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Daily blurbs from the Guru
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10/29 - Note to John Wall, after last night’s 29-point beatdown in Orlando (that was not as close as the score suggests): “Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kentucky anymore.”
Last night’s 9-0 World Series game actually was closer than the score suggests – until the Texas bullpen imploded in the 8th inning. Actually, that performance was somewhat reminiscent of their first game against the Yankees, except that Texas blew a 5-1 lead in that game. This time, they were already down 2 when the meltdown occurred. Amazingly, reliever Darren O’Day started the inning with two swinging strikeouts. Then it was single-walk-walk-walk-walk-single-triple-double-strikeout. 7 runs. Yikes.
There are still many scoring errors in the RotoHog hoops games. I count about 80 players with incorrect stats, most who have been shorted by a few fantasy points. I assume they’ll eventually get it right, although I haven’t seen any acknowledgment from RotoHog that they are even aware of this. I think that the points I am reporting at RotoGuru are correct.
10/28 - So what’s LeBron thinking now, after the Cavs just beat Boston one night after the Celtics beat Miami?
I didn’t watch the Miami game last night, but looking at the boxscore, it appears that the reported demise of Dwyane Wade may have been premature. Meanwhile, LeBron’s stat line has yet to be LeBron-like, although if you don’t count turnovers (17 in two games), I suppose his numbers look a little better.
So much for yesterday’s marquis pitching matchup in the World Series opener, as a total of 18 runs were scored. Tim Lincecum allowed 4 runs in 5-2/3 innings - but that was good enough, as Cliff Lee came crashing back to earth, surrendering 6 earned runs while failing to complete 5 IP.
10/27 - It was a little odd to see Miami trying to catch the Celtics down the stretch, yet Dwyane Wade seldom had the ball. I suppose they’ll get it figured out sooner than later.
Still, just 9 team points in the first quarter?
BTW, it was good to have Steve Kerr back at the broadcast table. I always liked him.
I think I have all of last night’s fantasy points scored and posted correctly – which puts me a step ahead of RotoHog. They seem to have bungled their stats processing – or else their stats provider screwed up. Either way, virtually no player is scored correctly for any game on their site. I’m sure they’ll get it worked out eventually. If you want to know how your team really did, look at my stats report.
If you do notice anything in my stats tables that looks off, please let me know. It’s hard to catch everything, and I rely on you all to let me know if there are processing errors.
10/26 - It doesn’t look like “them Cowboys” will be enjoying home field advantage in the next Super Bowl. Not only do they sport a 1-5 record, but now must rebound with John Kitna at QB. Then again, stranger things have happened.
Football Pickoff once again sported more negative scores than positive ones, but there were still some big results, headed by GS: A Family Co., who rode a 577 point output into a big lead in the YTD standings. Impressively, this entry has yet to post a single negative weekly score.
The NBA regular season starts tonight. There are those who say that the NBA regular season has little meaning, with 16 teams advancing to the playoffs, and little doubt as to who the eventual contenders will be. But the regular season is “the show” for fantasy hoops. Only three games start the schedule, with TNT broadcasting LeBron James taking his talents to Boston, followed by Houston at the Lakers. The other (non-televised nationally) game is Phoenix at Portland. Tomorrow night, there are 13 games scheduled, and only Washington and Orlando will have to wait until Thursday to get underway.
10/25 - I was away from home (and TV) for most of the day on Sunday, and I haven’t had much chance to see or read about yesterday’s NFL highlights. My RIFC team seemed to do quite well on auto-pilot, however. In this league’s scoring system, a team that generates 140 or more points is generally having a strong week. My team scored 196! And sometimes it’s better to be lucky than smart, as Lee Evans (105 yds, 3TDs) would typically have been on my bench vs. Baltimore. I had to start him this week because all of my other receiving options were on bye. He ended up with more fantasy points this week than he had generated through the first six weeks combined. Go figure.
I added Fanduel to the list of games covered in the sortable Hoops stats. FanDuel.com offers daily contests in all major sports, including hoops. If you have not yet registered, please click on the linked banner in the “Sponsor of the day” area above. In addition to their standard head-to-head daily contests, they are offering a promotional contest for this Wednesday night’s NBA games (Oct. 27) - $10 entry fee, first prize is $1000, prizes for the top 20. There are currently 86 entries in this contest. For $10, you might want to take a flier!
By the way, if you do enter the special Wednesday contest at FanDuel, some of the player prices in the sortable stats will be slightly off, as those prices were set and locked-in several days ago. The prices in the sortable stats reflect the player prices for the current day’s standard contests (in this case, Oct. 26).
10/22 - Tonight marks the end of the NBA preseason. After this, we’ll get no more statistical clues about potential roles or production. We’ll also get fewer “false positives”, when bench players lose playing time upon their inevitable return to the bench.
False positives or not, it’s interesting to see which players have been doing the best in preseason. Using the RotoHog SalCap formula (which is the same as the old TSN point formula), the leader is Blake Griffin, making up for lost time by averaging 40.6 RHP/game – although he’s missed his last two games with a sprained ankle. It looks like he has the skills, but does he have the durability? Or will he become Oden2?
