Daily blurbs from the Guru
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2/28 - The best returns came from the Knicks/Sonics game. Marcus Camby led all producers with 61.5 SWP and 211 SvP. Mark Jackson was the top guard with 43.5 SWP, and he was only a missed FT short of a triple double. And although his fantasy points don't show it, Patrick Ewing had the best "return" at center, where he was greeted by the fans at MSG with a 3-minute pregame standing ovation. He then proceeded to generate only 15 SWP, showing that he can still help the Knicks, even when wearing a different uniform.
In the "oh no" department, Eddie Jones left the game after 2 minutes with a strained hamstring. He's not heavily owned in the traditional fantasy games, but this was Miami's 5 game week in Three For All, and Jones was a popular pick this week. He says he'll play tonight vs. Philly, but we'll have to see. If he doesn't have a reasonable week, some Survival teams won't. [Survive, that is.]
2/27 - Ray Allen had his stroke going for him, leading the way last night with 62.5 SWP and 208 SvP. Allen had 21 of his career high 42 points in the 4th quarter, and made 12 of his last 13 field goal attempts. En fuego!
Three other players reached the SWP 50s, including Lamar Odom (57.5), Antonio McDyess (54), and Tracy McGrady (51.5). All four of these guys are popular holds right now, so I suspect some fantasy teams had a great total for the night.
Shawn Marion demonstrated yesterday just how powerful the combination of high ownership and a nationally televised injury can be. He dropped a full $million in the SW full season game. Curiously, he only dropped $430K in their mid-season game, suggesting that he wasn't as heavily owned there - or else that more midseason managers were either tradeless or asleep.
Here are the final points for the top and popular players last week in SW "Three For All":
By the way, I was mistaken last week when I said that Mutombo would end up with a 5 game week due to the midweek trade. He had did play 3 with Philly, but only one with the Hawks, so he only had four.
2/26 - There were a couple of monster games this weekend. Tops was Terrell Brandon's 88 SWP, 267 SvP triple-double splurge on Friday night. Yesterday's Shaq outing was also impressive, at 78.5 SWP and 316 SvP. Shaq's SWP total was hurt by his horrid free throw shooting, as he went only 9-21 from the line.
It was also a good weekend for cheap guards, as Bonzi Wells , Ron Artest , Alvin Williams , and Steve Nash all had SWP games in the 50s. The first three have SW prices in the $2 mil range, while Nash is the expensive one at almost $4.5m. Joining the bargain party from other positions were Peja Stojakovic (60 SWP on Saturday) and Scot Pollard.
We're entering the busiest time of the year at RotoGuru World Headquarters. This week, I hope to get the Market Madness Contest pages updated, ready to go for this year's adventure. Assuming that gets done, I'll turn my attention to baseball during the first week in March, hoping to get those pages and reports updated before the NCAA brackets are announced, at which time I have to focus on that game again.
2/23 - With a flurry of last minute trades, off-court activities may have had more lasting consequence than the actual games played. Of particular note is the trade of Mutombo to Philly. From a scheduling standpoint, this provides a potential bonanza to Three For All teams that held him this week, because it will give him an unexpected 5-game week. It also screws up the plans for anyone who planned to use him next week. Atlanta has 4 games next week, but Philly will play only twice. Which means that if you hold Mutombo in the regular SW game, you'll probably want to deal him away next week, especially for his four consecutive off days.
Obviously, there are many more potential implications of the various trades, but I'll refer you to the message forum for discussion on those issues.
On the court, Webber-less Sacramento had two of the top three producers, as Doug Christie led the way with 59 SWP and 206 SvP, while Vlade Divac chipped in with 53.5 SWP and 203 SvP. Rasheed Wallace (54 SWP) and Chris Whitney (50 SWP) were the only other players in the SWP 50s. Eight were in the 40s.
Speaking of Chris Whitney, he's had an interesting progression of games since the All-Star break. Here's his pattern of SWP: 7.5, 12, 23.5, 33, 39.5, 50. If you trend this out, he'll be in the 70s by next week, and you won't care that he plays only twice!
2/22 - If you opted to swap from Kobe Bryant into Gary Payton prior to yesterday's freeze, you got a handsome reward. Kobe watched the Lakers' game from the locker room, while GP put up 57.5 SWP. The only players with better results were Kevin Garnett with 58.5 SWP (and 222 SvP) and Stephon Marbury with an even 58 SWP. Three other players were in the SWP 50s, and eight found the 40s.
