NFL Weather Report: Week 7
No weather recaps. No analogies. No philosophical dive into the league.
The fantasy community just watched Patrick Mahomes exit with a knee injury, and he was quickly ruled out of the game. Injuries to players on Mahomes' level make us all pause. It’s not just about fantasy anymore. The landscape of an entire conference has now shifted, with the AFC’s third-highest scoring team without their starting quarterback. Opposing defenses won’t be as concerned with chasing around four or five different pass catchers who could receive a bullet pass at any moment. Opposing offenses won’t have the threat of operating in negative game scripts. The pressure is off.
We’re left to sift through… everything. Our feelings about the Kansas City Chiefs. Our thoughts about the rest of the season. And, of course, our fantasy teams. While the Chiefs’ season hangs in the balance, let’s turn to the rest of the Week 7 slate for any weather impacts.
The second half of the season brings on the cold weather games. As winter approaches, we not only have to deal with wind and rain but snow, as well. Cold weather has its own impact on the game that we’ll account for as the forecast dictates. Otherwise, we can proceed with the weather report as usual with the hope that games are minimally impacted by the elements.
Below are the games with weather concerns headed into Week 7.
|Game||Temperature||Feels Like||Chance of Precipitation||Wind Speed|
|49ers at Redskins||60.3||60.3||42.5%||6 mph NE|
|Ravens at Seahawks||53.8||50.8||42.5%||8.5 mph S|
Games Impacted by Rain
As always, for reference, let’s start with the conditions associated with rainfall.
|Condition||Precipitation (inches per hour)|
|Light Rain||.01 - .1|
|Moderate||.1 - .3|
|Heavy Rain||>= .3|
The San Francisco-Washington contest is expected to see no more than .02 inches of rain per hour throughout the game. That normally results in a lessened impact, but the rain is expected to start early Sunday morning prior to the game. The concern is that the extended showers will result in poor field conditions, but FedEx Field has been covered with tarps in past years.
If the grassy field absorbs the rainfall, route running and working through the offensive line may be affected by the conditions. Fortunately, that hasn’t significantly impacted the 49ers. Jimmy Garoppolo has averaged 15.7 fantasy points in matchups with similar conditions, which is slightly higher than his current 2019 average of 13.9 points per game. Passing rate (55%) remained consistent when compared to recent games (55.8%) along with Garoppolo’s overall efficiency (7.33 adjusted yards per attempt). San Francisco should be able to operate as normal with Jimmy G having the 5th-highest passing success rate going up against the 30th-ranked pass defense, per our schedule-adjusted numbers.
The bad news is that the Seahawks are back in the Weather Report for the third time this season. On the bright side, we can use results from 2019 to tease out any actionable trends. Weeks 1 and 3 had rain forecasts with slips and a fumble recorded during each. The individual plays were missed opportunities, but Russell Wilson still averaged 29.0 fantasy points between those two games.
Wilson’s Week 1 performance (0.1 Passing NEP per drop back, ranked 18th) was off a season-low 20 pass attempts while still achieving an absurd 10% touchdown rate. However, his deep attempts (pass attempts of 16-plus air yards) met or exceeded his seasonal average along with his rush attempts. Essentially, the rain hasn’t played a factor in Wilson’s play as he sits atop the quarterback ranks headed into Week 7.
But Lamar Jackson is right behind Wilson as the sophomore faces Seattle's crowd for the first time. Week 3 was the first game of the season for Baltimore with both rain and wind in the forecast, but the storms passed prior to kickoff. Jackson’s 0.05 NEP per drop back that week was his 3rd-highest rate on the season, but it checked in only 21st among all quarterbacks that week.
We saw a similar story in Week 5. The precipitation rate was at .01 inches per hour, and Jackson actually dropped to -0.24 NEP per drop back against the Pittsburgh Steelers. A casual glance at the data would suggest Lamar struggles in the rain, but both the Chiefs and Steelers were top-10 defenses -- by our numbers -- entering each contest. The ability of both defenses to generate pressure played more of a factor than the ground conditions.
Jackson has been able to take advantage of weaker defenses, and Seattle ranks 22nd in the league against the pass. Even if light rain occurs (0.01 inches per hour forecasted), there are no indications that Jackson will be significantly impacted by the weather.