10/21 - I’m back at RotoGuru World headquarters after a 4-day hiatus to an actuarial geek-fest in New York City. Believe it or not, I did pick up a few ideas for some fantasy sports research. Not sure if I’ll ever get around to tinkering with them – but it was fun to let some neurons fire that hadn’t been flexed for awhile.
First, I have some catchup work to do. In Football Pickoff, kudos to dgreds2, who posted the top week #6 score of 516 points. The breakdown of positive and negative scores was more balanced this week, although only about 30% of cumulative scores are in black numbers through six weeks.
The RIHC draft is proceeding along, as are the rationales for each pick. Believe it or not, the NBA season starts next Tuesday – so if you’ve been procrastinating on your preseason analysis, you’d better buckle down this weekend.
10/15 - The RIHC draft has begun, and there are no surprises in the first three picks (Durant, LeBron, Chris Paul). From the research that I’ve done, I have yet to see any other top 3, although the order of those three is sometimes different. After that, the various pundits begin to diverge.
Baseball action resumes tonight. The Rangers will need to find a way to win at home, or the A.L. series may not be very interesting.
I’ll be in New York City next Sunday-Wednesday. My trip is unrelated to the baseball series, and New York is one of those cities where the extra activity associated with the playoffs will probably be lost in the normal bustle. I’ll actually be reconnecting with my actuarial roots (and a number of my former actuarial cronies), attending the annual meeting of the Society of Actuaries. As such, I’ll probably skip the blurb for those three days. Maintaining stats and participating in the RIHC draft will be enough fill my spare moments.
10/14 - Slow day.
Gilbert Arenas’ latest escapade still shows that he craves attention. This time, he apparently figured he could attract more attention by not playing. He went on to say afterward that if he hadn’t told the media about his fake injury, there would have been no story. True,… but I’m pretty sure that whole point of the episode WAS to tell the media about it.
Here’s something rare. Jrue Holliday scored a triple double in a preseason NBA game, playing almost 46 minutes (which is also unusual for a preseason game) with 18 points, 12 assists, and 11 rebounds. Holliday had played 33 minutes just the night before, so he’s getting in some work.
Roy Hibbert also had a solid game, with 16 points, 14 rebounds, and 7 blocks in 30 minutes. Of course, it was against Minnesota, so perhaps you ought to grade this one on the curve.
10/13 - The Rangers now have to figure out how to take the next series to a seventh game. If they can, then it seems likely that Cliff Lee would be their pitcher. And it seems unlikely that Sabathia would be opposing him, since he’s likely to pitch in games 1 and 5 (assuming that the Yankees aren’t already in panic mode by game 4.)
I’ve been continuing to work on getting preseason sortable stats posted for the various covered hoops games. All of the typical RotoGuru reports are now available and updated daily for the various RotoHog games. I’m now working on the FanDuel game, and should have that included within the next couple of days.
10/12 - For some reason (related to TV revenue, no doubt), the National League now pauses for four straight off days before starting the Phillies/Giants series. Seems surprising that they would avoid Wed-Fri, when other sports events don’t offer much competition, and then go head-to-head with college football and the NFL. Whatever. The AL Championship series will start on Friday. But Wednesday and Thursday will be blanks.
The first of the RIHC drafts - one of the two AAA leagues - has already started. The RIHC itself is scheduled to start drafting on Friday, and I’m sure the others will get started soon as well. These leagues use standard 8-category roto league formats, so the drafts may be useful guides for you if you are going to be drafting in similar leagues. For the RIHC, managers will also be posting rationales for each pick, but those won’t be started until we’ve completed the first two rounds.
My two RotoHog Salary Cap football teams pretty much imploded this week. I needed to replace Vick, McFadden, and a couple of receivers. One of the receivers that I took was Mark Clayton, preferring the matchup vs. Detroit over Brandon Lloyd’s back-to-back games against the Ravens and Jets. I also had to decide between going expensive at RB and cheap at QB, or vice versa. If I had done the former, I would have probably taken Adrian Peterson and Kyle Orton. Instead, I opted for an expensive QB (P. Manning or Brees) and a cheap RB (Hillis or Torain). Suffice it to say that I’m a moron. Bring on Hoops…
10/11 - With five weeks of the NFL season almost done, I don’t know that we can yet tell who’s going to be really good this year – particularly in the NFC, where only two teams are 4-1: Chicago and Atlanta. Chicago got the benefit of a weak Carolina opponent yesterday, overcoming a 6-16, 32 yard, 4 interception performance by their own backup QB Todd Collins. In Cleveland, Atlanta was locked in a 3-point game until a late pick-6 made the margin look more comfortable. Tampa Bay also has only one loss (3-1), but they needed a couple of late-game Carson Palmer interceptions to overcome the Bungals.
The Saints came into this season with a roster that was largely intact from last year, and expectations were high. But so far, they are only 3-2, and their largest margin of victory is only 5 points, while the team has failed to score more than 25 in any game so far. (Last year, they scored less than 25 only once in the first 14 weeks of the season.) Yesterday, they managed to lose to Arizona – when the only TD scored by the Arizona offense was by offensive tackle Levi Brown.
