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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.

10/31 - Three NBA games in the books. 1227 to go.

Kobe Bryant was the top TSNP producer. In the NBASE (RotoHog) game, Baron Davis took top honors. Points for both scoring systems are now updated in all of the normal RotoGuru places. Ditto for prices. For the NBASE game, prices will be updated as of the market opening, but intraday price changes will not be captured.

I still have some more programming to do, of course. The Assimilator roster-copy utility has to be updated, and that should be done shortly. And I’m sure I’ll find a few other things to be tweaked. If you notice anything that needs fixin’, please let me know.

10/30 - Another opening day. This morning, all of our fantasy hoops teams are tied for first. By this time tomorrow, many will never reach that lofty status again. So sad…

Speaking of lofty status, we had one perfect Football Pickoff slate this weekend, as Giants piled up 768 points, even doubling the optimum game. That vaulted him into the top spot in the YTD standings. But if his total seems to be out of reach for some of you, this week begins the Midseason contest, with a completely separate set of prizes and standings. You don’t need to re-register; all entries are automatically scored for both the full season and the midseason contests. You’re simply all tied at zero for the midseason contest as of this moment. But that will change on Sunday.

Three NBA games on tap tonight. Buckle up!

10/29 - The Cubs should take heart. It looks like, once a curse is finally broken, there might be a lot of pent up energy that can be released in a positive direction. Of course, first the curse has to be broken.

And in the process, Red Sox fans have made the complete transition from fatalistic to insufferable.

Boston can celebrate baseball for a few days, but by the weekend, they’ll be redirecting their insufferability toward the Patriots, who so far have made the Red Sox look like a mediocre team. Tom Brady only threw 3 TD passes yesterday, lowering his season average. But he did rush for another two. And after opening the season with five straight games of scoring in the 30s, the Pats have now scored 48 or more in each of the past three weeks. Will this week’s matchup vs. the Colts throw any sand in the gears of this juggernaut? Who knows? But this weekend’s battle is likely to have a Super Bowl feel to it. Ditto for the weeklong hype leading up to Sunday.

Now that baseball is in mothballs for the winter, the NBA offers a seamless segue, with their regular starting tomorrow night. RotoHog’s NBA Stock Exchange (NBASE) game has already started open trading, with some teams already up more than 15% in value after the opening day. TSN prices are locked until Wednesday night, when daily repricing begins. TSN is offering a bonus of an extra trade for all teams that have a complete roster in place by Tuesday night’s freeze, an incentive to reduce the appeal of the “day late” strategy. So even if you don’t plan to use any players on Tuesday (when only 6 NBA teams play), you still might want to be locked and loaded by tomorrow night.

10/26 - Boston probably would have liked to have pushed some of those excess runs from Wednesday into last night’s game, but the bullpen was up to the task, and the Sox managed to hold serve in Fenway Park. Now the Rockies get their chance. And for some reason, it feels like the series is now moving to a pitchers’ park. Who’d’ve thunk it?

The NBA regular season is only 4 days away. If you’ve been tracking player points from preseason games, I have a confession to make. I discovered a programming error last night, which caused all calculated preseason points for both TSN and NBASE to be slightly inflated (in the sortable stats and other RotoGuru pages). I believe everything has now been corrected, but if you see some stats today that don’t look familiar, that’s the story. Sorry about that.

This is the second (and last) week that the NFL has six teams on bye (instead of just four). So don’t wait until the last moment to set your lineup, only to discover that you have excess holes to fill (and in some game formats, a depleted list of free agents to pick from.) Fortunately, it sounds like the San Diego-Houston game will be played, although the site has yet to be determined, and even the date (which could be as late as Monday.) There really isn’t a viable option to postpone the game, which would wreak as much havoc on the NFL schedule as it would on the fantasy football landscape.

10/25 - I must be losing it. It wasn’t until I sat down this morning to pump out today’s blurb that I realized I hadn’t written one yesterday. I guess I was busy taking care of other things – basketball drafts, football waiver pickups, plus a few home repair items. Still, when I get sidetracked, I usually realize the omission by mid-afternoon. Oh well, it’s not like I had anything profound to say.

