Daily blurbs from the Guru
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11/30 - Don't forget - today is football roster freeze day, thanks to tonight's game between Detroit and Minnesota. If you haven't yet made this week's roster moves, you'd better get packin'.
Lamar Odom led last night's NBA parade with a triple-double, good for 66 SWP. Shawn Marion was close behind with 61 SWP, and topped everyone in Swirve points with 221. In his last ten games, Marion has only once produced less than 40 SWP - and that was a stinkin' 38.5 point output. Over the past 15 days, Marion has averaged 49.9 SWP/G, and has been the third highest producer of total points over that period (behind Odom and Baron Davis, each who had an extra game during that time). Still, of the 262 teams listed in the RotoGuru team rankings, Marion appears on only 40% of the rosters. Next trading week, he plays four times, so I suspect he's still got some price upside.
Speaking of upside, I was surprised by Shaq's lack of SW price recovery yesterday. With a heavy schedule coming up, I thought he'd begin to regain some of last week's price losses. But he dropped slightly, suggesting that many of those who sold him last week have redeployed the funds to other positions, and can't find a convenient way to get him back. (He is already on more than 80% of RotoGuru teams, though.)
11/29 - Are there two different Shaqs out there? After 14 games, he's averaging about 50 SWP/G. But he almost never scores near his average. In six games, he's produced over 60 SWP, and in 5 games he's been in the 30's or less. That leaves only 3 times that he's had games in the 40-59 range. And last night, he had 62.5 (following 31.5 the previous night.)
All Hoops Survival divisions are now two teams lighter, and scores have been reset for the next round. Four more teams will be eliminated after the next four weeks. By the way, if you're having trouble finding the rules on how many teams drop out each round, here's the link.
The outlook in my Survival divisions is quite varied. In one, there are six teams with vacant rosters this week, which should make it relatively easy to survive. But in another, every team is active, and most have very competitive rosters (not stud-laden, but competitive). That may be a tricky team to manage, as it appears that everyone is paying attention. If you plan to try this game for the next sport, I definitely recommend getting more than one team, because the "luck of the draw" can vary considerably from division to division. Just don't sign up all of your teams at once, because teams were sequentially assigned to divisions, and you don't want to end up competing against yourself.
11/28 - Brad Hoover had a nice game in the public spotlight last night, with 382 SWP and 993 SvP. I know you didn't have him on your fantasy roster, though, because he's not currently listed for either game. That's a bit unusual - especially for Swirve - since he's appeared in every Carolina game this year, and produced fantasy points in 7 of them.
In three NBA games last night, only two players topped 40 SWP. Glenn Robinson provided a parting gift for those Three-For-All rosters that had him for "sniffle week", with 48 SWP, 170 SvP, and 43 in Three-For-All scoring. Kobe was the other player north of 40, with 44.5/152. Shaq wasn't even close - in spite of 6 blocks.
Today starts the second round of Small World's Three-For-All Survivor game. Two teams will drop out of each division, and everyone's scores will reset to zero for the next round. I imagine there will be a lot of surprised managers tomorrow when the scores are reset. I have entries in four different divisions, and there are teams in each division that apparently haven't anticipated that feature of the scoring, as they have continually picked up top players each week in spite of having commanding point leads.
The next Survival round is particularly interesting in that the first week is the only one with no 5-game teams. In weeks 2-4, Chicago, Dallas, and Indiana each have 5-game weeks, respectively. That could lead to a lot of similarity in rosters over those weeks. If so, it is important to get off to a good start this week, when rosters are likely to be much more diverse (as 16 teams play four times this week).
By the way, if you aren't playing the Survival game this year, I highly recommend it for baseball, although you'll have to shell out $10 to play (assuming the pricing remains the same). You can only make transactions once per week, but there is a lot of thought and planning that needs to be done, and the game should remain interesting throughout - as long as you survive. I actually had a slight scare in one of my Hoops divisions this week, cutting things rather close for comfort when Mookie Blaylock sat out the first two games. But I finally survived with a 16th place finish.
Finally, thanks to Gurupie Mark Terwilliger for recommending today's featured quote.
11/27 - Welcome back.
There were some pretty good individual performances in the NFL yesterday, and not all were in the usual places. The top two SWP totals were from opposing running backs in the Denver-Seattle game, Mike Anderson and Ricky Watters. Watters was also the top Swirve point producer. Y'all had him, right?
