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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.

12/23 - I know that most of you are not hanging on pins and needles waiting for me to get the RotoGuru sortable NBA stats up. I have been working on it, and I’m getting close. Hopefully later today, or Saturday at the latest. In any event, at this point I’ll only have them up for FanDuel and Draft$treet. Each are daily contest sites that I’ve been affiliated with for the past year or so. If you haven’t yet tried either of these sites, please register using the links in this paragraph. The Fanduel link should also then direct you to a Christmas Day freeroll with a prize pool of $1000. If you have previously registered at FanDuel, then login to your account first, and then click on the FanDuel link.

This will be my final blurb for 2011. You may note that the tally of GuruPatron donations at the top of this page is only about half of the corresponding totals for each of the past two years. Part of that is due to a modest decline in activity, although the Google Analytics stats still say that almost two million RotoGuru pages were served this year to more than 50,000 unique visitors. (I don’t believe that last number for a moment.) The other reason is that I have not been making an issue of the decline in donations, as the gap has been filled by revenue from affiliated daily contest sites like FanDuel and Draft$treet. While I know that many of you don’t participate at those sites, enough do so that the related commissions are now paying much of the costs of maintaining this site. So I’m grateful to those of you who have been indirectly supporting this site by supporting those sites.

Enjoy your holiday season. I’ll be back to blurbing in 2012.

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12/22 - Erik Spoelstra’s quote today isn’t particularly funny, witty, insightful, or stupid – characteristics that I usually look for in a daily quote – but it certainly seemed appropos to my situation. I spent a good while dusting off my hoops statistical tracking & reporting systems yesterday, and yet there’s still a lot to do, particularly getting all players assigned to the proper teams. So I’m going to dispense with the blurb quickly and get back to the salt mines.

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12/21 - Hooboy. We had our first NBA injury to a consensus 1st round fantasy pick, as Stephen Curry had to be helped off the court in a preseason game after spraining his ankle. This is the same ankle that was surgically repaired last spring to (supposedly) eliminate instability issues. MRI today. If you drafted him, hold your breath.

I’m hoping to have NBA sortable stats up by the weekend, although at this point, the only active games that I’m covering are the affiliated daily contest sites – FanDuel, DraftStreet, and Daily Joust. I’ll probably also continue to track the old TSN point formula, just to keep my database active in case that game is resurrected next season. Even if you don’t plan to play any of these games, you might find the sortable stats to be a useful way to monitor who’s hot and who’s not.

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12/20 - When the lights went out before last night’s NFL game, my immediate thought was “How are we going to handle the RIFC playoffs if this game has to be postponed?” Fortunately, that potential calamity was averted. Not so fortunate for the Steelers, though, who apparently could have used some extra rest for Ben .

(Just couldn’t resist the opportunity to dust off my Roethlisberger spelling randomizer, which old time Gurupies will no doubt remember.)

With the NFL upsets this week, Football Pickoff results were understandably low, with only 30% of slates producing positive scores. Congrats to erb136, who posted the top score of +553, getting both the Green Bay and Indy games correct, and doubling Washington over the Giants. Remarkably, the Random Dart continued its forward surge, posting another positive score in spite of its misfortune in picking Green Bay.

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12/19 - I know that some analysts evaluate running QBs as though a rushing attempt is like a completed pass to himself. Yesterday, Tebow was 11/24 with 194 passing yards. That’s not bad. But adjusted for 12 carries and 93 rushing yards, and the numbers are 23/36, 287 yards, and 2 TDs, one turnover. Even better. Of course, the Denver defense wasn’t up to stopping the Pats offense, so it didn’t really matter – unless you had Tebow on your fantasy squad, in which case it was a very nice day. Aaron Rodgers would’ve taken it.

All five RIHC drafts are now underway. Here are the links, if you want to track them (grid at the top, sequential picks below the grid):

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12/16 - So Chris Paul wants to be part of something like never winning a championship, eh? OK. Hope that T-shirt concession works out for him.