Using my best youthful Judy Garland impression: “Rockies, I don’t think we’re in the National League anymore...” If it’s possible, last night’s game wasn’t as close as the score indicates. When Colorado started with three straight strikeouts in the top of the first, and then Boston opened HR-double, that set the tone. Maybe the 9-day layoff played a role. Surely, Beckett continued his Mr. October dominance, so perhaps it’s just as well that the Rockies didn’t squander a better-than-average pitching outing. And it’s only one game. But somehow, a team that had won 21 of 22 is suddenly fighting against momentum.

Living in New England, I get an opportunity to observe “up close and personal” the phenomena of Red Sox fandom. Someone commented recently that Red Sox fans always used to hope for the best, but expect the worst. Now it seems that they’ve shed that persecution complex, and even when things looks gloomy, they expect that the team will pull it together. It was particularly noticeable last week when they were down 3-1 to Cleveland. That comeback from a 3-0 deficit against the Yankees a few years back was truly a watershed event in reshaping the psyche of Red Sox fans. They used to be fun to watch. Now they’re getting to be as obnoxious as Yankee fans.

10/23 - The Colts did what they needed to do to bring about the anticipated Goliath vs. Goliath matchup with the Patriots in two weeks. Now both teams just need to protect against a trap game this weekend, with Indy at Carolina and Washington at New England.

In Football Pickoff, jiimmeelee took top honors for the week with only one missed pick. For this past week, no single “passive” strategy worked particularly well. A straight slate of home teams did the best, but would not have been in the top 50 for the week. I guess you had to think this week.

10/22 - As an Ohio native and an Indians fan since the early 60s, I was certainly rooting for a “Cleveland-Rocks” World Series. But instead, we get the “Sox and Rocks on Fox”, which will certainly help the ratings, bringing in not only the national following of the Red Sox, but also the country of Japan, with both Matsuzaka and Okajima likely to play key roles. And while Colorado doesn’t have any sort of national following, they do assume the sentimental role of David vs. a Goliath in Red Sox.

Speaking of Goliath, there’s another one who’s been mowing down every David in its path. The Patriots steamrolled the Dolphins in a 21 point win that was not nearly as close as the score indicates. Tom Brady barely broke a sweat while throwing 6 TD passes, putting him on pace to destroy the NFL single season record. At this pace, Brady will top Manning’s 2004 mark (49) in week #13, well before the Pats start resting their players – although they’re on a pace to clinch their division title by week #11.

It used to be maddening to pick Patriot receivers in fantasy football, because you could never anticipate which one would have the big week. Now it’s easy. Pick ‘em all!

10/19 - As we wait (and wait and wait) for the ALCS to continue, it’s time to start planning for the weekend’s football moves. Four teams have a bye (Carolina, GB, Cleveland, and SD), several players have been traded (most notably Chris Chambers and Michael Bennett, I suppose), and injury situations continue to generate uncertainty.

Speaking of injuries, Vince Young still hasn’t practiced this week, and is questionable for Sunday. His injury is listed as a right quad strain, which doesn’t sound like a long term problem, but you have to wonder whether this is the next emanation of the Madden curse. For his sake (and Tennessee’s), I hope not.

Has any Madden curse victim ever returned to top form – not just in the cursed season, but in their career? I guess Culpepper is the one counter example, as he did have an MVP-caliber season in 2004, two years after his cursed season. Then again, maybe even that year was somewhat cursed, because that was the season that Peyton Manning went nuts with 49 TD passes, leaving Culpepper in the dust for the MVP voting. And, in spite of that one great season, it would be hard to argue that Culpepper has fulfilled expectations since 2002.

Note to the Patriots: If Tom Brady is asked to be on the Madden cover next year, make sure he declines!

10/18 - The dominant sporting event today is, of course, the baseball game in Cleveland, where the Tribe tries to avoid the need to return to Boston. The game starts sometime after 8pm, and – if history is any guide – probably won’t end until midnight or later, in spite of a Cy Young caliber pitching matchup featuring the two aces.