Perhaps just as surprising is that only one Ram finished among the top ten at his position, and that was Az Hakim. Overall, it was a better weekend for running backs (other than those named Faulk), and not as good for receivers. Five running backs exceeded 400 SWP. Only one receiver (Randy Moss ) did so.
This week brings another Thursday freeze. With so many running backs doing well lately, there are going to be some tough choices. (Just stay away from Jamal Lewis!) The expected return of Kurt Warner also makes the QB position interesting.
In Football Pickoff, the average score was +14, with 48% of the weekend's score in positive territory. Still, some people had trouble, as two of the top 5 teams posted negative results. Underdogs did a little better than favorites (102 points), although voting the straight underdog slate would not have landed you in the top 100 for the weekend - so judicious "ticket-splitting" was the way to go.
In the NBA, the stories still seem to revolve around who's injured, who's sick, and who's not. Rashard Lewis missed a couple of games, and his price has nose-dived. Jalen Rose returned, and Travis Best has seen his production (and price) decline. Sam Cassell and Glenn Robinson both missed games, spoiling their 5-game trade weeks. And yesterday, Vince Carter left the game with an injury, also spoiling a nice part of Toronto's schedule.
Meanwhile, the Lakers head into a heavy schedule period starting tonight. They play ten times over the next 16 days, more than any other team. Expect Shaq to recover most of his recent price losses.
11/22 - M*A*S*H report: Marcus Camby didn't play last night, and supposedly won't tonight, either. Shaq says he will play tonight, although his ankle still shows some swelling. Danny Fortson will undergo foot surgery today, and be out for at least several months. Tim Hardaway says he'll play tonight. And I don't know the status of Jeff McInnis, although the Clippers aren't scheduled to play until Friday. Now,... who have I forgotten?
On the court, Gary Payton led all fantasy producers with 56 SWP and 203 SvP. The Cleveland backcourt of Andre Miller and Trajan Langdon combined for 102 SWP. With a SW price at the minimum, Langdon may get some attention - although his previous high this year was only 19.5 SWP.
Today's NBA schedule is pretty full, with 11 games on tap. Tomorrow there is only one. I'll be away for the Thanksgiving holiday, but will at least keep the stats updated each day. I'll probably skip the daily blurbs, though. Site traffic will be light, anyway.
Don't forget the early football roster freeze! Enjoy your turkey.
11/21 - I've never had to recover from knee surgery, but from the comments of those who have, Marshall Faulk must be a remarkable human specimen. I guess it's time to pick him up again.
Remember that the Thanksgiving games this week cause the freeze to be pushed up to Thursday. This means you won't be able to wait until the end of the week to see whether Kurt Warner will be ready to go this weekend. A dilemma, not only for those who might want to add Warner, but also for those who currently own Trent Green.
With last night's Redskin victory, this week turned out to be the worst of the season for Football Pickoff, with an average score for the week of -118. The top of the YTD standings got more compact as well, with the top three entrants now only separated by 118 points. Meanwhile, my personal scores have been on a significant uptrend ever since I started using the "Palm Beach method" for making selections. Once I make my picks, I simply click on the wrong button for each game. In the last three weeks, this approach has netted me more than 800 points!
Speaking of Pickoff, only the Thanksgiving games must be locked in by Thursday. You have until Sunday to make or change your selections for the rest of the slate - server permitting.
The top Hoops players last night were not the usual cast of characters. Steve Nash led the way with 52.5 SWP and 197 SvP. Close behind was P.J. Brown, with 52 SWP. Also notable was Jeff McInnis, who sat out with a bruised left knee. Given his widespread ownership, his recent spotty performance, the injury, and a 3-day schedule break to boot, you probably don't want to be anywhere near him when new SW trades are passed out.
The McInnis situation is pretty clear (although he may be a good, cheap pickup once again when he returns to action). The Shaq situation is more of a dilemma. If he is healthy, this is a time when you would want to own him, as the Lakers play 12 games in the next 3 weeks. But if he continues to hobble, his $13m pricetag is tough to justify. In the interest of full disclosure, I dropped him after Saturday night's DNP, expecting him to sit out Sunday's game, which would leave him with only 2 games in 8 days. That allowed me to simultaneously upgrade from McInnis to Marbury. If Shaq looks healthy this week, I may pick him back up before next Monday, when he starts a stretch of 4 games in 5 days - probably moving out of Payton to raise the cash. That also assumes that I don't have other problems to deal with in the meantime.
