Week 17 Weather Impacts

Winter is coming…


Well, winter is already here, but many locations have been anomalously warm and dry for the better part of a very mild December. This week, things change, as a massive storm system will bring snowfall over the midwest and with it, considerably cooler temperatures. As a result, we have quite a few games that we will be monitoring this week:

Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers

New York Giants @ Chicago Bears

Atlanta Falcons @ Buffalo Bills

Miami Dolphins @ Tennessee Titans

Detroit Lions @ Seattle Seahawks




Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers

Weather Rating: Caution

DK O/U: 42.5 pts


Forecast Summary


A strong area of low pressure will bring elevated snowfall to the Midwest and Great Lakes states and will usher in a cold air mass behind it. As a result, we are forecasting frigid conditions for the Green Bay Packer games. Temperatures are forecasted to be in the single digits with wind chills -5 to -10 making for a bone chilling Sunday Night Football game.


Player Impacts


Aaron Rodgers: The reason Aaron Rodgers is labeled as a “Caution” is because we need to limit expectations for upside. Rodgers performs well in the cold, and puts up consistently good numbers - but not GREAT numbers. Expect Rodgers to get the job done versus a Vikings defense allowing 250 yds + in the air on average. However, expect fewer attempts to put a cap on his production.


Vikings QB: Whoever is playing QB for the Vikings is in for a rude awakening. It is not easy to play QB in temperatures near 0 degrees. It’s even more difficult playing in these conditions in Green Bay against a top-10 passing defense. It also doesn't’ help that statistically speaking we see at 20% reduction in fantasy points that translates to -3 to -4 pts for fantasy QBs in similar conditions. RIP Vikings passing attack (including Justin Jefferson).


Aaron Jones/AJ Dillon/Dalvin Cook: Full steam ahead for all running back options in this matchup. RBs historically see a significant increase in both attempts (+25%), yards (+40%) and fantasy production (+15%) in extreme cold weather games on average. These RBs are trusted on their respective offenses, so expect the running game to be heavily utilized.


New York Giants @ Chicago Bears

Weather Rating: Caution

DK O/U: 36 pts


Forecast Summary


Conditions for Chicago will be similar to those in Green Bay, but not as severe. The cold air mass mentioned above will impact conditions in Chicago as the New York Giants come to town. The conditions for this game will be blustery and cold with temps in the low 20’s and winds around 15 mph and gusts 20+ mph possible. This game has an already very low O/U of 36 points, so we don’t expect a lot of production regardless of weather.


Player Impacts


Andy Dalton: We think the Bears are going to rely on their rushing attack as opposed to their passing with Dalton getting the start. Dalton is a game manager and can sling the ball when he needs to, but don’t expect a big performance from Dalton as big plays will be few and far between.


Darnel Mooney: Mooney has chemistry with Dalton, so we expect Mooney to give you a solid baseline. With that being said, points will be at a premium. Expect Mooney to get the looks and targets, but with cold temps, and the wind whipping, upside may be limited as WRs typically see a 2 point drop (-15%) in similar conditions.


David Montgomery: As with the Viking/Packer game, RBs see an increase in usage in cold weather games. With the backup Dalton at the helm, expect Montgomery to get increased work in these windy and cold conditions.


There are no Giants players worth analyzing at this time due to how inept and injured their offense has become. Saquan Barkley has been consistently getting 15+ carries of late, so given the backup QB issues, it would not be surprising for him to get another heavy workload. What Barkley is able to do with these opportunities is another question, as the Giants offense has been unable to move the ball at all.


Atlanta Falcons @ Buffalo Bills

Weather Rating: Caution

DK O/U: 44 pts


Forecast Summary


As was mentioned above, the strong area of low pressure is the big story of the week. As the low pressure system pushes east, Buffalo will be the recipient of snowfall Saturday night into Sunday. We expect snow to remain in the area for gametime with accumulation possible. Winds will also be marginally impactful around 10 mph sustained with periods of wind gusts 15+ mph and temperatures in the upper 20’s.


Player Impacts


Josh Allen: Allen has been a gladiator when it comes to playing in weather. Few QBs in the NFL have played in as many inclement weather games as Josh Allen over the last several years. With that being said, Allen does seem to struggle a bit in cold conditions WITH precipitation. Typically we see a reduction in QB player performance for the forecasted weather conditions on Sunday. Allen is not just “any player”, but we also need to limit expectations. Expect Allen to go out and do his thing, but don’t be surprised if a few more mistakes are made in the process.


Stefon Diggs and Bills WR: We still expect Diggs and company to get volume and yards against a weak Falcons secondary. However, with wet and cold conditions, we expect some dropped passes and overthrows that could limit some upside for these players.


