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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.

3/31 - Today is the last day that new registrants for the Draft Bug game receive a free 4000 player points (essentially a $4 bonus). Even if you haven't decided if you want to play, you can register for free today and decide later. Might as well get those bonus points, just in case. And you can also enter the free home run derby while in the neighborhood.

I've been looking ahead at my TSN Hoops trade plans, and am having a hard time finding the moves to make. We get four more trades tomorrow (Ultimate), and another four next week, and most of my current players don't need to be traded, at least for schedule purposes. Some injuries are likely, which can create sudden needs or opportunities, but there aren't many schedule holes to exploit. A high class problem, I guess. Or at least, it would have been in January. Too bad I couldn't have borrowed some back then, when I really needed them.

Speaking of TSN, but switching to baseball, there's still plenty of room in the GuruPatrons Division for Ultimate Baseball. Password details are at the bottom of the GuruPatron validation page. If you are a GuruPatron and can't get that page to recognize you, send me an email and I'll provide the particulars. Eight managers have joined so far, and I'm sure we'll get more than ten (to be prize eligible).

A few new players were added to TSN baseball late last week - but not many. I'll try to get them included in my database shortly.

3/30 - The Final Four seed total of 7 (1+1+2+3) is pretty close to normal. Since the field was expanded to 64 teams, the median Final Four seed sum is 9, and this is the fifth time it's been 7. The scoring for the Market Madness contest awards bonus points for any non-#1 seed that makes it this far, so those with Michigan State and Villanova (including their related basket units) got a boost over the weekend (or got busted, if they were on the short side.) I haven't figured out the possible contest outcomes - although it's feasible to do that now, with only 8 possibilities. Most of the teams in the lead have multiple longs and shorts remaining, so the surface standings may still be misleading.

Tiger Woods is back, and so is the top scoring GuruGolf team of the weekend, former GuruGolf champion Liters4 (-39), who rode Tiger to the top ranking in the YTD standings as well. Curiously, the same manager also had the top worstball team of the weekend, Liters1, with a +68.

I added Draft Bug players, prices, and positions to the baseball sortable stats over the weekend. The first daily contests will be on April 6th, and will use these prices - which differ from the prices applicable to the April Home Run Derby. If you want a listing of the Derby prices, I posted a spreadsheet, which you can find in post 6 of this thread. By way, there are still 48 openings in the free home run derby contest. If you haven't done so, you should register and take a flyer. Registration details are in that thread as well.

The weekend rotoguru2 server migration went fairly well, with a few hiccups that I was able to resolve on Saturday morning. There still may be some lingering issues, however, so please let me know if you notice anything unusual.

3/27 - This year, when assembling my Market Madness selections, I decided to be contrarian and go against what I thought most of my local friends would do. As it turns out, I'm evidently bucking the whole universe, as my score now stands just two notches from the bottom, with all of my shorts still alive. I wish I could tell you I was trying to get the bottom spot - but I wasn't. Oops.

This weekend, the new rotoguru2 server will be activated, and I expect a few minor glitches, which I hope to sort out on Saturday. If you have trouble accessing a page with in the URL, try replacing it with And if you have any pages bookmarked with in the URL, replace that domain with as well. It is likely that the domain name will be deactivated, as I don't control it (due to a "rookie mistake" I made more than 10 years ago), and have lost the means to make backdoor provisions to keep it functional. Fortunately, I do own and control, so that will probably become the flagship domain.

3/26 - It was a good night for some TSN Hoops managers who had patience. Several recent underperformers had decent outings, particularly David Lee (49.5 TSNP) and Zach Randolph (47 TSNP).

Charles Howell III is once again the popular GuruGolfer of the week, on just over 40% of all foursomes (up from 25% last week). After last week's solid performance, there was certainly no reason to drop him.

3/25 - T-minus 11 days and counting. That's when the baseball season starts. Still time to procrastinate - but not much.

The next GuruGolf tournament tees off tomorrow morning. The field has remained pretty constant this week - but there are still at least 90+ GuruGolf foursomes that need some attention today.

