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1/29 - On last night’s TNT broadcast of the Celtics at Orlando, Reggie Miller was doing his best to refer to Glen Davis as “Glen Davis.” Marv Albert just couldn’t do it, saying that the Glen Davis he knew was a running back for Army in the 1940s. So he continued calling him “Big Baby Davis.” As I suspected, this is going to be a difficult nickname to shed.
Are you all juiced up about this weekend’s NFL Pro Bowl? I thought so.
1/28 - I figured that New Jersey’s win might provide a good quote of the day, but I may have chosen the wrong one. Perhaps I should have used this one from Baron Davis: “Words can't even describe this.”
Pau Gasol has been a popular pickup since he returned from his latest injury. And he’s been doing OK, averaging 39 TSNP/game in seven games. But that doesn’t even make him the most productive Gasol over that period, as brother Marc has averaged 41.1 TSNP/game over the same period, and at TSN prices, costs about 65% as much as Pao. So which Gasol is more valuable? Granted, Pau’s average for the full season is modestly better (Pau: 40.6, Marc: 35.9), but Marc is making it a horse race.
GuruGolf is off and running for the first and only preseason event. More than 100 teams have assembled a foursome for this “just for practice” event, with Phil Mickelson as the popular hometown favorite, on more than 25% of all GuruGolf foursomes. As a reminder, this tournament will be held on two different courses for the first two rounds, so scorecards for those rounds will be matched based on course, rather than round number.
1/27 - I watched a bit of the TWolves@Knicks game last night (slow night) and the game was not as close as the 132-105 score might suggest. The score after one quarter was 40-16. From then on, both teams were playing out the string. Curiously, the most heavily owned Knick in the TSN game is Danilo Gallinari, and he managed only 16.5 TSNP in 32 minutes. Go figure.
The first and only preseason event for GuruGolf tees off in San Diego tomorrow. This tournament has no bearing on the regular season in GuruGolf, but if you want to field a team for kicks, set your foursome by 11:30am EST tomorrow morning. Rosters will be frozen then, and live scoring will begin.
1/26 - It was one of those nights when most of the top players in the NBA came up with big stat lines, or at least respectable outings. Arguably, 42.5 TSNP from LeBron is way below his norm. Beyond that, Duncan (28.5 TSNP), Camby (27.5), and Kaman (17) were no doubt disappointments for their fantasy owners. But there were plenty of good performances, and most of them came from unsurprising sources.
Maybe as a consequence of his obscenity-laced outburst toward a fan last week, Boston’s Glen Davis has decided that he wants to drop the nickname “Big Baby.” One local reporter suggested “Uno uno” (Davis wears #11), which he seemed to like. Apparently (according to his bio on a Celtics fan blog), the nickname started when he was playing in peewee leagues. Because he was bigger than the other kids his age, he was playing with older kids and would whine at times, so they would call him a big baby and the name stuck. When you have been known as “Big Baby” for a long time, I’m not sure you get to decide when to drop it. We’ll see. But he doesn’t really look like an “Uno uno” to me. Maybe more like “Grande once” or “Once grande”. (For those unfamiliar with Spanish, “once” is “eleven”, pronounced “ohn-say” – I think. I haven’t taken any Spanish since 6th grade.)
1/25 - To look at the final score of the NFC Championship game, you’d think it was a shootout. But after the first quarter, almost all of the bullets were being fired from the Vikings side of the line. Unfortunately, way too many hit their own feet. The Saints could only score when they started out close to the goal line. And the Vikings only failed to score when they turned the ball over.
Twenty-seven Football Pickoff slates had the maximum possible score of 129 points. Mine wasn’t one of them, but I somehow hung on to a razor thin lead (5 points) going into the final game, meaning that I control my own destiny. And I’ve got almost two full weeks to figure out who to pick. Indy is currently listed as a slight favorite, and I suspect that’ll perist.
While waiting for the Super Bowl, you can get started on GuruGolf, which launched over the weekend. This week’s tournament – the Farmers Insurance Open – will be the only preseason week, essentially just for practice. The regular season starts with the first tournament in February.
