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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.

1/31 - Sometimes actions speak louder than words. Sometimes a picture is worth 1000 words. Today’s video “quote” is one of those instances.

I just read a Yahoo report that says “The nerves in Manning’s arm are not healing as quickly as hoped and, worse, don’t appear to be progressing at enough of a rate to indicate that he will play again.” If so, that makes the plan of attack for the Colts pretty straightforward. Too bad for Payton, of course, but he’s got a promising future in making commercials.

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1/30 - We’re five weeks into the compacted NBA season, and the Celtics are only 9-10 in spite of four straight wins last weekend, which included back to back wins over Orlando. Meanwhile, the Cavs are 8-11 after yesterday’s last 2-second win in Boston. Of course, Rondo is still out with a wrist injury. Then again, the Celtics are only 5-8 when Rondo has played. Perhaps Doc Rivers would have been better served by spending this season watching his son play at Duke.

When your NBA focus is on fantasy stats, it’s easy to miss the big picture, including the NBA standings. At this juncture, one team is standing out as a cut above the rest, at least in terms of W/L record. Oklahoma City is 16-3. That’s no big surprise, although it doesn’t feel like Durant is having the dominating season that many expected when making him a consensus #1 or #2 pick in most fantasy drafts. But the team is obviously winning. They won’t face either Miami or Chicago until late March and early April. Those games may help define the balance of power. Then again, by that time, OKC may not still be at the top of the pack.

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1/27 - It’s Friday again, and that means another Friends of FanDuel Freeroll. I don’t know if these will be offered every Friday, but this marks the third consecutive Friday Freeroll, so maybe that’s the plan. Details are in this thread. If you’re looking for some bargain players for tonight, here are some suggestions at the FanDuel Insider. But don’t forget the sortable stats as another useful resource.

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1/26 - New Wizards head coach Randy Wittman couldn’t have scripted a better opening matchup. He got to face the Charlotte Bobcats, one of the league’s doormats. Of course, so are the Wizards. But the Wiz prevailed at home, notching their third win of the season – tied with Charlotte and New Orleans for the lowest win totals so far.

Lousy teams sometimes have multiple players who are valuable from a fantasy perspective. With a new coach, you always wonder whether patterns of playing time will change. And last night was not a good sign for fantasy managers of Wizards players, as the minutes were spread around rather uniformly among 11 players, with nobody on the court for as much as 30 minutes, and only two players with more than 25 minutes - Nick Young (29) and John Wall (26). Worth monitoring.

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1/25 - Yesterday, I mentioned that Draft$treet has begun offering weekly NBA contests. In an attempt to spark some interest in this format – and perhaps to also revive some activity in the Hoops forum – I’ve floated the idea of occasionally creating a private weekly contest for RotoGuru users, with either a $2 or $5 entry fee. Depending on structure, 90-95% of the fees would go into the prize pool, which would be paid out at the end of the contest week to the top 2-4 finishers, depending on the number of entrants. Before committing to this idea, I’d like to get a sense of the level of interest. For more details, to raise questions, and/or to express your potential interest, please see this thread in the RotoGuru Hoops forum.

The delayed start of the NBA season has crowded out time for GuruGolf setup work. Most years, I’ve got hoops processing on auto-pilot by the beginning of January, but that was not the case this year. I am typically ready to launch GuruGolf by the beginning of February, but I’m now thinking that the second week of February is more likely this year. As the President and Owner of the RotoGuru enterprise, I’m disappointed by the delay. As the sole employee of RotoGuru, I’m grateful for the extra time to get it up and running. Thanks for your patience.

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1/24 - Orlando (11-4) goes into Boston (6-9), where the Celtics are playing without Rajon Rondo. And the Celtics win by 31, holding the Magic to 56 points. How’d that happen?

Draft$treet has finally launched the weekly version of their NBA contests. You select an 8-player lineup (2G, 2F, 2C, 2 flex) and accumulate points over the next 7-days, rather than just one night. Player salaries are adjusted to compensate for game counts, so it’s not simply a matter of maximizing games played, and it’s not simply a matter of getting a big night from one player. In baseball, I preferred the weekly format at Draft$treet, and I suspect I’ll prefer it for hoops as well. Salaries for the weekly game are now incorporated in the sortable stats, and the projection capabilities allow you to easily calculate and manipulate data for games over the coming week. Have at it!

