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Daily blurbs from the Guru
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Go forward to more recent blurbs.

2/28 - As far as I know, no NBA player (of consequence, at least) got injured or sick last night! Caron Butler stayed injured and didn’t play, but it’s been rare lately to get through a night without adding some new names to the fantasy triage report.

Similarly, the list of entrants in this week’s PGA tournament, the Honda Classic, has remained remarkably intact since the original field was announced last Friday. We did lose Vaughn Taylor yesterday, who was a popular choice in GuruGolf last week, but after losing more than 20 golfers leading up to last week’s event, this field has been quite stable. The first group tees off at 6:45am ET tomorrow morning, so get your lineups set today.

2/27 - If you want to rekindle memories of that infamous “Joe Theismann moment”, just watch a clip of Shawn Livingston in last night’s game. It’s certainly makes you cringe.

Livingston wasn’t the only casualty last night, although he was the most spectacular one. Tracy McGrady and Deron Williams both sat out their games, in spite of being the top two price gainers in the TSN Ultimate game. Emeka Okafor also sat out his game, although his teammate, iron man Gerald Wallace, logged 41 minutes after leaving the prior game with a groin strain. David Lee didn’t play against Miami. Caron Butler wasn’t scheduled last night, but remains questionable for tonight. Most TSN teams had a larger than normal stash of trades heading into this week, courtesy of the All Star break. For many teams, that surplus was undoubtedly both useful and short lived.

2/26 - RotoGuru incurred a significant network outage from about 7:30am-12:50pm today, delaying most of the statistical updates. I think everything has now been updated. Thanks for your patience.

Patience probably came in handy over the weekend as well, especially if you had some of the more popular players in the TSN game. If you survived the weekend without any injuries or DNPs, you’re either uninformed, uncompetitive, or very lucky.

Kudos to TD2 who navigated the weekend GuruGolf tournament for a -51 best ball score, 3 strokes better than the second place team.

2/23 - Last night’s Kings-Wizards game was a statistical boondoggle. Using TSNP as a yardstick, seven players in that game combined for 302 TSNP, an average of 43 per player. Neither of the top two players for the night appeared in that game, however. Ben Wallace was the big dog with 73 TSNP in Cleveland, and Dirk Nowitzki put up 61 vs. the Wade-less Heat. So, in spite of only offering three games of action, there was plenty for fantasy hoops teams to feast on.

The NBA trade deadline passed without a single blockbuster. In fact, it doesn’t appear that anyone of fantasy significance was moved, other than for those in very deep leagues. The highest ranked fantasy player on the ESPN player rater was Juan Dixon at #161.

2/22 - All season, Dwyane Wade has seemingly owned the 4th quarter. But last night, the 4th quarter extracted the ultimate revenge, sidelining him indefinitely with a shoulder injury. He was my first round pick in the RIHC, and a key reason that I’ve been riding atop that league’s standings for awhile. But that’s going to be tough to maintain now. Oh well.

In golf, although the field for the Mayakoba Golf Classic includes 140+ golfers, only 55 of them have found their way onto at least one GuruGolf roster. That’s striking, as it’s not uncommon for more than 100 golfers to find their way into GuruGolf action for any given week, and weak field still usually finds 70-80 different golfers in play. This week, it’s obviously because the top 64 golfers are playing elsewhere this week. As a result, Vaughn Taylor appears on almost half of all rosters, and Ted Purdy is close behind, on 44%.

2/21 - The NBA returned to action last night, but the fantasy sports focus is already starting to shift toward baseball. For those who are looking ahead, I’ve recently updated some the of baseball pages. In particular, the 4-week schedule now reflects the 2007 season, and the sortable stats and the Assimilator now have the players and prices for the TSN Salary Cap baseball games. The Basic TSN game has not yet been launched, but the Ultimate game is up. You can find all of the baseball links in the baseball section of the menu along the left side of this page.

In addition, qualifying leagues for the RotoGuru Invitational Baseball Challenge (RIBC) are now being formed at the baseball message forum. If you’d like to take a shot at competing for a slot in the RIBC, now is the time to speak up. AAA leagues are reserved for managers who met certain standards in a 2006 qualifying league, but AA leagues are open to anyone.

The second GuruGolf event tees off in Mexico tomorrow morning. If you set your lineup early in the week, you’d better check it again, because more than 20 golfers have already withdrawn from the originally announced field. As of this morning, about 60% of all GuruGolf rosters still have at least one inactive golfer.