Many Kobe owners were planning to move into Payton after Sunday's game, which optimized games played for the duo. Making that same move today isn't nearly so attractive, although it's better than nothing if Kobe sits for more games, especially considering his likely price drop. Add the possibility of a Payton trade today, and you have a real conundrum. Which means many of those managers will look for other alternatives. This is shaping up to be a week in which a few spare trades are rather precious.
2/21 - Mark Jackson may have been the big story in the NBA yesterday, passing Isiah Thomas to move into 4th place in NBA career assists. But Marc Jackson probably created more repercussions for fantasy hoops managers today, with his DNP due to a strained groin. Kobe also provided a scare when he stumbled over Shaq's foot and left the game with an apparent ankle sprain. But he did return later. Still, his prognosis for tonight is uncertain.
Rasheed Wallace was the top SW scorer last night with 61 SWP. Tracy McGrady was tops in Swirve scoring (213), and 2nd in SWP with 59. Also notable was Dikembe Mutombo, who turned 9 blocks into 50.5 SWP. He needed only one more block to get an unusual triple double. Four other players were in the SWP 50s, and a baker's dozen reached the 40s, so there were plenty of points available for the taking, if you had the right guys.
Aside from the injury concerns, tomorrow's trade deadline also bears watching. Of particular consequence is whether Mutombo gets traded, as it would affect not only his production but also his upcoming schedule. We'll know one way or the other by tomorrow night.
2/20 - Only four games were played last night, and there weren't any really big performances. The top producers were Elton Brand and Derek Anderson, each with 45 SWP and Swirve points in the 160s. Joe Smith was right behind with 44.5 SWP. Only three others (all forwards) were in the low 40s, and no center even reached the SWP 30s.
Which isn't to say that some of the performances weren't of heightened relevance. This was the final night in the 4th round of Small World's (Full Season) Survival game. For example, Ray Allen and David Robinson didn't do great, but they did well enough to squeak 2 of my teams into the next round. My other two teams had already clinched, so all four are still alive, even though a couple of them are in an inferior player availability position vs. the competition. But, we play on! I hope most of you did as well.
Here are the Three For All scoring tallies for key players in the past week:
2/19 - It's a somber day in the sports world, with the premature death of Dale Earnhardt. Even in a sport where fatal crashes are inevitable, it still sucks the wind out of you when a world class competitor is suddenly snatched away. And the baseball world lost one member of the 500 homer club, Eddie Mathews, who was 20 years older than Earnhart, but still someone who many Gurupies (including me) can recall on the field.
With 9 NBA games yesterday, a lot of points were generated. Shaq led the list with 66 SWP and 251 SvP, and doesn't seem to be showing any significant lingering effects of his recent foot troubles. And with Mutombo only producing 17.5 SWP last night, we may start to see a more concerted shift at the center position in SW. Five other players reached the SWP 50s, and eighteen were in the 40s, so a lot of points were available for the taking. Hope you got your fair share.
Today is the final day of the "division semifinals" in SW Hoops Survival. Only four teams will make it to the next round. Some teams took a flyer on Shaq this past week in a scramble to come back from the dead, and it just may have paid off, as Shaq posted a weekly total of 272 points, while David Robinson, the popular favorite, has only 106 so far, with one game to go. Of course, going Shaqless in the next round will be a tough disadvantage to overcome if some of your competitors still have him available. But in any event, I'm sure there are some "nail biter" finishes shaping up for tonight. Of my four teams, two have effectively clinched a berth in the next round, and a third only needs 28 points from Ray Allen to survive. The fourth is touch-and-go, depending on the relationship of tonight's points from Derek Anderson, Paul Pierce, and David Robinson. If they all hit their averages, I'll barely make it. But it is setting up as a photo finish among four teams for two spots, and I haven't yet figured out the detailed requirements. In any event, I have to quickly nail down my plans for the next round. Tomorrow's freeze is fast approaching.
2/16 - Two days ago, 7 players exceeded 50 SWP in 6 NBA games. Last night, there were 7 games, but only one guy managed the feat - Charles Oakley with 50.5 SWP - and even he needed an overtime period to get it done. Gary Payton was close with 48.5 SWP, and he also led the Swirve scoring with 189 SvP. And Tim Duncan had 49 SWP. But in general, it looks like it was a night of widespread mediocrity, with many players at or below their averages. If your roster produced what you were expecting, then you probably did relatively well.