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1/23 - Imagine if Tim Tebow had won a game yesterday that way that Brady and the Patriots did. That would have cemented his reputation as God’s favorite. As it was, Tebow was watching at home, and Brady was putting up a Tebow-worthy statistical performance. Joe Flacco had a much better stat line. But somehow, the karma seemed to be aligned with the Pats. And so we have a rematch of Super Bowl 42 (XLII for those of you in Rome), while the Harbaugh family has every right to be collectively curled up in fetal positions right now.

About all that’s still up for grabs in Football Pickoff is the Playoff prize. Kudos to blondiescookies2, who has effectively clinched the full-season title. Yes, I know there is a mathematical possibility that he can be caught if the odds turn out to be very unbalanced and he throws caution to the wind, but neither of those contingencies seems likely.

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1/20 - Friday already?

Remember to enter the FanDuel NBA Freeroll today. The sortable stats await your analytical workout.

Make your selections for Football Pickoff as well. Even if your full-season score is beyond salvage (as many are), there is a GuruPatron prize for the best record during the payoffs, and that one’s still definitely up for grabs.

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1/19 - I was asked the other day when GuruGolf would be starting for the year. The current answer is still “I don’t know”, but I’ve typically started in early February, so I guess I’d better get in gear quickly. Stay tuned.

FanDuel is offering another NBA FreeRoll on Friday, January 20. Same setup as last week’s, so see the January 12 blurb for more details. The sortable stats already have correct salaries for all players except the Lakers, since they play tonight and FanDuel has different salaries for Thursday. The differences are slight, and regardless, they’ll all be set for Freeroll by Friday.

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1/18 - For those who just can’t wait to start planning for baseball, I posted the 2012 MLB schedule in spreadsheet format today. Feel free to fetch it. Note that this is a static spreadsheet that will not be updated during the season as games are postponed and rescheduled. Other site tools will do that during the season, but those are not yet setup for 2012.

The season will start this year with two games in Tokyo between Oakland and Seattle on March 28-29. The domestic portion of the regular season won’t start until April 4 (St. Louis @ Florida), and then many more teams get started the following day. The season runs all the wait until October 3rd. MBL still hopes to have the World Series completed before the end of October, but last year’s World Series didn’t end until October 28, and the regular season ended on September 28. So they’re going to need favorable weather and fewer empty days to pull that off.

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1/17 - I guess it was unrealistic for Kobe to keep scoring 40+ points game after game. Last night, he had to work hard to get 14, and it wasn’t as though the rest of his stat line compensated for the scoring shortfall. The Lakers won on a 3-point heave with 3 seconds to go by Derek Fisher, who scored just one point less than Kobe. In some fantasy scoring formats, Kobe has been the top player of the season so far. But not on a night when he’s nip-and-tuck statistically with Derek Fisher.

One of this NBA season’s disappointments has been John Wall, who’s been having trouble shooting straight. Before last night, he was shooting field goals at a sub-35% clip. Last night’s 38-point eruption included 13/22, raising his season FG percentage by almost 3 full percentage points! I guess this is where Kobe’s missing points ended up.

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1/16 - It took 8 games, but we finally had an NFL Playoff game that sent the hometown fans away disappointed. And the Giants made it decisive, outpointing the Packers in three of the four quarters (losing only the 3rd quarter, 3-0). So much for next week’s anticipated shootout between Rodgers and Brees. Maybe defense still matters after all.

Once again, three Football Pickoff slates had the maximum possible score of +247 (4 correct picks with the Giants doubled). Most importantly, one of those three was blondiescookies2, who surged into first place for the full season standings, taking a 263 point lead with three games left (albeit two of which can be doubled).

NBA basketball action starts early and often today, since it’s a federal holiday (Martin Luther King Day) in the U.S. Eleven NBA games are scheduled, and if you wait until late afternoon to plan your lineups for the day, eight of those games will either be done or in progress.