Switching to Hoops, you don’t usually see NBA stars posting big results in the preseason, but evidently Dwight Howard didn’t get that memo. He put up 57.5 TSNP last night, his second 50+ TSNP outing of the preseason, and he’s averaged 47 TSNP over 4 games (in 30 minutes per game). He’s still only 21 (turns 22 in December). Last year, he established himself as an occasional stud. Maybe this year he will break into the truly elite class. He was picked 15th in the current RIHC draft; this may be the last year he slides to the second round.

10/17 - I still have my Chief Wahoo flag flying in front of my house. Living in Red Sox territory, if the Tribe prevails, I may have to put it away for a few days, lest I attract some combination of eggs and/or toilet paper. Then again, I’m not at all confident. The Red Sox have overcome bigger deficits this century. Much bigger.

For those looking ahead to TSN Hoops, rookies were priced and added to the game yesterday. Oddly, about a dozen active veterans seem to have been dropped - but I imagine they’ll be added back soon. In any event, the sortable stats and all related RotoGuru functions now have been updated, including the Assimilator. If/when the missing players are added back, I’ll try to get them updated quickly.

The RIHC draft (RotoGuru Invitational Hoops Challenge) has started. For those who may be unfamiliar with this league, it’s a 12-team league using a standard 8-category roto scoring system. Once we have a couple rounds completed, managers will be posting narrative rationales for each pick at the message forum. I’ll provide a link when that starts.

10/16 - Imagine a World Series between Colorado and Cleveland. That’s got to have the network executives drooling in anticipation… not that Arizona would have been any better of a draw.

NFL Week #6 is now in the books. Three Football Pickoff slates found 11 correct picks this week, with the top points going to HooeyPooeyHoopla. This was one of those weeks in which no “canned” strategy worked particularly well. Going with a full slate of favorites, or underdogs, or home teams or visitors – none of those would have produced a top-50 result this week.

Preseason fantasy points are now being tracked and reported in the Hoops sortable stats now. I’m also tracking RotoHog points (for their upcoming game sponsored by NBA.com), but they are not yet provided as an option in the sortable stats, as I still need to work up some programming adjustments to accommodate some of that game’s distinctions. Hopefully within a few days.

10/15 - If you found a way to get Tom Brady, Adrian Peterson, and Ladainian Tomlinson, then it probably didn’t matter who else you used to fill out your roster. The threesome combined for almost 1000 all-purpose yards and 12 TDs.

Two of yesterday’s top 5-6 receivers were Patriots, and neither was named Moss – although it may have been the attention diverted to Moss that allowed Wes Welker and Donté Stallworth to have career days. And Moss came oh-so-close to matching or topping their output, with two TD catches nullified, one by a penalty (on Moss), and one on a ridiculous fingertip, foot-dragging, end zone almost-catch that was overturned on replay.

If the Red Sox prevail in postseason play, it could be a very special fall in Boston. And if they don’t make it, the Pats are going to provide a pretty effective antidote.

10/12 - Friday. Time to figure out who your starters should be for NFL week #6. This is probably a more difficult bye week for many fantasy teams, as six NFL teams are on the sidelines, rather than the usual four. The same thing happens in week #8. So there are only 13 games to be played. Hopefully, you can find enough healthy bodies (or aliens) to field a competitive team this week.

It looks like the ageless Vinny Testaverde may get a start this week for Carolina. In one sense, he’s becoming the Roger Clemens of the NFL, waiting until the season is about one-third over before signing with some team. On the other hand, Roger often gets to pick where he goes, and tries to find a contender that he can help take to the promised land. Testaverde just gets to go to whatever team is in desperate need of a QB with NFL experience. At age 43 (44 next month), experience is one commodity that Vinny has in abundance, as this will be his 21st NFL season, and his 7th NFL team.

10/11 - I’ve started processing fantasy points for preseason NBA games. So far, I’m just reporting them on the yesterday’s points page and the individual player pages, but I’ll soon integrate them into the sortable stats and the Assimilator as well. Caveat – these will often be posted a little later than is customary during the regular season.

