Ja Morant is likely to miss tonight’s game against the Utah Jazz, opening a wide range of possibilities for lineup construction and the MVP slot. Here are the NBA DFS top plays we can invest in for our lineups on FanDuel and DraftKings!


Memphis Grizzlies Injuries

Jaren Jackson Jr. – OUT

Danny Green – OUT

Ziarie Williams – OUT

Ja Morant – DOUBTFUL


Utah Jazz Injuries


Walker Kessler – QUESTIONABLE


Desmond Bane, SG – Memphis Grizzlies

With Ja Morant likely to miss this game with an illness tonight, the door is WIDE open for Desmond Bane to crush the Jazz under the weight of a massive usage rate. Morant has a 35% usage rate on the season, second only to Luka Doncic among players who play any meaningful minutes. That leaves a tremendous amount of shots, assists, rebounds, and steals up for grabs. Plus, Morant’s absence means there is a greater chance this game stays close, which would lead to more minutes for Bane. Bane actually has the highest offensive rating on the team plus a 25% usage rate on his own. Even at $13,500 on DK for MVP, he could 4x that salary.

Tyus Jones, PG – Memphis Grizzlies

Jones will be the other primary beneficiary with Morant out, as his minutes should shoot up from around 24 per game to over. That is especially meaningful because Jones is at almost one fantasy point per minute, meaning his ceiling should be much higher this evening. Jones will also see a natural usage rate bump tonight and with a nice pace-up bump (Jazz are 11th in the NBA). He is primed to have a huge game at 60% of Desmond Bane’s MVP salary. 

Lauri Markkanen, SF/PF – Utah Jazz

Markkanen is one of the oddsmakers’ favorites in the early part of the season to take home the Most Improved Player award for 2022-2023. His 21 points and nine rebounds per game are part of the reason the Jazz are a surprise 4-2 to start the season. His usage rate is over 24% for the season which would be a career high if he keeps it up for 75 more games. But the best part about Markkanen is he is hitting 30+ minutes every game except one so far and he’s hit 39 minutes twice. With Jaren Jackson out, the defense against power forwards has been much worse for the Grizzlies this season, opening the door for a big game tonight. 


Jordan Clarkson, PG/SG – Utah Jazz

Clarkson is another Jazz team leader in usage rate, checking in at 23.5% on the year. The Grizzlies also have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to shooting guards this season, primarily because they are scoring almost 28 actual points against them every game. The Grizzlies have been especially vulnerable against three-pointers this year, which fits right into how Clarkson can rip them apart. He is currently hitting 36.7% of his three-point attempts, which ties for the highest rate of his career. 

Mike Conley, PG – Utah Jazz

The Grizzlies are allowing 24.5 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 8.3 assists per game to point guards, and that is WITH Ja Morant in the lineup. With Tyus Jones running the show, the runway is clear for Conley to take off against Memphis. Tyus Jones (126.3) has the worst defensive rating of any Memphis player over six minutes per game and will have a truly tough time containing the savvy Conley tonight. Update: Mike Conley has been ruled OUT tonight.

Steven Adams, C – Memphis Grizzlies

With Walker Kessler likely out tonight, Kelly Olynyk is the only truly big body the Jazz will have to go up against the mountain that is Steven Adams. Adams now has back-to-back games with more than 30 fantasy points and more importantly, his minutes have been over 30 in three of his last five contests. The two games under 30 were both in blowouts, so the closer this game stays, the more we will see of Adams. 


Malik Beasley, SG – Utah Jazz

Malik Beasley’s $4,600 salary is too low for the consistent 20-30 minutes he is seeing in every game this season. I’m not too worried about the outlier against Denver last time out, as he was trending up into the 20’s and 30’s in four of five games before that. Beasley should be the first player off the bench for the Jazz and will play an even larger role if the game gets out of hand for Utah. I expect much more of the 12-15 range for shots tonight than the seven he took his last game. 

Kennedy Chandler, PG – Memphis Grizzlies

Kennedy Chandler is the literal definition of a dart throw at just $1,000 tonight. With Morant out, there is a decent chance he sees the floor for some minutes, especially if the Grizzlies blow out the Jazz. Chandler was a points, assists, and steals machine at the University of Tennessee and the Grizzlies have high hopes that will translate to the NBA after he came out following his freshman year. 


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