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

10/31 - It should go down as the “Day of the Jakes.” Jake Plummer and Jake Delhomme were to top 2 QBs, probably in just about any scoring format. They combined for 650 passing yards, 7 TDs, and no turnovers. The Denver game was particularly remarkable in that (according to an ESPN SportsCenter report) it was the first time in NFL history that a team featured a 300_ yard passer and two 100+ yard runners. You would think that in the history of the NFL, there would have been a similarly prolific “butt-whupping.”

It was also one of those days that reminds you of the adage “on any given Sunday…” No matter how badly an NFL team seems to be playing, any team is capable of winning. To wit: San Francisco’s win over Tampa Bay. When I was picking the games in Football Pickoff, I somehow convinced myself that, in spite of the lopsided odds, S.F. was playing so badly that they simply wouldn’t win. Oops! Now if Baltimore beats Pittsburgh tonight, I’ll get another similar lesson.

Tomorrow starts the NBA season. If you want to complete your final GuruGolf activities before getting distracted by Hoops, you can set your foursome now for this week’s Tour Championship. It’s a no cut tournament with only 30 entrants (29 now that Phil Mickelson has decided to skip it), so you’re unlikely to learn much more by waiting a few days. And if you have any ideas for next year’s version of GuruGolf, feel free to express yourself in the Ideas for 2006 thread at the golf forum. The new season probably won’t launch until February, but I’m sure the ideas will be fresher and more plentiful before this season goes “out of sight and pout of mind.”

10/28 - The RotoGuru Invitational Hoops Challenge draft is over. I put together an interesting summary of the consolidated results of the RIHC and three of the qualifying leagues. Now we simply twiddle our thumbs for a few more days until the regular season begins…

… which provides a good opportunity to start assembling my salary cap teams for the TSN and PSC games. The trick is to figure out which preseason stats have regular season meaning, and which guys will revert to cheerleading status. Having access to preseason fantasy points is both a blessing and a curse in that regard.

After two weeks of blisteringly low scores, this week’s Chrysler Classic looks like it will sport a cut line above par. That still may not be good enough for Vijay Singh, who started the day bogey-bogey to go to +5, although he’s now back above the current line at +2 as I write this with 8 holes to go. The weekend weather in Tampa looks to be placid, which I’m sure is welcome for the state as a whole much moreso than it is for the golf tournament.

10/27 - Maybe all the Cubs need to do is rename the team – to “Blue Sox”.

Houston must have felt in familiar territory after their 1-0 loss in the World Series finale. They lost 1-0 five times during the regular season. However, this was the first time that it happened without Roger Clemens being the starter.

On to Hoops. You may not be aware of this, but the NBA has eliminated their “injured list” process for the coming season. Formerly, if a player was put on the IL, he could not be activated for at least five games. But this season, there will simply be an active list and an inactive list. An injured player can be on the inactive list for a single game. And the inactive list will include players who are not injured, but are simply inactive for any reason – including being sent to the developmental league, or attending the birth of a child, or just generally sucking.

This has implications for some forms of fantasy hoops. Notably, in Yahoo leagues, a player has to be placed on the NBA injured list in order to be eligible for a Yahoo IL slot. In response to my email inquiry yesterday, I was informed that Yahoo will not make any change to compensate for the lack of an injured list, meaning that the IL slot on fantasy rosters will become inconsequential, as no player will ever be eligible to be moved into one of those slots. If you are playing in a private league hosted at Yahoo, or at any other site, you ought to consider if and how you will deal with injured players this year.

10/26 - Last night, the temperature in Houston got down to the low 50s. Tonight’s forecast calls for a low in the 40s. With the stadium roof open, the chill seemed to reach all the way to the Houston bats, particularly as the night wore on. The ‘Stros only got one hit after the 4th inning.

This World Series has offered three very entertaining games. It’s too bad that it may be best remembered for the variety of blown calls (which at least have now gone in both directions), roof position, and dismally low ratings.

PSC Hoops player prices have been released and are now loaded into the Assimilator and sortable stats. Have at it!

Tomorrow’s GuruGolf tournament, the Chrysler Championship, is the next to last event in the GuruGolf season, and the final one with a cut involved. Next week’s Tour Championship not only has no cut, but includes a field of only 30 golfers, so score differentiation may be a challenge for the finale.

10/25 - Last night’s game between the Jets and Falcons was hardly a clinic on good QB play. In TSNP terms, Michael Vick and Vinny Testaverde combined for only +115 points, and +180 of those came on three rushing TDs. Without those TDs, they would each have earned negative points, as they had no TD passes and 7 turnovers between them. Yech.

