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12/21 - Dwyane Wade came up big again last night. The Heat still lost. This may be a recurring theme.
Jason Kidd had 10 assists and 11 rebounds, but wasnt even close to a triple-double, scoring only 5 points. Meanwhile, Tuesdays phenom Sean Williams showed why you never want to read too much into one game for a rookie. Six points, 4 rebounds, zero blocks, and 5 fouls in 15 minutes.
The biggest points may have come from the Houston-Denver game, which went two overtimes. Five players in that game topped 40 TSNP, including Marcus Camby, who had another one of those bizarre stat lines, with 18 rebounds, 6 blocks, and only 2 points, scored on a FG in the last minute of the second overtime. He celebrated that scoring spree by fouling out 11 seconds later. He reportedly also suffered a back injury, which may or may not have implications for tonights game. I had noticed just the other day that he had somehow managed to play in every Denver game so far this season. So he is way overdue for something like this.
The NFL also produced a lot of scoring firepower last night. Unfortunately, much of it came from Najeh Davenport after Willie Parker left with a broken leg. Hopefully, you weren't depending on Parker to carry you to your fantasy Super Bowl title this weekend. On the other hand, if you were counting on Ben Roethlisberger, youre off to a flying start.
Thanks to Gurupie angryCHAIR for suggesting todays quote.
This will probably be my final blurb for 2007. I'll be traveling next week, visiting with family over the holidays. Stats will continue to be cranked out, of course.
Best wishes to all of you for the rest of 2007 and all of 2008!
12/20 - LeBron returned to form with 32 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, and 6 steals, good for 62 TSNP. The Cavs faced the hapless Knicks in Madison Square Garden, and the final margin was 18 points. So how in the world did the Knicks end up on the winning side of that margin?
Dwyane Wade returned to form with 36 points, 6 rebounds, 10 assists, a steal, and 2 blocks, good for 64 TSNP. They faced the Hawks in Atlanta, and the final margin was 6 points in overtime. Once again, it was the 13-12 Hawks who prevailed over the 7-18 Heat.
Arguably, neither of those two studs put up the top game of the night, as Caron Butler had a 29 point, 11 rebound, 10 assist triple double in a home game vs. the Bulls that was settled by 11 points. You guessed it... the Wizards lost.
Basketball is often heralded as a game in which one player can make the difference. But you couldn't prove it last night.
Don't forget about tonight's NFL game, the Steelers in St. Louis. If nothing else, the weather shouldn't be a factor. Don't forget about getting your lineups and picks set before gametime.
12/19 - Sean Williams made the most of his insertion into the Nets starting lineup last night, rejecting 8 shots en route to 43 TSNP. I doubt if 8 blocks will become his new norm, but even so, he has been averaging 2.2 blocks this season while playing only 20 minutes per game. That ranks him 8th in the NBA in blocks per game, and his 5.3 blocks per 48 minutes ranks #1 among all players who average at least 10 minutes per game. By comparison, Marcus Camby and Josh Smith each average about 4.5 blocks per 48 minutes.
We all saw it coming, too, didn't we? I just checked the results of all four RIHC drafts, and Sean Williams went undrafted in every one. Now, I'm not suggesting that Williams has been putting up monster stats all season. He certainly hasn't. But for what is probably the most difficult statistical category, 2.2 blocks per game gives him reasonable value even if the rest of his stat line is paltry. And ESPN's player rater, which is based on the same 8-category format used in the RIHC, ranks Williams #137 based on averages to date. Further, that ranking ignores the scarcity of blocks.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you need blocks, check your waiver wire to see if Williams is available. If he continues to get starter's minutes, it could pay off big-time.
12/18 - It was a tough week for Football Pickoff pickers, as negative scores outflanked positives by about 2:1. Congrats to jeffg, who found his way to a top score of +484 on 13 correct picks. So far this season, there hasn't been a dominant strategy from week to week that has prevailed. And that's as it should be. The best cumulative passive strategy has been Vegas Favorites (+383), but the second best has been Consensus Underdogs (+284). That's a surprising tandem. And even more curiously, picking a straight slate of Consensus Favorites or Consensus Underdogs for the entire season would each have netted a positive score for the season. While the cumulative raw game scores for the Consensus Favorites have been -284, the 350 bonus points for that strategy brings the YTD tally up to +66. I don't ever recall that situation before. Regardless, none of those approaches would rank you in the top 50 YTD.
In Hoops, LeBron found his way to 45 TSNP, but it took him 50 minutes and two overtimes to get there. Clearly, his injury is impacting his production. He's still a stud, but just an ordinary stud now. Then again, maybe his return to earth was inevitable, with or without the injury. Either way, he's gone from a gots to have player back to a nice to have if you can fit him in status. And for salary cap games, he's not necessarily someone you need to get at any price. At least for now.
