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Daily blurbs from the Guru
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2/29 - Leap day! Happy birthday to those of you who get to celebrate only once every four years.
GuruGolf tees off tomorrow morning for The Honda Classic. If you set your foursome early in the week, be aware that 15 golfers have withdrawn since the field was initially announced, so double check make sure you have a complete foursome.
Draft$treet is offering a $1000 NBA Freeroll contest for tonight. If you havenít already registered at Draft$treet, use the link above. Then you can enter the freeroll with this link. First prize is $280 and the top 20 receive a prize. As of this moment, there are already more than 3000 entries Ė so I guess you should pick a few long shots!
2/28 - The NBA is back for the second half. Weíre getting ready for March Madness. GuruGolf is underway. Baseball draft preparations have started. Itís getting to be a busy time at RotoGuru World Headquarters. Computer eyestrain is going to be a significant hurdle for yours truly to overcome.
Pre-qualified slots for AAA RIBC leagues are filling. Only about 6 openings (out of 32) are still available. If you are on the pre-qualified list for a AAA league, sign up now. The list has a few more names than there are slots available, so that last pre-qualifiers to respond may have to play in a AA league this year.
2/27 - John Huh? Thirteen GuruGolf teams had him, so I guess he didnít necessarily come out of nowhere. He is of Korean descent, and although he was born in New York City, he lived in Korea for twelve of his formative years, then returned to the U.S., where he went to college at UC-Northridge. He then played for three years on the Korean Tour. Huh-sanity? I suppose not.
Kudos to long-tome Gurupie Dave R, whose SANFORDORS team took the best ball honors (-48) with Allenby, rather than Huh. Worst ball honors went to Bulls2, with all four golfers making the cut to complement the best ball honors with a symmetrical +48.
2/24 - For the first time since he started playing significant minutes, Jeremy Lin failed to reach double digits in any statistical category. Even so, the Knicks kept within range of Miami until midway through the 3rd quarter, when the Heat pulled away to a 14-point lead, after which the teams essentially traded baskets throughout the 4th quarter. Fantasy managers will appreciate his efforts in the final seconds, however, as he stripped the ball from LeBron with 8 seconds left - a time when most players would have already been ambling toward the locker room. Unfortunately, he also then missed a layup 2 seconds later.
And so we have reached the NBA All Star break. At RotoGuru.net, that usually means itís time to start preparing for the baseball season. And there are two developments on that front.
First, the 16 teams in the RIBC (RotoGuru Invitational Baseball Challenge) have been announced, and qualifying leagues are now forming. For instructions on signing up, please start here. Believe it or not, the first MLB games are less than 5 weeks away!
Second, FireLeague has launched its salary cap baseball games for 2012. As I mentioned a week ago, this is the next incarnation of the salary cap game formerly run by SmallWorld, then TSN, then RotoHog. The rules and layout all look pretty familiar, and I expect to be able to produce statistical support for this game Ė pending further investigation. Iíll probably set up a private Rotoguru league as well. Stay tuned for further details.
2/23 - The GuruGolf season is underway. 190 teams have started the season, and Spencer Levin is the opening favorite, appearing on 54% of those rosters. Johnson Wagner ranks second in popularity, on 44%. Fifty-four teams (28%) have both golfers. Last year, Wagner bested Levin in a playoff to win this tournament, so GuruGolfers are looking for a repeat, no doubt. Both have afternoon tee times today, so there are no early indicators whether thatís likely to happen or not. Last yearís cut was at even par.
As I noted last week, tonight brings the Lin-sane Knicks to Miami for a potentially ďdynamiteĒ TNT game. While Lin has been the NBA poster boy of late, Miami has quietly won seven straight games by double digits, and is now tied with OKC for the best record in the NBA. Miami is a 9-point favorite tonight, so it may or may not turn out to be a competitive game. But the story line will at least make it compelling at the start.
2/22 - There are less than 24 hours until GuruGolfís opening drive for 2012. In recent years, the Mayakoba Golf Classic has been a problematic tournament for GuruGolf, since itís usually been the 3rd or 4th event of the season, and the high player turnover from the previous event (especially since the Mayakoba tournament runs opposite the WGC match play event) prompted the need for a lot of trading. This year, thatís a non-issue, and from the looks of the early commitment list for next weekís Honda Classic, player turnover should not be a problem next week. In any event, get your foursome(s) set up before tomorrow morning.
