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Daily blurbs from the Guru
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10/31 - Sometimes a fresh start is all that's needed. Just look at the Football Pickoff performance of Gurupie John Gladden. Through the first eight weeks, his best weekly result was +11, and his cumulative total was -1041. But today, he stands atop the midseason rankings, with a week #9 performance of +626 points. Nice turnaround!

For now, you can see the midseason rankings by sorting on this week's total. Later this week, I'll set up a separate sort menu option for midseason standings.

We're down to the final minutes for Hoops drafting. I think I have all of my rosters set up, although I'm already spread pretty thin this season, so forgetfulness is a major concern. I have one team each in SW Hoops, Swirve, Progressive Sports Challenge, and SW 3-for-all, plus four teams in the SW Hoops Survivor game, and one traditional rotisserie-type team. Aye carumba! I'm hoping that the 3-for-all style (which includes the Survivor game) will be rather labor non-intensive, since it only requires weekly resetting of 3 slots, but if I end up in competitive divisions, even those games may require some regular rigorous thought.

I also have a LRV team in SW Hoops. For those of you unfamiliar this with acronym, LRV stands for Low Roster Value. This is an informal competition, organized at the message forum, for which the objective is to achieve the lowest franchise value by the end of the season. This approach was started around midyear in baseball, and the top (er,... bottom) teams were able to get under $2 million in value by the end of the season. If you're interested in giving this a fling, you can sign up here. And since the first repricing isn't until tomorrow, there's no need to draft anyone until at least tomorrow morning (which could include any overbought underachievers from tonight's games).

I'm hoping that it will be pretty straightforward to get Hoops stats posted tomorrow morning. By processing preseason stats this year, most of the programs have gotten an early shakedown. But keep your eyes peeled for glitches. You never know where Halloween goblins may have infiltrated and worked some magic.

10/30 - The shootout at 3Com Park perhaps fell a bit short of the point production some expected, but it still produced a number of the better performances for the day. The Rams/49ers game had 2 of the top 4 quarterbacks (Garcia and Green), the top running back (Marshall Faulk, who topped all positions), 2 of the top 7 wide receivers (Owens and Bruce), and 2 of the bottom 6 defenses. If you held the five players referenced above (and many did), you probably had a respectable week, regardless of the rest of your roster. Still, there were a couple of underachievers in that game, most notably Charlie Garner and Torry Holt, neither who generated as much as 60% of his prior average.

More than half of the Football Pickoff scores this week were positive, with the median score in the mid-30s so far. Two entries went 12/13, taking the early lead for the midseason prize with more than 600 points each.

We're down to the last 24 hours of draft preparation for Fantasy Hoops. If you've procrastinated, there are a lot of useful ideas (and some stupid ones as well) at the Hoops Message Forum that should help get you up to speed in a hurry. While there are certainly a lot of reasonable opportunities in this draft (regardless of game), there are very few consenses "slam dunks" this year, which is good, as it should lead to a good deal of roster diversity from the start. However, after a few games are played, rosters will start to converge on the early cheap producers, so this is an important time of the season to be paying attention. A big game from an unlikely source gets a lot more attention in early November than it would in mid-January.

10/27 - No Yankee bashing today. You may not like the franchise, the team, the owner, the city, and/or the wealth - but they sure know how to win in the postseason. Hats off.

And with the end of baseball, I reorganized the left menu to bring the Basketball links up above the baseball links.

The NBA season starts next Tuesday, and there are now less than 100 hours to complete your draft(s). The final preseason games are tonight. To give you more numbers to diddle with, I loaded preseason stats and averages into the Assimilator. I realize that these averages can be very misleading, as front-line players tend to play fewer minutes than they ultimately will, while bench players get more time. But it does begin to capture the effects of role changes and rookies, so I figure it is no less misleading than showing prior season averages. And it does provide more current information that isn't readily available elsewhere. Up to you to use as you see fit.

Football Pickoff selections are looking rather balanced this week, with no game currently as lopsided as 80/20. However, about 40% of the picks have yet to be logged, so those could change by Sunday.