The first of the five RIBC leagues has completed its 25-round draft, and most are closing in on the finish. The last AA league is moving at blazing speed, averaging around 40 picks per day. A typical draft moves at a rate of about 24 picks per day. It now looks like all five leagues should finish by the end of the coming weekend. Once they're all completed, I'll post some consolidated results.

3/24 - I noticed yesterday that the end of the NBA season is suddenly within view. The schedule code at the right side of the sortable stats now extends for only a day beyond three weeks. If you've got trades saved up in the TSN game (and I do), it's time to figure out how to use them. They won't have any residual value on April 16th.

Meanwhile, the baseball season starts in less than two weeks. TSN should be adding rookies to their player listing in the next few days. By next week, I should be done with my other baseball drafts, so I'm not even going to think about TSN rosters until then. But the clock will be moving fast.

My head's spinning, trying to keep all of my various baseball drafts-in-progress mentally organized, so I really have nothing blurb-worthy to offer today. (I used to be better at mental multi-tasking, but I think some of my biological memory chips have developed bad sectors. )

3/23 - A big weekend, on many fronts. I had a number on non-sports related obligations over the weekend as well, so I'm not at all sure I'm fully versed on all of the essential news of the last few days.

Market Madness started out with a fairly typical number of upsets, but by the time the second round was over, the net results looked rather chalky. None of the #1, #2, or #3 seeds have fallen, and only one double digit seed remains. The only thing for sure is that the standings won't change for the next three days. But if you filled out your bracket to send some top teams home early, you may be in jeopardy.

I have announced a marketing affiliation with a brand new fantasy baseball game, playSPEX. (see the large banner on the right side of this page) For a more thorough introduction, please click on the banner, which will take you to an introductory thread at the baseball forum.

Retief Goosen won the weekend golf tournament, but his stroke performance was not all that special, especially for best ball scoring. In terms of holes under par, he ranked only fifth, and if you grade those holes based on difficulty, he ranked around 40th. All of that helps to explain why his GuruGolf price didn't budge this weekend. Guys like Stricker and Howell were much more valuable.

Regardless, kudos to the top team of the weekend, Battlefield Rex (-42), and also the worst ball leader, Long Island Bytes. The latter's worst ball score of +50 was five strokes better than the runner-up, but as a former GuruGolf best ball champion, it's not at all clear that this was that team's intent.

3/20 - The tournament is already 25% completed, in terms of game counts. By tomorrow morning, we'll be at the halfway point.

But in terms of Market Madness scoring, we've barely gotten started. The real "moving day" for point generation is the fourth round, when four teams advance to the Final Four, along with the potential for bonus points. Until then, you can review the contest standings, but they can be a rather poor leading indicator.

I've posted a sortable summary of the unit selections. Click on any linked column heading to sort by that column. Memphis, North Carolina, West Virginia, Villanova, and Louisville are the most popular longs, while the Big 10 basket, Kansas, Michigan State, Oklahoma, and UConn were the most heavily shorted. It looks like a Memphis-UConn showdown will be a massive swing game, if they each make it that far.

3/19 - As I'm writing this at 10:40am, we are in hurry up and wait mode. The tournament starts in less than two hours. Once the first game tips of at 12:20, Market Madness Contest picks will freeze, and I'll have about an hour of processing (much of it manual, sadly) to get the contest standings set up and ready for results. If I ran this contest more than once per year, I'd have more of it automated. So be it. If you notice any incorrect scoring, that's probably from my brain cramping up. Just send me an email, and I'll fix it.

Speaking of cramping up, NBA players continue to DNP. Last night, Dwyane Wade was a surprise no show in Boston. And even with him out, the Heat took the Celtics into overtime before succumbing. From many of the comments at the hoops forum, it's clear that the rash of DNPs is wearing down a lot of fantasy managers. In this marathon, we are approaching "heartbreak hill."

In GuruGolf, the popular favorite this week is Charles "Thurston" Howell III, on about 25% of all rosters. With 75% of the NCAA tournament games being played this weekend, it will be hard to find much of an attention span for golf.

3/18 - The opening game of the tournament tomorrow has a tipoff scheduled for 12:20pm EDT. That's when your Market Madness picks must be completed and submitted. Then the Madness truly begins.