Pitchers and catchers have started to report to spring training this week, and the baseball forum has seen some increased activity as well. In particular, those who want a good refresher course on Small World pitcher management should check out Madman's Pitcher Trade Strategy -- A Comprehensive Intro.
2/15 - Six games. After yesterday, that seems like a lull.
Let's look at the positions individually today. Darrell Armstrong led the SWP list with 63, but Iverson (61) and Terrell Brandon (57.5) were close behind, with Brandon taking the Swirve title (220). Jason Kidd (52) was the only other guard over 50 SWP, and three others were in the low 40s.
At forward, Shawn Marion, with 61 SWP, completed his reward for those who elected to hold him through his early February price decline. Since Feb. 1st, when the bloodletting began, Marion has produced 238 SWP, and among forwards, only Duncan, McDyess, and Webber did better during that span. Marcus Camby, who was the popular choice for the Marion sellers to swap into, produced only 169 SWP during the same period. Of course, that trade has netted about $1.3 million, so the swappers may be able to recover those lost points in the future. But I'm certainly happy with my decision to hold.
Garnett (55 SWP) was the only other forward with more than 50 SWP for the night. Karl Malone had 49.5, and Laphonso Ellis had a very strong 47.5 SWP. With his low SW price tag, he was probably a popular draftee for the midseason game.
At center, Dikembe Mutombo led the way with 58 SWP, and he's giving a lot a managers a reason to think twice before swapping into Shaq (who had only 42 SWP). Over the past 15 days, Mutombo has been the top SWP producer at any position, racking up 375 SWP, 44 more than his closest rival, Iverson. Other than Mutombo and Shaq, the only other center to exceed 40 SWP last night was Lorenzen Wright with 44.5 SWP.
The big decision for a lot of managers today is what to do with Chris Webber, who reportedly will miss tonight's game with a high ankle sprain. Webber has a long history of being injury prone, so most astute managers will make sure they always have a trade in reserve anytime Webber is on their roster. Webber took an early price hit yesterday, and I suspect today will be worse, especially since his recovery time is uncertain. The good news is that those who were looking for a source of funds to add Shaq may have found a convenient source. For the record, however, I'm sticking with Dikembe for awhile longer - lest you think I'm hyping those trades for the benefit of my own roster. Their schedules remain similar for awhile, and I'm waiting to see how Shaq's foot holds up under the rigors of a heavy schedule. But by all means, make your own decisions.
2/14 - After a 4 day hiatus, there are suddenly a lot of numbers to review, with a 13 game NBA schedule last night. Stephon Marbury topped all players in SWP, with 63.5 (including 50 real points). Tim Duncan was the top Swirve producer with 245 SvP (but "only" 59.5 SWP). Dikembe Mutombo also topped the 60 SWP mark, with 63, eclipsing Shaq's 59.5 SWP on his return to action. All told, 14 players generated 50 SWP or more, suggesting that the "vacation" rejuvenated a lot of players.
Let me clarify how the various RotoGuru reports will be calculating the periodic pts/game averages for the next few weeks. In the sortable stats reports and the Assimilator, the 7, 15, and 30 day averages will ignore the 4 days during the All Star break. Essentially, Feb. 8 and Feb. 13 are treated as consecutive days. On the individual player pages, however, days during the All Star break will be included. Since those pages report daily price changes during the break, a programming change would be required to ignore them for average calculations, and that just doesn't seem worth it. So if you notice discrepancies across various reports, this probably explains the difference.
2/13 - I'm going to use the final day of the All Star break to tie up a couple of football loose ends.
Today I enshrine two Gurupies into the RotoGuru Hall of Fame. This latest enshrinement recognizes recent football excellence, but there is more to the story for each of them:
OK. Back to the NBA tomorrow.
2/12 - Based on recent history, my expectations were low enough that I didn't bother to tune in for most of the NBA All Star game. Fortunately, I happened to stop by midway through the fourth quarter, and watched the ending. Quite a game! And although Iverson was named the MVP, Mutombo had the most SWP, with 49.5. So much for concerns about his ankle. Duncan had 39.5, and Iverson was third with 38. Those are pretty decent totals for an All Star game, where playing time is generally below average for most players.
So now we have one more day to get set for the last 9+ weeks. Or, one more day to goof off, if you're already prepared. Your choice.
