NFL Weather Report: Week 2

Week 1 was everything the fantasy community needed. From highlights to letdowns, the long offseason gave us the one thing to shift the discussion from the long-held assumptions: information.

Much of our analysis throughout draft season relied on assumption built from 2019. Passing rates, distribution of targets, and red zone tendencies were mostly laid bare in Week 1. We still need to apply context, but it’s time to adjust.

Fantasy managers will be forced into tough decisions right out of the gate with lackluster performances from highly drafted players. With so many variables in consideration for our rosters, luckily, weather isn’t as high of a priority coming out into Week 2.

We discussed in Week 1 that there would be relatively high winds for Josh Allen. The game had an average wind speed of 15 MPH. It doesn’t cross our threshold, but in that game, Allen had a 6.2 average depth of target (aDOT) after finishing 2019 at 9.2. Now this trend wasn’t as drastic across the league, but it will be worth monitoring similar trends throughout the season.

Let's head into the forecast for Week 2.


Below are the games with weather concerns headed into Week 1:

Game Temperature (Feels Like) Chance of Precipitation Wind
Bills at Dolphins 98 40.3% 8 MPH SE
Panthers at Buccaneers 92 16.8% 18 MPH NE

Games Impacted by Wind

Carolina Panthers (19.25-point implied total) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (28.25)

Wind speeds closing in on 20 MPH always start the conversation on wind, and its impact on games. But wind has two components: speed and direction. It’s much like golf. A head- or tail- wind is easier to adjust to than a crosswind. So it’s important to capture both components to properly adjust our expectations.

In this case, our fears are allayed. The Buccaneers’ stadium sits at a 0-degree azimuth (points directly north and south). A north-east wind won’t generate a true cross breeze and should keep the main focus on the speed itself. However, even the wind speed should be less of a factor due to the stadium.

Stadium height (read: how tall the stands are) helps reduce the amount of air flow down at field level as it directs the current to stay at its current altitude. Vortices can occur, but the bulk of the flow maintains its height, reducing its impact on the game. We saw something similar in Cleveland last season. Their stadium stands at 171’ and negated most of the wind. Raymond James Stadium is 177’ tall and is completely closed off (no open sections similar to Foxboro stadium).

Any impacts from an increased wind speed should be minimal, and fantasy managers should approach this game from a purely matchup perspective without a concern for the weather.

Games Impacted by Rain

Buffalo Bills (23.25-point implied total) at Miami Dolphins (17.75)

Again, for reference, let’s look at the various categories for rainfall.

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

Week 1 featured one game with an average rainfall of 0.02” per hour (Indianapolis Colts-Jacksonville Jaguars). The elements, or lack thereof, didn’t have any observable impact on the game itself.

Gardner Minshew came out of Week 1 with the sixth-highest Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back on just 20 pass attempts -- tossing one incompletion. Philip Rivers was… Philip Rivers. He brought over his passing tendencies from Los Angeles as the Colts were fourth in neutral passing with 37% of his targets going to running backs. The game wound up going over its projected total (44.0), so we shouldn't have much concern for the upcoming matchup between the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins.

Buffalo’s passing game appears to be operating at a faster pace in 2020. The use of short, quick passing concepts in Week 1 helped elevate Allen to his first 300-yard passing game. Plus, his rushing upside was there as usual. With Miami’s improved secondary looking good in the Dolphins' opener, Allen will have his work cut out for him, but rain shouldn't be an issue.