NFL Weather Report: Week 14
I take one week off, and there are four different games with poor weather conditions. Game totals were dropping everywhere. The Kansas City Chiefs-Oakland Raiders' game dropped 4.5 points with winds between 16 and 20 MPH in the forecast. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Jacksonville Jaguars clash saw a 2.5-point drop in its total with wind speeds over 20 MPH expected throughout the game. The total for the Washington- Carolina game dropped with 15-17 MPH winds in the area. The much anticipated Baltimore Ravens-San Francisco 49ers game saw the total drop a point ahead of the rain.
The line movement and field reports ahead of the game created the usual game-day chaos. Matchups were re-examined. Narratives supporting or disparaging players outlooks were incorporated into start/sit processes. The results? About as expected.
Three of the four games with high winds went below their game total. Lamar Jackson commented on the rain hindering his ability to pass. Patrick Mahomes had his second-lowest deep ball completion rate of the season. Now, offensive play-calling and defensive scores may have played a larger role in the outcome of the contests as compared to the weather. However, incorporating weather and its effects into our analysis can aid in setting realistic expectations for players likely affected by the elements.
Welcome to the playoffs!
Matchup evaluation becomes critical, and some of the better contests from a fantasy standpoint have poor conditions in the forecast. Let’s dive into the data and determine what adjustments we need to make ahead of Sunday.
Below are the games with weather concerns headed into Week 14.
|Game||Temperature (Feels Like)||Chance of Precipitation||Wind Speed|
|Bengals at Browns||41||1%||17 mph S|
|Ravens at Bills||35||2.25%||16 mph SSW|
|Giants at Eagles||53||73%||11 mph SSW|
Games Impacted by Wind
Winds at approximately 17 MPH are expected in Cleveland for Week 14. The wind direction would create a slight cross breeze as the stadium’s azimuth is 55.7 degrees (pointed Northeast). However, there’s little to be concerned about in this game. As we’ve noted before, First Energy Stadium has a height of 171 feet that’s been able to reduce the effects of high winds.
In Week 10, wind speeds were forecast at 17 MPH. The goal post flags hardly wavered throughout the game. Similar case in Week 12. Forecast indicated 15 MPH winds in the area. The same conditions were seen on the field. Baker Mayfield was able to top 200 yards passing and had multiple touchdowns in each contest. His matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals provides a similar setup. Cincinnati is the league's fourth-worst pass D, per our models. The primary concern is Mayfield’s multiple injuries that may affect his ability to throw. Practice reports should be monitored ahead of the game with more attention to his health than the elements.
While the rain affected Lamar Jackson’s ability to throw, it didn’t impede his ability to be a QB1. Heavy rain (0.1 inches per hour) was recorded in Baltimore throughout the entire game, but Jackson topped 100 rushing yards for the fourth time this season. Now, with 16 MPH winds in the forecast, the outlook doesn’t change. Jackson has just one game this season with elevated winds -- a Week 3 contest against Kansas City that featured 16 MPH winds midway through the game. In that game, Jackson attempted a season-high 43 passes (13 deep ball attempts) and racked up 267 yards through the air. He added 46 more yards on the ground, including a rushing touchdown, to finish the week as the QB10.
With Buffalo a run-funnel defense, the game sets up for more highlights of Jackson putting defenders on skates.
Josh Allen’s worst weather day was in Week 8 against the Philadelphia Eagles. Despite the elements, Allen still totaled 17.26 fantasy points thanks to throwing for two touchdowns. His yards per attempt dropped to 4.97 in that one, but his rushing along with quick passes to Cole Beasley provided a floor for Allen.
The floor shown here negates any concern for the weather, but the matchup takes center stage as the Ravens sport the fifth-best pass defense, per our numbers. Allen has a path to making up his day via rushing, but the possible high winds shouldn’t concern fantasy managers given the defensive matchup.
Games Affected by Precipitation
Hourly precipitation rate projected throughout the game is shown below.
|Time||Inches Per Hour|
|1 pm EST||0.04|
|2 pm EST||0.05|
|3 pm EST||0.03|
|4 pm EST||0.02|
Each rate falls within the ‘Light Rain’ category, keeping the concern to a minimum. The grass turf may lead to muddy conditions throughout the game, but, at worst, slips and dropped passes are likely the worst-case outcomes caused by the elements.
The primary concern here for the G-Men is the return of Eli Manning to the starting lineup. The Giants’ team total dropped 1.5 points after the announcement was made of his likely start. Pace of play may become an issue (Philadelphia is sixth-fastest and Giants 11th-slowest) and reduce the overall game total. The switch in personnel becomes a larger issue than the weather, but fantasy managers with Eagles assets should be able to start their players with confidence in Week 14.