I find it interesting (and satisfying) to see that so far, picking favorites vs. underdogs seems to be a tossup. Picking all of the consensus favorites so far would have earned you 74 points; going consistently the other way would have produced 176. That gap of 102 points is very tight, after about 100 games. What's also interesting is that the median score of all participants is around -100 points. And even that dismal result is better than picking all of the Vegas favorites, which has accumulated a total of -132. It appears that Gurupies are handicapping the games more accurately than the betting oddsmakers (which is perfectly normal, since the incentives are different).

10/26 - Last night's World Series game was rather unusual. Not because the Yankees won - obviously. Not because of the low score, or even because David Cone got to pitch (although that was rare, too). No, this one was actually completed before midnight local time!

Frankly, there's not much happening right now. The WS is almost over, but what's left to say? We're in the midweek lull for football, and the most interesting topic there is the weather outlook for San Francisco, where rain seems to be in the forecast for the entire weekend. That has possible implications for the expected shootout between the Rams & 49ers. And in Hoops, the preseason is winding down, leaving us with little additional information on which to base our roster tinkering.

I guess I should go rake some leaves.

10/25 - Good game last night, right to the end. But I really need a blowout game so I can get to bed at a decent hour.

No pitchers produced triple-digit SWP scores. No pitchers produced negative scores. And the hitting points were relatively well distributed, mostly where you'd expect them. In short, it probably wasn't a make-or-break game for anyone in fantasy point terms. But it certainly was a "make" game for the Mets, who not only found a way to "break" El Duque's postseason streak, but also got a solid closing effort from Armando Benitez. Benitez conjures up recollections of Jose Mesa during his days with the Tribe: solid, even spectacular, during the regular season, but a post-season adventure. If this series comes down to a game-7 closing situation for the Mets, I like the Yankees' chances.

Football: Kurt Warner took a bigger price hit yesterday than I expected. Usually, there's been a bigger lag effect. I think the reasons for Warner's early slide include:

  • Warner is a marquee name, and it was tough for even a casual fan to miss the news,
  • with the early freeze cutoff last week, some teams probably didn't get their pregame trades done - which meant there were more Monday trades available than is usually the case.
It looks like Jeff Garcia and Trent Green have already taken the lead in the "Who do I get for Warner and Griese?" sweepstakes. I expect that trend to continue into next week, although I also imagine that Manning and Culpepper will get a bit of the action.

If you've backed away from Football Pickoff in recent weeks due to a poor start, don't forget to return to action this week. Week #9 starts the competition for the Midseason Prize, and separate midseason standings will be kept for all teams beginning with this week's results. Almost 40% of all entrants have been inactive in recent weeks, and it would be nice to get some of them back in play.

Hoops: The NBA season starts a week from yesterday. Next Wednesday we'll have the first regular season results to digest. Don't forget that my sortable stats include points and price ratios for all preseason games, for both the Small World and Swirve games.

10/24 - If you live in the Eastern US, you might have missed a lot of excitement at the end of last night's football game. I dozed off throughout most of the 3rd quarter, but fortunately (and miraculously) revived in time to watch the Jets outscore Miami 30-7 in the fourth quarter, and then win in overtime. Quite a game! And right now I could really use a nap.

Through 3 quarters, Vinny Testaverde looked pathetic. And through the same period, the Miami defense looked great. But when the game was over, Vinny was the top QB of the week (511 SWP), and Miami's defense totaled a big zero. (Or perhaps a small zero.) It's quite unusual to have 4 turnovers and still come up with a goose egg. Of course, the Jets had pretty much the same result: 3 turnovers, and a grand total of 5 SWP.

I ended up this week with a rather disappointing SWP total, but a great Swirve total (over 11,000 SvP). Last week was just the opposite. Go figure.

So now the "Kurt Warner redeployment" trading frenzy begins. Judging from the comments at the message forum, ,most people who still had trades available have already dumped him. Those without trades are crossing their fingers. I doubt if Warner takes a big hit today, although given the widespread awareness of his injury, a small selloff certainly seems possible. And the cash raised should come in handy, particular for replacing Mike Anderson, who also has a bye, and whose points would otherwise be difficult to replace at a comparable price (although Lamar Smith no doubt helped his case with last night's performance).

10/23 - If you went into the weekend with next week's trading plans all set, you probably have some rethinking to do this morning. Kurt Warner's injury not only has direct trading implications, but the cash freed if/when you sell him probably opens up some additional flexibility. Also, if Marshall Faulk's injury also turns out to be serious, then a lot of teams will have $24 million to work with. And with Denver going on a bye week, this looks like a good week to have a few spare trades in reserve. Thank goodness we don't have to make final plans by Thursday!