2/20 - It’s not quite a full schedule, but the NBA returns to action with 10 (regular season) games tonight, and that’s 10 more than we’ve had over the past 4 days combined.

But before we get on with the final 36% of the NBA regular season, it’s time to honor the RotoGuru Hall of Fame Class of 2006. The following six competitors are being inducted today:

  • William Heilman, winner, 2006 RotoGuru Market Madness Contest
  • Mike Donahue, winner, 2005-06 RotoGuru Invitational Hoops Challenge
  • John Holt, winner, 2006 RotoGuru Invitational Baseball Challenge
  • Bill Miller, winner, 2006 GuruGolf
  • Roger Williams, winner, 2005 RotoGuru Invitational Football Challenge
  • Martin Lee, winner, 2006-07 RotoGuru Football Pickoff
  • Congratulations to all members of the Class of 2006!

    2/19 - The NBA All Star break is almost over, and the biggest fantasy hoops news is that no one got injured over the weekend (as far as I know). Now the next milepost to watch for is Thursday, which is the NBA trade deadline. As usual, lots of names are being mentioned. And finally, whether any of them are actually moved will soon be known.

    The first GuruGolf tournament is now in the books. With Charles Howell III claiming victory in a playoff, 41 GuruGolf teams got a nice opening gift of an extra trade. The early frontrunner is blondiescookies with a -47 for the weekend. We’ve been watching that team name atop the Football Pickoff leaderboard for quite awhile, and now it looks like we get to chase it again.

    2/16 - The NBA season (for fantasy purposes) is now 64% complete, with 36% to go. And it will remain that way for the next 4 days, as most players get a midseason vacation. Ditto for fantasy managers.

    At this juncture, there are two players who stand out way above the pack for fantasy purposes. Using TSNP as the yardstick, Kevin Garnett has averaged 50.1 per game, and played ‘em all. Dwyane Wade has averaged 49.2, although he’s missed 7 games. No other NBA player has posted averages within 13% of those numbers. Curiously, both of their teams are squarely on the playoff bubble, with Miami and Minnesota each currently ranked 8th in their respective conference.

    Enjoy the long weekend.

    2/15 - The Celtics finally played a team that was more dinged up than they were. Missing Michael Redd and Charlie Villanueva, the Bucks were no match with Paul Pierce back (and playing 36 minutes) in the Boston lineup.

    Tonight we have the final two NBA games before the All Star break. There are ample studs available if you want to cram them into your lineup tonight, with Dallas, Houston, Cleveland, and the Lakers on tap. But none of those teams play on the first day after the break, so unless you’re in a contest that ends tonight, there is probably no immediate benefit to stacking your lineup tonight.

    Meanwhile, GuruGolf tees off this morning with more than 275 teams in action. 126 different golfers are represented on at least one roster, and no golfer appears on more than about 16% of all rosters, so diversity reigns supreme. Aaron Baddeley (44) and Charles Howell III (41) are the two most widely owned golfers.

    2/14 - The weather outside is frightful, but so far the power lines have remained intact, and as long as that’s the case, no big deal.

    The Knicks have somehow become respectable this season, at least in comparison to last year. Last night, they matched their win total from last season, and while a record of 23-29 may not seem like much, in the NBA Eastern Conference it keeps them solidly in the playoff race. While that still seems like a bit of a long shot, they have been playing .500 ball for the past two months, so youneverknow…

    The GuruGolf season tees off at 7:00am Pacific time tomorrow. All aboard!

    2/13 - On a night with few NBA games, the sudden disappearance of Elton Brand was certainly a disappointment for a lot of fantasy teams – in addition to the Clippers, no doubt. From a TSN perspective, Brand was one of the more widely owned players, on about 80% of the top 100 teams. Given his high ownership, this would normally be a calamitous development. But I know that a lot of teams had planned to move on today anyway, as the Clipper schedule advantage begins to dissipate, and a few other options emerge. So in many cases, it’s no big deal… unless you were one of those teams that planned to hold him for another few games. In that case, the uncertainty of his situation will make it a more expensive (and more risky) proposition.

    A big winter storm is heading this toward the northeast late tonight. It probably won’t have any NBA ramifications, although Boston does have a home game tomorrow night. It does put the power supply at RotoGuru World Headquarters at risk, though, so if I’m absent tomorrow, it probably means we are without juice. Snow, sleet, ice, and heavy winds sound like an ominous combination.

