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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.

12/24 - Christmas Eve, and all is quiet. No NBA games today. No NFL games today. Good day to chill with family.

So I will. Since I’ll be traveling next week, this will be my last blurb of 2009. Therefore, I’d like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Behave and be safe – and not necessarily in that order!

12/23 - In the next edition of the dictionary, the listing for the word consistency should include this chart. In eleven games since returning from injury, Kevin Love has never posted a TSNP total less than 31. The only inconsistency has been on the upside, particularly that one game when he popped up in the 50s. Ever other game is within roughly a 10-point range. And now that I’ve pointed it out, expect a crappy outing tonight in New Jersey.

Meanwhile, while this chart won’t compete for the consistency listing, it could appear under en fuego. Zach Randolph put up his third consecutive game on the north side of 50 TSNP, averaging 62 TSNP/G over that brief span.

12/22 - ‘Twas a tough week for Football Pickoff, as only 27% of all slates produced positive scores. Kudos to GS: A Family Co., who rode 8 correct picks to the week’s top score of 389.

Pickoff slates weren’t the only things to demonstrate futility, though. The Redskins had the stands emptying by halftime, and the Bulls found a way to blow a 35 point lead to Sacramento in the third quarter. Merry Christmas, home town fans!

The Cowboys cut kicker Nick Folk and signed Shaun Suisham, who was cut by the Redskins after week 13. Next week, Dallas plays in Washington. Think Suisham will be motivated?

12/21 - Pittsburgh and Green Bay both have better-than-average defenses. So that’s not necessarily the game where you’d expect to find a pair of quarterbacks each go for 600+ TSNP. But that’s what happened, as Roethlisberger and Rodgers combined for almost 900 passing yards and 7 TDs, and 1306 TSNP. Go figure!

But just because a team scores a lot of points, don’t assume that QB had a good day. Cleveland scored 41 points in Kansas City, but Brady Quinn threw for only 66 yards with 2 picks and no TDs. That’s only 40 TSNP. It’s very unusual to see a team score more real points than its QB scores in TSN points.

Several weeks ago, the NFC appeared to be headed toward a championship game of New Orleans vs. Minnesota. That still might happen. But it no longer looks quite as automatic, does it?

12/18 - If you kept Indy players in your fantasy lineup last night, you probably feel good about that decision this morning. Well, unless you had Pierre Garcon, that is. Manning, Wayne, & Clark all had very solid games. And hopefully, you stayed away from either of last night’s defenses.

So much for the possible re-emergence of Brad Miller. In 23 minutes last night, he managed to shoot 0-5 from the floor, with 2 rebounds and one turnover. That’s it, that’s the list. Against the Knicks, to boot! Stick a fork in him.

12/17 - If your fantasy team is in the playoffs now based partly on the strength of Peyton Manning as your QB, you have to be a bit worried about the rest of the season – including tonight’s game in Jacksonville. To what extent will the Colts begin to rest players in preparation for the playoffs? The Colts aren’t saying much – and with three games left and the potential for an unblemished record, you’d think that they would continue to gun for wins. But if they can put up an early lead tonight, will bench players begin to get more action? Actually, I’d probably be less worried about Manning’s playing time and more worried about some of the team’s other skill players.

Monster game from Pao Gasol last night, with 26 points, 22 rebounds, and 4 blocks – and the Lakers needed them all to eke out a 1-point win in Milwaukee.

Meanwhile, Tracy McGrady has returned to action. But you might want to wait before pouncing. So far, he’s played only 8 minutes in each of his first two games, and last night’s stat line shows mostly zeroes, other than one turnover, one missed FG, and one personal foul.

12/16 - As if the holiday season isn’t enough to focus on, the NFL schedule has a few twists in the next couple of weeks as well. This week, in addition to a Thursday night game (Indy @ Jax), there is also a Saturday night game (Dallas @ New Orleans). Next week, there is only one early game, but it’s on Friday – Christmas Day – pitting the Chargers at Tennessee at 7:30pm. If your fantasy season is reaching a climax in the next two weeks, make sure you don’t fall asleep on the necessary timing of roster moves.