Stud-of-the-day honors belong to Corey Dillon and Albert Connell, each with more than 600 SWP (and Connell with more than 1900 SvP). Neither one was on many rosters, though. Still, Dillon had a big impact on this week's scoring, as he singlehandedly torpedoed the Denver defense, which was widely owned.

Football Pickoff results were pretty dismal for most people this week. The median score so far is -108. The Pink Pimp held on to #1 spot in the YTD standings. His score for this week is only +48, but no one else in last week's top 15 had a positive score this week (and six of them were worse than -200)! I also see that last year's winner, Sludge, has crept up to 9th place overall. Once again his slow and steady (well, maybe not so steady) methodical approach is showing its value over the long haul.

Next week (week 9), we begin fresh scoring for Football Pickoff's midseason prize. You don't need to register again. All entries will automatically be included in the midseason standings. If you're hopelessly out of the running for full season honors (like me), this gives you a second chance at regaining some dignity.

In baseball, Roger Clemens is looking like the key to success in the SW Playoffs game. His total SWP for the playoffs now 100 more than anyone else, and that includes his initial start of -25 SWP.

Many baseball fans think that Joe Torre chose Clemens to start game #2 in order to keep the bat out of his hands during the Series. As it turns out, I guess that part of the strategy didn't pan out, did it?

10/20 - The blind week at Football Pickoff has already dealt a nasty blow to many of you. Tampa Bay ended up an 88/12 favorite over Detroit - probably much more lopsided than would have been the case with advance disclosure. So 317 entries got stuck with -88 points to start week #8. Of the 44 entrants who picked Detroit, four doubled the game, so they are already 264 points ahead of most of the field so far. Nice call!

By the way, Pickoff standings won't be updated until after the Sunday freeze. For now, you'll just have to hope that your arch rival isn't one of the four Detroit-doublers.

Top player in last night's game? Running back James Stewart, with 452 SWP and 884 SvP (Swirve points). I doubt if many had him, even though he's had a nice string of games ever since his 78 SWP performance the last time he faced... Tampa Bay. The second top producer came from an unlikely position. Martin Gramatica had 260 SWP, which is a great output for a kicker. Four field goals, including two 50 yarders!

For SW Playoff baseball, we got two more hitter trades yesterday. I'm sure a lot of those will be immediately spent to dump inactive players. Expect an ugly repricing today for Cardinals and Mariners.

Last year, I put out a series of preseason "Basketball Tips of the Day" during the last week of October. I'm sure they are just as valid now as they were a year ago. You can find them archived here. For that matter, you may wish to review all of the prior Hoop Pointers essays. Some are rather dated, and the games have changed over the years, but I'm sure a lot of the concepts are still appropriate.

10/19 - Got your football trades done? If it's after noon (EST), you'd better have, because from here on, you're working on next week's roster.

If you need another diversion for the next few days, Swirve just launched its Basketball game. I've already got the players, prices, and stats loaded in the soratble stats and the Assimilator, so go to it. The format looks to be the same as last year (and similar to other recent Swirve games), with a pot of money that you have to spend as you see fit over the course of the season. If you add a player, you must keep him for at least 3 days, and dropping a player entails a cost of one day's market salary. The optimal strategy requires a blend of locking in cheap players for the long haul while using some slots to actively rotate some of the better players to maximize game exposure. I'm sure some strategy threads will soon appear at the message forum.

10/18 - No need for me to comment on the subway series. You'll get plenty of hype elsewhere. And for three days, we'll be stuck with all hype, no action. [Sigh]...

OK, so no baseball for three days. What to do? Well, for openers, you've got to complete your pre-weekend football trades by tomorrow morning. We won't have baseball tomorrow night, but we will have football.

Then what? If you haven't started working on the "art-of-the-possible" for hoops, then this may be the opportunity to dig in. There's still another week of preseason games, but we've already got some results to mull over.

Too often, there's not enough time get everything done. That shouldn't be the case for the next few days. Take advantage.

10/17 - It seems like everyone has practically conceded that we'll have a subway series. (Sounds like a good sponsorship opportunity for Subway sandwich shops.) But baseball has a way of producing the unexpected. In any event, we'll know soon enough.