If I still owned Shaq, though, would I drop him now? That's a tough call. He does have two days to rest, and it is entirely possible that he'll be fine. I also have flashbacks to last year at about this time. Shaq suffered an injury in a game on November 10th, and then sat out the next game 2 days later. His price dropped almost $900K in the next 4 repricings. But he immediately returned and averaged better than 60 SWP/G over the next 2 weeks. I bailed early on one team, failed to pick him back up quickly, and never recovered. I love the saying that "Experience teaches us to recognize our mistakes every time we repeat them." And I'm getting this "déjà vu all over again" sensation.
In other words, make your own decisions. But the stakes may be high - either way.
11/20 - Let's start with football. Although many of the popular players had pretty good games, the top outings came from somewhat unexpected places. Fred Taylor had a monster, with 742 SWP and 1602 Swirve points. Taylor has been playing well lately, but his matchup against the usually stiff Steeler defense makes this result surprising. And at QB, the top dog was Gus Frerotte, with 485 SWP and 1456 SvP. What makes his point total even more remarkable is that he had five turnovers!. Without those, he'd have been in Fred Taylor territory.
There are still a lot of points up for grabs tonight, so today's standings are definitely in a state of flux. So far, though, it looks like a good week for most fantasy teams. Of course, with so many players doing well, it may also be a tough week to make much of a relative move on your competition.
In Football Pickoff, blind weeks are shaping up as tough ones for many of you. So far, the three blind weeks have produced an average weekly total score of -87 points, while the other weeks have experienced an average weekly total of +2. On regular weeks, 47% of all weekly scores have been positive; for blind weeks, only 32% have posted positive weekly scores. And this week's results (so far) are slightly worse than the previous two blind weeks, so it doesn't appear that people are gradually learning how to play the blind weeks.
Admittedly, this may not be solely attributable to the lack of information. Perhaps the underlying games have had something to do with it. On the other hand, underdogs have won 42% of all games on regular weeks, but won only 38% on blind weeks. So it doesn't appear that the frequency of underdog wins is driving the disparity. Perhaps the odds are just more unbalanced.
In Hoops, the latest theme is dealing with the injuries to popular players. The week started with Fortson and Webber going down, and over the weekend, Tim Hardaway, Shaq, Camby, and McInnis have all experienced problems. If you hadn't been conserving trades, your roster probably looks rather banged up by now. And if you did save some trades, they aren't likely to last long.
Meanwhile, Rasheed Wallace and Baron Davis eased some injury woes last night (if you had them). Perhaps the weekend's most remarkable outing was Friday night's triple-double by Jason Kidd. Actually, maybe it was a quadruple double, because he had 14 turnovers as well. Even with the 10 point SW bonus, he only earned 47 SWP, which will probably hold up as the worst scoring triple-double for this season.
Finally, it was also a tough weekend for technology. The SW Hoops server is creating access problems, particularly for Netscape users. Check the Hoops Message Forum for an effective workaround. The normally reliable Swirve site was also down for awhile on Sunday, although it seems to be up again this morning. And Football Pickoff also experienced a few glitches this weekend. One seems to be related to a suspected bug in Netscape 6, which I've hopefully programmed around now. Another had to do with an incorrect server clock (my fault - sorry about that!), which locked out picks an hour prematurely. If you had Pickoff problems this weekend, that might have worked to your scoring advantage, given the generally poor results. But it is still a good idea to make your picks earlier in the week, just in case there are last minute snafus, which will inevitably happen.
11/17 - The reports of Shaq's demise were certainly premature. He led all fantasy scorers with his second straight 60+ SWP game (and also 239 SvP). In fairness, he did need overtime to climb over the 60 SWP mark.
Overtime also helped two Kings, Doug Christie and Predrag Stojakovic, each who topped the 50 SWP threshold. I imagine the lack of Webber also played an important factor in their big games. And before you start chasing either of them, be aware that Sacramento has a 5-day layoff now. That's a remarkable open stretch.
The only other guy to exceed 50 SWP was Vince Carter, who managed to put up 55 SWP in regulation time. Carter has now exceeded 50 SWP in two of his last three games.
