NFL Weather Report: Week 17
It’s been quite the season. Lamar Jackson is making the case for being the guy to break the late-round quarterback strategy. Christian McCaffrey on pace to be the third person to enter the “1,000/1,000 Club." Drew Brees breaking yet another record while Michael Thomas continues his bid to being the best receiver in the league.
The NFL roller coaster takes it last turn in Week 17 before dropping us off to rest over the off-season. But first, we have to get through this slate and make a final push in daily fantasy.
Week 17 is difficult to navigate as motivation for each team becomes a factor. Teams with playoff aspirations or even teams out of the playoffs wanting to avoid injury have reasons to sit their guys. Lingering injuries and rest are the main themes for Week 17. Weather, as always, will have a minor role, but the focus of every fantasy manager should start on who’s playing and go from there.
Below are the games with weather concerns headed into Week 17.
|Game||Temperature (Feels Like)||Chance of Precipitation||Max Wind Speed|
|Steelers at Ravens||46||61.50%||6 mph ESE|
|Saints at Panthers||64||55.30%||7 mph SSE|
|Browns at Bengals||60||81.30%||11 mph S|
|Eagles at Giants||42||38.80%||4 mph ESE|
|Colts at Jaguars||75||31.00%||11 mph SE|
|Jets at Bills||41||76.80%||10 mph SSE|
Games Affected by Precipitation
On the bright side, there are no high-wind games, and the temperatures during each rain game are high enough that snow isn’t in the forecast. Also, most of the games are projected for low precipitation rates lowering most of the concern.
|Time||Steelers at Ravens||Saints at Panthers||Browns at Bengals||Eagles at Giants||Colts at Jaguars||Jets at Bills|
Games projected an average 0.02 inches or fewer per hour have only minor concerns. We’ve seen these types of games before.
- -- Week 2: Cincinnati at Cleveland
- -- Week 4: New Orleans at Seattle
- -- Week 5: Arizona at Cincinnati
While those games feel like they happened years ago, they set the stage for our expectations in these conditions. Slips, dropped balls, and fumbles were common events in each of these games. While we can’t project these to happen in Week 17, they are in the extreme range of outcomes for the players involved. Regardless, playoff expectations still take center stage.
The Ravens are set to rest most of their starters with a division title and first-round bye locked up. Robert Griffin III is going to make his first start of 2019 with Lamar Jackson and Mark Ingram expected to rest. Philadelphia needs to win order to advance and should play their guys. The Saints' game is tricky as they’re just trying to keep pace with the rest of the conference leaders for wins. There’s a chance they begin to rest starters in the second half if they build a lead.
Regardless, the weather should have a minimal impact on the game as fantasy managers should focus on the individual players and their probability to play with playoff implications in mind.
Cincinnati’s conditions carry slightly more concern than Buffalo’s ahead of Week 17. Rain is projected throughout the day with conditions getting worse in the afternoon. Paul Brown Stadium does have turf to help with drainage, but the constant downpour should lower our expectations for both teams. The game total has already dropped 2.0 points, and fantasy managers should continue to monitor the line and the forecast with multiple players in question for Week 17.
Luckily, we’ve seen how Andy Dalton has performed in the rain. In Week 1, the Bengals pass rate was 79.7% and the offense is still in the top five for plays per game. Their pass rate has dropped over the past month, but we should continue to value the mainstays in the offense (Tyler Boyd and Joe Mixon) similarly.
Reports have been mixed on how much the Bills’ starters will play on Sunday. In addition, we saw how Josh Allen performed in adverse conditions back in Week 8. Allen’s 4.97 yards per attempt was his lowest on the season as only two of his deep throws connected. If he plays, it’s fair to wonder how much the Bills will be able to take advantage of the Jets’ allowing 0.16 Adjusted Defensive Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per play (tied for ninth most). Allen's rushing should be able to compensate for the poor conditions, but his receivers may be adversely affected in Week 17.