Welcome to week 2 of the NFL and Fantasy season!
We have two areas we are monitoring this week: the Florida games on Sunday, and the Monday night game in Green Bay.
Early in the football season is typically dominated by weather impacts related to convection, and this year is no different. Our concerns for weather this week center around Florida with three games that can potentially be impacted by weather: Broncos @ Jags at 1 PM ET, Bills @ Dolphins at 1 PM ET, and Falcons @ Tampa Bay at 4 PM ET. We are most concerned with the Tampa Bay game as a wave of tropical moisture, sparked by the remnants of Nicholas, looks to bring areas of convection and isolated thunderstorms the the Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, and Miami regions around game time.
The trouble with the convection for these games (or for any game for that matter) is not if, but when. Models indicate that there will be isolated pockets of rain around the Tampa Bay area for the start of the game, and we expect the chance for rain to linger throughout this game. We are currently forecasting temps in the mid to upper 80's with light wind, and possible accumulations of a 0.1 to 0.2 inches possible.
Similar risks exist around the Miami and Jacksonville regions for their 1PM kick offs. For both these games, we expect hot and humid conditions with light winds and precipitation amounts ranging around 0.1 inch, with locally heavier amounts possible.
Even if these areas of precipitation only impact game play for a quarter or two, the impacts could be pronounced due to escalated rainfall rates. Although this is not a slam-dunk scenario, we do have potential concerns for weather impacts to some players/positions.
Monitoring Green Bay
We are monitoring a frontal system over the upper Midwest region Monday night for when Green Bay hosts the Lions. This does look to be concerning, especially for the 2nd half of the game. See below for more details.
Below is a graphic depicting the frequency distribution of half-point PPR performances for QBs that play in similar weather conditions as we are forecasting for the Falcons @ Bucs, Broncos @ Jags and Bills @ Dolphins games on Sunday. All games are anticipated to be hot, humid, with periods of rain.
The key to this graphic is what we call a "shift in distribution". Look at how the blue peak is to the left of the orange peak. This means that QBs score statistically less fantasy points historically in similar games. To provide context, QBs accumulate 4-5 less fantasy points a game in similar conditions. This is also emphasized in the following box and whisker plot.
Notice the bar on top of the box for "WX_Game_Scores". This bar is shorter than the one over the control games. This demonstrates that QBs have limited upside to having big breakout point games. As a result, we are limiting expectations the following QBs:
- Matt Ryan
- Tua Tagovailoa
- Trevor Lawrence
Bridgewater and Josh Allen give a high floor due to their rushing ability, so we don't have concerns starting them in these games. As far as Tom Brady - well, Brady is Brady. We don't see Brady statistically impacted due to weather games, so he is a full go in our books.
With this comes concerns for some wideouts - the distribution for fantasy points for the WR position is similar to that for QBs. This translates to 2-3 less fantasy points on average. As a result, we are pumping the brakes for the following players if rain looks to be an issue:
- Devante Parker
- Cortland Sutton
- Mike Evans (limited deep threat potential)
- DJ Chark
Some positions actually benefit as a result of these potential weather conditions. TEs historically see an increase in targets, and by association, an increase in fantasy points. This can be seen in the following graphic as the blue distribution is now shifted to the right, indicating a statistically significant increase in fantasy points.
As a result, we are high on the following TEs this week:
- Noah Fant (must start with J. Jeudy out)
- Rob Gronkowski
- Kyle Pitts
We are gaining confidence that the Monday night game may turn into a washout. A front is now projected to push through the area for the second half of the game bringing 0.1 - 0.2 inches of precipitation in GB. As a result, our player analysis is as follows.
Below is a frequency distribution chart for 0.5 PPR fantasy points for Aaron Rodgers in similar weather conditions. The take home message - Rodgers can play in bad weather. Rodgers is a full go in this matchup vs. a depleted Lions secondary who game up almost 320 yards passing to the 49ers last week.
We expect the wideouts for GB to get plenty of volume in this one. We also expect Tonyan to get an uptick in targets as a dump off option if conditions get bad enough. This situation also applies to Aaron Jones.
On the other side of the ball for the Lions, simply put - we are sitting all options expect Swift. Goff in precip games has only thrown 2 TDs and 3 INTs in 3 games. Swift will get the volume, and targets, especially if Goff struggles to get the ball downfield. Confidence in Swift is also supported by the fact that in similar weather games, RBs see a 10% increase in rushing attempts.