By the way, someone pointed out to me yesterday that the contest site was indicating that saved picks would not count toward the official standings, since the tournament had already started. Obviously, that was wrong - and has been corrected. All saved picks so far will certainly count. I was just checking to see if anyone actually paying attention. Yeah,... that's what it was.

If you're not paying attention to your NBA Hoops teams, you'd better. It seems like players are dropping like flies lately. My RIHC team is littered with red crosses. It's going to be a challenge to keep enough healthy bodies active to meet the season limits for games played.

And if you don't have enough to do, make sure you set your GuruGolf roster today. The Transitions Championship tees off before 8am tomorrow morning.

3/17 - With the frenzy over the pending NCAA tournament and the rigors of baseball drafting, NBA (fantasy) Hoops is difficult to stay on top of this week. So forgive me if I seem to largely ignore that sport for awhile.

Today I want to focus on the Market Madness Contest. Especially if you are new to the Market Madness format, don't despair when you read the scoring rules. Even if you don't "get it", fill out a set of picks and try it for a year. Once you've lived through a tournament, you'll catch on, and be much better prepared next year. If you want a few simple tips, try these:

  • For your shorts, look for first round upsets, and short the loser. For example, if you think that Chattanooga(16) will beat UConn(1), then short UConn. You might also try shorting one or two of the top seed baskets (1-3). For example, shorting the #1 seeds gives you plenty of opportunities to profit from an early upset - as long as the tournament doesn't go like it did last year!
  • For longs, pick the 4 teams you expect to survive to the Final Four. In many instances, it's good to take those teams not only as single teams, but also in their basket forms - unless you think the other teams in those baskets are really overrated.
  • Pick one or two double-digit seeds as longs. These will pay off well if they make it to the Sweet 16.
Actually, my best advice is to use the scoring simulator. Pick each of the games as you would for a typical bracket, and then let the simulator calculate the returns under your scenario. Use those returns as a basis for your picks - picking your longs from the top of the listing, and your shorts from the bottom. Or let the simulator do that for you (if you're running it while logged in to the contest site).

Every year, there is a lot of attrition between the contest registrations and the actual entries. It's not unusual for as many as 25%-30% of the registrants to not submit a set of picks. I'm sure that some of that is simply forgetfulness, but I suspect a larger issue is the confusion factor. One of the dominant feedbacks that I get from people who play for the first year is that they felt pretty befuddled when making selections, but once they see how the tournament and the scoring play out, they can't wait for next year. The simulator was designed to help you get over that initial hump.

3/16 - The field of 65 is set, and the brackets are ready to be filled out. You have until Thursday's first tipoff to log in your 2009 Market Madness Contest slate of picks. Get to it... the clock's ticking!

This is one of the busiest weeks of the year at RotoGuru World Headquarters. Not only is this the peak activity week for the Market Madness Contest, but baseball drafting activity is in full swing, and Hoops processing must be maintained. A multi-tasker's delight. Here's hoping I can keep on top of it all.

Speaking of baseball drafts, the RIBC draft is now into round 4. You can follow the picks with this link (picks listed sequentially, with a positional grid at the very bottom.) Also, every manager will be providing a brief narrative rationale in this thread.

No GuruGolf team found the tournament winner, Michael Bradley. That's rare. The top score of the weekend was a -48 carded by Cyberwahoo8, while worst ball honors go to Obama loves Rush, with a sparkling +49.

Draft Bug announced a free Home Run Derby contest for the month of April, available to the first 200 who sign up. If you haven't yet registered for the game, see details in the "Sponsor of the Month" promo above. You don't have to settle on your 10 players until opening day, but you do need to sign up for that contest before it fills (29 have already joined as of this moment.) Cash prizes will be paid to the top 20 finishers. This will be a salary cap contest, and I'll have the prices posted in the sortable stats later this week (oh good, another thing to do this week!) This can be a good way for you to get introduced to the Draft Bug site.

3/13 - Although there were two NBA games last night, neither was the epic battle of the night. That took place in Madison Square Garden, when Syracuse outlasted UConn in six - count 'em, 6 - overtimes. And now Syracuse gets to play West Virginia tonight, after having survived 110 minutes of game action in the previous two days. Good luck.