If you are going to be away from your port of online access next week, remember that you can make your Football Pickoff selections in advance. I know a number of people have limited access during Thanksgiving week, and I've already noticed higher than usual advance selection activity. Also, there are two NFL games next Thursday, which means your Small World and Swirve rosters will need to be locked in early. Pickoff will continue with the Sunday freeze, except that the two Thursday games will be frozen at 12:30pm EST Thursday.
11/16 - Some managers have been avoiding Shawn Marion because of his lighter-than-average schedule. But when he puts up 62.5 SWP in a game, the schedule issue doesn't seem so troublesome. And his gains have certainly been marching along nicely. Is he a good pickup now? If you think he will continue to average in the mid-40s (SWP), then he certainly deserves serious consideration. But if you think he's been overachieving, then this may be a little late to jump on the bandwagon. Every time I've considered adding him, I've found what seems to be a better option. And so far, I've been wrong every time. Maddening. I'll bet I'd be off to a better start if I hadn't been thinking so much.
Stephon Marbury also had a near triple-double, good for 60 SWP. He certainly hasn't been a model of consistency so far. Of his 8 games played, 2 have been in the 60s (SWP), 1 in the 50s, 2 in the 40s, 1 in the 30s, and 2 in the 20s. The 44 SWP average is certainly respectable, however.
11/15 - Shaq may have been unable to literally thumb his nose at the Nuggets, but he did it figuratively, posting 66.5 SWP and 231 SvP. Gary Payton was close behind, suggesting that all he needed to break out of his recent funk was a little home cooking. Four other players topped the 50 SWP mark. Also notable was Elden Campbell's 57 point outing in 3-For-All scoring. With Charlotte's 5-game week (3-For-All uses a Tuesday-Monday week), Campbell is a very popular choice this week.
Now let me switch gears.
In this year's Football Pickoff game, you have the option to double one game each week. After 10 weeks of competition, I decided to see just how the doubling option has played out.
First, a broad overview:
Let's drill down a little deeper to see what types of teams are being doubled.
Underdogs are being doubled more than half of the time. If you look at the table in my 11/9 blurb, you can see that the heaviest underdogs have done much better than the selection odds would suggest, and a lot of doublers are capitalizing on this relationship. Note that for doubled games with odds at least as lopsided as 80/20, underdogs are being picked almost half of the time. And it's working, on average.
It's not surprising, then, that the overwhelming favorites are turning out to be "sucker doubles". What is surprising, though, is the lousy results for picking slight underdogs. Overall, slight favorites (51%-59%) have won about 60% of the time, and this proportion also applies to doubled favorites in this category. But the slight underdogs that were doubled have only won about one-third of the time, producing a hideous net result. Statistical aberration? Or are these sucker bets as well?
11/14 - At halftime last night, things were looking pretty dismal for Denver - fantasy pointwise. The trio of Griese, Terrell Davis, and Rod Smith had combined for only a little over 100 SWP, and Griese was obviously playing hurt. Fortunately, they staged a modest comeback in the second half, although none of them were up to their averages.
If you've got Ricky Williams and a trade left, don't forget to drop him this morning.
In Football Pickoff, MALLinyourMOUSE.com has what appears to be a commanding lead of almost 350 points. But if you've been playing, you know that 350 points can be lost in the blink of an afternoon. And who is now up to #2? None other than last year's champ, Sludge 2, who has been steadily chipping away week by week after a couple of early negative weeks.
This week is another blind week, so you'll have to make your picks without any feedback. Be careful. The average weekly score this year is -13. But the average score for the two previous blind weeks has been -75.
In Hoops, there were only two games last night. You'll never guess who the top guard was. It was Quentin Richardson, which is more of a testament to how mediocre all of the other guards were. There were some better efforts in the front court, but I'll let you look 'em up yourself.
With baseball announcing its major awards for the season this week, it's time for me to induct five more managers into the RotoGuru Hall of Fame. Congratulations, to Jeff Klein, Rich Paganelli, Chris Jensen, Jamie Edman, and Brian Talmadge. Rich becomes the first 4-time enshrinee, and Chris earns his second listing. The Hall of Fame now features 20 elite managers in 23 separate listings. Well done, gentlemen.
11/13 - Grrrrr....bac'd!
Or should I say, "It's not easy fleeing Green".
It seemed like a non-stupid move on Saturday, swapping out of Green in Grbac. St. Louis was down a stud running back, Sehorn was back, the Giants were playing well (and at home), and Grbac was facing a 49er secondary that had given up more passing yards and TDs than there are hanging chads in Florida. But after taking the 400+ SWP opportunity cost this morning, I don't think I'll ask for a recount. Time to lick my wounds and move on.