Actually,as distasteful as it is to root for the Yankees, a subway series would be fun, and it might even keep the NY focus off of Hillary vs. Lazio - a true silver lining! It would also be fun to see Clemens bat in Shea Stadium, and let Piazza call for a few inside pitches. That might be reason enough for Torre to start Clemens in games 2 & 6 (both in Yankee Stadium), rather than 1 & 5. But I guess I shouldn't get too far ahead. Maybe game 1 will be at Safeco Field.

I was flipping my remote control back and forth last night between baseball and football. The football game wasn't very close, but I had to keep tabs on a few players. Fortunately, Mason didn't get hurt until after he'd put up some points. He' clearly lot of rosters right now, and the early freeze this week will make it tough to take a wait-and-see posture.

Football Pickoff has a new leader, as The Pink Pimp moved into the top spot on the strength of continual, steady performance. Note that he's only had one negative week, and all of the rest are better than +200 points. Of course, that bad week was the previous blind week, and he'll have to deal with that lack of information again this week. Meanwhile, I surged back into negative-triple-digit territory, with my first positive week of the year. The median score this week was +110, which I think is the highest so far this season.

For Hoops, I now have preseason point details in the individual player pages, which you can access from any player link in the sortable stats. This resource allows you to drill down to see what's behind a player's summary totals, including minutes played in each game. You can also link back to the prior season's detail, if you wish. I use these pages quite a bit, and I think you'll find them helpful as well, not only during the preseason, but particularly during the regular season.

10/16 - Until yesterday, a 3000 SWP weekend was a very good performance. But this week, if you didn't get more than 3000, you probably lost ground.

It was also a week when wealth paid dividends. The two most expensive running backs, Marshall Faulk and Edgerrin James, each produced more than 600 SWP. And I saw a fair number of SW rosters with both of them. Two QB's topped 500 SWP: Garcia and Griese. Two other running backs were in the 500 SWP range as well: Ricky Williams and Charlie Garner. And while the Jets defense probably wasn't held by many teams (they also got 500 SWP), Pittsburgh and Denver were widely owned. So it was a good week to own many of the consensus picks. And a costly week to attempt very much differentiation.

By the way, Jeff Garcia now ranks as the top producing player in YTD SWP, passing Warner. Warner, Faulk, and Griese have higher per-game averages, however.

It was also a good point week for Football Pickoff, with favorites generally faring well. The median score so far is +81. Even I got a positive score this week!

Before turning to baseball, let me alert you to a schedule issue for this week. There is a Thursday night game, Detroit at Tampa. For SW and Swirve, the roster freeze will therefore be moved up to Thursday noon EST. Don't get caught! For Football Pickoff, the adjustment is less severe. Although your pick for the Thursday game will be locked in at kickoff time Thursday night, you may continue to make or change picks for other games until 1pm EST Sunday, as usual.

In baseball, it was a bad day to have starting pitchers for the NL series, as both Kile and Bobby Jones produced red numbers. At least Jones has enjoyed a nice price push over the past week, appreciating $1.2m since his previous start. Kile has had a much tougher time holding his price of late, and surprisingly only appreciated $30K yesterday. I suspect a lot of rosters still owned him, though, and today could be an ugly price day for him - even though he had already lost $860K in the prior three days. It was a better day for hitting points, but in my case, they just recovered the Kile collapse. Oh well...

10/13 - Trends continue. Rick Ankiel still can't pitch straight. Al Leiter still can't get a win, even though he keeps leaving the game with a lead in the late innings. And games are still taking way too long.

After several days of not much hitting, hitters got a few points last night. Three guys were in the low 40s: Mike Piazza, Edgar Renteria, and Edgardo Alfonzo.

I'll be away for most of the day on Saturday, so SW Playoff prices won't be updated (in the sortable stats or the Assimilator) until late Saturday evening. Please be alert if you plan to make any trades prior to the Sunday freeze.

On to Hoops. A new feature! I've added preseason SWP totals and averages to the sortable stats. While I realize that preseason playing time is often not a good indicator of regular season use, it should help to flag some of the sleepers that have had strong preseason performance. And you certainly won't find this data at the SW or Swirve sites!