I’ve had google ads appearing to the right of the daily blurb for several years now, but I’m going to try embedding some other content – often video feeds from AccuScore – when I find relevant material. Hopefully, you’ll take advantage of these when they are available. And don’t worry – the ads inserted at the beginning are short. Today’s feed is a Part I of a detailed, simulation-driven look at the Pats-Cowboys game. Part 2 will be available tomorrow.

10/10 - A brief power interruption this morning has screwed up my primary computer somewhat, and I’ve spent all morning trying to figure out how to resolve it. Here are the gory details, if you have the time or expertise to make suggestions.

As a result, I’m way behind in some of my regular morning routines, and I’m going to skip a blurb for today.

10/9 - I missed most of the Dallas debacle in Buffalo, as I was watching the Indians-Yankees game, which crawled along at a snail’s pace. (Four hours is way too long for a 6-4, 9 inning game!) But I did see the last several minutes. Condolences to Bills fans. You don’t often see a QB throw five picks and fumble once and still come up with a win. Good thing he’s no longer holding for field goals!

Positive scores outnumbered negative scores by almost 2:1 in Football Pickoff this weekend, but if Dallas hadn’t pulled off its last minute heroics, those numbers might have been reversed. Kudos to Dec with the top weekly score of 60 on 13 correct picks. Three other slates also had 13 correct picks. Consensus Underdogs had a slight off-week with a score of -58 on only 4 correct picks, but that strategy still ranks in the top 10% for the season. Meanwhile, the Random Dart continues to get pummeled, suffering its 5th consecutive negative score.

10/8 - In the U.S., this is Columbus Day. In Ohio, they hope it’s also Cleveland Day. Arguably, it would be ironic for the Indians to win and advance on Columbus Day – not only because of the Ohio city names, but also because of Cristopher’s treatment of Native Americans many years ago. Chief Wahoo’s revenge, perhaps?

The top offensive football producer yesterday – in both TSNP and RotoHog points – was Kenton Keith. But since Joseph Addai was a late scratch, it’s doubtful that many teams had him. And with Indy’s bye week pending, it’s unlikely that he’ll get much love this week in either of those salary cap games.

Of course, the week is not yet over, as Dallas still ventures to Buffalo tonight. With Romo, Barber, Owens, Crayton, Witten, and Folk all fairly popular players this week, a lot of fantasy teams still don’t know whether this week will turn out well or not.

10/5 - For those of you playing wither the TSN or RotoHog football games, I want to remind you of one of the features offered in my sortable stats that you won’t find at the respective game sites: opponent points by position.

For example, here is the current report for average TSN points for opposing QBs. Cleveland has been the most generous, allowing 393 TSNP per game. IF you want to see the game details, simply click on Cleveland opponents and you get the weekly details by position, with TSNP in the top chart, and RotoHog points in the bottom table. You can easily see that Cleveland’s QB average is a bit skewed by the Cincy game when Carson Palmer produced 657, so maybe you want to discount the meaning of the average a bit. But the data is all there, laid out for you to interpret. At each position, the weekly position results are consolidated for all opposing players at each position. So when Detroit surrendered 992 points to RBs in week #3, that Philly total is actually comprised of 5 players. Westbrook had the “Lions share” (pun intended) with 632, but Buckhalter, Mahe, Hunt, and Tapeh also chipped in a combined total of 360.

Use it, abuse it, or ignore it as you see fit. I just want to make sure you realize it’s there for the taking. I don’t think you’ll find it anywhere else.

