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Week 3 Fantasy Weather Impacts

Week 3 of the NFL season will be a bit “breezy” as wind threatens a few of our matchups this Sunday. Read below to find out more about our forecast and player impacts.

Forecast Summary:

We have three areas we are monitoring this week. All three are due to elevated wind risks. The first game is over America’s Heartland as the Kansas City Chiefs host the LA Chargers at 1 PM ET. The second game is in Buffalo as the Bills host the Washington Football Team at 1 PM ET. The last game is our Sunday night game as the San Francisco 49ers host the Green Bay Packers with a 8:20 PM ET kickoff.

LA Charges @ Kansas City Chiefs

As we transition into fall, we typically get what meteorologists call an “amplified pattern”. This seems to be the case over the US interior as a strong north - south pressure gradient sets up over the Great Plains. This will bring the potential for some elevated wind values over the Kansas City region that can make some fantasy DFS plays interesting as the Chiefs host the Chargers.

Sustained winds are forecasted to be in the 12-17 mph range, which will have limited impact. However, we are more concerned about the elevated wind gusts which are forecasted to surpass the 25 mph mark throughout this game, and have potential to reach the 30+ mph threshold.

Washington Football Team @ Buffalo Bills

Further east, we expect a front to sweep through western New York early Sunday that could bring isolated pockets of rain and strong winds. These winds could reach 20-25 mph sustained, with potential gusts 30-35+ mph.

Green Bay Packers @ San Francisco 49ers

Onshore flow over the Bay area is looking to increase Sunday into Sunday night. This will elevate winds for the 49ers - Packers game to 15+ mph sustained with gusts 20-25+ mph possible. We expect these winds to not be quite as impactful as the ones in the games discussed above, but we are becoming increasingly intrigued, and will continue to monitor.

Player Analysis:

We are aware of the extremely limited sample size here, but above shows a density distribution chart for QB passing yard statistics in windy (25+ mph) games. This relationship is not by chance. It is clear that QBs struggle in VERY windy environments. So much so, that on average they throw for 70 less yard compared to our control environments games (no weather).

To further clarify, below are QB passing yard distributions for windy (20+ mph) specific to Buffalo and San Francisco locations.

QB performance in Buffalo for windy conditions:

QB performance in San Francisco for windy conditions:

As a result, we are pumping the brakes on the following QB’s this week:

  • Taylor Heinicke

  • Justin Herbert

  • Jimmy Garoppolo

  • Patrick Mahomes (you are playing him in home leagues, but may want to pivot for DFS)

Aaron Rodgers finds a way to have good fantasy output in weather related games and Josh Allen gives you a solid rushing floor, so these QBs are still starting in our lineups regardless of weather.

We see a similar relationship for fantasy WRs for windy conditions.

This distribution shows a strong shift to less fantasy points for 25+ mph wind games. To put this in context, we see a 35-40% drop in fantasy points for WR in similar conditions.

This is typically more impactful for our big play wideouts that typically receive higher yards per catch (YPC) totals. Because of this, we are limiting the potential for the following players in these 3 matchups:

  • Terry McLaurin (still get volume, but limits big play potential)

  • Stefon Diggs (still get volume, but limits big play potential)

  • Tyreek Hill

  • Mike Williams

  • Marquez Valdes-Scantling

  • Brandon Aiyuk

Wind has a very different impact on the running attack. We actually see more rushing attempts and more fantasy points being scored by running backs in very windy games

Total fantasy points scored increases 20+% for RBs in these conditions. This is especially true for teams that have a true #1 RB that they can rely on. For that reason, we are higher on the following RBs in these matchups:

  • Antonio Gibson (may miss out on the TD this week, but will get you solid baseline volume)

  • Clyde Edwards-Helaire (he could see more passing work in this one)

  • Austin Ekeler

  • Aaron Jones (no surprise here coming off a 4 TD performance in a get-right game for the Packers)

For kickers, expect limited upside as we see less kicks attempted (and made) at long distances in these conditions. If you could pivot from a kicker in these matchups, we would suggest you do so.

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