I was alerted this morning to a glitch in Football Pickoff. Picks for the 4th game (Green Bay at Cincy) were not being properly recorded. This was an inadvertant hangover from an ad hoc adjustment I made last week to accommodate an early freeze for the KC @ Miami game (also the 4th game down). It’s been fixed, but if you made a pick for that game between 12:15am and 10:15am this morning, you should double check to make sure the system has correctly recorded “the intent of the voter”.

10/24 - Sometimes it is easy for me to root for one of the World Series teams. Or to root against one. But in this one, I can’t find a solid reason for either. So while the two games so far have been entertaining, they haven’t been gut wrenching, as they would have been if I had cared about the winner.

Heard on the Tony Kornheiser radio show this morning: Based on his post-game comments, it sounds like Jermaine Dye was fully aware that he hadn’t been hit by the pitch in the 7th inning. If this had been golf, an alert TV viewer, having seen the replays, would have called the Commissioner to report the incorrect ruling. Upon being confronted, Dye would have admitted the missed call, and White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen would have forfeited the game as the moral and honorable thing to do.

Speaking of golf, neither Tiger Woods nor Vijay Singh made the cut this weekend. Four GuruGolf rosters had both of them. That’s gotta hurt. And amazingly, all four rounds were completed – not only on time, but slightly earlier than scheduled.

Did anyone project Daunte Culpepper to be the top QB of the weekend? I didn’t think so. How about Lamont Jordan as the top running back? Actually, he wasn’t such a long shot, although you would have figured that one of Tomlinson, James, or Alexander would have done better. As the saying goes, that’s why they play them on the field. Edgerrin certainly carried his weight, but the other two didn’t even combine for a good weekend.

10/21 - You’ve probably already heard that the KC at Miami game will be played tonight. Make sure you know how that will impact your roster freeze in whatever game(s) you play. For Football Pickoff, only that game will be locked in gametime. The rest of the weekend slate will freeze at 1pm on Sunday, as usual.

TSN released prices for NBA rookies yesterday, and I have already loaded them into the sortable stats and the Assimilator. PSC also announced that they will release player prices early next week. So, we’re getting there.

Yesterday’s early scoring trends continue through this morning at the FUNAI Classic, where the cut line has already moved to -4 with only about half the field currently on their front nine. The real issue for this tournament, though, could turn out to be whether all four rounds get played, as rain is forecast for much of the next 4 days.

10/20 - The NFL is apparently considering a shift in the game time for the KC at Miami game, due to the coming hurricane. I’ve heard rumors that it could be as early as Friday, or as late as Monday, or perhaps even moved to a different weekend altogether. If the latter option is chosen, it’ll really foul up fantasy football lineups. I’ll bet the game is rescheduled, but will probably be sometime in the next 4-5 days. I’d think that moving it to a different site would be simpler for the NFL than moving it to a different weekend, since both teams have already had their bye weeks. Stay tuned, but stay alert!

Progressive Sports Challenge has repriced all football players, and you need to completely redraft your team(s) in that game. As usual, it’s a much bigger challenge. The team that I fielded last weekend (with a $75 million cap) is now worth about $100 million. Don’t wait until the last minute, because you’ll need to do some serious foraging for bargains.

The FUNAI classic is underway at Walt Disney World. Like last week’s PGA tournament, the first two rounds are played on different courses. And also like last week’s event, low scores look to be the norm. Last year’s winner shot -22, and a score of -4 was required to make the cut.

10/19 - No football. No baseball. No golf. Only eight preseason NBA games yesterday, and it’s hard to get worked up over that. The biggest news items in sports seems to be a few last minute NFL trades mostly involving backup or journeyman QBs, the return of Teddy Bruschi, and the NBA dress code.


My focus yesterday was on three hoops drafts that I’m involved in. All three are at very different stages, so it can be tough to keep my thinking current on all three of them. Thanks goodness for spreadsheets. I can’t imaging doing this with only paper and pencil, even though I know that some do just that, and very successfully.

Just think - two weeks from this morning, we’ll be looking at the opening boxscores of the NBA regular season. It will be nice to focus on stats rather than attire.

10/18 - The MNF football game was really two completely different games. The Rams dominated the opener, 17-0. Then the Colts blew them out, 45-11. The 28 points surrendered by the Colts in “both games” was only one less than they had given up in their first five weeks combined, and it’s not hard to believe that they’d have given up more points if Bulger had played the whole game. But the 45 scored by their offense was certainly more in line with this season’s expectations. It appears that they are equipped to do whatever it takes to win. Next week they get to face the winless Texans. Doesn’t seem like “whatever it takes” will be a tall order.

