I’m kind of a weather nerd. I have gone through a bucket of those cheapo weather stations and I love thunderstorms and long walks on the beach. Being a native Kansan has something to do with that I suppose, but our beaches are sand banks along the Big Arkansas. So I like to watch the weather and since I dabble in the football, I like seeing how weather impacts games. What I would love is to have weather reports from historical games and see what kind of stats were put up. I tried that once, but it was beyond impossible at the time. Anyway, I try not to let weather change who I start as much as you would think, but it is hard to ignore.
Snow and rain can help make the ball slippery which can be a boon to defenses, but it makes the game much less predictable and can set craptastic teams up for easy scores. Unless it is a deluge, I don’t let snow and rain change my thinking too much, especially if you have to set lineups earlier than the game starts. Weather is unpredictable and storms can move through quickly. I’ve often been worried about the weather for a game and have the game be clear and passer friendly with sunshine and bluebirds on shoulders.
Wind is the real problem when looking at the weather’s affects on fantasy. I don’t have any facts to back this up so you can stop reading if you wish. It seems that 20+ mph winds are about where they can start affecting deep passes, but even there I don’t change too much as far as rankings, etc.. But when you start getting above that number it might be time to worry. And, if you add in cold, snow and or rain, you have a cluster fudge to deal with that turns the game into a 2-0 affair.
(edit: Brad Evans from Yahoo gives us this little tidbit from Twitter — “Since 2000, in games with 20 mph+ winds, average total points scored 36.5. NFL avg 45.”)
I don’t talk about kickers much, but weather is a no doubt reason to drop a kicker. Remember, they are kickers, and unless you are in some sadomasochistic 2 kicker league, you can always find a free agent kicker who is at least average and is playing in good weather. Yes, maybe the kicker in the bad weather will somehow pull off a good game, but there is no reason to risk it.
Here are the forecasts for this week’s games. They will change a little as we get closer to game time, so click on the links for the most up to date sorcery.
Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills: 38 degrees, 100% Rain turning to snow, 13-16 mph wind
Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers: 46 degrees, 80% rain, 11-14 mph wind
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions: (Dome Sweet Dome)
Oakland Raiders at Jacksonville Jaguars: 59 degrees, 50% Rain, 10-13 mph winds increasing to between 18 and 21 mph. Gusts as high as 34 mph.
New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings: (Recycled air)
Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers: 34 degrees, 100% Rain/Snow, 7-13 mph winds
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Washington Redskins: 50 degrees, 100% Rain, 7-10 mph winds
4 pm games
New England Patriots at Chicago Bears: 23 degrees (wind chill to -3), 50% Snow, 30-40 mph wind, gusts up to 50 mph
St. Louis Rams at New Orleans Saints: (Dome, dome on the range)
Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers: 67 degrees, sunny, calm wind
Denver Broncos at Arizona Cardinals: 80 degrees. Cranking up my space heater in protest
Miami Dolphins at New York Jets: 45 degrees, 100% rain, 10-14 mph wind
Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers: 79 degrees, sunny, 5 mph wind, jerks
8 pm game
Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys: 40 degrees, clear, 5 mph wind
Baltimore Ravens at Houston Texans: It’s still a little early to get a good forecast for Monday night. Click and see as wee get closer. I doubt it will be too bad down in Houston.