Dallas was another team with preseason hype, and many of the pundits picked them to emerge as the NFC Super Bowl representative in their home field. That could still happen – but at 1-3, they are currently last in the NFC East. The good news for them is that no other NFC East team appears poised to run away with it.
The other NFC team with big aspirations was the Packers. But they are also 3-2, and are getting pecked to death with injuries, including a late game concussion sustained by Aaron Rodgers – which may or may not cause him to miss any time.
10/8 - It is often said that the most important factor in the MLB postseason is pitching. So far, that seems about right, as in six games there have been three shutouts (including a no-hitter). In fact, the six losing teams have scored a total of just 7 runs in those six games.
I now have the first version of Hoops sortable stats posted, including points for preseason games. Right now, I have the three RotoHog formats covered, but will be adding FanDuel shortly. By the way, I see that FanDuel is offering pay contests (with cash prizes) for NBA preseason games; a couple days ago I commented that they were only offering free contests. I was wrong – they have both free and pay contests running now. And of course, they are also currently running daily hockey contests as well.
10/7 - The Phillies were widely regarded as having the best pitching rotation for the playoffs. But Halladay’s opener was still over the top – especially against this year’s top hitting team in the NL. And with a day off on Thursday, the Reds get an extra day to stew about it.
Until Halladay’s no-no, the big story of the day was the trade of Randy Moss to Minnesota. When discussing the fantasy impact of the move, one analyst noted that Moss could play in 17 games this season, since Minnesota has already had its bye. While that is theoretically a nice advantage for Moss owners, remember that Moss took a goose egg last week – so arguably, he already had his bye week – without the concurrent rest, and while undoubtedly active in all fantasy lineups.
10/6 - I’ve started working on NBA processing. The RotoGuru schedule tools have been up for more than a month, of course. But now it’s time to start loading up some player data. I plan to have RotoHog Salary Cap and Stock Exchange player data in the sortable stats within the next few days, and I also plan to begin capturing preseason fantasy stats, just to help you acclimate to the new season. Preseason games started last Sunday, so I already have some catching up to do – but I’ll get there shortly.
If you really want to get immersed in preseason fantasy hoops, FanDuel is actually offering some free NBA preseason contests. No fee, and no prizes, but a chance to get yourself into game shape. As with other sports, FanDuel offers contests that span only the games for a single day. This year, I’ll be including them in my sortable stats universe as well.
10/5 - When the Patriots score 41 points, you don’t expect Randy Moss to be completely shut out. But of New England’s five TDs, only two were scored by the offense, and the only receiving TD was by a RB.
After four weeks of the NFL season, only one team remains undefeated – the Kansas City Chiefs. We all saw that coming, right?
Congrats to SkySail, who scored a weekend-best 525 points with 12 correct picks in another difficult week for Football Pickoff. After four weeks, only 30% of all Football Pickoff entrants have a score above zero.
10/4 - The baseball regular season came to an end yesterday, although there was some drama right down to the end, with four different playoff positions not settled until the final game. The Red Sox got a little solace by knocking the Yankees into the wild card slot, while the Giants played out the string before finally dispatching the Padres.
With the end of the MLB regular season, we also reach the end of the RIBC. Congratulations to John Holt, who built a commanding lead that persisted over the final several months.
Two of the top quarterbacks through the first three weeks of the NFL season have been Michael Vick and Jay Cutler. However, the pair failed to play a complete game between them on Sunday. Vick was knocked out by a chest injury; Cutler was just knocked out. And before Cutler suffered an apparent concussion, he was sacked nine times in the first half – and looked totally befuddled. Of course, the Bears’ blocking and the Giants’ defenders had something to do with it.
10/1 - I should know better than to trust weather forecasts – even those calling for 100% rain. Yesterday’s “sure thing” washout in Citi Field was played without delay. Meanwhile, the game in Baltimore – where the mid-morning forecast was for 40% rain - was already canceled by mid-afternoon. And they call meteorology a “science.”
The science for the “NL Weast” has become fairly clear. For the Padres to win the Division title, they must sweep the Giants – probably four straight, as an extra game will be required to break the tie, unless Atlanta completely folds and both California teams advance to the postseason. If the Giants win at least one – they are the Division champs. And that would require the Braves to win only once more to claim the wild card spot.
The Mets may have played their game yesterday, but my planned golf round was rained out. Evidently, I’m a golfing wimp, after seeing the weather conditions that the Ryder Cup was being played in this morning. The big loser so far has got to be Sun Mountain Sports, maker of the U.S. team’s rain suits. The suits absorbed so much water that PGA of America officials hurriedly bought new rain gear for the players at a merchandise tent. The team’s golf bags are also apparently water-absorbent. Amazing that this wasn’t all pre-tested for a site where rain was highly likely. Who’s in charge?!
RotoHog has released its Salary Cap Hoops games. For those who are looking for something to replace the now-defunct TSN Salary Cap Hoops games, this offers the same game design. Prizes are notably lower, however. I hope to have player prices and positions loaded up in the RotoGuru sortable stats sometime next week.
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
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 toGuru<firstname.lastname@example.org>.
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