We had our first “almost perfect” slate in Football Pickoff this week. Congrats to Dublin Dogs, who ran the table. The only imperfection was that the double could have been Jacksonville. All you had to do to come up with a monster week, though, was to pick a complete slate of Consensus Favorites, as Jax was the only underdog to prevail.

10/17 - There were no shortages of photo finishes in football this weekend, either Saturday or Sunday. I can think of a number of games that were settled in either the last 10 seconds or in overtime. Great viewing, if you happened to be on the right channel at the right time(s).

It wasn’t long ago that the epitaphs were being written for the impending White Sox meltdown. But lately, they’ve looked more like the “White Hats”, as they are getting great pitching, timely hitting, and friendly umpiring.

The weekend golf tournament had its own share of unique results, especially from a GuruGolf perspective. Six teams had single round scores of -18 or better, including two rounds of -19. The only totally “unblemished” scorecard was the opeing Summerlin round for KevinL, which features 17 birdies and an eagles (and no pars). The other five top rounds had at least one par. I will award prizes of RotoGuru golf balls for the two rounds of -19.

10/14 - I think I may start building an ark, just in case. (Side question: How big is a cubit?) A week ago Friday night, I went to the UConn-Syracuse football game. It started raining as we drove to the stadium. And it hasn’t stopped yet. We live on the side of a hill (they call it a mountain, but I’ve seen mountains before, and this is no mountain), so flooding is not a problem. Retaining topsoil is an issue, however. And the dog is going stir crazy. By the way, if anyone needs toadstools, I have a bumper crop!

Turning towards drier climates, we haven’t seen golf scoring this low for quite awhile. After one round, the cut line is at -3, suggesting that -5 or -6 may be required by the end of round two. The Summerlin course yielded 25 eagles yesterday. Maybe the pin placements are easier than usual, but that’s the course that will host the final two rounds, so a winning score south of -20 seems likely. Last year, -22 won this tournament, but there was a third course involved, so the comparison isn’t quite apples to apples.

Back to my Hoops drafting. If nothing else, the weather is certainly conducive to sitting in front of a computer screen all day long, tracking (and sucking down) drafts.

10/13 - Wierd ending to last night’s A.L. playoff game. For the rest of the postseason, I guess the catcher should always tag the batter out following a strikeout. Assume nothing.

It’s been a very busy morning at RotoGuru World Headquarters, getting GuruGolf properly configured for the multi-course format, attending to some fantasy football trade opportunities, and tracking down boxscores for last night’s NBA preseason games. I think I’m finally caught up, although the NBA processing is not yet complete. Hopefully within the hour. I thought October was supposed to be a more laid back month!

Back to the salt mines…

10/12 - The RotoGuru Invitational Hoops Challenge draft has begun. The first round is almost over as I write this, and so far, there haven’t really been any surprises. Drafts for three qualifying leagues are also in progress, all of which are taking place using the excellent “On The Clock” draft management software at Click on that link and you can follow all of those drafts.

Preseason points for the TSN game are now posted in all of the usual RotoGuru places. Most programs only include players who are listed as eligible, so until rookies are priced for the TSN game, they won’t appear in the sortable stats. If you’re curious, however, you can see points for all players in the individual player pages. For example, Marvin Williams got 19.5 TSNP in 25 minutes last night.

The Michelin Championship PGA event tees off tomorrow morning in Las Vegas. The first two rounds are played at two different courses. For GuruGolf, scoring for those rounds will be consolidated by course, rather than by round.

10/11 - No more Red Sox. No more Yankees. For Red Sox fans, the only silver lining is the second sentence. For Yankees fans, there probably is no silver lining. And for fans of every other team, there’s a little smile – or in some cases, a big grin – this morning. But Bud Selig and Fox TV are undoubtedly disappointed.

It was a pretty balanced weekend for Football Pickoff, with positive and negative point totals fairly evenly matched. The best score was posted by TD1, who got 12 games right, missing only the Philly loss to Dallas and the MNF game.

As if there wasn’t enough action last night, the NBA preseason started with two games. As in the past few years, I will post preseason fantasy points in all of the various hoops tools, including the player pages, the Assimilator, and the sortable stats. Results from last night’s games should be posted sometime this afternoon.

10/10 - Yesterday offered two excellent baseball playoff games, as well as a playoff between Tiger Woods and John Daly. Too bad football created so many distractions.

Apparently, if the Houston-Atlanta game had gone beyond Roger Clemens’ ability to continue pitching, Jason Lane was the next pitcher slated to throw for the Astros. And if it had come to that, Clemens would have replaced Lane in the outfield. It’s almost too bad that didn’t happen. Wouldn’t that have been one to remember!

