the diversion), and nothing is going on in baseball that requires daily diligence. Yeah, I know that hockey is still in full swing along with hoops, but fantasy hockey is outside my field of view. Golf will be starting up shortly, although I always wait to launch GuruGolf until the end of January. So for the next few weeks, Hoops is the fantasy focus for me.
Perhaps one of the biggest surprises of this year’s fantasy hoops season is the lack of dominance by LeBron James. He’s still one of the elite players, but he currently ranks only 4th in TSNP/G. Even more startling is that he ranks only 13th in the ESPN player rater (based on averages), which is based on a standard 8-category roto format. That’s got to be hurting those teams that drafted him #1. His actual value is probably somewhat higher, as the top 12 include a lot of players with significant down time, including Yao, Iverson, Carmelo, Rashard Lewis, and Paul Pierce. But his overall numbers (again using TSNP) are down more than 10% vs. last year, which certainly wasn’t expected. And yet, Cleveland is holding up well in the standings, only ˝ game behind Detroit for the best record in the East. Their winning percentage is on par with last season. So while his individual production is down, it doesn’t seem to be hurting his team, even if it is hurting yours.
1/2/07 - The Fiesta Bowl didn’t finish until the wee hours if you were watching from the Eastern time zone. But it was worth staying up for, as the game featured more twists and turns than a pretzel, especially for the final several minutes of regulation and then in overtime.
In Football Pickoff, we’ve made it through the regular season, but still have four weekends to go. The top team, blondiescookies, appears to have a commanding lead, even after taking a doughnut for week 17. It might be a winning strategy during the playoffs as well. The midseason title is still up for grabs, though, and there’s also a prize for the top GuruPatron during the playoffs only. Picks are now locked out as of the kickoff time for the first game each weekend, which means Saturday at 4:30pm ET this week.
I re-sorted the left menu to move football down and elevate hoops to the top spot. But before burying the football season, congrats to RIFC champion Beezer’s Crazy 88s, who finished the regular season with the second highest point total, and then survived some very difficult playoff matchups to take the crown.
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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