I'm able to add this data because the preseason boxscores are readily available, and because October is otherwise a reasonably quiet month. So don't get your hopes up for preseason baseball stats next spring. Preseason baseball boxscores are typically incomplete, and March is also the busiest time of the year at RotoGuru World Headquarters.

Player pages still reflect prior year game details. I'll plan to get preseason detail pages up sometime next week, which will show minutes played for each game (as well as points). I may also load preseason stats into the Assimilator next week. Hopefully, this will be of great assistance to all Gurupies in putting together a productive, efficient draft.

If you find it useful, show your support by clicking an ad! Thanks.

10/12 - Both of yesterday's games were setting up as save opportunities. As late as the 8th inning, it looked like Benitez, Sasaki, and then Rivera would have a shot at those extra 30 SWP. But the New York [insert team here] bats blew the games open before the 8th was closed, and the save opportunities were lost. Pretty maddening, if you have one of those closers. I've got Veres, so I wasn't teased this time.

Orlando Hernandez was the top dog. Mike Hampton almost matched him. And the other two starters didn't pitch badly. John Halama could have had 100 SWP if the Seattle bullpen hadn't reverted to its form of recent years. And if the Cardinals could have solved Hampton, Kile's 30 SWP could have been 75. Hopefully, you didn't have Rhodes or Mesa. Rhodes might have been tempting, with a minimum price and a strong playoffs so far. But why anyone would have wanted Mesa in the post-season escapes me. (I sound like a bitter Tribe fan, don't I?)

So far, it looks like I should have assembled a hispanic team. If I had loaded my roster with guys named Hernandez (Orlando, Livan, Ramon, Carlos), Martinez (Tino or Edgar), Garcia, Rivera, Paniagua, Alfonzo, Sojo, Tejada, Chavez... I'd be doing quite well. Unfortunately, my first round picks of Benitez, Furcal, and Andruw Jones (I assume Curacao is considered Latin American) didn't do much. Wrong latino players.

I updated the Hoops Assimilator yesterday. 2000-01 Smallworld Hoops players are now included. Point projections (remember that feature?) are based on averages from the 1999-2000 regular NBA season. Swirve players should be included in both the Assimilator and the Sortable Stats sometime next week. That game hasn't been formally launched yet, but I believe liftoff is imminent.

10/11 - Freddy Garcia may have made an immediate impact in the LCS. But it doesn't look like he made much impact in the SW Playoff game. After a week of steady price leakage, he only rose $40K yesterday, suggesting that very few managers owned him. If you are one of the few, you should have gotten a nice uptick in the standings today.

A review of yesterday's SW football price changes indicates that Rams were sold, and Broncos and Titans were bought. In the case of Tennessee, their opponent (Cincy) was probably the main attraction. Denver players may have been motivated by a combination of matchup (S.D.) and injury (Griese returning, Terrell not). And, of course, the Ram selloff was bye related. Look for them to make a strong price comeback next Tuesday, as many will see this as the cheapest opportunity to get them - perhaps for the balance of the season. (Duhhhh!)

Two baseball games today. Enjoy!

10/10 - A lot of SWF managers were concerned about Daunte Culpepper having to face the tough Tampa defense. But it took only one play before it looked like the reports of his death were greatly exaggerated. He ended up with 383 SWP, and it could have easily been 430 if the Vikings' center could snap straight.

I notice that Minnesota and Jacksonville both get national TV exposure again next weekend. They just flip-flop between Sunday and Monday night. And I must say, at this point of the season, Minnesota is much more entertaining to watch than the Jags.

The agenda for a lot of teams this week will be to add Rams to their rosters. Warner, Faulk, Bruce, and Holt are all certain to drop in price today. For the rest of the week, they may be as cheap as they'll ever be for the rest of the season. And if St. Louis can continue to average 40 points per week, they'll produce plenty of points.

In Football Pickoff, I think this is the first week we've had a repeat front-runner, as remains atop the standings. The lead over second place is pretty slight, though. Glancing down the leaderboard, it's curious that away teams have done so well this season. If you had consistently picked away teams, you'd rank #9 overall at this point - with only one negative week (and that was only -3 in NFL week #2).

The attention today shifts back to baseball, with the ALCS starting tonight. Anyone have the guts to pick up Denny Neagle?

Finally, I welcome a new "Sponsor of the Month" today, Progressive Sports Challenge, which launches its free fantasy basketball game today. One of PSC's founders is a Gurupie, so please check out this new, free game opportunity.