1/22 - Time to think about the weekend NFL games. In Football Pickoff, New Orleans is currently a 55/45 favorite over the Vikings. In the other game, Indy is favored 80/20 over the Jets. As the current leader in the Pickoff standings, I’m having great difficulty deciding how to pick the Indy game. At any other time in the season, I’d pick the Jets, as I think they have a better than 20% chance to pull off the upset. But I also think Indy has a much better than 50% chance to win, and in my current standings position (with a small lead and only 3 games left in the season), an argument can be made that I should now be picking the favorite in a lopsided game. I’m still not sure what I’ll do, but I’ll have to decide soon. Obviously, I’m not prize-eligible, but it would still be cool to pull this off.
Of course, it’ll probably turn out that the NFC game will be the deciding factor. It’s always possible that all of the contenders will pick the AFC game the same way.
Enough stressing over that. In the NBA, Thursday’s marquis game was the Lakers at Cavs. While the Cavs won a close one, LeBron was the only player on either team to put up a complete fantasy stat line, with 37 points, 9 assists, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, a block, and 58.5 TSNP. Kobe did score 31 real points, but only managed 28 TSNP. Pao Gasol was the top price gainer in the TSN game, but managed only 23.5 TSNP – a clear case of “high-buyer-syndrome.” Actually, the top producer for the Lakers was Lamar Odom, who managed 33 TSNP as the only Laker to post a double-double.
1/21 - Gerald Wallace was a dreaded game-time decision yesterday, nursing an ankle sprain. As it turned out, he not only played 36 minutes, but he was one of the top producers of the day, with 20 points, 10 rebounds, 5 blocks, 2 assists, and 2 steals. Go figure. And even more surprising was that his TSN Ultimate ownership was unchanged for the day (10 buys, 10 sells).
I’m not a big tennis fan, so I missed this story earlier in the week. Apparently, a match in the Australian Open was delayed for 40 minutes because a ball boy peed his pants, and officials had trouble drying the urine on the court. I heard a comment on the radio today that Southwest Airlines really needs to find that ball boy and feature him in one of their “Wanna get away?” commercials.
1/20 - Danny Granger certainly hasn’t progressed this year as many hoped he would. He was typically taken 4th or 5th in roto league drafts last fall. (Paul, LeBron, Wade were the top three, and Durant was often drafted 4th). But so far this year, he hasn’t lived up to those expectations. Last season, he averaged 37 TSNP/game, and 39 TSNP/game over the final month of the season. This year, his season average is only 34 TSNP, and his last two outings have only combined for 26.5 TSNP. He’s also missed 16 games due to injury. Maybe he’ll begin to put it together in the second half, but so far, consistency is a problem.
Do you think Monta Ellis has the green light to shoot? On Monday night, he scored 36 points, but took 39 FG attempts – and that doesn’t count the attempts when he was fouled. Teammate Corey Maggette was much more efficient, needing only shots to score 32. Right behind was Stephen Curry, scoring 26 on 18 attempts. All those bricks didn’t hurt Monta’s overall fantasy line, though, as he added 8 assists (he passed 8 times!) and 4 steals, good for 55.5 TSNP.
1/18 - The NFL weekend was going according to plan, and then the 4th game came along. And while the Jets played well down the stretch, the most surprising aspect was the two missed field goals from 40 and 36 yards by Nate Kaeding. Inexplicable. You expect that sort of thing from Shaun Suisham. But not from Kaeding.
Only three Pickoff slates had all four games picked correctly. Of those, KelRena was the only one to double the Jets. More stunningly, check out the full season leader. Even with just three games to go, there are still at least a handful of slates that are within range of a championship. But I sure never saw this coming.
Today is national holiday - Martin Luther King Day - in the U.S., and the fantasy implication is that there are a bunch of afternoon NBA games. You can usually wait until early evening to set up your fantasy hoops rosters on a Monday. But that’ll be too late today.
Tomorrow (Tuesday), I’ll be driving my daughter back to college, so there will be no blurb. You’re on your own. Let’s be careful out there!
1/15 - Tomorrow brings the return of NFL Playoff football with the weekend that some describe as the best weekend of the NFL season. Football Pickoff currently has all four home teams as favorites. Don’t forget to log your picks by 4:30pm ET tomorrow. After this weekend, there are only three games remaining.
