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

3/29 - The first month of the baseball season is already over? How’d that happen?

Jeff Overton continues as the holdover GuruGolf favorite. It’s very unusual for a single golfer to be the most widely owned GuruGolfer for an entire month. The 4-week streak will end next week, however, as he’s not invited to the Masters.

I’ll be away for the weekend, so there will be no blurb on Friday. Enjoy the Final Four, and next week, we’ll begin baseball in earnest.

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3/28 - If you have Dustin Ackley on your roto team, your team is probably off to a good start as well. Other positive contributors: Ichiro (4-5, RBI), King Felix (8IP, 5H, ER, 6K), Brandon McCarthy (7IP, 6H, ER, 3K), Brandon League (1.0IP, H, 2K, Save). And so we’re off. One game down, 2429 to go.

The sortable stats are now up for FireLeague Salary Cap baseball. I was also able to get the Assimilator up and running, after a one-year hiatus. I’ll now begin working on the sortable stats for the various daily contest sites. The first contests are April 5, so I have some time to get those going.

The Shell Houston Open tees off tomorrow morning. This is the final GuruGolf event in the “March to the Masters” contest, and both the best- and worst-ball prizes are definitely up for grabs.

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3/27 - The RIBC draft was completed early this morning, just in time to get the league activated in time for tomorrow morning’s game in Japan. I’ll produce a consolidated summary of all five RIBC drafts later this week.

Today, I hope to get sortable stats (and possibly the Assimilator) up for the FireLeague salary cap baseball games. The baseball Assimilator hasn’t been active since the 2010 season, so there’s a lot of dust to blow out of that program – but I’m assuming I can get it to rise from the dead, particularly at this time of year.

Special thanks to long-time Gurupie taxman for submitting today’s quote of the day.

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3/26 - Market Madness standings are now taking shape. I haven’t done the “what if” math, but a quick survey of the leaders suggests that it’s not a done deal yet.

In GuruGolf, Yankee Slicers rode Tiger Woods to the top best ball score (-42), while Cyberwahoo4 took worst ball honors with a +63.

I’m still scrambling to get prepared for baseball. Back to the salt mines…

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3/23 - Last night’s Syracuse-Wisconsin game was in doubt until the final nano-second. The other three games – not so much. Tonight’s schedule features three double-digit seeds. If any of them manages to survive to the Final Four, that will really scramble the Market Madness standings, as the Final Four bonus is 10 times the seed value.

Two of the RIBC baseball drafts are complete (both AA leagues). The two AA leagues plus the RIBC itself are in rounds 17-19, and should finish early next week. It’s at this time of the draft that rationales begin morphing into rationalizations. But that’s not to diminish the value of these picks. Finding a few sleepers that pan out can turn an average team into a contender.

The cut line for the Arnold Palmer Invitational currently stands at +3, and seems likely to get to +4 or even +5, assuming that today’s scoring is similar to Thursday’s. That’s no big surprise. Last year, those at +4 made the cut in this event.

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3/22 - We’re in the thick of baseball, basketball, hockey, and golf seasons. So what sport has dominated the landscape this week? Football, of course.

Bounty-gate. Wow!

Tim Tebow to the Jets, eh? I must confess, I don’t get that one. The juxtaposition of Tebow and Rex Ryan is humorous, however. I wonder how they’ll be able to communicate?

Jeff Overton is again the carryover favorite in GuruGolf, on roughly 44% of active foursomes.

The NCAA tournament resumes action tonight. One matchup features Ohio State and Cincinnati, who would seem to be natural rivals. But this is only the second time they have faced each other since the 1962 championship game. In the late 50s and early 60s, it was a classic rivalry. There must be a backstory (or several) as to why they’ve kept their basketball distance in spite of being only 100 miles apart. I suspect we’ll hear more about that tonight.