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1/13 - Mark Jackson opted for the “Hack-a-Howard” defense, and Dwight Howard responded with a Superman stat line: 45 pts, 23 rebounds, 4 steals, 2 blocks, and 18 missed free throws. If you have Howard in a roto format, you know going in that FT% is going to be his kryptonite, and you hope the other stats compensate. Last night, I’d say they did.

Remember that the FanDuel Freeroll is tonight. See yesterday’s blurb for details and links.

Aside from the Freeroll, there’s plenty to get prepared for this weekend. Four NFL playoff games (don’t forget your Football Pickoff picks), and 11 NBA games on each of Friday and Saturday nights. Plenty of college hoops action as well. Hunker down in your favorite viewing chair, and enjoy the weekend.

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1/12 - $200 Basketball FreeRoll at FanDuel is offering you the opportunity to try out FanDuel for FREE with the chance to win a share of a cool $200.

Title – Friends Of FanDuel $200 NBA Freeroll
Date - Friday, Jan 13th
Entry cost - $0
Prize pool - $200 ($75-50-30-20-15-10 - top 6 paid)
1. Simply click here to sign up for an account at FanDuel. (If you are already registered at FanDuel, then it probably helps to log in first, and then go the the contest link.)

2. Pick your team within the $65k salary cap, consisting of 2 PG, 2 SG, 2 SF, 2 PF, and 1 center.

3. Watch the live scoring on FanDuel during the games on Friday evening and see how your picks perform.

The contest is live and is open for registration today. Click here to sign up for your account and register for the $200 freeroll now. Turn your FREE ENTRY into $75…and more.

So how is FanDuel different from your regular fantasy basketball league?

  • These are salary cap leagues that last only one day
  • You get instant cash payouts every day
  • You don’t have to rely on your buddies – you can pick new opponents every day
  • You can play for free, but playing for real money – for up to $10,000 in prizes per game – takes the fantasy basketball excitement off the charts!
The RotoGuru sortable stats are already loaded with player salaries for the contest.

Good Luck on Friday the 13th!

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1/11 - I assume that in today’s quote, Kobe was referring to the preseason ranking of the top 500 players published by ESPN back in October. If so, then it suggests that his #7 ranking has been sticking in his craw for some time. From what I know of Kobe, that’s not a big surprise. I wonder how he’d react to knowing that he was only the 22nd pick (on average) in the five RIHC drafts this year?

By the way, Kobe currently ranks only #9 in the ESPN player rater (based on standard 8-category roto scoring using per-game averages). Don’t tell him that!

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1/10 - There’s really no need for me to comment on the BCS Championship game. Suffice it to say that during most of the 4th quarter, I was watching Frasier reruns.

I’ve made a few more updates to my basketball processing. Most importantly, I’m now generating reports showing the daily fantasy points by player, sorted by position. You can find these links in the left menu under each of the affiliated games. They should typically be updated by about 7am ET each morning, and should be useful in identifying new and emerging opportunities (or flukish results).

Also, in the sortable stats, I had been showing only listed salaries for each game day, which made it difficult to evaluate all players at once, or to plan ahead (since unlisted players had salaries of zero.) So, for players who are off, I’m now listing them at their most recent salary. Most days, salaries will be updated sometime in the evening for the next day’s games (after the current day’s games have locked.)

Hope you find these enhancements to be useful.

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1/9 - We had to wait for the final game of the NFL weekend to get one that was still in contention entering the 4th quarter. And although Denver prevailed, this one actually had Tebow playing well in the first half and the Steelers coming from behind to send the game into overtime. And then zip, zoom, game over. Tebow threw for a total of 316 yards, but 80 of them came on that final play. So heading into overtime, he was only 9/20 for 236 yards and one passing TD. Not terrible, but a far cry from 10/21, 316 and 2.

Three Football Pickoff slates had the maximum possible score of 249 points (with Denver doubled). The top two entries in the YTD standings flipped order, but it’s still a 2-horse race.