It was a bad week to differentiate, unless you did it just right. I imagine Green was still the popular option at QB. I also suspect Miami was the popular choice at defense. Unless you picked New Orleans Or Buffalo, you lost. Not a good week to bail out of David Akers - unless you went to rushing phenom Tim Seder. Perhaps Derrick Alexander was the best popular option to avoid, although the top WR's were probably hard to find (in advance) this week - and Rod Smith still has to go tonight.
This morning's standings are probably less meaningful than usual, with Griese, Terrell Davis, and Rod Smith all likely to appear on a lot of rosters. I've got all three - and unless they come up big, I'm going to come up very small this week. Here's to a 50 point Bronco outing.
Football Pickoff continues to be headed by MALLinyourMOUSE.com. But I've still got my eyes on last year's winner, Sludge 2, who has now moved into 4th place. And if I'm not mistaken, the fifth place entry, Blondi 2, is his wife! Talk about a tense battle! This could be a fun one to watch down the stretch.
By the way, this next week is another blind one for Pickoff. No advance info will be available.
In Hoops, Charles Oakley had the only triple-double over the weekend, although he wasn't the top producer, even with the bonus points. Stephon Marbury had the top SW outing with 62 on Saturday, and Chris Webber topped the Swirve list with 241 on Friday. There were a lot of good weekend performances, however. Fourteen players had games of at least 50 SWP.
11/10 - Jason Kidd notched his second triple-double of the season last night, posting 73 SWP. Strong outings were also produced by forwards Shawn Marion and Rasheed Wallace, each slightly over 50 SWP.
Marion had a nice price gain yesterday, too. But his upcoming schedule is lighter than average, with only one game in the next five days, and four in the next twelve. Clearly, managers haven't cared much about schedule outlooks when making buying decisions. Marion's uptick was probably primarily the result of his favorable placement in the YTD SWP rankings among forwards, where there is no one ranked higher at a similar or lower price. But this begs the question: with a light impending schedule, can he maintain a favorable ranking? Or will he start to see come competition from other comparably priced forwards?
To help assess this issue, I added an extra option to the projection capabilities of the sortable stats. Previously, you could report historical point totals, or you could project totals over some other period. But there was not an obvious way to combine the two.
Now there is. If you select the third schedule filter option, you can combine YTD points with a future projection. This can be used to create a sneak preview of how the point rankings might look at some future date. For example, with historical points now updated through 11/9, if we produce a combination run with a 12 day projection starting on 11/10, we can see how the rankings might look on 11/22 (including all games through 11/21). I'll let you try to set this up yourself. If you use these assumptions, you should see Marion ranked 9th in total points at that time. That's still pretty good, although Grant, Camby, and Fortson all rank a bit higher, and all are priced in the same neighborhood. Of course, future production will undoubtedly differ from prior averages, so you have to apply some subjective judgment to these rankings. But while it looks like Marion may become less attractive, he should continue to be competitive with other comparable options, in spite of his light schedule.
Does this mean you should buy him now? Probably not. But it does suggest that if he can continue his pace, you shouldn't expect a schedule-related price meltdown.
I also found it interesting to see that Rasheed Wallace is projected to rank #1 in that same run. The biggest reason is due to a 3-game schedule advantage over his closest rivals. If he can maintain his recent pace (and avoid early ejections), he looks like an attractive guy to own, based on the raw numbers.
With a little trial and error, most Gurupies have been able to figure out how to effectively use the projection capabilities of the sortable stats, and this simply adds one more option to consider. If you have problems figuring it out, though, feel free to stop by the message forum and ask for some help (unless you are from Palm Beach, FL, in which case I'm afraid it may be too confusing).
One final, unrelated note: I started the Swirve basketball team rankings on Wednesday, and will plan to update them on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I seeded the rankings with all teams who were in divisions with "RotoGuru" in the name. If you want to be added, just send me your team name and ID#. You can find the team ID# in the heading of your Team Overview table at the Swirve game site.
11/9 - A heavy schedule of 11 NBA games produced a lot of data to sift through this morning. Top gun was Brian Grant, with 66.5 SWP and 239 SvP. Right behind him was Sam Cassell with his first big night of the season (63 & 221).