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3/21 - I’ve set up a division for all Gurupies in the Elite version of FireLeague salary cap baseball. This is the next incarnation of the salary cap game formerly run by SmallWorld, then TSN, then RotoHog. If you want to join this division, details are in this thread, along with a link to a spreadsheet of opening player prices and positions. I don’t yet have the sortable stats set up for 2012, but I hope to have that done soon.

GuruGolf tees off tomorrow morning for the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Get your foursomes set.

I’ve completed a preliminary identification of all Gurupatrons in the Market Madness Contest. This is relevant, since some prizes are only available to Gurupatrons. You can find those entries listed here. Since my identification methods are not foolproof, if you believe your entry should be listed (or those of immediate faily members), please send me an email and I’ll update the list.

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3/19 - Madness and drafting and golf – oh my!

My head is still spinning from all of the weekend activity.

So far, the tournament is looking very average. For the past 27 years, there have been an average of 12.8 upsets in the first two (full) rounds. This year: 13 upsets (seed-based). The average Sweet 16 has teams whose seeds add up to 70.5, and this year’s seed sum is 73. We could still end up with all four #1 seeds in the Final Four, or we could end up with a stunning set of underdogs. Too early to call how this one will eventually look in the history books.

As of this point, the Market Madness Contest standings still tend to reward entries that shorted a lot of the top seeds, particular in basket format. If those top seeds continue to advance, those entries will lose a lot of value. So don’t read too much into the current standings, unless you are really sucking with lots of shorts still active and very few longs. In that case, you’re toast – time to move on to baseball.

Two teams tied for the top bestball score (-45) in GuruGolf this weekend. Worstball honors went to caddies with a +42, of which 27 of those strokes occurred in the final two rounds. I obviously took my eye off the ball this weekend, as my four GuruGolf teams had only three golfers make the cut – combined. Thanks goodness for all of the distractions. I barely noticed.

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3/16 - The first full day of tournament action failed to produce the type of “madness” that is its namesake. Only two seed-based upsets happened, and very few games were still in doubt at the final possession. The escape by Syracuse was probably the most dramatic game. Maybe today will have more twists and turns.

I posted a summary of the Market Madness picks on the news page at the contest site. Looks like a lot of contest entrants were pulling hard for UNC-Asheville. The contest standings are difficult to interpret this early in the tournament, as the entries with a lot of expensive shorts tend to sort to the top, regardless of the early round results. When we get to the Sweet 16, the picture will come into better focus.

While you were watching college action, the NBA was busily rearranging a lot of deck chairs. I won’t list the names here, but the number of players changing uniforms probably numbers close to two dozen. And Dwight Howard isn’t one of them, as he decided to stick around for a repeat performance next year of his “I want to go – I want to stay” do-si-do. I’m sure we’re all looking forward to that.

RIBC draft rationales have started, now that the draft itself is in Round 3. We keep the posted rationales on a two-round lag, just to avoid tipping our hands “in the moment.” (Note: The listed times on that linked summary page appear to be using Greenwich mean time, so it’s not really peering into the future. Now that would really be useful draft software!)

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3/15 - Beware the ides of March. It’s only mid-morning, and my head is already spinning with all of the things I have to do and watch today.

Jeff Overton is the carryover favorite in GuruGolf this week, on just under half of all active foursomes. Golf is likely to be an afterthought this weekend. Hopefully, I’ll remember to update the GuruGolf standings each evening.

The RIBC draft is underway. All five league drafts are now in process. One of the AAA leagues is already in round 21 and likely to finish by this weekend.

But of course, the big item today is the “second round” of the NCAA tournament, after 60 teams have made it through their first round “byes.” Market Madness Contest entries will lock at 12:15pm, and standings should be updated after each block of games today.

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3/14 - Twice last night, I started watching NCAA tournament games, only to have them look like such blowouts that I clicked over to watch some Frasier reruns instead. Twice, I checked back in the second half just to see what was going on, and saw two record-setting comebacks. Iona choked away the biggest lead in tournament history (the lead wasn’t the biggest, just the choke), and Mississippi Valley State coughed up a 16-point lead in the final five minutes, a record for that time frame. Those will be tough acts to follow for tonight’s games.