LeBron notched his third straight triple double in Phoenix (well, not all three were in Phoenix). He's certainly giving Dwyane Wade a run for the money as the hottest player on the planet.

The NCAA tournament brackets will be announced on Sunday evening. Assuming I can remember how to do it, all bracket info will be loaded into the Market Madness Contest site shortly thereafter. Hopefully, by 10pm or so on Sunday night, entries will be accepted. You'll have until the first tipoff on Thursday to make your contest selections. (We ignore the Tuesday "it's not a play-in" game.)

3/12 - Dwyane Wade's stat line of 32 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds, and 4 steals (54 TSNP) wasn't quite as gaudy as some of his recent efforts. But his fantasy owners can probably live with those specs. Still, he only ranked fourth among guards in TSNP last night. Chris Paul took top honors with an 85 TSNP triple-double, while Kobe and Devin Harris also eclipsed Wade's TSNP mark.

The "Where'd that come from?" award may have been earned by Antonio McDyess (57.5 TSNP), who is quietly putting together a very nice season in Detroit. It wasn't so many years ago (well, maybe it was) that McDyess was posting those types of results with regularity. As it turns out (since I just looked it up), his last studly year was the 2000-2001 season, when he averaged 20.8 points, 12 rebounds, and 40 TSNP in Denver. Things went downhill quickly after that, due to injury.

Only two NBA games tonight, but both should be good games to watch. Lakers-Spurs, and Cavs-Suns. (Another late Cavs game for my Dad to stay up for.)

In GuruGolf, the popular favorite this week is a real-world popular favorite, Rocco Mediate, on roughly 25% of all foursomes. Only 65 different golfers managed to find their way onto at least one GuruGolf roster this week, which is on the low side. Typically, rosters show a diversity of 100 golfers - sometimes more.

3/11 - My Dad, who just turned 81, has become an avid Cavaliers fan. Living in north central Ohio, he got interested shortly after LeBron was drafted, and has been on the bandwagon ever since. His hearing is not good, and his vision is not great either, but he still watches as much of every game on TV that he can. It's tough to stay up late when they are on the west coast, though, and he understandably zonked out last night when the Cavs fell behind by 17 after three quarters. It was probably already after midnight by then, and I doubt if I would have hung in that long. Apparently, the Clippers ran out of gas down the stretch, and LeBron channeled Dwyane Wade in the 4th quarter, notching a triple double in a stunning comeback win. Too bad my Dad doesn't have a DVR!

Tomorrow, GuruGolf heads to Puerto Rico, once again "playing" the secondary PGA event, since it features a cut. J.B. Holmes disappeared from that tournament field this morning, and because he was one of the more recognizable names this week, a lot of GuruGolf teams will need to retool today, as he was probably going to be the most widely owned golfer this week. Setting your roster early in the week is a good idea, but always remember to check again on Wednesday evening, if possible. Stuff happens.

I activated the 2009 Market Madness Contest yesterday. Admittedly, there really isn't anything to do until after the brackets are announced, but feel free to register, and reacquaint yourself with the mechanics of the scoring system. Until the new field is announced, I've left the site loaded with last year's bracket so that you can fiddle around if you wish.

3/10 - Dwyane Wade. Zounds!

Not only did he pull off the last second heroics to win the game, but - like a true fantasy trooper - he made a 3-pointer at the end of regulation to send the game into overtime, and then he missed a layup at the end of the 1st OT to allow it to extend to a second OT. You've gotta love it when your studs do whatever it takes to give themselves extra playing time! Of course, by that logic, maybe the consummate fantasy player would have missed that final 3-pointer to extend the game again. But if you've already provided two extra stanzas, a steal and a trey is a nice way to close it out. No sense risking injury by playing too long.

3/9 - Oklahoma City racked up another win (over Philly) without Durant and Green. Maybe those guys are overrated?

The top GuruGolf score was posted this weekend by Festivus Miracle with a -48, three strokes better than the next best score. Worst Ball honors went to G BB1 (+55), who - judging from the team name - apparently wasn't trying for that honor.