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1/6 - Atlanta goes to Miami and beats the Heat when all of the "Big 3" are active. Then the Hawks come home and lose to a LeBron-less, Wade-less Heat team. What’s up with that?

The NFL playoffs start tomorrow. If you’re playing Football Pickoff, remember that the game continues through the playoffs. Picks for the entire weekend will be locked in at 4:30pm ET on Saturday. Even if your Pickoff scores have sucked during the regular season (like mine), I produce separate standings just for the playoff games – and the top GuruPatron during the playoffs will win a prize. So, "Come on Down!"

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1/5 - Yesterday, I added Daily Joust data to the sortble stats. Daily Joust was launched last spring, and I produced baseball and football statistical coverage for it as well.

For hoops, their point formula is exactly the same as that for FanDuel, and the roster configuration is also identical – although many players have eligibility at two positions, whereas FanDuel only offers each player at a single position. This potentially allows for greater roster differentiation at Daily Joust. Daily Joust also offers a solo contest format, where your success is based on your ability to exceed a specific team score, rather than beating another opponent. Some players like this, as it takes the luck of an unfortunate matchup out of the equation. Of course, that can cut both ways. But I did play a solo contest last night and prevailed, scoring 242 in a contest with a 225 threshold (winning $9 on a $5 entry fee).

If you are interested and have not tried Daily Joust before, please sign up using this Daily Joust link, or else enter “rotoguru” in the referrer field. They offer free contests to help you gain familiarity with the site, and if you do decide to deposit funds in your account, DJ currently allocates a bonus equal to 40% of your initial deposit, which can be pretty powerful in offsetting the implicit “rake” in these contests, which is typically around 10%.

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1/4 - Only one team in the NBA West has only one loss – the Oden-less, Roy-less Portland Trailblazers. The season is young, so I’m not ascribing any significant meaning to it. Just sayin’.

Better to be lucky than good: I competed in a head-to-head (2-team) NBA contest at Draft$treet last night, and it was not a particularly inspired showing from my squad, including an off night from Durant, a lackluster performance from Diaw, and the wrong Gasol. The silver lining was that my opponent had two DNPs – Bogut & Randolph. Even so, I only won by 10 points. Like I said,…

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1/3 - Bowl games dominated the sports landscape yesterday, although that seemed a bit odd – as I know a number of people who had to work yesterday – myself included (assuming you call this “work”.)

Meanwhile, the NBA threw it up for 10 games themselves. Miami snatched its first defeat from the jaws of victory, blowing a small lead as Atlanta romped to a 15-3 spurt to open the 4th quarter. In another game of note, Dallas got a much-needed quality win, handing the Thunder their first loss of the season.

I’m still struggling to get all of my usual hoops stats organized and produced. Some redesign of the underlying systems is warranted, so much of the immediate work isn’t going to be visible right away, but I hope to have everything ship-shape within the next week.

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1/2 - Nasty business, the NBA starting over the Christmas break. I’m gradually getting my hoops stuff together, but I’m not there yet. At this point, I am updating the sortable stats daily for both Fanduel and DraftStreet. The linked versions in the previous sentence should be useful for evaluating the current daily contest in each format, since they screen out players with no games on the current day. Individual player pages are also updated with points and prices for those two game sites. But there’s more work to be done to get the RotoGuru stats capabilities up to my standards. By the way, if you want to try either FanDuel or DraftStreet and you haven’t yet registered at those sites, please use the links in this sentence (or in the left menu panel). A great deal of the RotoGuru site revenue now comes from affiliate commissions for those two games. Thanks.

I need to backtrack on some football results. First, congrats to Bonka, who led the RIFC in points scored during the regular season and followed that up by winning the playoffs, claiming the championship game by a margin of less than one point.

Football Pickoff now moves into the playoffs. Two teams are neck and neck at this point, and although a few other teams could conceivably get into the conversation for the championship, it looks like it will come down to a two team race. If nothing else, the tight competition at the top should keep those teams from going into some sort of “prevent defense,” at least for the ext few weeks. Meanwhile, my entry has now posted back-to-back weeks with positive scores, and it now looks like I’ll avoid the ignominy of finishing in dead last.

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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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