If you’re active in RotoGuru sports, you’ll need to be focused today. The RIBC drafts are all underway. GuruGolf tees off early tomorrow morning. Market Madness entries need to be locked in by 12:15pm Thursday. Don’t let anything fall through the cracks.

And if that’s not enough to pay attention to, the NBA trade deadline looms tomorrow. Already, Milwaukee and Golden State made a trade involving Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh, Kwame Brown, Andrew Bogut, and Stephen Jackson. Other deals are undoubtedly in the works. But it’s going to be hard to pay attention amidst the March Madness noise this week.

Accuscore has posted a cool (free) tournament bracket simulator. If you’re looking to generate a random bracket with relatively accurate implied odds for each game, you might want to give it a try. Fun to play with, if nothing else.

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3/13 - I was just reviewing Jay Bilas’ bracket picks, and I must say I’m not impressed. Not only does he have all four #1 seeds going to the Final Four, but he has a #1 vs #2 matchup in every regional final. Jay – have you not been watching the tournament the last few years?

If you are new to the RotoGuru 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 UNC-Asheville(16) will beat Syracuse(1), then short Syracuse. 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 too “Bilas”!
  • 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.

If you like to pick your upsets based on team mascots, here’s something to consider. If #14 seeds St. Bonaventure and S. Dakota State (Jackrabbits) survive all the way to the finals, we could have a championship game between the Bonnies and the Bunnies.

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3/12 - The brackets are announced, and the pre-tourney analysis is in full gear. As usual, a lot of air time is being spent on bubble teams who got popped, and undeserving teams who got in. Last year, VCU was one of those “in” teams getting dissed, and then they went on to reach the Final Four, so I guess you can no longer dismiss “bubble snubs” under the guise of “in any event, they had no chance of reaching the Final Four or winning the tournament.” Regardless, the field is what it is, so there’s nothing productive to be gained from wailing about the unfairness of excluding Drexel or perhaps PAC-12 regular season champ Washington.

The RotoGuru Market Madness Contest is open and taking your registrations and selections. If you’ve never entered this contest before, be aware that it’s not your garden-variety fill-in-the-bracket contest. The contest rules are a good place to start, but I’ll be posting some other tips in the next few blurbs on how to go about putting together a coherent entry. And remember, last year my dog won (based on the success of canine teams, including a final game between the Huskies and Bulldogs), so anything is possible.

In GuruGolf, big ups to Mower Man, who posted the top scores in both best (-56) and worst (+48) ball scoring for the Puerto Rico Open. That doesn’t happen very often.

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3/9 - The chase for Peyton Manning has now begin in earnest. Manning is reportedly hoping to make a decision in the next week. I guess that means he won’t focused on filling out his NCAA tournament brackets next week.

The second RIBC AAA draft has started. Here are the draft results in progress. One of the AA leagues has now filled, and the other is almost complete. Sign up here (& provide your email) if you want to fill one of the remaining spots.

By the way, if you are looking to hold an online draft for your baseball league – particularly a “slow” draft held over several days or weeks – I heartily recommend The system accommodates timed picks, overnight pauses, pick-specific queues, keepers, trades for players or picks – just about anything you’d need. And the $10 price is very reasonable. RotoGuru has been using this system (and its predecessors) for many years for most of our Invitational Leagues.

It’s Friday, so that means another FanDuel Freeroll. For more details, see this.

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3/8 - As most of you know, RotoGuru World Headquarters is located in the heart of UConn Husky country, so today’s local buzz revolves around the Big East Tournament game vs. Syracuse, as UConn attempts to repeat it’s 5-game tournament run from the 9th seed. Frankly, I expect Syracuse to lay a beat-down on UConn, who had some serious shortcomings yesterday against W. Va., but graciously accepted a late game collapse from the Mountaineers. Nonetheless, after a disappointing regular season, UConn is now playing with house money. Too bad this is a noon game, as I suspect it would draw a decent following if in prime time.

