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Daily blurbs from the Guru
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10/30 - Yesterday, I commented on the tendency to overweight the results of opening games. Last night, we got a vivid example, as the two top price gainers in the TSN Ultimate Hoops game - Ty Lawson and Travis Outlaw - combined for 24 TSNP last night. Not the stuff that’s likely to propel them much further, although momentum can be a powerful force.
Switching to football, I was doing some player shopping yesterday and was initially struck by how dominant QBs have been this year. The top 11 players in TSNP/game are all quarterbacks. Fifteen of the top 20 are QBs. But then I looked back at least year’s results, and see they aren’t that dissimilar, as 10 of the top 11 were QBs last year, and 14 or the top 20. So I guess the point formula heavily favors quarterbacks. For some reason, I hadn’t really picked up on that before. I guess I’m not paying attention very well.
10/29 - Four NBA teams have already played twice. Two have yet to play – Chicago and Milwaukee. Chicago goes tonight, while the Bucks finally work tomorrow. There is always a tendency to react to early results – even after just one or two games. Just try not to overreact.
I updated the Assimilator to enable you to copy a roster directly from the TSN site. Let me know if you encounter any glitches.
Most “draft” leagues seemed to have Chris Paul as the top choice, with LeBron going second. So far, those who had to settle for LeBron can’t feel too badly about it. Paul managed 26 points and 9 assists in his opener, but no steals and only one rebound. LeBron, in his second game, authored a triple double. Again, there’s no reason to react to this distinction, but it is amusing to see the caparison.
10/28 - Shaq may have about 100 games to go. Fantasy hoops managers have more than 160 game days left, however, so the marathon has barely broken the starting line. If you had players last night who did less than you hoped for, don’t sweat it. Unless, of course, you had Blake Griffin – in which case, a little sweat might be warranted.
Before turning the corner on the prior football weekend, I’ve got to give props to jaydoghall, who ran the table in Football Pickoff, going 13-0 for 672 points. Only two underdogs won this weekend, and he got them both.
10/23 - Basketball drafting activity is winding down, lineups are being assembled, and everyone’s favorite sleepers will soon be either waking up or going comatose. Probably more of the latter.
I’ll be traveling and "out-of-office" through next Wednesday, so I may or may not publish any blurbs during the first half of next week. If not, the preseason stats and prices are all there for you to make your last minute decisions. Have at it!
10/22 - TSN released rookie player prices for their salary cap games yesterday, and I have them all included in the various RotoGuru tools now. Have at it! Opening day is next Tuesday, and you need to have a full roster by Tuesday night in order to get your first dole of extra trades the following week. No “day late” teams – at least, not without significant consequences.
The NBA Stock Exchange game (hosted at NBA.com, operated by RotoHog) started active trading yesterday. Those prices are also tracked in my sortable stats, although I will update them only once daily (as of market opening). They have not yet released any rookies into that game.
10/21 - Joe Girardi was widely criticized for starting CC Sabathia on 3 days rest. Doesn’t look like such a bad decision now. Barring a stunning comeback by the Angels, Sabathia will have seven days of rest before his next start. And if the Angels do take the next two, it will be useful to have Sabathia out there for a game 7.
I know it’s premature, but the World Series opener could be a faceoff between Sabathia and Cliff Lee. How will that make Cleveland fans feel?
10/20 - It was a tough week for Football Pickoff scoring. Less than one-third of all slates produced positive scores. The top scorer of the weekend, PeytonSB09, managed only 362 points, and even doubled losing Denver in the MNF game. So if your cumulative score went up this week, you did well.
The NBA season starts one week from today. Yikes!
10/19 - This was supposed to be a good passing week for Tom Brady, facing the porous Tennessee secondary. Maybe the snow helped the Pats, since the receivers knew where they were going, and the defenders had more difficulty reacting. But that result was way beyond expectations.
St. Louis and Oakland have generally been at the head of the list of bad NFL teams this season, but Washington is making a strong case to move to the bottom of the class. They do have two wins, but both are against teams that are still winless (TB and St. Louis). Among their four losses are games vs. KC and Detroit, two teams whose only win is against the ‘Skins. Amazingly, they did play the Giants close in week one, but that looks like an anomaly.
10/16 - October has now passed the halfway point. More to the point, the NBA season begins in just 11 days.
The RotoGuru Invitational Hoops Challenge (RIHC) draft has begun. You can follow the picks with this link (sequential picks at the top, grid at the bottom). This is a standard 8-category league (Pts, Asst, Reb, Stl, Blk, 3pt, FG%, FT%), and already I’ve pretty much committed to a 7-category strategy by taking Dwight Howard with the 11th pick in round 1. I followed that up by taking Rajon Rondo early in round 2. That’s probably premature for Rondo in most formats, but when discarding any value in free throw percentage (since Howard’s low percentage and high attempts pretty effectively kill that category), Rondo sticks out as a premier point guard, since his weakness in FT shooting is irrelevant.
