NFL Weather Report: Week 5

Week 4 served as a reminder that the NFL is chaotic. For all of the analysis conducted prior to each slate, coaches, players, and even the weather will disrupt our best laid plans.

Last week’s impacts were largely muted. Wind speeds gradually decreased throughout both the Miami Dolphins' and Denver Broncos’ home games, reducing their impact on the game. Each game featured increased passing volume due to game script creating the perfect environment for fantasy production. These are the types of outcomes we want. Even with the chance of poor conditions, the fantasy gods give us a reprieve allowing for games to commence unimpeded. However, there’s always a case that leaves us scratching our heads.

Kansas City Chiefs traveled to Detroit Lions for a matchup inside the dome at Ford Field. All week the fantasy and NFL community daydreamed over what heights Patrick Mahomes could achieve in perfect conditions. His college stat lines were scoured to give context. As if the elements were the only thing holding back a quarterback averaging 398.3 yards and 3.3 touchdowns per game along with the highest passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back entering Week 4. Every player with ‘KC’ next to their name was slarted to get in on the action only for Mahomes to pass for 315 scoreless yards. Defensive scheming played a much larger role as weather impacts, or lack thereof, took center stage.

Let’s look to Week 5 and hope for similar game conditions but with better results.


Below are the games with weather concerns headed into Week 5.

Game Temperature Feels Like Chance of Precipitation Wind Speed
Cardinals at Bengals 72.3 72.8 46% 9 mph WSW
Bills at Titans 80.3 83 51.50% 9 mph SSW
Ravens at Steelers 70.3 70.8 44% 10 mph SSW

Games Impacted by Rain

Arizona Cardinals (21.75-point implied total) at Cincinnati Bengals (24.75)

Buffalo Bills (17.75) at Tennessee Titans (20.75)

Baltimore Ravens (23.75) at Pittsburgh Steelers (20.25)

Median rainfall projections for each game are as follows.

Game Median Forecast (inches per hour)
Cardinals at Bengals 0.03
Bills at Titans 0.05
Ravens at Steelers 0.02

First, for reference, here are the general conditions associated with rainfall.

ConditionPrecipitation (inches per hour)
Light Rain.01 - .1
Moderate.1 - .3
Heavy Rain>= .3

There are no games projected to exceed ‘Light Rain’ conditions. However, the forecast for Bengals’ and Titans’ home games worsen throughout each match. Nashville’s forecast indicates scattered thunderstorms throughout the game. As we saw in Seattle, the slippery conditions certainly didn’t help Chris Carson’s ball-handling skills, and that game was played on artificial turf. Nissan Stadium has a natural surface that will generate mud, making field and ball conditions worse. The game’s 38.0-point total already sets up as a poor fantasy environment. The possible rain only makes things worse.

The rain in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh will likely take a backseat to offensive scheme and injuries. Arizona at Cincinnati feature the top two teams in neutral-game passing. Both teams have injuries at the wide receiver position, but the projected light rain should have a minimal impact. Andy Dalton has exceeded his seasonal average for passing attempts in 66.7% of games featuring rain and posted a weekly top-12 fantasy point totals at the same rate. With Arizona’s 22nd-ranked pass rush, Dalton should have the time to bounce back after a poor Monday night performance.