2/21 - Jeremy Linís stat line looked pretty good Ė 21 points, 9 assists, 7 rebounds, 4 steals, and only 3 turnovers. Then again, he was guarding Deron Williams, who scored 38. And most importantly, the Knicks lost a game that wasnít actually as close as the final 8-point margin might suggest.
Greg Oden expected to have his knee cleaned out, but ended up having microfracture surgery. Itís enough to make Portland fans long for the durability of iron-man Bill Walton, who at least managed to appear in a part of each of his first four seasons for the Blazers, totaling 209 games over than span. Now that Oden is officially out for this year, his first four seasons will total only 82 games combined. And 61 of those were in his rookie year.
2/20 - Russell Westbrook scores 40, and heís not even the teamís leading scorer. Serge Ibaka has a triple double and yet two other players on his team combine for 91 points scored. For those who still think in terms of the TSN point formula, the OKC threesome of Durant, Westbrook, and Ibaka combined for 200.5 TSNP. Pretty sure thatís never happened before.
By the way, Jeremy Lin was no slouch in his nationally televised game on Sunday afternoon, with 64 TSNP. In the 9 games since heís been getting regular minutes, his lowest TSNP output is 34, and his TSNP average is almost 44. Impressive, and consistent.
Shankopotomus2 2 gets the wasted effort award in GuruGolf for this season, posting the top score of the preseason week. All GuruGolf rosters have now been cleared, and the regular season launches with the secondary PGA Tour event of the week, the Mayakoba Golf Classic. The top 64 golfers (in the world golf rankings) are at the WGC match play event, so filling out a foursome with only $4000 will be no problem this week.
2/17 - Believe it or not, the baseball season starts in less than 6 weeks. The first task for me is to get the traditional RotoGuru color-coded MLB schedule posted, which I hope to complete today.
I also checked the Fireleague.com site, just to see whatís happening there. As you may recall, Fireleague will be the next producer of the salary cap baseball game formerly run by SmallWorld, then TSN, then RotoHog. The Fireleague introductory baseball page says that registrations will open in mid-February. The listed highlights all sound very familiar, although weíll have to wait for the details. But, assuming all goes as planned, Iíll plan to provide the usual RotoGuru stats again this year.
2/16 - So, according to Willis Reed, I guess we should expect to see Jeremy Lin swishiní and dishiní for quite awhile.
GuruGolf is up and running. Expect a few glitches this weekend in the processing. I already had to make some adjustments this morning. But Iím confident all bugs will be worked out. For this weekend, there seems to be a premium on 2-letter names, as the most popular golfers are Wi and Na. Maybe itís Korea week.
2/15 - Is the hype over Jeremy Lin because heís Taiwanese? Iím sure thatís a factor, although he was born in Los Angeles. Itís also because heís a Harvard graduate. Itís also because heís scored more points over his first five starts than any player since the ABA-NBA merger. And it doesnít hurt that his 6-game splash has coincided with a 6-game winning streak for the New York Knicks (during which time Carmelo Anthony essentially played only once.) Six games ago, it was hard to foresee the Knicks making the playoffs. Now theyíre already positioned in the #8 spot. Go figure.
I just noticed that the Knicks play six of their next seven games at home. The Garden should be rockiní and rolliní. But their one away game during that span will be a nationally televised Thursday-nighter in Miami (next week). TNT must be salivating over that one Ė and praying that Lin can stay healthy, productive, and winning for the next week.
GuruGolf tees off tomorrow morning (9:45am ET) for the first time since last fall. This weekend is just for practice, with no lasting impact. But if you want to flex your GuruGolf muscles one time before we start playing for keeps, get a foursome lined up.
2/14 - When playing in short duration contests (daily or weekly), itís important to be able to quickly recognize players who might be earning extra playing time. If youíre looking for a means to help you screen for these situation, check out NBA FloorTime, a new site that monitors daily playing time for each NBA player and compares it to YTD averages. The top increases and decreases are highlighted. As a new site, Iím told that additional data will be added over time, but even now itís worth a daily gander just to monitor the extremes and add those players to your stream of consciousness.
For hockey fans, the companion site NHL Ice Time offers similar data for the NHL players.
2/13 - We tuned in Sunday afternoon to see if Tiger could get over the hump on Sunday at Pebble Beach. Instead, we saw Phil Mickelson outscore Tiger by 11 strokes, coming from six back to overtake Charlie Wi and win the tournament by a comfortable 2 strokes. Tiger tied for 15th.
