Celtics Visit Ray Allen; Makeshift Mavs Visit Lakers

Let the fantasy games begin! Finally, it’s the NBA season. That means all our leagues are keeping score too.

If you’re in a Roto league, relax. It’s not a race. Start your best players and sit anyone with a question mark. In Head-to-Head leagues, play everyone. On Page 2 today, I look at H2H streamers. Page 3 is my FanDuel lineup for tonight — yes, there are one-day leagues, even with only three games on the schedule.

The $1,000 Tournament for Sheridan Hoops readers closes at 7:00 EDT tomorrow. All three of us here in the fantasy section have joined; challenge us, Chris Sheridan and your friends for bragging rights and cash. It’s limited to 555 teams; there’s a $2 entry fee per team, maximum five.

Pick nine players (2 PG, 2 SG, 2 SF, 2 PF, 1 C) within the $60,000 cap. Only six categories count in the scoring system — PTS = 1pt, REB = 1pt, AST = 1pt, BLK = 2pts, STL = 2pts, TO = -1pt — and whoever scores the most fantasy points wins $200 cash, available the next day via PayPal. Second place is worth $125, third $100 and even finishing 61st earns $4.

If you need a test drive, join FanDuel (no deposit or credit card needed) and try a free NBA league today. If you like that, there’s still time to join our contest.

October 30 Games

BOS @ MIA: It would be just like the Celtics to spoil Miami’s ring ceremony. The most significant addition to the Heat is Ray Allen, whose former teammates will be psyched to shut him down. LeBron James turned his right ankle last Friday but it won’t prevent him from playing. Chris Bosh had a strong preseason and Dwayne Wade has looked good since the team returned from China. Mario Chalmers played in just two exhibition games and may not be 100% yet. Allen will be the sixth man and second-unit ballhandler, but after that Eric Spoelstra has a mix-and-match bench. Rashard Lewis, Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem might play more than Norris Cole. The lack of a big center who can contribute at both ends remains a weakness.

Boston’s big three of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo have some company this year. Newcomer Courtney Lee will start at SG, with Jason Terry coming off the bench. You know which one to target for points and threes. There could be a revolving door at PF. Incumbent Brandon Bass, returnee Jeff Green and rookie Jared Sullinger might all get starts, depending on the opponent. Green is the best of the trio to own, as he’s the most versatile and will play significant minutes even when he doesn’t start. Sully is a nice stash in keeper leagues and Bass will maintain some value as a backup 4-5 even if he loses the starting gig. Leandro Barbosa was a nice real-world pickup; he can spell Rondo at PG or play SG. In fantasy, he has almost no value unless there’s an injury. Especially when Avery Bradley (shoulder) returns, minutes will be hard to come by in a crowded backcourt.

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