Matt Ryan: Ryan is used to playing in a dome; so making the trek to Buffalo, in winter, with snow, has to be intimidating. Historically, Ryan has actually played reasonably well in cold conditions with precipitation, but Buffalo is a top tier passing defense and Ryan has struggled to find consistent and trustworthy targets all year. With snow in the forecast and the boisterous Buffalo crowd playing factors, expect Ryan to struggle with an implied point total of 15 for the Falcons.


Falcons WRs: We are concerned for the Atlanta Wideouts: Gage, Sharpe, and Zaccheaus (see argument above). Historically, wideouts score 3 less points in similar conditions. Additionally, the Buffalo defense has been stout of late, and the conditions will not be favorable for big plays in potentially harsh conditions.


Kyle Pitts: It may be tempting to play a sure-handed TE as a check-down in a tough matchup. Although Pitts is almost guaranteed 6+ targets, he has struggled to get in the endzone. Buffalo should limit redzone opportunities and drives for the Falcons, and by proxy, limit upside for Pitts



Miami Dolphins @ Tennessee Titans

Weather Rating: Caution

DK O/U: 40 pts


Forecast Summary


Another disturbance is forecasted to impact the Nashville area on Sunday for the Miami Dolphins at Tennessee Titans game. We are expecting precipitation to pick up in the second half with possible snow to mix in. Temperatures will drop throughout the game to the low/mid 30’s with winds around 10 mph.


Player Impacts


Ryan Tannehill: Tannehill has proven that he struggles in sloppy weather. Just this year alone, in games with temperatures below 40 degree, his QBR drops 20 points, posting 123 YPG, with 1 TD and 2 INTs. His career track record in the weather is not much better. Not to mention, he will be going up against a red hot Miami defense that has given up 122 YPG through the air on average over their last 3 contests.


AJ Brown: Regardless of Tannehill’s performance, Brown is going to demand volume. We still expect Brown to get at least 10+ targets against the Dolphins, but with a 40 pt O/U, we don’t expect an abundance of TD opportunities. This is the reason Brown is still a caution, as he is dependent on Tannehill throwing to him, and moving the ball downfield in hopes of scoring a TD to pad his stats.


Dontrell Hilliard: Based on the three-headed rotation last week, this is a bit of a risk giving Hilliard the nod as no one (including Hilliard) eclipsed the 10+ touch mark last week. However, Tannehill will need to dump the ball off…a lot. Hilliard should be a beneficiary as we are expecting the Titans to play from behind in messy conditions for the second half of the game.


Tua Tagovailoa: Tua and the Dolphins have been rolling of late, and the Titans passing defense has been suspect. We expect Tua to get the job done, even with depleted passing options. However, it is worth mentioning that historically there is a reduction in passing attempts and fantasy points for QBs in similar conditions.



Detroit Lions @ Seattle Seahawks

Weather Rating: Extreme

DK O/U: 41.5 pts


Forecast Summary


Conditions will be messy in Seattle as the Lions travel to the West Coast to take on the Seahawks. An area of low pressure over the northern Pacific will push bands of heavy rain into the Seattle area during the day on Sunday and into the night. We are anticipating heavy rainfall throughout the game to make this a washout. We are also forecasting winds 20+ mph sustained, with gusts 30+ mph possible.


Player Impacts


Russell Wilson: Russell Wilson has only eclipsed 250 passing yards once since week 3. Since his finger injury, it seems he is still trying to find his groove. Wilson may struggle in these difficult conditions as we see a drop in Wilson's QBR and production in similar game with rainy and windy conditions. We still expect Wilson to get the job done and win the game against the Lions, but we are not anticipating a league-winning breakout performance.


Lockett and Metcalf: Expect both Lockett and Metcalf to get volume to provide you a floor. It is worth bringing up that last week in the snow game both players struggled, so there is a chance for a bust here as both these players are at the mercy of Wilson’s accuracy and ability to move the ball downfield for scoring opportunities.


Tim Boyle: We have provided in-depth stats on Jared Goff and Tim Boyle before for inclement weather games. All you need to know is that both are bad - really bad. Avoid Boyle at all costs, especially given the implied point total of 16 points for this Lions squad.


Detroit WRs: Amon-Ra St. Brown will give you a solid floor as he is the new go-to target for the Lions. But with Boyle's struggles in inclement weather, we really need to limit expectations for St. Brown and the rest of the Lions receiving core.


Swift: Swift may be the lone bright spot in an offense dependent on Boyle's ability to sustain drives in bad weather. Expect Swift to see north of 25+ total touches and play a big part in the Lions passing attack (or lack thereof). Previously this year the Lions have shown their trust in Swift during games with wind and rain, and we expect them to do much of the same against Seattle.

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