We had a rare Brad Miller sighting last night, as he put up 15 points, 8 boards, 6 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks, and 44 TSNP against the Lakers. It’s his first game north of the 40 TSNP threshold, and he’s only topped the 30 TSNP mark 3 times in 27 games. I’m not saying that this performance is likely to become the norm, but it is interesting to see his name blip up on a radar screen that was Brad-Miller-free so far this year.

12/15 - It was a surprisingly good week for Football Pickoff scoring. In a week when consensus favorites produced a negative result, 60% of all Pickoff slates generated a positive score. The top result was by Valkyrie2 with 15 correct picks, missing only the Jets over TB.

The GS Warriors are usually viewed as an attractive opponent for fantasy players. Case in point: Thaddeus Young produced 26 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, and a block last night. In TSNP terms, that was more than double his season average. Jrue Holiday tripled his usual output. Then again, Isacc Newton suggests that “for every action…”. Those Newtonian candidates look to be Iguodala and Brand, each only contributing about two-thirds of their recent output norms. The fact that Philly took a 29 point lead into the 4th quarter probably has something to do with that.

12/14 - On my TSN Ultimate football team (which is admittedly going nowhere this year), I got almost 1000 TSNP yesterday from my three wide receivers. That’s respectable. Even better, when you realize that one was Percy Harvin. I thought I would have web access shortly before game time to check his status as adjust if needed, but for some reason my remote internet connection failed, and I got stuck with him. And then my team went on to have its best week of the season. Go figure.

With great fanfare, Accenture has announced that it is torpedoing its advertising relationship with Tiger Woods, citing that he no longer personifies its desired attributes of “integrity and high performance.” I have no quarrel with the “integrity” disconnect. But from what I’ve heard, there is no validity to the “high performance” concern.

12/11 - Can you believe Christmas Day is just two weeks away?

Before last night, the Browns defense had averaged 2 sacks per game this year. Last night, they sacked Roethlisberger 8 times. And as Big Ben went, so went the Steelers.

Is it just possible that the Steelers aren’t very good this year? After recent losses to KC, Oakland, and Cleveland, the evidence is difficult to dismiss. Regardless, while not mathematically eliminated, they now need to run the table to finish 9-7. Next week they play Green Bay, followed by two games against teams that they have to catch – Baltimore and Miami. Jacksonville (7-5) actually has the inside track on the last AFC wild card spot, but they have to face Indy and New England along the way, so the fat lady hasn’t sung yet. But if Pittsburgh can’t handle Oakland or Cleveland, how are they going to beat Green Bay?

12/10 - Tonight’s NFL game pits Pitts. vs. Cleveland. A few weeks ago, this game would have looked like the pits. But after the recent string of losses by Pittsburgh, it at least has some meaning, as the Steelers desperately need a win to get back into the playoff conversation. Facing the Browns may be just what the doctor ordered. And if they falter tonight, stick a fork in them. The weather looks nasty as well – cold, windy, and snowy – but that may not really matter. It’s not like either team has no experience in those conditions.

Jack Nicklaus says the fallout over Tiger Woods' car crash and allegations of extramarital affairs is "none of my business." Good for him. But you’ve got to figure Jack is at least inwardly smirking a bit over this. Meanwhile, Tiger’s caddie, Steve Williams, says he has no “personal knowledge of anything in the reports related to the Tiger Woods stories.” I wonder if anyone checked the length of his nose after that comment.

12/9 - LeBron hasn’t been quite as other-worldly lately, even failing to cover the 40 TSNP twice in his last five games. Not so last night, as he scored 45 points with 13 rebounds, 6 assists, and 64 TSNP in an overtime game in Memphis. Surprisingly, the Cavs lost. But, from a fantasy perspective, who cares?