Punting a category can make it tough, although I won this league once before while punting blocks. It helps to have a highly competitive league from top to bottom, where no team is likely to sweep most of the cats. In a draft comprised of talented pickers from top to bottom, I’m thinking that it might be an advantage to be valuing players through a slightly different viewpoint than most of the other managers. We’ll see. I would still rank Paul, LeBron, and Wade as the top three – but I have Howard ranked #4 overall if FT% is eliminated from consideration.
Rationales for all draft picks will be posted in the Hoops forum, but with a two round lag.
10/15 - I don’t devote much space to talking about RotoGuru finances, and GuruPatron donations in particular. As most of you know, RotoGuru is a one man operation, and I do it because I enjoy it. It is certainly not a profit maker. Marginal costs to run the site are modest, consisting mostly of leased servers, some business related fees, and contest prizes. To cover these costs, I rely on some advertising revenue (although that amount seems to decline every year) and voluntary “GuruPatron” donations. While those donations have been modest in recent years, they have been sufficient to cover the marginal costs. In each of the last two calendar years, donations have been received from 70+ Gurupies, totaling a little over $3000 per year.
If you compare those numbers to the current year tally (see the heading at the top of this page), you can see that donations are way down, both in number of donors and in total amount. At the current pace, I won’t even cover my marginal operating costs. Yet, when I review the site usage statistics, they show a fairly constant rate of traffic, with more than 600 unique visitors per day, and several thousand unique visitors over the course of any given week. I understand that when a site is free, most users will not even consider donating to cover the costs. But whether it’s a sign of the economy, or simply a matter of “not thinking about it”, the current trend suggests that I’ll be covering some site costs out-of-pocket this year.
Let me be clear – I’m not threatening to shut down the site if donations don’t pick up. Ultimately, that may be under consideration, but nothing is imminent. And I’d prefer not to have to charge for any services. I think the site is better if everything is freely available. But with the basketball season ramping up (and although Hoops is not a large fantasy sport, it does tend to have a large constituency at RotoGuru), I’m hoping to raise awareness of the financial realities for those of you who may not have ever thought about contributing, or who may not have donated for quite awhile.
For more information on how you can help to support the site, click on the GuruPatron link in the page header, and then follow the related links on that page. Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated. And a special thanks to those of you who have already donated this year without any direct appeal. You’re the best!
Thanks to Gurupie Challenger for suggesting today’s quote.
10/14 - Today is John Wooden’s 99th birthday, and when I set out to find a Wooden option for the Quote of the Day, I found a bunch of good ones. So I may decide to sprinkle in a few more over the coming days. I’ll should probably hold some back for his 100th birthday next year, though.
In case you hadn’t noticed, I have the full range of preseason basketball stats up for both the TSN and NBA Stock Exchange games. Daily points, sortable stats, player pages, the Assimilator – all are now being updated daily. Rookies have not yet been priced for the salary cap games, but you can still track their preseason production. Links for all hoops pages are on the left menu.
10/13 - Last night’s second half could have been titled “Henne and the Jets.” Chad Henne channeled his inner Dan Marino on touchdown drives of 64, 84, and 70 yards. And perhaps the team should change it’s mascot as well. The “Wildcats” seems more appropriate than “Dolphins” at this point.
The top result in Football Pickoff this week as a +538 from Venom, in spite of getting three incorrect picks. It was a difficult week for the field, as only about 44% of slates produced positive scores.
10/12 - The baseball playoffs aren’t offering much drama so far. Three series went 3-0, and the 4th could end today. Yawn.
Speaking of “yawn”, Cleveland QB Derek Anderson threw for 23 yards with no TDs and on interception – and the Browns won! Aside from the fact that it was a close game throughout, that game must have been almost unwatchable. Or maybe it was more watchable than some of the blowouts, including Seattle’s 41-0 beatdown of Jax, the Giants’ 44-7 spanking of Oakland (which was not as close as the score would suggest), or even Minnesota’s 31-10 dusting of St. Louis. Jacksonville’s poor showing was a surprise, but it’s pretty clear that the Raiders and Rams are just bad.
Sometimes even the fantasy football bounces in strange ways. I have Aaron Rodgers as the regular QB on one of my teams, so was left to start backup Derek Anderson this weekend (since Green Bay was on a bye week.) In this league’s scoring system, Anderson scored a slight negative, meaning that I’d have been better served to simply leave Rodgers in my QB slot. But, the GB defense is also my regular defense in that league. And my backup defense? Seattle! Who knew?