If you're looking for some good long-term holds, consider players from teams with heavier schedules. Over the rest of the season, Sacramento has the most games to play, with 36. Six teams play 35 times: Cleveland, L.A., Milwaukee, New York, San Antonio, and Utah. At the other end, Seattle plays only 30 more games, while Charlotte, Denver, and New Jersey each play only 31. Of course, looking ahead for more than two months may be too farsighted. For a closer look at other periods, use the Sched-O-Matic, or you can also use the projection capabilities of the sortable stats.
And for those who are losing interest in Hoops at this point, pitchers and catchers report to spring training this week.
2/9 - Only four games on tap last night. Tim Duncan led all fantasy point producers with 64.5 SWP and 245 SvP, even though the Spurs dropped one to the Nets. That was partly due to Stephon Marbury, who managed 62.5 SWP and 227 SvP from the other side of the court. McDyess and Baron Davis were in the SWP 50s, and a rejuvenated Hakeen Olajuwon led all centers with 48 SWP, his third straight game in the SWP 40s.
With four consecutive off days now, Three For All week #15 is already over. For those in the Survival game, that gives plenty of time to plan for the next "cut week". On the other hand, there may not be much planning to do. San Antonio plays five games, and unless you are very comfortably ahead, that probably means you'll be picking up their two big men. The Clippers also play 5, but I doubt if any them will be popular picks. So the big choice to make comes down to the guard slot. Do you go with a 5-gamer (presumably Derek Anderson), or do you take a 4-gamer with a higher expected point total? Remember, only four teams survive past this week.
You also have four days to assemble your midseason SW roster. If you've been active in the full season game, you've probably gotten accustomed to a better caliber of player than your going to be able to afford with only $50 million. Some players who have fallen off your radar are now going to come back into view.
Or you could always use the 4 day hiatus to take a total break from this madness...
2/8 - With 10 games on tap last night, there are a lot of scores to pore over this morning. The top SW producer was Kevin Garnett, who "garnered" 65.5 SWP and 215 SvP in a blowout win over Sacramento. The top Swirve scorer was Kobe Bryant with 233 SvP, along with 62 SWP. And Antoine Walker wasn't too shabby either, with 59 SWP and 221 SvP. And then there was Ray Allen, who managed 56.5 SWP on the strength of a triple double. D'ya have 'em all on your roster? Nice going!
Today I'm introducing a new "featured sponsor" spot which will highlight a new sponsored opportunity every few days. These sponsors have all committed to pay RotoGuru an incentive fee based either on registrations and/or commissions on product sales. I'll try to highlight opportunities that look like they would be of interest to many Gurupies. I hope most of you will check out these sponsor's sites, and that many of you will take advantage of their offers. By supplementing RotoGuru's revenues with the proceeds from these opportunities, you can help ensure the continued vitality of RotoGuru.com. Thanks for your support!
2/7 - Once again, Chris Webber was the top fantasy producer with 62 SWP and 216 SvP. On the other side of the ball, Sam Cassell gave him a run for his money, posting 58.5 SWP and 208 SvP. And Ray Allen was in the same ballpark with 51 SWP and 189 SvP. There were five other games played last night, but no one else broke 50 SWP, and only five other players were in the SWP 40s. And in spite of Eddie Jones' comment, Anthony Mason had only 38 SWP, which I guess implies that Michael Jordan is no longer in his prime.
Today begins the new SW trade week. But it's an unusual week, with the 4-game All Star break in the middle. The two Texas teams play on each of the other 3 days, which effectively means they play 3 straight. This may have even greater implications for the Swirve game, since you can get three games for the price of 4 (since you're not charged during the break), which I don't think happens at any other time this season. Atlanta and New Jersey offer the same opportunity starting tomorrow.
2/6 - While snow was furiously blanketing the Northeast (we got about 20" in Connecticut), seven games were played. Paul Pierce led the SWP list with 52.5 (and 192 SvP), while Elton Brand nosed him out with 194 SvP (and 50 SWP). Charles Oakley also had 50 SWP, and three players were right behind with 49.5 SWP.
With the 3-For-All week completed, let's look back at the top producers for the prior 7 days, as well as some of the more popular holdings:
Small World has announced a midseason Hoops game, starting immediately after the All Star break. You can register and draft a team now. Starting prices are equal to the Full Season prices on Jan. 31, and will remain frozen until Feb. 13th, when points also begin to accumulate. Midseason prices are now incorporated in the sortable stats and the Assimilator as separate game choices.