I was hoping that yesterday’s Indy at SF game would provide a good opportunity for Peyton Manning to put up some gaudy numbers. But instead, it was the Colts defense that came up big, more than doubling Manning’s fantasy points in the TSN scoring format, and probably in just about any format. Has Tony Dungy completely morphed the Colts into the Buccaneers? And they weren’t even the top defense of the day, as the Packers unleashed a hurricane force – both offensively and defensively - on New Orleans.

Interesting fact: The Packers are now 1-4, but they have outscored their opponents by 29 points. Only six NFL teams have a better aggregate scoring margin, and those six teams have a collective W-L record of 20-6.

10/7 - Fantasy baseball decisions ended almost a week ago, but there seems to be no shortage of things to be done. Football research, although games are played only weekly, has a way of filling however much time is available. GuruGolf continues throughout October. And Hoops draft activity will begin in earnest next week, when the RIHC draft opens. Some of the qualifying leagues have already started their drafts. You can peek at drafts-in-progress here.

Enjoy your weekend!

10/6 - It’s tee-off day for the weekly golf event, so rainy weather isn’t unexpected. But this week’s tournament is on the west coast, where the skies are clear. Not so in Atlanta, where tonight’s Houston/Atlanta baseball game is in doubt. And rain is also forecast for the northeast tomorrow, putting both American League playoff games in jeopardy. So the WGC-American Express Championship might be the major event going for the next few days.

I’ve been scrambling to put together a cogent hoops draft plan this week. Frankly, I don’t pay a lot of attention to off-season player movement in the NBA, so each October brings a fair amount of surprise as so many players turn up where you don’t expect to find them. Its just a feeling, but it sure seems to me that there is a lot more player movement in the NBA than in any other major sport.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

In any event, I’m trying to stay on top of it, and update team affiliations in the Hoops sortable stats. I think I have most of the key players on the correct teams now, but it may take a week or so before I’m confident that everyone has been sorted out.

10/5 - Hoops is in the air!

OK, I realize that the NHL season opens tonight, but most of you also know that hockey is just not a sport that I follow. Feel free to use the Hockey Forum for your daily fantasy hockey fix.

TSN has launched its Salary Cap Hoops games, and player prices have been released for returning players. Rookie prices are yet to come. I have loaded the new data in the sortable stats and the Assimilator, so you can begin to manipulate roster possibilities even if you haven’t yet signed up. For the Basic game, just use the sortable stats for the Ultimate game, since opening prices are the same for both games. The various NBA schedule tools are also updated for the new season. Links for those are in the Hoops menu on the left side of this page.

10/4 - After a rough start for many entrants, NFL Week #4 turned out to be a kinder, gentler week in Football Pickoff. 60% of the slates produced positive scores. Almost 10% earned bonus points. Three entries had 13 games picked correctly, with the best score belonging to tg, who missed only the Denver win at Jacksonville. For the full season , team HooeyPooey turned in its 4th consecutive slate with double digit winners, and sports a strong lead of almost 500 points. I was about to call it a commanding lead, but after many years, I’ve learned that there is no such thing as a commanding lead this early in the season.

A few closing notes on baseball: Congrats to Gurupie Chris, who claimed the title in the 2005 RotoGuru Invitational Baseball Challenge. For a restropective look at the RIBC season, and a summary of results from the various qualifying leagues, check out this thread at the baseball forum.

Baseball playoffs start this afternoon, and it will be nice to watch some games without having to care about the fantasy stats of specific players.

10/3 - Quite a day! The baseball regular season came to an end without a need for any extra games, even though two were possible until the very end. The NFL featured a crushing loss by the reigning Super Bowl champs, and a big comeback win by the reigning runner-up. And, the Mannings teamed for eight TD passes.

So fantasy baseball is in the books for another year. I won’t be producing any fantasy stats for the post-season. Time to put those programs in mothballs.

In GuruGolf, we had an interesting finish to the “September Swing” Contest. First, the best score was by one of my own teams. Of course, I can’t win a prize, so the prize winner is a team that I recognize as one vying for the worst ball competition. But the worst ball winner was one that is generally in contention for best ball scoring. Go figure! Here are the prize winners:
WB-Barrington (best ball)
wildyams (worst ball)

The results for the final five weeks of the GuruGolf season will comprise the final contest of the season, the “Autumn Anticlimax” Contest. If you haven’t tried GuruGolf yet, and you need something to do during the hiatus between baseball and hoops, why not try it out? You might even win some RotoGuru golf balls.

2005: September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

Click here for prior daily blurbs, by month:

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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