Welcome to Sleeper NBA Lock-In mode. To learn more about Lock-In mode, read our article here. This season, we will be discussing Lock or Pass decisions once per week in this column. Don’t miss out on the fun! Draft your team today!
Sleeper NBA Lock In: Lock or Pass Week 5
What is Lock-In mode?
Lock-In Mode is a new way to play fantasy basketball that allows fantasy managers to Lock-In a player’s fantasy points following a game or choose to take the risk that they will score more fantasy points in one of the remaining games that week. You can Lock-In just one game per week and cannot Lock-In bench players.
This introduces a new layer of strategy to fantasy basketball while also making fantasy basketball more of a weekly endeavor with daily upkeep as opposed to daily management game that requires one to be on top of injuries and rest days to maximize output. This is great for those who are not available every evening or night to make lineup changes as needed and for those who just do not appreciate the daily grind that season-long fantasy basketball often requires.
Jalen Green (G – HOU): 66.00 fantasy points
Green exploded against the short-handed Grizzlies for 34 points, two rebounds, four assists, and one steal. The rebounds and assists could be better, but with the 66 fantasy points representing a new season high, this is still an easy lock decision. Green should eventually become a player who hits the 50+ range on a regular basis, but until then, we will lock in totals that threaten or create new season highs.
Kyle Lowry (G – MIA): 51.50 fantasy points
Lowry went off on Wednesday night, pouring in 28 points to go with one rebound and three assists. He was an assassin from three point land, draining seven of his 10 attempts from deep. The 51.5 fantasy points are his the second-highest total of the season, making the lock a no-brainer.
Scottie Barnes (G/F – TOR): 63.50 fantasy points
Barnes had a strong outing for the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday, scoring 20 points to go with 12 rebounds, four assists, and four steals. The line is far from the best that we have seen from Scottiecthis season, but since he is in the middle of a mini scoring slump, we are going to take his highest fantasy point total in the past four games. There are two games left and a high probability that we end up regretting this decision, but you have to play the trends and form. The risk is not worth the potential reward when we are talking about a potential 20 point swing in either direction if I decline to lock in this total and Barnes goes on to have two more forgettable nights.
Onyeka Okongwu (C/F – ATL): 27.00 fantasy points
I got a little crazy and locked in a subpar seven point, six rebound, four assist, and one block night that generated 27.00 fantasy points. Why did I do this? Because Onkyeka continues to be stuck behind Clint Capela, which results in inconsistent minutes and role on a nightly basis. The 27 fantasy points was his highest total in five games. With no guarantee he would even hit 20 in his remaining games, I chose to lock it in. He couldn’t have a better night on the second half of a back-to-back, right? Wrong. Onyeka had a much more lock-worthy 40 fantasy points on the strength of 12 points, 10 rebounds, and one block. These are the type of lines I hope to lock in with Onyeka, but he has been playing so badly that I jumped the gun and cost my team 13 fantasy points.
Victor Wembanyama (C – SAS): 66.50 fantasy points
Wemby went off against the Los Angeles Clippers, pouring in 25 points to go with 15 rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one block. The 66.5 fantasy points are amazing, but with this being Wemby, there is still a decision to make. He just posted a new season high of 80.50 three games ago against the Memphis Grizzlies when he smothered them on defense and induced eight blocked shots and one steal. However, the 66.5 is still his fourth-highest total of the season, which puts him past the top-five threshold I’m working with on stars. If they put up a top-five line of the season, I will lock it in, even if I know they are capable of more.
Dennis Schroder (G – TOR): 49.50 fantasy points
Schroder is always an interesting debate when it comes to his strong games. He will often stand out in one category while not reaching his potential in another. However, on Wednesday night, he had a relatively balanced line of 26 points, six rebounds, five assists, and one steal. Passing on a 25/5/5 line feels foolish, as Schroder’s outbursts have been unpredictable. The 49.50 is his fifth-highest fantasy output of the season, and with Schroder being consistently inconsistent, I will happily lock in the near 50 point total.
De’Aaron Fox (G – SAC): 46.50 fantasy points
Fox had a solid night on Wednesday, recording 26 points, two rebounds, five assists, and one steal. He drained two of seven from deep. While the line is solid and would be a lock for a non all star, this seems like an average night for Fox. The 26 points are obviously exceptional. The two rebounds are a pass, and the five assists are nothing to get excited about. Fox has hit 70 plus fantasy points four times this season with one of those performances, including a sensational 91.50 fantasy points. This is a hard pass, as Fox has proved capable of doubling this fantasy output.