Perhaps as noteworthy were some of the disappointing performances. Shaq only had 35 SWP - which is not a good return on a $13m investment. Gary Payton also returned to earth this week, with only 27.5 SWP. Also interesting is Jeff McInnis, who managed only 0.5 SWP in 31 minutes. McInnis has had the biggest cumulative SW price increase so far ($1.48m), and it will be interesting to see whether this takes any wind out of his sails.
I did some analysis of the Football Pickoff selection results so far this season. Here's the raw data for the first 143 games this season:
First, an example to assist in interpreting the data. Look at the 80%-89% row. There have been 27 games for which the favorite was in this range. Of those 27 games, the favorite actually won 19 times, for a winning percentage of 70%. If the selection odds had been accurate on average, we would have expected 84% of the favorites to win those games (based on the actual selection percentages for those 27 games). So, in this category, favorites are performing somewhat worse than expected.
So far, the most lopsided games have had the biggest error rate, while the games with the favorite under 80% have been remarkably accurate. If the trend continues, then a good strategy would seem to be to go with the consensus underdogs in the lopsided (80% & up) games, while picking favorites in the rest. That passive strategy (ignoring doubles) would have earned a cumulative score of 706 points so far, which would rank 37th. Not bad. Of course, if a lot of people started to adopt this approach, then the lopsided odds would become more accurate, and the closer games would begin to favor the underdogs.
By the way, I also looked at the data excluding the two blind weeks, but the results were quite similar.
11/8 - With the Presidential election turning into such a cliffhanger, fantasy sports probably took a back seat for most people in the U.S. last night. In a year when World Series games and Monday Night Football routinely last until the wee hours (in the Eastern Time Zone), the Presidential race certainly followed suit.
In six NBA games, no one topped the 50 SWP mark, or the 200 Swirve point mark. Top honors went to Rasheed Wallace (49.5/174), who managed to fit in 39 minutes of playing time before getting ejected. In Three For All scoring, he got his fourth 44 of the season. The only game he didn't score 44 was the game in which he was tossed after only 27 minutes (getting only 34 points). And Wallace seems to have been a popular pick in Three For All this week.
In my Three For All division (15 teams), I was one of four teams with identical picks in week #1. That wasn't too surprising, since Orlando and Sacramento each had 5-game weeks, although there were certainly plenty of options to choose among those two teams. But four of us had McGrady/Divac/Webber.
This week there are no teams with 5 games, but ten with four games, so I expected a bit more diversity - and I was right. However, of the four us of who matched last week, all four picked Rasheed Wallace and Jahidi White this week. So it looks like several of us may be using a similar selection approach.
Eleven NBA games are on the docket tonight. Hopefully the Presidential situation will be clearer by then. But maybe not.
11/7 - Quite a finish last night, if you stayed up to watch the end of MNF. If not, I'm sure you'll see the highlights on SportsCenter.
RotoGuru Hall of Famer Rich Paganelli seems to have figured out Football Pickoff's second half. His three entries are all ranked in the top 4 for the Midseason prize. And speaking of Hall of Famers, last year's Pickoff winner, James Surles, has moved up to seventh place in the full season standings. As he's discussed at the message forum, his method seldom produces spectacular results, but the "slow and steady" approach seems to play well over the long haul.
Lots of things to attend to today. SW Hoops Three-For-All rosters must be updated for the second week. Football repricing for both SW and Swirve. And then 4 new trades for SW Hoops this afternoon. Hope I'm not forgetting something important.
And I've got 9 holes awaiting this morning. My last outing of the year, no doubt. Later...
11/6 - So how many of you got Faulked yesterday? At the eleventh hour (actually, about 15 minutes before the freeze), I chickened out and swapped into Stephen Davis (yes, I know he has a bye next week, but I still have nine trades available before next Sunday), figuring that Davis could potentially outpoint Faulk even if Marshall did play. And if Faulk didn't play much,.... Home... r-r-r-r-runnnn!
Sorry, didn't mean to rub it in. OK, maybe I did. I wish the rest of my trades (and non-trades) for last week were as astute. I thought about picking up Joe Horn for Terrell Owens, but didn't. I also thought about picking up Eric Moulds, but didn't do that either, so not all of my non-trades were disappointing.