I’ve started re-tooling GuruGolf for 2010, with an expected launch by Monday, Jan 25. The regular season will start with the first tournament in February. Stay tuned.
If you are hankering for some baseball talk, an open chat room has been set up by Alex Zelvin of The Waiver Wire. You can access the chat room through his site, or through DailyBaseballData.com. Several other fantasy sports sites have also linked to it, although there is not much activity yet. If you’re interested, stop by from time to time, and see if any conversations are active.
1/14 - Item on RotoWire: “[Dirk] Nowitzki became the 34th person in NBA history to score 20,000 career points with a fourth quarter jumper.” My first reaction was, “They keep track of how many players score their 20,000th point on 4th quarter jumpers?” Then I realized it was simply a matter of an ambiguous sentence construction.
Al Jefferson scored 26 points and collected 26 rebounds last night. I wonder how many players have posted a 26-26 night? I’m sure they do keep stats on that. And it wouldn’t surprise me if the answer is zero. Or one, now.
Chris Paul had another solid night, scoring 15 points with 15 assists. Another instance when a scoring total matches an outsized total in another stat. What should that be called? It’s not just a double-double. Perhaps a matching-double-double?
Dwyane Wade was a game-time decision last night, and 30% if his TSN Ultimate Hoops owners decided not to take the risk and dumped him before the game. (Curiously, 2 teams picked him up!) Wade responded by scoring 35 points in 35 minutes.
Are you sensing a trend here?
1/13 - The Clippers-Grizzlies game last night featured a variety of oddities – a surprise DNP due to a bad back (Kaman), a missed half due to a stomach virus (or maybe food poisoning - Camby), a 3rd quarter arena evacuation due to a sprinkler system alarm, and a triple double by a Clipper (the first in seven years – Baron Davis). I guess with Kaman and Camby both out or diminished, Baron decided to do it all. The Clips still lost a road game, though, so everything wasn’t unusual.
Someone pointed out to me last night that an attempt to access this page using the rotoguru.com domain produced a suspected malware warning. While I think that was a temporary ISP error that reached the wrong site, it is worth reminding you all that the preferred address for this page is either RotoGuru2.com or RotoGuru.net. For unfortunate reasons that I won’t go into now (long story), I do not directly control the RotoGuru.com domain name, and someday, it may not lead to this site at all. So set your bookmarks accordingly.
1/12 - I can’t decide whether Mark McGwire’s steroid admission is a big story or a ho-hummer. It was undoubtedly therapeutic for him. But when he says, “I wish I had never played in the steroid era,” it’s hard not to react “but you were instrumental in creating the steroid era.”
In the category of “maddening”: I got sucked into Corey Brewer a few weeks ago as an emergency replacement when Tyreke Evans was injured. Take notice of Brewer’s production from Dec. 29 through January 9. I actually didn’t hold him through that entire 7-game span. Then look at his game last night (Jan. 11). It’s those games that give him a moderately respectable average, but if you don’t happen to be on board for those occasional outbursts, you’ll be disappointed.
1/11 - Quite a weekend of NFL playoff action, capped by an overtime game. Should’ve figured that an offensive shootout with only one punt per team would end up being decided on a defensive TD. Of course, if Aaron Rodgers hadn’t overthrown Greg Jennings on the first play of overtime, we’d now be talking about the unfairness of the overtime rule that puts too much value on the coin flip. But that pass was incomplete, and the Packers’ season is now complete.
Only 4 of 119 Football Pickoff slates had all four games picked correctly. I had one of them, and if I had doubled the optimum game, I’d now be only two points from the overall lead. But I didn’t, so I’m not. The good news is that the season title is still up for grabs, with at least a half-dozen teams still easily within range. Good stuff.
The weather probably won’t be a factor anymore… or should I say, cold winter weather won’t be an issue. This weekend’s games will be played in three domes plus San Diego. The only way we’ll have an outdoor winter game from here on is if the Jets and Baltimore both advance, which would put the AFC Championship game in the Meadowlands. Not likely, but youneverknow.