    2/12 - If NBA games ended after three quarters, Dwyane Wade would be a very ordinary player. Yesterday, he garnered 27 TSNP in the 4th quarter, bringing his game total to 43.5. In the final stanza, these were his stats: 7/10 FG, 3/3 FT, 1 assist, 1 steal, 2 rebounds, 2 blocks, 2 TOs.

    The GuruGolf preseason has now ended, and the season is about to begin. The Nissan Open has launched the start of the official GuruGolf season in each of the past two years, and it gets that same honor again this year. All preseason rosters have been cleared, and all trades and values have been reset. You have until Thursday morning to begin your quest to win coveted RotoGuru-logo golf balls. Remember that you may enter up to 10 teams under a single login. So try a few teams and let the darts fly!

    2/9 - NBA action was limited to three games last night, but most of the statistical production come from only one of them. Only five players topped the 40 TSNP hurdle, and the Bucks and Hornets – aided by two overtime periods - produced four of the five, including the top gunner Ruben Patterson (58 TSNP). The more popular pickups for last night (Artest, Kobe, Hinrich…) all underachieved, as often seems to happen.

    Football Pickoff prize emails were sent out yesterday. If you believe you qualified for a prize and did not receive an email, please let me know.

    Thanks again to Gurupie Ref for suggesting today’s quote.

    2/8 - There was one triple double last night, from a somewhat unlikely candidate: Kevin Garnett. He actually achieved the feat with 3 minutes left in the third quarter, and it was just as well, since the game was a blowout win (over GS), and the starters weren’t needed for the endgame. It was Garnett’s first TD since April 13, 2005, which interestingly enough was also against the Warriors. He did come within one assist of the feat just 13 days ago, but typically, his assist totals don’t flirt with double digits. In any event, it was a nice gift for those TSN managers who have held him through a rocky price period. For most of the last month, anything Garnett did was largely irrelevant on the margin, since every contending team had him. But he’s being gradually swapped out for the likes of Brand or Gasol or other forwards with more intense schedules. Maybe that makes sense; maybe not. Time will tell.

    Garnett wasn’t the big kahuna last night, however. Dirk Nowitzki cranked out 78.5 TSNP over Memphis, including 38 points, 10 boards, 6 assists, 4 blocks, and 3 steals. Memphis hosts Minnesota tomorrow, so maybe Garnett will pick up where Dirk left off.

    The second and last preseason GuruGolf tournament starts today, and based on the weather forecast, it sounds like I’ll have ample opportunities to test my ability to handle rain delays. According to an article on, there is a 60% chance of rain every day from today through the weekend.

    Thanks to Gurupie Ref for suggesting today’s quote.

    2/7 - I think the ESPN Player Rater does a good job of blending all of the various stats together into a single fantasy measure. It is based on the usual 8-category roto scoring format (FG%-FT%-Pts-3P-Ass-Blk-Stl-Reb), and ranks players in relation to each other based on their marginal contributions to each category. I don’t watch it constantly, but I do like to check it every few weeks to see how my various players are stacking up, and to see whether there are any surprises in the top 25 or so.

    This morning, I was surprised to see who was ranked #1 overall this season. None other than Shawn Marion! Somehow, it just seems the Marion is not quite living up to his usual standards. He ranks 7th in total TSNP, but his TSNP/G is only 40.3, which is more than 13% below last year’s average of 46. But what apparently gives Marion the nod in this roto format is his balance across the board. There aren’t many players who can help you 7 categories, and the only category that Marion is “below average” in is assists. (In fact, depending on the depth of your league, even his 1.6 assists/game could be above average.) Marion’s other selling point is durability, as he has yet to miss a game this year. Actually, his rating is helped a little by the fact that he’s played in 49 games. There are only a few players who have appeared in 50 games (Knicks and Blazers only), while the average NBA team has played only 48, and many of the top players have missed at least a game or two along the way. The rest of the top five rated players are Garnett (49 games), Arenas (47), Nash (46), and Wade (41).

    If you evaluate players based on per-game averages, then Dwyane Wade is ranked #1 by a wide margin. The top five players are still the same, though, with Marion and Wade exchanging places. So even factoring out durability and schedule, Marion is having a better fantasy year than I thought.