The Puerto Rico Open is off and running, and Jeff Overton is the popular favorite, on just under half of all foursomes. Overton has already completed today’s round at -4, so he’s in good shape so far. Last year, the cut line for this tournament was -1.

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3/7 - I was watching UConn’s opening game in the Big East tournament yesterday afternoon, and someone from ESPN commented that Kemba Walker won more games in the Big East tournament last year than he has currently won in his NBA career. And then the Bobcats went out and improbably overtook the Magic last night to even Kemba’s record (5) on that front. Even so, he’s already lost more games in the NBA (31) than he lost in his entire college career (30), so the best that can be said of his pro career is that he might get a chance to play with Anthony Davis next year.

The Puerto Rico Open tees off tomorrow in GuruGolf. Once again, this is the undercard event in the PGA, as the WGC tournament at Doral has claimed the world’s top golfers. A bunch of GuruGolf rosters still have inactive golfers, so pay attention!

I’ve reactivated the Market Madness Contest site for 2012. There’s no need to do anything until the 2012 bracket is announced, but if you’re itching to do something, you can register now. The 2011 bracket is still coded up, but that will all be updated on Sunday evening.

One of the RIBC qualifying leagues has already started its draft. You can follow it with this link: RIBC AAA-Yahoo draft

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3/5 - Congrats to team Gordie, whose -45 was the top score in GuruGolf this weekend. Worstball honors went to Waddups (+55), an impressive feat with only two golfers making the cut. Ryan Moore provided a useful +12 on the final day.

Sunday was a good day for east coast NBA guards. Deron Williams went off for 57 points scored, yet still found a way to dish out 7 assists. Rajan Rondo put up an 18-20-17 triple double. No close calls there! According to the Elias sports bureau, the last player to get at least 17 in each of those three categories was Magic Johnson in 1989, and the last player to equal or top Rondo is each category was Wilt Chamberlain (22-21-25) in 1968. That’s pretty nice company. The only other player to have even reached 15-15-15 in the past 25 years was Jason Kidd, and he only did it twice.

Admittedly, Rondo got 5 points, 2 assists, and 5 rebounds in the overtime period. It was his fourth triple double of the season, and his second in the last 3 games. Do you suppose Rondo is showing off for potential trade suitors, or trying to convince the Celtics to hold on?

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3/2 - Davis Love III was the surprise leader after the first round of the Honda Classic. He’s only two years removed from joining the Senior Tour. And no GuruGolf teams have him.

RIBC AA leagues are still taking new managers. These are standard 10-category leagues using roto-scoring. One league will be hosted at Yahoo, and the other at ESPN. No cost to join, and no experience required. The only requirement is your active participation throughout the draft and the season. Drafting will take place over the course of several weeks in March, using a “slow” online system that will likely require you to make 1-2 picks per day, depending on the pace of the draft. If you are interested, please sign up now: Yahoo league   -   ESPN league

It’s Friday, so that means another FanDuel Freeroll .

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3/1 - March on!

GuruGolf rosters look quite similar to last week’s, with Spencer Levin and Johnson Wagner (I can never remember if it’s Johnson Wagner or Wagner Johnson) as the holdover favorites. Fifteen foursomes took the Tiger Woods plunge.

Kobe Bryant was a beast in January, topping the 40 TSNP mark 11 times in 17 games. In February, he had done it only 3 times in 12 games (& two of those were “just barely”) – until last night. With a mask protecting his broken nose and coming off a mild concussion, he was arguably the top guard of the night, with 48.5 TSNP (using the historical formula that is intuitive to many Gurupies). Sometimes I think he just needs to get angry to perform at his best.

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2012: February . . . January

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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