1/8 - When Alabama gave up two early FGs, Texas looked like it might be the team to beat – even though the Longhorns failed to punch it in the end zone on that first short drive. When Colt McCoy was knocked out of the game and Alabama started to steamroll down the field, it looked like a blowout in the making – particularly after the bungled play by Texas at the end of the half. But somehow, Texas made it a game in the second half. Although Alabama ended up winning the game by 16 points, the two late interceptions obscured just how close the game was played. It was tempting to go to bed at halftime, and to simply look at the final score, you’d figure that Alabama cruised. But not so much…
It’s time to get your picks logged in for Football Pickoff. All picks for this weekend will lock at 4:30pm ET on Saturday, when the first kickoff is scheduled. (Note: you cannot wait until Sunday to pick the Sunday games.) And if you haven’t played Pickoff this year, it’s not too late to register now and compete for the Playoff Contest. It’s all free, of course.
1/7 - I was listening to the Tony Kornheiser radio show this morning, and he mused that it’s amazing that the Washington Redskins hired a new coach on Wednesday, and it wasn’t even the top story of the day in the local sports market.
From a fantasy perspective, it’s difficult to figure out who might benefit the most from the absence of Arenas. One might logically look to either Antawn Jamison or Caron Butler to benefit – and they may, although neither had particularly notable games last night. Jamison did score 26, but his stat line shows little else. Butler only topped 5 in one category (8 pts scored). The replacement starting guard, Earl Boykins, played only 18 minutes. Randy Foye played 29 minutes, but in spite of scoring 18 points, showed little else, even contributing more turnovers (3) than assists (2). Of course, they were playing in Cleveland, and the Arenas suspension was brand new, so this game is probably not a good predictor of things to come. The situation warrants following.
Tonight, the NBA offers only a single game, which is very unusual. This is obviously in deference to the college football championship game. Thursdays are always sparsely scheduled, but there are usually two or three games.
1/6 - Gilbert Arenas started last night’s game with guns blazing, scoring 7 points with 4 assists in the first quarter in Philly. He finished it off, too, with 19 points and 14 assists, many feeding Antawn Jamison, who scored 32. But it seems more and more unlikely that Arenas will continue his season uninterrupted, as a Stern league response is expected in response to his metaphorical “shooting himself in the foot.” Yesterday would otherwise have been a big “buy Arenas” day in TSN, but with his pending legal and league-al troubles, only three Ultimate Hoops buyers pulled the trigger.
Early this season, Roy Hibbert was turning heads with solid play. December saw a pullback, and the November success looked to be anamolous. But in his last four games, he’s averaging 20 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks, with three of those games north of 40 TSNP. Maybe January will turn out to be like the first half of November – or better. Keep him on your radar.
1/5 - So much for the sentiment that TCU got screwed out of a shot at the college football title. Maybe they did. But when all is said and done, there will be two undefeated teams, and TCU won’t be one of them.
It looks like Tyrus Thomas has resumed his Jekyll/Hyde performance once again. In his first three games after returning from an extended injury, he posted TSNP results in the upper 30s each time. But in his last two, he’s been in the teens. The talent and the potential is there. But the consistency is still apparently lacking. Buyer beware.
1/4 - I’m now back in cold, snowy Connecticut – having returned from cold, snowy Ohio.
First, I must congratulate the winner of the 2009 RIFC, Smith32. He entered the playoffs as the #6 seed with only a 14-12 record, but then got hot and steamrolled through the playoffs, taking the championship in week 16 from regular season champ I_AM_CANADIAN. During the entire playoffs, only five teams posted weekly points of 140 or better, and Smith32 had three of those five scores.
In Football Pickoff, YTD leader Coldwater Coyotes took a strategic zero in week 17, enjoying a lead of more than 500 points heading into the final regular season weekend. He did retain the lead, but he now has a couple of teams easily within range as we head into the playoffs. (Remember that Football Pickoff continues throughout the playoffs.) Holy Rollers had the top result in week 17 (686 points with 15 correct picks), but the team with the second best score of the week - Mac Daddy - now stands in second place overall, just 202 points off the pace.
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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