2/5 - I suppose the weekend events of the most notable fantasy consequence were the stellar returns of Marc Jackson and Antoine Walker. After a light schedule and a strained groin, Jackson put up 51 SWP on Saturday night, and his price began to recover yesterday, especially with Jermaine O'Neal's schedule turning horrendous. And Walker returned from his grandmother's funeral to hoist 64.5 SWP against Cleveland on Sunday. His schedule is also pretty good after the ASB, and now that the "will he or won't he play?" issues are behind, his price should reflect some buying activity as well.
The best game of the weekend, though, was from Chris Webber, with 72 SWP and 248 SvP on Friday night. On Sunday, he managed only 44.5 SWP in a nationally televised game, which was generally described an "off game". Weekend games in the SWP 60s were produced by Darrell Armstrong (66 SWP on Friday), Kobe (61 on Friday), Tracy McGrady (66.5 SWP on Saturday), and Theo Ratliff (65 SWP on Sunday, including 8 blocked shots).
I added a tweak to the Hoops Assimilator over the weekend. Now you can select any starting date for the 14-day point projection period. Just click on the link immediately above the projection table, and you'll be prompted for a new starting date. This may come in particularly handy now, as a lot of managers will be focused on the period immediately following the All Star break. Once you shift the starting date, the new period will be used until you change it again, even if you switch from team to team - unless you completely reload the Assimilator. Hope you find this new feature to be useful.
2/2 - For a night with 7 games, there doesn't seem like a lot of fantasy point production. Cliff Robinson led in SWP output with 54, while Terrell Brandon headed the Swirve list with 196 (and 53.3 SWP). The only other player in the SWP 50s was Lamar Odom with 50.5, and five players were in the forties.
In addition to being Groundhog Day, today marks another significant, albeit obscure event in NBA lore. (Thanks to Chris Jensen, aka "Punishark", for pointing this out.) On February 2, 1968, Wilt Chamberlain scored 22 points, pulled down 25 rebounds and handed out 21 assists -- the only "Triple Double-Double" in NBA history. (It's almost eerie that it should have occurred on the date 2-2, although I guess an even more appropriate date would have been 3-20!)
I did some research to try to find the rest of his stats for that game, but was only partially successful. I was able to find a small story and boxscore in the New York Times (on microfilm at the local public library), but in those days the boxscores were rather light in statistical detail. I can see, however, that he made 9 FGs, and shot a Shaq-like 4-12 from the foul line. Chris' message to me also noted that Wilt committed no personal fouls in the game. So, using the stats I have, the game works out to 103.5 SWP (including 10 for the TD) and 338 SvP. A few blocks could have pushed those totals even higher, assuming his FG% and turnovers were respectable. By comparison, the top game so far this season was Chris Webber's 94 SWP, 352 SvP game on Jan 5, when he had 51 points and 26 boards, but only 5 assists.
By the way, if you look at that boxscore, you'll see that the final score was 131-121, and that was even before the advent of the 3 point FG. The game has obviously changed in many ways since then. Today, multiple overtimes would probably be required to produce a final score of that magnitude.
2/1 - February already!
Dikembe Mutombo picked a propitious time to go off for 21 points and 29 boards. With Shaq's injury and a new dole of SW trades, a lot of teams swapped into Mutombo for yesterday's game. And many of those who didn't have Shaq to sell were still motivated to pick up Dikembe for his 5-game week. He was also a popular choice in this week's Three-For_All and Survivor games. And he rewarded all of those owners with 78 SWP, 272 SvP, and 79 points in 3-For-All scoring.
Most likely, though, your other center was a disappointment. Unless you had Calvin Booth (and some, but not many, of you did) or Antonio Davis (ditto, owing to his light schedule), you probably suffered one of the puny scores registered by the likes of Jermaine O'Neal or Lorenzen Wright (as I did). Oh well.
By the way, Mutombo's output wasn't unprecedented, even for him. Last year, he had a game on Dec. 14th which amounted to 84.5 SWP. And he followed that up 9 days later with 71 SWP. So he's certainly capable of doing it again. The key is to figure out when, because 78 SWP isn't an unusual 3-game total for him either. Not exactly Mr. Consistency. In fact, for the past 7 days, his SWP average only stands at 43.4.
Mutombo pretty much blew everyone away, although four other players managed SWP totals in the 50s. You can look 'em up.
And no, Jerry Stackhouse doesn't qualify for a triple double with 30 points, 10 assists, and 10 turnovers.
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
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