10/9 - Not a good day for bay area fans. Both baseball teams were knocked out, and for awhile it looked like neither football team would win either - even though they were facing each other! After 2 botched field goal attempts in OT, Oakland finally managed to score and avoid the tie.

At least the A's made it entertaining after a horrendous first inning against the Yankees. The opposing Sunday night football game was entertaining only in the context of the variety of botched plays by both teams and officials.

So now we need to reposition our rosters for the League Championship Series. We know the teams and the dates, but we are still left to speculate on some of the pitching matchups.

By the way, do you know who the top point producer was for the Divisional Series? None other than Bobby Jones, with his minimum pricetag! He barely nosed out Mariano Rivera. Jim Edmonds was the only other player in their SWP neighborhood.

In Football, we finally had a week that was not offensively dominated by the Rams. Jeff Garcia is the top SWP producer so far, with 582 SWP. His favorite target, Terrell Owens, topped the Swirve point list with 1588. Their opposing tandem of Rich Gannon and Tim Brown each ranked second in their respective fantasy point totals.

Baltimore was again the defense du jour, with 6 turnovers leading to 430 SWP. If Jamie Martin hadn't engineered that 4th quarter TD drive, the Ravens would have hit the 500 SWP mark. Although Miami still leads in defensive SWP for the season, Baltimore has outproduced the Fins by 425 SWP over the past 3 weeks. And with Miami and Tampa Bay both having byes next weekend, Baltimore can take over the #1 spot in total SWP with anything above 300 SWP vs. Washington.

Football Pickoff had a median score of -14 yesterday. That's what picking all of the betting favorites would have earned you. Visiting teams continued to enjoy success, with 8 of 13 winning, good for 108 points. Nobody ran the table yesterday, with the poets taking top honors for the day with 12 winners (missing only the "Ditka Bowl") producing 618 points.

10/6 - Al Leiter certainly deserved a better fate. Armando Benitez deserved a worse one. When J.T. Snow took Benitez deep, he took 40 SWP from Leiter. When Jay Payton singled in the eventual winning run in the 10th, he gave 30 of those SWP back - to Benitez, who got credit for the win. Life - and baseball scoring - is not always fair. And lest you think I'm whining, you should know that I actually had Benitez on my roster, not Leiter. Sometimes it's better to be lucky...

In the day's opener, both starters were rocky in the first inning. But Kile quickly found a groove, while Glavine just kept grooving them. As a result, they bookended the pitching point list for the day.

Jim Edmonds and Will Clark were the top hitters with 52 and 50 SWP, respectively. J.T. Snow and Mark McGwire each made the most of their single plate appearance. And Timoniel Perez had 33 SWP, filling in for the hobbled Derek Bell. But don't bother considering Perez as a cheap outfield alternative in the SW Playoff game, because he's not even listed. (The only other unlisted active players are pitchers Joel Pineiro and Britt Reames.)

I made one small change to the baseball playoff sortable stats. Instead of the option to see the points and averages over the last 30 days, I've replaced it with a" Playoff Only" option. This allows you to see just the points (and averages) earned during the course of the playoffs. This will help you identify who you should have drafted.

Playoff teams could start dropping out as early as today. To help you think through your hitter trade management options, I've started a forum thread on the topic. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts as well. The weekend could go in a lot of different directions.

10/5 - If you abandoned your opening SW playoff team, or even just swapped out of a day-1 starter, hopefully you went for Pettitte or Livan , rather than Hampton. Pettitte was a tough one to pick up, given the Yankees' recent skid and his -125 SWP debacle against Baltimore last week. But he was masterful last night. And Hampton didn't pitch as poorly as his -20 SWP result indicates. But it's still a -20, thanks largely to the top hitters of the day, Ellis Burks and Barry Bonds, who combined for 90 SWP.

Today the AL catches the jet stream, while the NL catches up.

Early picks in Football Pickoff suggest that this may be a tough week. Six games are listed inside of 60/40, and only two favorites are listed at 80% or higher. Of course, that could shift, as less than half of this weeks picks have been logged, but after several weeks with some very lopsided games, this week is shaping up as relatively balanced.