Even including last night, over the last 15 days Lebron ranks only sixth in average TSNP/game among players who have been active for that entire period (i.e., excluding Chris Paul). In total points over that period, he ranks only 12th. Is he worth the premium pricetag? Probably, … but lately, you could have done better with more modestly priced alternatives. .

12/8 - Football Pickoff results were slightly negative this week, with 53% of slates posting negative scores. That’s a bit unusual when picking straight favorites would have garnered +100 points. Only one slate had as many as 14 correct picks, with sonayawc missing only the Oakland win in Pittsburgh and the Carolina win over TB, good for 583 points – more than 100 points better than the second best result.

Curiously, if you had been picking consensus favorites in Pickoff all season, you’d have a positive cumulative score of +228. And if you had been picking consensus underdogs, you would also have a positive score (+122). The raw score for all favorites would have been only -122, but 350 bonus points are enough to produce positive scores for both strategies. Perhaps this suggests that the “market” is relatively efficient. Or perhaps it’s just dumb luck.

12/7 - If the Saints run the table, this weekend may be the one that “shoulda” gone against them. It took a double-turnover TD, a last minute TD, a missed chip-shot FG, and overtime to pull out a game in which they never lead until it was over.

Bruce Gradkowski was the second ranked (fantasy point) QB this week, playing on the road in sub-freezing weather against the Pittsburgh defense. Yeah, everyone saw that coming…

If you play TSN Hoops and would like to take advantage of a new RotoGuru tool that allows you to generate summary information for all of your team on one page, check out this thread. This can be particularly helpful as a means to “proofread” your teams for invalidity or incomplete trading.

12/4 - If your fantasy football fate hinged on players in last night’s Jets-Bills games, good luck. A few OK performances, but nothing to carry you. And it looks like Mark Sanchez failed his sliding lessons.

As expected, Chris Bosh was the big price loser in TSN Ultimate Hoops, as 36% of his owners went elsewhere yesterday, mostly to Carlos Boozer. In all likelihood, Bosh will now significantly outpoint Boozer tonight.

12/3 - The AP story on last night’s ovation for Zydrunas Ilgauskas states that he received “deafening chants of ‘ZZZZZZ’.” I guess I know what that means, but I don’t usually think of “ZZZZZZ” as being anything that can be chanted “deafeningly.” Or am confusing that with “Z-Z-Z-Z-Z”?

Chris Bosh is currently the mostly widely owned player in the TSN Ultimate Hoops game. He also managed only 6.5 TSNP last night. That combination of phenomena is usually toxic. If you’ve got him and plan to keep him, proceed with your eyes open.

Jets at Buffalo in the NFL tonight. Don’t forget to make any necessary roster moves or game picks.

12/2 - Take a picture! It’s not often that you see Greg Oden perched atop the daily fantasy point list. But that’s what 13 points, 20 rebounds, 4 blocks, 2 assists and a steal earned him last night. That’s 52.5 TSNP, if you use that point formula.

Meanwhile, Larry Hughes played Jekyll again last night. He was “Hyde” in four of his last five, but when Jekyll comes out of hyde-ing, he puts up pretty impressive numbers. This time it was 11 points, 12 assists, 6 rebounds, 4 steals, and 48.5 TSNP. In his past six games, his TSNP output has been above 40 twice, and below 20 the other four times. Go figure.

12/1 - Last night’s game was widely expected to be a shootout. Turns out that was only half right. But the Saints defense turned out to be a reasonable choice, scoring above the mean for the week.

Now watch the Redskins beat the Saints this week.

It wasn’t such a difficult week for Football Pickoff, as 70% of all slates posted positive scores. Almost one-quarter of all slates generated bonus points (at least 13 correct picks), and 5 slates had 15 games picked correctly. Congrats to long-time Gurupie Tosh who posted the top score of the bunch, missing only the St. Louis/Seattle game, while doubling Buffalo’s win over Miami.

2009: November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2008: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2007: December . . . November . . . October . . . 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<>.

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