RIHC draft pick rationales have begun. Hopefully, we’ll be able to keep those relatively current as the draft progresses.

The first NBA preseason games are tonight. For the past several seasons I’ve produced fantasy stats for preseason games. However, given the limited preseason schedule this year, I’m going to pass and wait for the regular season to begin. Even though there will be no “TSN-style” salary cap hoops game available this season, I will be producing sortable stats for the three daily contest sites that RotoGuru has affiliate relationships with – FanDuel, DraftStreet, and Daily Joust – and may also be adding one or two more.

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12/15 - The RIHC draft has begun. The first 6 picks: Durant, LeBron, Paul, Love, Rose, Howard. No big surprises there. Once we have completed the first two rounds, we’ll start posting pick-by-pick rationales.

You should be able to follow all five RIHC-related drafts at

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12/14 - If you are planning to start a fantasy basketball draft in the next few days, how do you evaluate Chris Paul? Maybe where he lands isn’t so critical to his projected fantasy value. Ditto for Dwight Howard. But if either of those players are moved before Christmas day, a lot of other players are likely to be shuffled around as well, and that ripple effect could have significant implications for the fantasy prospects of many players. It makes drafting a team now somewhat problematic. But when the NBA decided to hustle toward a Christmas day TV bonanza - thereby compacting trading activity, free agent signings, and preseason games – “it is what it is.” NBA teams and players have to deal with it, and so do NBA fantasy managers. If nothing else, it certainly adds a “wild card” element to slow fantasy drafts, where the timing of announcements can certainly have outsized impacts on pending picks.

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12/13 - Playoffs!? Gah!

The problem with single elimination playoff formats is that half of the teams disappear after just one game. You spend all season working toward a postseason berth, and then you can quickly be obliterated by an untimely injury, or an unfortunate matchup, or just an off-week. It’s particularly maddening if you sail into the playoffs as a top seed, dominating week after week during the regular season, only to have it all come tumbling down on one lousy weekend.

I’m not complaining, mind you – although that exact fate has befallen me on multiple occasions. I was actually the beneficiary of a very favorable matchup in the first round of the RIFC playoffs. Of the eight teams in the playoffs, I had the 7th worst point total this weekend. But, lo and behold, I was matched up against the team with the lowest total, and eked by with a 1.62 point victory. I should be accustomed to that, as my team had three other games during the regular season decided by less than 2 points. With DeMarco Murray in my lineup, and with Brad Smith taking a goose egg, I dodged a bullet, to be sure.

I was not so fortunate in Football Pickoff, where I descended to dead last in the standings. Two-thirds of active slates found a way to post a positive score this weekend, including five slates with 14 correct picks. The top score was +565, posted by griffdo, whose only incorrect pick was San Fran over Arizona (also failing to pick the Thursday night game, either intentionally or – most likely - forgetting).

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12/12 - I was away for most of the weekend, and missed most of the NFL action on Sunday – getting home just in time to see the ending of the Denver game. Improbable, and yet predictable.

It’s hard to believe that drafts for the various RIHC leagues will be starting in a few days. This will be the most unprepared Hoops draft I’ve been in – but I don’t think that puts me at any comparative disadvantage. The first NBA preseason game won’t be until this coming Friday. And player shuffling is likely to continue for the next several weeks. This feels something like the recent free-for-all of college football teams moving from conference to conference.

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12/9 - Blockbuster deal done, announced, and undone. New Orleans was reported to get Kevin Martin, Luis Scola, Lamar Odom, and Goran Dragic. Given that Chris Paul wanted out and has only a year to go on his contract, this doesn’t seem like such a bad deal for New Orleans. And with the Lakers losing Gasol and Odom, they were certainly giving up something of value to get Paul. So I don’t quite understand why Stern nixed the deal – especially if (as the league office says) it was not in reaction to complaints by other owners. If nothing else, it seems as if the NBA has now screwed the bargaining power of the one team that it owns.