We have only about a week left to fill a second RIBC AA league. So far, only four have indicated interest, so we need 12 more, including a Commish. If you want to try a challenging 16-team roto league and vie for a shot at moving up to a AAA league next year, here's your chance. No experience (or cost) required - just a willingness to learn and a commitment to pay attention throughout the season (and the draft).

3/6 - No big surprises in the NBA last night, in only two games of action. The more impactful sports stories of the day centered on other sports - ARod, TO, and Manny.

I started working on the Market Madness Contest yesterday. All of the historical stats pages have now been updated. I hope to review and update the rules page shortly, with an intent to launch early next week. Of course, there really isn't much to do - other than reacquaint yourself with the idiosyncrasies of the format - before the tournament field is announced.

3/5 - Dallas loses handily to the Thunder, and then beats San Antonio - on back-to-back nights. Go figure. Meanwhile, the Thunder keep thundering, now at 3-0 since the injury to Durant (and the last two without Jeff Green as well). And in the game that Durant left early, OKC outscored Dallas after Durant was sidelined. Go figure2.

Is there anyone hotter than Dwyane Wade? In his last 8 games, he's only been under 50 TSNP once (46 @ Atlanta), and four times he's been north of 70 TSNP, including the last three. En fuego2.

Briny Baird is the popular GuruGolf favorite this week, appearing on roughly one-quarter of all foursomes.

3/4 - Maybe going head-to-head with Shaq isn't a good barometer of prowess for Dwight Howard. And Orlando did beat the Suns, even though Howard was statistically outmatched by Shaq. And granted, since the All Star break, Howard has averaged a very respectable 45.5 TSNP in 9 games. But three of those games were in the TSNP 20s, including the last two. With Dwight, it seems to be feast or famine. (Note: I initially mistyped that last phrase as "feats or famine", and after noticing it, I thought it might actually be the more appropriate characterization.)

The Honda Classic tees off tomorrow morning. If you set your foursome early in the week, better go recheck it - there have been a fair number of changes in the field since Monday morning.

3/3 - I guess it shouldn't be that surprising that Russell Westbrook fashioned a 17-10-10 triple double last night. After all, Kevin Durant and Jeff Green were both out with injuries. But it was surprising that a depleted Oklahoma City corps handled Dallas rather easily, never trailing by more than one point (and that was in the first quarter), and carrying a 20 point lead into the final stanza.

When assembling your GuruGolf lineup for this week's Honda Classic, be aware that next week's event will once again be the secondary tournament, the Puerto Rico Open. So the top players will be elsewhere next week, as they were last week.

3/2 - Quite a Shaqtastic weekend. Playing once again like the league's MDP, Shaq put up a pair of games totaling 78 real points and 107 TSNP. Next stop - Orlando, vs. Dwight Howard. Should be an interesting matchup.

Here's a surprise: Only one player has appeared in every game for the Phoenix Suns this season ... [click on blue for answer] Grant Hill. Thanks to Gurupie Ole for pointing out that tidbit.

Draft Bug decided to extend the signup bonus of 4000 points through the end of March. Those bonus points allow you to play four $1 contests for free. Win a contest, and you collect real money. Not a bad way to try it out, eh? And speaking of Draft Bug, I've started posting the daily points for standard Hoops contests. (DB points and prices appear to the right of the TSN points.) The link is now included on the Draft Bug section of the left menu. Kobe Bryant was the big kahuna, but Matt Barnes appears to have been the bargain of the day.

GuruGolfers picked the wrong Wilson this weekend. Dean Wilson was on more than 40% of all foursomes; he made the cut, but finished 12 strokes off the lead, tied for 38th. Mark Wilson - the tournament winner - appeared on only 6 teams. Congrats to the top team of the week, Eliminator 4, who needed neither Wilson to card a -48, three strokes better than the second best score. Worst ball honors were nailed down by Without a prayer, whose +59 was a full 10 strokes ahead of the field. Oddly enough, his team score got higher and higher with each round.

Thanks to Gurupie Bond, James Bond for suggesting today's quote.

2009: 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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