In Hoops, I released the 2000-01 version of the Sortable Stats, with last year's stats and this year's SW prices. If you played Hoops last season, you may recall the extensive filtering and projection capabilities. In particular, the projection features really simplify the ability to get a point-driven outlook based on recent performance applied to the impending schedule. Check it out, and re-acquaint yourself.

10/4 - Anyone need a Mulligan? If you went with the starters from the Atlanta-St. Louis game, Maddux and Ankiel, that might be your best move. At least there are no SWP deductions for wild pitches.

Four of the top five pitchers (SWP-wise) were relievers, with only Gil Heredia joining that elite quintet with his monstrous 60 SWP performance. The top hitters were Jim Edmonds with 53 SWP and Brian Jordan. Five hitters were in the 30s.

Three more games today. Enjoy.

10/3 - October used to be a period of light activity at RotoGuru World Headquarters. Football only requires weekly updating. Hoops doesn't start until the end of the month. And I never had a fantasy baseball playoff game to cover before this year.

Last year, I used the lull to create and launch Football Pickoff. This year, that's cruising along pretty smoothly - administratively, at least. Baseball playoff stats and prices will require daily updates, though, so that will keep the statistical muscles from atrophying, I guess. And I have a lot of prep work for Hoops, still. So, I'm sure I won't get bored.

I flipped the left menu panel to put football on top. That is clearly the sport with the most Gurupie activity for now.

Yesterday, I counted 81 of the top 100 teams (SW Fullseason Baseball) that are known to be managed by Gurupies. It wouldn't surprised me if some of those other 19 teams also use the site, as I know there are a lot of lurkers who use the stats reporting and sometimes follow the message forum, but don't post messages - so we can't identify them. Even if not, 81/100 is a pretty strong endorsement for the value provided at

Hockey season is on the imminent horizon. If you're playing SW or Swirve hockey, be sure to take advantage of Paul Sheirer's Hockey Stats Site. Paul (a.k.a. "Philliephan" to message forum users) offers many of the same statistical features that I produce for Hoops, including sortable stats, an Assimilator, and schedule outlook tools. See that square SW Hockey icon just below the Football links to the left? Click on it, and it'll take you directly to his site. As many of you know, hockey's just not my game, so it's great to have Paul provide supplemental coverage that's just as versatile as other RotoGuru tools.

10/2 - And the regular season abruptly ends. Not only for the Indians, but also for a number of fantasy managers who were hoping to capitalize on an extra game or two.

Tim Hudson finished the season with a flourish, winning his 20th game and pitching the A's into the playoffs. At the other end of the spectrum, Randy Johnson blew up with his worst outing of the year, and in the process he

  • failed to win his 20th game,
  • lost the National League ERA title to Kevin Brown, and
  • dropped behind Pedro Martinez to finish second in total SWP for the year. (Pedro also had 6 fewer starts.)
It would have been a nice time to differentiate and skip Randy's start, but not many did. 88 of the top 100 teams had him, and so his stinky outing didn't have much bearing on the final standings, except perhaps for the brave souls who shunned him.

While there were some decent hitting days, no one had a monster. And so the regular season closes. Gurupies dominated the worldwide rankings in all covered games, including taking the top spots in SW Full Season Baseball and Swirve Baseball.

So now we move on to Playoff Baseball. If you're playing the SW Playoff game, the players on the inactive teams have now been coded as inactive in the sortable stats, which makes it much easier to sort among just the active players. Also, the first round playoff schedule has been coded in the Playoff Assimilator. You've got until tomorrow noon to get your playoff roster in order. Go to it!

In football, Kurt Warner was once again the big kahuna in SWP, accumulating 630 in less than 3 quarters of action. It looks like the only thing that will stop the Rams from scoring is a bye week - which they have next weekend. Brian Mitchell and Randy Moss also posted totals in excess of 500 SWP. Moss was also the top Swirve scorer, with 1579 SvP.

In Football Pickoff, it was a good day for away teams and underdogs. Less than 30% of this week's participants posted positive scores, with a median of around -110 points. No one got more than 11 out of 13 correct. And I surged into the cellar, with my fourth consecutive debacle. If I had reversed every pick I've made this year, I'd be in the lead!

Click here for prior daily blurbs, by month:

2000: September . . . . . August . . . . . July . . . . . June . . . . . May . . . . . April . . . . . March . . . . . February . . . . . January

Click here for prior daily blurbs, by month:

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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