10/9 - TSN has launched their salary cap hoops games. The interface is the same as that for the current football game, which is adequate for player transactions (although a step backward from the recent baseball interface), but wholly inadequate for statistical analysis. If you play the TSN games and have gotten accustomed to doing your player analysis at the TSN site, you’ll want to (re)acquaint yourself with the sortable stats and player pages that I provide here. They are not yet available, but I’m hoping to have them up within the next day. If you want the ability to sort by points/game – either for the full year or for more recent periods – and to see daily game point histories for any player, then you’ll probably have to come here to find that information. Fortunately, I’ll be here, doing what I’ve been doing for the past dozen years.
When I started producing supplemental statistical data for the TSN games, it was because similar analytical capabilities were not offered at the TSN site (actually, it was SmallWorld back then). Over the years, TSN expanded and enhanced their capabilities to the extent that much of what I provided here was redundant. But it looks like I’ll be providing significant – make that “monstrous” - value-added once again. If you do use this site, that should give you a monstrous competitive advantage as well – just like the good ole days.
10/8 - After the first day of the baseball playoffs, Cleveland starters are 2-0 with an aggregate ERA of 1.08. Perhaps Victor Martinez can have a big game in Anaheim tonight. As a Cleveland fan, that’s about as close as I can get to playoff thrills.
I have started preparations for basketball coverage for both the NBA Stock Exchange and TSN Salary Cap games. The NBASE game has already been launched, while the TSN game is still pending. I’ll also be incorporating preseason points in the sortable stats, as I have done in recent years. Hopefully, that will be up and running sometime next week.
10/7 - With the delayed ending of the MLB regular season now in the rear view mirror, I resequenced the left menu to drop baseball to the bottom and shift everything else up. Just in case you were thinking, “something looks different…”
This morning, all of the baseball analysts seem to be trying to figure out if Minnesota beating the Yankees would be the biggest playoff upset in the history of professional sports. That in itself suggests to me that the series will be closer than expected. The TV networks are probably praying for a Red Sox-Yankees ALCS. So I won’t be surprised if it turns out to be Twins-Angels.
In breaking football news, it’s being reported (but not yet confirmed) that Michael Crabtree has signed with the 49ers, and Braylon Edwards has been traded from the Browns to the Jets.
We still need a few managers to complete a AA Hoops league for the RIHC. No experience necessary, and no cost to join. Sign up here.
10/6 - You would have been well served to wait for both Monday night QBs this week. They combined for 655 yards passing and 5 TDs. As for the other positions? Not so much. Well, maybe Green Bay tight end Jermichael Finley (128 receiving yds and one TD), although that seems rather flukey.
In Football Pickoff, long-time Gurupie Coldwater Coyotes had the equivalent of a perfect game, picking all 14 games correctly and doubling the optimum game, thereby posting the maximum possible score of 716. Nicely done!
10/5 - I, like many others, discounted Minnesota’s ability – or at least likelihood – to catch the Tigers after they fell three games behind the Tigers on Wednesday with just 4 games remaining in the season.
Now we get a one-game tiebreaker, which must wait until Tuesday due to the unfortunately scheduled football game in the Metrodome tonight. This is considered a regular season game, but may or may not count in the standings for your fantasy game. Check your hosting site for details. My understanding is that this game does count for TSN salary cap games, and also for ESPN roto games, but not for Yahoo roto leagues.
Since Yahoo does not count the tiebreaker game and the RIBC is hosted there, I think the standings there are now final. Certainly, the winner is settled, as Bash Brothers took an early commanding lead and never looked back. I managed to squeak into 5th place on the final day, which I feel pretty good about, given my fizzled first round pick of Grady Sizemore.
10/1 - The Red Sox are certainly heading into the playoffs on a roll. After last weekend’s sweep at Yankee Stadium, they cam home to get totally blasted by Toronto, losing three games by a combined score of 31-12. Fortunately, it gets easier, as they wind down the regular season against Cleveland in Fenway. Then again, Cleveland has won four of its last six, and is playing for a fired manager, so who knows.
I’ll actually be in Boston tonight for the Cleveland game, returning home tomorrow morning, so I may or may not publish a blurb tomorrow.
In any event, it doesn’t appear that any baseball races are going to go down to the wire this year. Minnesota is now on life support, as is Atlanta. Both teams made nice runs heading into this week, but have completely faltered in the last few days. The fat lady hasn’t yet sung – but she’d better have those vocal chords warmed up, because the concert is imminent.
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
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