    There are a few players who stick out, either as overachievers or underachievers. Using total stats, the guys who are having monster years are Caron Butler (#10), Andre Iguodala (#11), and Mike Miller (#14). I know you could have drafted any of them must later than that. On the flip side, LeBron has to be the poster child for underachievers, ranking only #13 overall. His real team may be doing OK, but his fantasy managers have to be less than enthused with their #1 pick.

    2/6 - With a number of popular players sitting with injuries, some TSN Hoops managers still found a reason (and a trade) to dump Carmelo Anthony yesterday. He punished them with his first career triple-double. Evidently, when Iverson and Camby are both out, he gets more than his usual share of the stats.

    We’re approaching an interesting period in the TSN games. For the Basic game, the season ends after 10 more days, so it’s important to plot out the end game if you’re still competing. In the Ultimate game, there are several unusual factors at play:

    • The All Star break will provide an opportunity to recoup some trade capacity,
    • the NBA trade deadline on Feb 22 will give rise to a number of trade rumors, adding uncertainty to trading plans, and
    • perhaps most importantly, the number of studs with intense schedules seem to be waning, which will make higher financial values less of a competitive weapon, at least for awhile.
    The average franchise value of the top 100 teams in TSN Ultimate Hoops is about $72 million as of this morning. One quarter of those teams are valued under $70 million, half of which are less than $68m. This is the point of the season at which those teams typically have difficulty keeping pace with the wealthier teams. But, at least for the next few weeks, that doesn’t look like an issue. And it’s not so much due to the prevalence of attractive cheapies. It’s just that many mid-priced players have enough of a schedule advantage to make them as potent as many of the studs. That could lead to greater roster differentiation over the next few weeks – which would probably make the game more interesting, if nothing else. And more confounding.

    2/5 - It was certainly not a classic game in most respects. The weather was bad, the play was sloppy, and even the commercials were mostly a disappointment. It started well, with the opening kickoff returned for a touchdown. But, as Ohio State fans will tell you, that may have been the worst omen of all. And as it turned out, the most lasting impact of that play was that it made the game seem closer than it really was.

    Congratulations to Football Pickoff champion blondiescookies, who built up such an insurmountable lead that he essentially took a knee from week 17 on. The midseason winner, mattjohnson, used that to advantage, claiming that title yesterday. And jbowser took the Playoff title, calling only one postseason game incorrectly.

    For those Pickoff entrants who won prizes, emails will go out later this week with instructions on how to claim your prize. Remember that some prizes are reserved solely for GuruPatrons, so make sure the standings properly identify you by an asterisk if you are in contention.

    2/2 - Today may be Groundhog Day, but last night’s fourth quarter performance by Dwyane Wade was the type that we’ve seen before. Through three quarters, he was clearly struggling, with 11 turnovers as his most notable stat. But he owned the final frame, scoring a team record 24 in that period, and almost completing a 24-24 night at the free throw line (which would have been an NBA record, but a late miss left him with 23-24). Of his 51 TSNP for the night, exactly half were produced in the final 10 minutes. They were meaningful, too, as they turned an 11 point Miami deficit into a 3 point win.

    LeBron who?

    Before I close for the weekend, I should remind you to make your final Football Pickoff selection for the season before Sunday evening’s kickoff. So I just did.

    2/1 - For those team that got blindsided by Kobe Bryant’s suspension on Tuesday night, it was nice to get 2 games worth of stats from him last night. His 43 points included 7-9 from beyond the arc, and he also contributed 8 rebounds, 8 assists, and a couple of blocks. Even the fans at the Boston Garden were heard cheering “MVP” – which I guess is not only a testament to Kobe’s performance, but also to how low the Celtics have sunk. With 13 straight losses, they now have only Memphis left to conquer in the race to the bottom.

    It recently occurred to me that I haven’t heard much about Dwight Howard lately. Early in the season, he was a staple on just about every active TSN team, partly due to Orlando’s hectic opening schedule, but also because he was productive. But last night, even Darko Milicic outpointed him by more than 2:1. Over the past month, ESPN’s player rater has Howard ranked #102, which has to thrill those roto managers that drafted him in the 2nd or 3rd rounds. Three times in the past two weeks, he’s produced less than 20 TSNP. Orlando has a pretty dense schedule immediately after the All Star break, but at this rate, it doesn’t look like Howard will be much of a factor in the TSN game.

    GuruGolf teed off this morning with 130 active foursomes, not bad for a preseason event with no permament implications. Charles Howell is the MPG (most popular golfer),

    2007: 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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