10/4 - I did get the TSN Hoops players and prices loaded yesterday. The sortable stats, player pages, and Assimilator are all updated. A few clarifying notes:

  • TSN initially had rookies all priced at $5m, which was clearly premature, and probably inadvertant. They have since removed rookies from their published database. In order to keep them visible for now, I have included them all with their originally posted positions and a draft price of $100,000 - which is clearly not going to be their actual price. When actual prices are updated, I'll make the changes.
  • The TSN point formula is slightly different this year, as missed free throws are worth only –˝ instead of -1. I have not adjusted the prior year stats to reflect this - so my points for 2006-07 will not correspond to those shown at the TSN site. Of course, I will use the new formula when calculating points this year.
  • Some player links (to RotoWire, RotoWorld, & NBA.com, for example) will be incorrect, particularly for rookies. I'll work on updating these during October.
  • I copied all of the current team affiliations from the TSN site, assuming these to be up to date. If not, they’ll be corrected during the preseason.
Speaking of preseason, I do plan to continue my recent practice of tracking and publishing preseason points for fantasy hoops. I don’t do this for other sports, but with the extreme player movement during most NBA offseasons, the potential impact of rookies, and the lack of other active sports competing for my time, I do track preseason NBA results. Use them or ignore them as you see fit. The first preseason game is on October 6 (Saturday), but it’s in Italy (Boston vs. Toronto), so finding complete stats may be difficult – although NBA.com has been getting better about posting boxscores for overseas preseason games. We’ll see.

10/3 - Playoff baseball is about to start, but that has no fantasy implications for most people. And football is now in its usual mid-week lull.

What’s a fantasy sports enthusiast to do?

You might start planning for your fantasy hoops campaigns. TSN has launched its usual salary cap offerings, and RotoHog has partnered with NBA.com to offer a version of their “Stock Exchange” game. (See the forum for more info on that offering.) The qualifying leagues for the RIHC are forming at the forum as well, and if you are interested in playing in a roto-style hoops league, you need to get your dibs in now, as drafting activity will need to get started before too much longer.

I’ve been working on getting sortable stats up and running for the TSN games, and may have something available later today. As in past seasons, I’m planning to provide fantasy point stats for NBA preseason games as well, which will start in a few days. Stay tuned.

10/2 - If you got a chance to benefit from last night’s baseball game, I hope your pitching staff included Heath Bell and Ramon Ortiz. Those two led all pitcher in TSNP, while only one of the logical choices (the two starters and the two closers) posted positive points. On the hitting side, there were plenty of points to go around, however.

In football, the Pats are not only 4-0, but they have beat down every opponent. At this rate, they won’t go undefeated – because they’ll be resting their regulars with four weeks to go! No one else in their division has more than one win. Then again, their second string looks pretty good. Case in point: Sammy Morris

In Football Pickoff, only four slates produced a better score than simply going with all 13 consensus underdogs (one game was exactly 50/50). Congrats to top scorer (and 2004 Pickoff Champ) HooeyPoo, who picked the 13 underdogs, doubled Atlanta, and picked the one 50/50 game correctly as well – in the process rising to the #2 spot in the YTD standings.

10/1 - Almost!

Baseball’s regular season is almost over. The Mets almost made it to the playoffs. The Padres almost clinched the wild card, before their bullpen melted down in Milwaukee. And in a month of stunning crashes and dashes, the Rockies have almost made the postseason. All they need to do is win 14 of their final 15 games.

Who’d’ve thunk it?

Although the season gets extended by a day, many fantasy baseball games have concluded. Hopefully, if you’re in a battle, you knew the ground rules before the final weekend so that you could plan accordingly. It seems that almost every year, there is at least the potential of an extra game as the season winds down, so it’s really inexcusable that so many game sites seem to ignore this potentiality in their rules, and then have to scramble to get the word out at the 11th hour, or sometimes at the 13th hour.

FWIW, the TSN Ultimate game is still on. (I’m not playing the basic game, so I haven’t seen the rules for that – but I assume the treatment is similar.) So if you still have Jake Peavy, Josh Fogg, one of the two closers, and/or any leftover pitching trades, you have a chance for a bonus – plus or minus. Ditto on the hitting side.

In football, it’s hard to figure what happened to the Eagles last night. Maybe this was New York’s way of taking revenge on the Phillies. 12 sacks!? The Giants defense hadn’t really shown much of anything up to this point, but yesterday they looked like a pro team playing against a high school team.

2007: 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<davehall@rotouru2.com>.

 
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