And with the completion of that tournament, GuruGolf has finally been launched for 2012. This weekís tournament will be strictly for practice, providing a live opportunity for a final shakedown of the game software while getting the troops assembled for the start of the season. The first official event will be the Mayakoba Golf Classic.
If you played GuruGolf last year, your registration, username, and password are all still valid, so youíre good to go. Log in, set up a team (or two, or ten), pick your foursome, and let Ďer rip! And if you havenít played before, why not try this year? The more, the merrier. And itís free to play.
Iím a bit frazzled this morning, having already endured 2 blue screens of death, for which Iím still clueless about the cause. So Iím going to dispense with this blurb and go run some diagnostics instead. Wish me luck.
2/9 - Jeremy Lin. Who knew? Linsanity!
Then again, with Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire both out, it helped that the Knicks were playing the Wizards. Next up Ė the Lakers. That should be a bit more of a challenge.
Itís a typically light Thursday for NBA action, with only 4 games slated. I avoid daily contests on days like this, as there just arenít enough player options to assure reasonable roster diversity. I have already set up a weekly contest entry at Draft$treet, though. The light daily schedule has no material impact Ė and this also means that the contest will end on a Wednesday, which tends to be a night when almost all players are active. That sets up a more exciting finish to a weekly contest.
2/8 - Paul Pierce passed Larry Bird last night to move into second place on the all-time Celtics scoring list, behind only John Havlicek. Pierce still has to add another 20% to his career total to catch Hondo, so thatís a tall order. Heís averaged a little over 18 pts/game over the past 2Ĺ seasons, and at that pace he still needs another 250+ games. Possible. But at age 34, you wonder if heís got that much in the tank. And will he remain a Celtic for the rest of his career?
David Lee put up a 25-11-10 triple double last night, the fifth TD of the NBA season, and the second of Leeís career. Lee is quietly putting up a solid season, ranked around #20 in fantasy pts/game. It hasnít been enough to propel the Warriors to the next level though, as the team is only 8-14, and there are currently ten Western Conference teams with winning records.
2/7 - You may have noticed that I recently changed the basis of the GuruPatron tally on the top of this blurb page (and other pages that show this data.) I previously displayed year-to-date donations. But I decided that YTD numbers made the site look too small, given the reduction in donations over the past several years. At one point, GuruPatron donations were the primary source of revenue to fund site costs. Thatís no longer the case, as referral fees from affiliated daily contest sites are now footing the majority of the bills. Iím grateful for the steadier current source of revenue Ė but also mindful of the tremendous support Iíve received from so many RotoGurupies over the past decade, without which this site would probably have folded its tent long ago. So the new format is also a way continue to recognize and thank all of those who have sent in voluntary donations during the many years when advertising and other sponsored revenues were so lean.
2/6 - There is no shortage of Super Bowl post mortems on the internet or on TV, and Iím not going to try to compete with that. So let me just mention a few surprising observations that probably arenít getting mentioned elsewhere:
2/3 - Breaking news: an in-depth RotoGuru investigation has learned from several reliable sources that the Super Bowl will be played this coming Sunday. As the weekend unfolds, Iím confident that this will be confirmed. Feel free to use this tip in any way that benefits you.
2/2 - At the beginning of the NBA season, Miami and Chicago were widely regarded as the two premiere teams in the Eastern Conference. But with the compacted season now one-third over, theyíve got some company. Five Eastern teams now have six losses Ė including Atlanta, Indiana, and Philly, who dispatched the Bulls by 16 points last night. Only two other Eastern teams have winning records: Orlando (13-9) and Boston (11-10). Believe it or not, the Cavs (8-12, currently ranked 9th) are not out of playoff contention Ė although Milwaukee has the advantage for the 8th spot with a 10-11 record. And notice that the Knicks have not been mentioned in this paragraph.
Cavs vs. Heat for a first round playoff series? OK, it probably wouldnít be competitive. But it could happen. At least the back story would be compelling.
2/1 - Iíve been plugging ahead with GuruGolf setup, although Iíve been having more trouble with eyestrain after prolonged computer work Ė which has reduced the amount of time each day that I can do this type of work. Age is a terrible thief. Rather than pushing the limits to get ready for next week, I think Iím going to defer the start of the GuruGolf season until late February Ė probably launching with the PGA tournament in Cancun. That one always creates a big golfer turnover problem, since it marks the transition between the west coast tournaments and the east coast tournaments, so I think starting there will help in managing trades. At least, thatís my current rationale.
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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