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Ja Morant available to play in Monday’s game vs. Nuggets [UPDATE]

Grizzlies PG is dealing with a sore elbow but will play vs. Denver. We break down the fantasy basketball and betting impact.

Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies talks with Desmond Bane #22 of the Memphis Grizzlies during a game against the Miami Heat on October 30, 2021 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee.  Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Update — Morant is fine and will be available to play in Monday’s game vs. the Nuggets. He’s in the starting lineup and there’s not much of a reason not to play him in all formats. This hurts the DFS stock of those value plays mentioned below. Melton is still an OK play starting next to Morant.

Memphis Grizzlies PG Ja Morant is questionable to play in Monday’s game vs. the Denver Nuggets due to an elbow injury. Morant is just dealing with elbow soreness and may be held out to rest a bit to start the week. The Grizzlies are coming off a 129-103 loss to the Miami Heat over the weekend. Memphis has lost three of four games to fall to 3-3 on the season.

Fantasy basketball analysis

If Morant sits tonight, there’s a lot that will be impacted. First, we’ll start with replacements at PG. Tyus Jones will likely end up starting and will be a trendy value option at $3,300. Jones will probably end up being cash chalk but still viable in tournaments on DraftKings given the spot.

The other benefactors of Morant sitting include Desmond Bane ($5,300) and De’Anthony Melton ($5,700). Those two will need to carry the offense and scoring in the back court. Melton will likely be chalk as well along with Jones. We should see more Melton in cash lineups than in GPPs, though his ceiling is a bit higher than Jones.

Betting impact

The Grizzlies entered this game as 1.5-point favorites at home against the Nuggets. The line was taken down after the Morant news. If the line comes back up — or if you can grab it anywhere else — the Nuggets are a pretty strong bet either way. Denver should prob be favored in this game (if Nikola Jokic is 100 percent). With Morant out, it could swing the initial line pretty heavily in favor of the Nuggets.

The point total was also low at 215.5 and the under was being bet pretty heavily. With the Morant news, we can expect this game to be pretty low scoring. Morant makes up about 20 percent of the Grizzlies offense. As for the moneyline, the Nuggets likely won’t be getting plus-odds when the lines come back up on DKSB. Getting Denver on the ML early isn’t a bad play. Again, even if Morant plays, the Nuggets have a pretty decent shot at winning this game.