12/17 - I made a few lineup adjustments on Sunday in deference to bad weather forecasts in Cleveland and New England. But I sure didn't see the Dallas debacle coming. In salary cap games, there are some weeks when having a relatively wealthy team is of no benefit, and it would be hard to find a QB duo that did worse than Brady and Romo yesterday, regardless of scoring format - unless it's for a league that rewards lousy play. (And I am in one of those as well.)
I've received a number of nice comments on the site's 10th anniversary, both by email and at the forum. If you'd like to share any of your reflections on your history with RotoGuru.com, feel free to post them here.
12/14 - This weekend marks an important milestone in the development of RotoGuru.com. On Sunday, December 16, the site will be 10 years old. While that's not Clemens-like longevity, I suspect that's a fairly long span for an internet venture. And I have done it without the use of any performance enhancing substances (well,... other than coffee, of course). Here are some summary stats for those ten years:
Will the site be around 10 years from now? Who knows? If so, it will probably have morphed in many new directions, just as there have been many changes over the first ten years. Amazingly, the original site that was launched on December 16, 1997 is still out there, even though I haven't touched it for many years. Some of the links no longer work, but many still do. For a trip down memory lane, check this out: http://fantasyguru.tripod.com/. You can even scroll back to that very first blurb on 12/16/97. It was during the NBA season of course, and the players mentioned in those early blurbs were Brevin Knight, Travis Knight, and even comments about a Marcus Camby injury and a Jason Kidd triple-double, showing that some things haven't changed over the years.
This has been a fantastic experience for me. I've learned a lot, not only about fantasy sports and web site management, but psychology, business development, politics, spam-fighting, and community building. It hasn't been particularly lucrative financially, but it has taken in marginally more than total costs, and although my earnings have worked out to be a small fraction of the minimum wage, the ancillary benefits have been far greater in terms of new friendships, new ideas, new skills, and new opportunities. At times, it can be laborious - stats seldom take a break - but overall, it's been a labor of love. As I often tell people, it's a great job, if you can afford it!
Thanks to all of you who have created, participated, supported, and defended. Without your encouragement and enthusiasm, the site would probably have vaporized long ago. So this anniversary isn't about me. It's about us! Let's start working on another decade!
12/13 - One NFL game tonight. Get your picks in, and check your lineups.
As is usual for a Thursday, there aren't many NBA games tonight, but it is still shaping up as a big trade day in the TSN game, as teams are going after either Wade or LeBron, and also repositioning some of their cheaper players to make room and/or to bank some accumulated gains. I still haven't completely figured out what I'll be doing - and with 6-12 inches of snowfall heading this way, I hope the power holds up until I make up my mind. If I'm AWOL tomorrow morning, it's probably storm related.
Regardless, make sure you check in for tomorrow's blurb. It's a milestone day in RotoGuru history.
12/12 - It probably shouldn't be characterized as a triumphant return for LeBron, since he played only 21 minutes last night. Then again, the Cavs won (handily), and his 21 minutes were reasonably productive, with 29 TSNP. Cleveland's schedule picks up again in a few days, and we'll have to see whether he can quickly resume his uber-studly output.
Jason Kidd logged his second consecutive and league-leading 6th triple-double last night. He didn't blow the numbers away (11 pts, 11 assist, 10 rebs), but that's a typical Kidd 3D.
Perhaps the most surprising stat line last night was that of Larry Hughes, who celebrated the return of King James by putting up a LeBron-like 55.5 TSNP in only 26 minutes. It was his highest TSNP output since April 13, 2006, and more reminiscent of his peak 2004-05 season with Washington Wizards. It'll probably turn out to be an aberration.
12/11 - Unless you had Drew Brees on your fantasy roster, there probably wasn't much reason to watch last night's NFL game - at least not past midway through the second quarter, when the outcome was pretty well settled. Actually, that's not quite true. If you were facing Drew Brees in a playoff game, that might have held your interest as well. In fact, that was exactly my situation, as I was in a playoff matchup that could only go against me if Brees had a monster day. As fate would have it, he fell about one TD short of his requirement, but it did keep me anxious until the bitter end.
Favorites had a good week in the NFL, and seven Football Pickoff slates ended up with 15 correct picks. The top score belonged to Laurie, missing only the Vikings win over the Niners. Honorable mention goes to foot ball-busters, who went 15-0, but apparently forgot to make his Thursday pick in time.
By the way, we not only have a Thursday night game this week, but also a Saturday night game. In Football Pickoff, each of those early games will lock at its scheduled kickoff time, with the remainder of the slate locking at 1pm ET Sunday, as usual.