Based on some random checking last night, I'd say at least half of the top-ranked teams had Faulk yesterday, so if you kept him, you have plenty of miserable company this morning. That'll change quickly, as Marshall is scheduled for surgery today, and will reportedly miss 2-3 more weeks. With Warner already down, the advantage of a higher-than-average SW roster value is considerably diminished for the next few weeks, and when Warner and Faulk return, they'll be much cheaper - and even more widely owned, in all likelihood. So if you're looking to make some differentiation moves, the next several weeks will be key. Of course, if everyone is differentiating, then the term becomes rather meaningless. In any event, I'm sure there will be a lot of good matchup analysis on the message forum again this week. Those 9 trades may start burning a hole in my pocket!
In Football Pickoff, I also made a shrewd, last minute adjustment. Given my pitiful consistency so far, on Sunday morning I reversed all of my picks for the week. Result? +377, ranking 9th for the week (so far). The mean score for the weekend currently stands at -86. Entrant MALLinyourMOUSE.com will be the leader after week 10, regardless of tonight's outcome. The second week lead for the Midseason prize is still up in the air.
In Hoops, while it wasn't nearly as cataclysmic, Tracy McGrady's sudden one game suspension on Saturday night was certainly a revolting development for many teams. So much for his 5-game week in SW Three-For-All. Which reminds me - if you are playing that game, remember that your second week lineup must be set by noon tomorrow. SW Hoops veterans often think of a "trade week" as beginning when new trades are available, which makes it Wed.-Tues. this season. But the Three-For-All trade week runs from Tues.-Mon. Don't get caught with an empty roster for week 2.
You really have to look at some of the early results critically when making trading assessments. Which early performances are flukes, and which can be sustained? Are my underachievers really going to be duds, or did they just start with an off-night? And don't forget to look at the upcoming schedule. In football, every team has the same schedule (except for byes), although matchups can be key. In baseball, off-days are rare, and aside from synchronizing your starting pitcher rotations or lining up your Coor's field appearances, schedules aren't of paramount importance. But for hoops (and I suppose for hockey as well), it's very important to be aware of scheduling idiosyncrasies. Even if the average manager doesn't factor in scheduling, it will have consequences on the early player rankings. If a player only goes once in the next 5 days, he's going to have difficulty maintaining his fantasy point ranking. And in SW Hoops, that will have a carryover impact on trade flows.
Make sure you take full advantage of the schedule analysis tools that I provide:
11/2 - Two days down, 168 to go. If you've gotten off to a fast start in Hoops, congrats. If not, it's way too early to panic. Fantasy hoops, like fantasy baseball, is a marathon, and patience is important if you're going to preserve your ability to manage effectively. Don't burn those trades too quickly, especially in search of the hot cheapie who may never be able to duplicate his first outing.
John Stockton was the top producer last night, and after 2 games, he averaging more than 50 SWP/game. We'll see how long his legs can stay this fresh.
All of the RotoGuru basketball statistical pages are functional now. I'm sure I'll continue to tweak things here and there, but I don't have any major enhancements planned. I'll try to have points updated by approx. 9am EST each day, although there will be some days on which the stats do not cooperate.
RotoGuru team rankings for SW Hoops have already started. As with recent sports, this will be run by the message forum community. To review the standings, or to get on the waiting list, go to the Basketball Standings Forum.
I'll continue to produce the Swirve rankings. Give me a few more days to get settled, and then I'll start collecting team IDs.
And don't forget about football. There are some excellent threads on this week's matchups at the message forum. And there are five games with pretty lopsided odds (so far) at Football Pickoff. Football has the luxury of providing some time to think between games. But don't let that lull you into forgetfulness.
11/1 - Last year, there were a total of 38 triple doubles during the NBA regular season. That works out to about 1 per 30 games played. But last night, we already had 2, by Jason Kidd and Gary Payton. And with the 10 SWP bonus, they topped the opening night SWP sweepstakes with 72 and 64.5 SWP, respectively.
But Shaq wasn't far back, with 63 SWP. And he did it without a triple double. Managers who drafted a Shaq-less team are probably already wondering whether that was the right approach. Shaq also led the Swirve scoring with 244 SvP. Kidd was tops in Progressive Sports Challenge, and Payton was #1 in Small World's simplified "Three-for-all" scoring system.
I have some of the stats pages updated now, and others will come up later in the day:
1999: December . . . . . November . . . . . October . . . . . September . . . . . August . . . . . July . . . . . June . . . . . May . . . . . April . . . . . March . . . . . February . . . . . January
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