Week 1 Fantasy Weather Impacts
Welcome to Week 1 of the 2021 NFL football season! I hope you are as excited as we are for the start of fantasy football!
Per usual for early meteorological fall, weather across the continental US is relatively uneventful for the first football Sunday of the year. However, we do have an area of potential concern for the Steelers at Bills game.
With a frontal system sweeping across western New York late Saturday into Sunday, we expect the chances of rain and wind to increase over the Buffalo area. The game could start out windy with gusts 15-20 mph (see graphic above), but we expect those winds to subside throughout the game. Additionally, there is a possibility for periods of heavy rain during game time. Currently we are predicting 14 mph winds and 0.01 in of rain for the game. If we were to put money on it, we would say the risk due to weather is borderline "Caution" at this time, but it is enough for us to pivot away from certain players.
Bills - No concerns for Buffalo players at this time. Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs are must starts on a team that is a pass-first offense with a QB that can launch the ball. Not to mention they will be facing the Steelers average secondary that have proven to be porous at times.
Steelers - Big Ben is getting old, and there are a lot of miles on those tires. With recent injuries to his throwing arm, we are a bit concerned with his ability to get the ball down field this year. Diontae Johnson is a loced-and-loaded PPR machine. But if rain and wind become a factor, we worry about the upside for Chase Claypool and JuJu Smith-Schuster if Ben Big can't spread the ball.
Above is a density/frequency distribution chart of QB half-point PPR performance during control games (dome games) in orange vs. performance for similar weather conditions in blue. This is a bi-model distribution. This means either a QB is not statistically effected by the this kind of weather, or they are. If winds and rain do become an issue, we fear Big Ben's upside may be limited. Between this, and going against an above average Bills secondary, we are steering way from Big Ben, JuJu, and Claypool. Personally, due to this weather risk I replaced Claypool in my line up for Jakobi Meyers as I believe the connection between Meyers and Mac Jones is there to give me a better floor.