12/10 - Back in August, I remember some of the fantasy football pundits analyzing the Bears defense with comments about their favorable schedule - particularly that they would twice face each of Minnesota and Green Bay, two teams that would have trouble scoring this year.
Green Bay has obviously been a juggernaut. But now even Minnesota has the inside track on a playoff berth. They may be only 7-6, but that makes them one of only six NFC teams with a winning record. And next, they get to face the Bears,... a team that has trouble scoring.
In the AFC, eight teams have winning records through week #14. The most surprising of these is probably Cleveland, which at 8-5 also controls its playoff destiny. They face Buffalo this week in a game that could determine the final playoff spot. If the Browns win, their last two games are against the Bengals and 49ers, two teams with a combined record of 8-18. Anything can happen in any given week, but just to be in this situation is something the Browns haven't enjoyed since 2002. In the four intervening years, the team amassed an aggregate record of 19-45, never finishing better than 4 games under .500.
12/7 - Here's hoping you weren't relying on either of last night's starting quarterbacks - especially if this is the first week of your fantasy league playoffs, or even the last week of the regular season with a playoff berth up for grabs.
Dwyane Wade fell one assist shy of a triple double last night, although his TSNP total of 42.5 doesn't sound like a stat stuffer. Of note, he had no steals, 5 turnovers, and shot only 35% from the floor. The low shooting percentage is the most significant deviation from what you'd expect, as Wade has shot over 49% for each of the prior two seasons. This year, his average is only 43%, and as last night demonstrates, it's not heading upward. Still, if you have him on your team, you have to be encouraged - although if your team is the Miami Heat, then you have to wonder whether, at 4-14, the season can be salvaged. Obviously, mathematically it can. But at this point, Miami ranks dead last in the Eastern Conference. And Wade's return hasn't sparked much of a turnaround, as the team is only 3-8 since his return.
12/6 - You don't see this stat line very often: 20 rebounds, 0 points. That combination follows the name of Marcus Camby in last night's boxscore. Iverson scored 51, so I guess that's where Camby's points went. Still, Denver lost by only 4 points, so Camby's 0-fer was a factor in the outcome.
Tracy McGrady wasn't exactly shooting straight last night (7-22), but he still managed to post a 17-12-10 triple double. Meanwhile, Mr. Triple Double - Jason Kidd - matched Camby's scoring total, but fell 20 boards short. And no doubt, his DNP-migraine inflicted similar symptoms on all of his fantasy owners.
Light action tonight - one NFL game, and 3 NBA games. Of particular interest, Dwyane Wade plays in the late TNT game in Portland. Will he build on his most recent game and reassert his stature as one of the game's most dominant players? Or will he revert to the mediocrity of his previous three outings? Enquiring minds want to know...
12/5 - Amare Stoudemire (67.5 TSNP) claimed the early lead in the "Which Phoenix player do I pickup from Dwight Howard?" contest. Steve Nash (58 TSNP) is in second, and Shawn Marion (39.5 TSNP) is a distant third. Of course, the contest continues to run for a few more days. I took Marion. Figures.
In my RIHC draft, I was the consummate KMart shopper. Kevin was my 4th rounder, and Kenyon was my last round flier. I figured Kenyon would be the first one to fill an injury slot on my roster - and he still might get there eventually - but Kevin dealt me a cruel blow last night with a groin strain that will sideline him for at least a month. Ugh.
12/4 - Depending on your perspective, last night's MNF game either proved that the Patriots are very vulnerable, or it proved that they are a team of destiny. Or both. Either way, their comeback drive in the final minutes had enough miracle escapes to make Houdini proud.
In Football Pickoff, Metal God piled up the best total of week #13, notching 456 points on 13 correct picks. His three misses were all close calls, too (Cleveland, Washington, and Chicago).
In Hoops, three players topped 60 TSNP. Dwight Howard bestowed a lovely parting gift to those TSN managers who have held him since opening day. With only one game in the next six days, he's destined for a well deserved hiatus. Carlos Boozer shook off any lingering effects of his ankle sprain to post 24 points, 15 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals. And Monta Ellis continued his strong series of games over the past week. He's been lurking under the radar, but last night's 22 point, 12 rebound, 7 assist, and 5 steal outing will probably get him some attention. And although it wasn't quite at the 60 TSNP level, Dwyane Wade finally had one of those Wade-worthy games, essentially equaling his total fantasy production from his previous three games combined.
12/3 - I awoke this morning to an ice-related power outage. I was able to get the hoops stats run and posted under laptop battery power using a dial-up connection in the dark (well, almost dark). No fun. Power was restored around 11am, and I was able to process football stats, plus take care of some other routine chores. Power outages really suck.
In any event, I haven't really had time (or awareness) to draft a cogent blurb, so I think I'll take a snow day and be done. Back tomorrow - weather permitting.
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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