I guess I must be missing something.

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12/8 - Albert Pujols to the Angels for 10 years, $250 million. Stunner. I guess if you’re going to sign a 32-year-old for ten years, it makes more sense to do that in the American League.

I wonder if Pujols talked to Jim Thome before making this decision.

Last call for managers to join a qualifying league for the RIHC. It appears that we have ample interest to form a second AA league, so if you are on the fence, the time has come to make that decision. I expect the league to be filled by Friday. If you are interested, please provide your email address in this forum thread. The league will be hosted at ESPN, and the draft will be a slow online draft starting sometime next week and hopefully finishing by Dec. 25th.

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12/7 - The NBA schedule has been released. Each team will play 66 games, and each team will have at least one series of back-to-back-to-back games. 12 teams will experience it twice. The Lakers get to do it right away, playing on Dec. 25, 26,& 27 – although they don’t have anymore of those for the rest of the season.

I’ve loaded up the NBA schedule in the usual RotoGuru formats. I did it quickly this morning, so hopefully I haven’t goofed anything up. A quick scan looks OK. Here are your options:

Full season schedule (html)
Full season schedule (Excel spreadsheet)
4-week schedule
Thanks to Gurupie Challenger for suggesting today’s quote.

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12/6 - Football Pickoff produced fairly balanced results this week, with 53% of slates producing positive scores. Congrats to Swinganamiss, who posted the top result of +440 points on 13 correct picks.

In Football Pickoff, I track eight different passive slates during the season, just for kicks: home teams, away teams, consensus favorites & underdogs, Vegas favorites & underdogs, and two dartboards. Interestingly enough, while none of those approaches ranks in the top quartile, all eight of them have posted positive scores for the full season, with the top score of +351 by the Random Dart. The worst of the bunch is Vegas Underdogs, posting a season total score of +33. The fact that each of these eight passive “brainless” strategies has amassed a positive score gives me pause when I see that my own tally is -924. I don’t know whether to be depressed or impressed!

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12/5 - Tim Tebow is becoming one of the most surprising stories in the NFL this year, having led the Broncos to a 6-1 record since taking over at the starting QB. Until yesterday, the formula seemed to rely heavily on the Denver defense, as the Broncos had won four of those games while scoring less than 20 points. But yesterday, the formula was decidedly different. The final score was 35-32, and Tebow ran only 4 times for 13 yards, while his passing stats were 10/15, 202 yards, and 2 TDs. That’s a normal QB stat line, not a Tebow stat line.

Looking ahead, the Broncos next play the Bears (who currently lack their starting QB & starting RB), followed by the Patriots, Buffalo, and KC. They are currently tied with Oakland for the lead in the AFC West, and the Radiers have to face the Packers in Green Bay next week. After Denver started the season at 1-4 and then made the switch to Tebow, who’d have thought that they’d be staring down a playoff berth in early December?

As someone joked to me yesterday, “Maybe God does care about NFL results!”

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12/2 - We need about 6 more managers to complete a second AA qualifying league for the RIHC (RotoGuru Invitational Hoops Challenge). All you need is an interest in competing, and general availability throughout the draft, which will probably run from about Dec. 15-24. The draft will take place online, and you should expect to make 2-3 picks per day. Scoring is standard 8-category rotisserie format. The winner will advance to the top RIHC league next year, and those finishing in the top half will qualify for a AAA league next season. For more details, and to sign up, please provide your name and email here.

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12/1 - Philly at Seattle tonight. A battle of two 4-7 teams, each going nowhere. From a pregame analysis on “This is a coin flip game since both teams are inconsistent but mostly bad.” Sounds like must-see TV.

Then again, if your fantasy football postseason hopes depend on any of the players going tonight, then I realize it IS must-see TV.

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2011: November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2010: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2009: December . . . 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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