Trouble in KC
The single area of concern this week is for the Buffalo Bills @ Kansas Chiefs game on Sunday night. We anticipate conditions to deteriorate in this one with heavy rains possible for the second half of the game. Find our forecast summary and player impacts below.
We have a storm that is forecasted to undergo cyclogenesis lee of the Rockies on Sunday. This storm looks to spin up over the southern Great Plains and make its way northeast over the Kansas City region by Sunday night. Model guidance has the northern flank of this storm moving into the area by the second half of the Bills @ Chiefs matchup. There is also a chance of a convective cell or two wreaking havoc during the first half, but a bulk of the rain risk is for the second half. We are currently forecasting heavy rains for part of the game with totals in the 0.25-0.4 inch range.
We have two high-powered offenses battling it out in this one. The Chiefs are averaging 34 points and 428 yards per game, while the Bills are right on their heels boosting 34 points and 404 total yards per game. So the question becomes - will rain really impact these offensive Juggernauts? Let's just start with the potential total point implications. Right now, Vegas has the O/U of this game right around the 56.5 mark. Historically speaking, almost 86% of games played in similar conditions result in a total score LOWER than the current Vegas O/U. So who has the potential to suffer as a result?
Lucky for us, we have an almost apples-to-apples comparison when the Bills hosted the Cheifs last year (10/19/2020) on a Monday night during a washout. Mahomes was able to find the endzone twice, but only had 225 yards. On the otherside of the ball, Allen posted a 122-2-1 line. The theme - don't expect these QB's to go off for 400 yards. Both give you a solid rushing floor (especially Allen), but passing yards may not be as plentiful as people think.
Part of the reason for this is the "big play" opportunities for the these team's #1 wideouts in Diggs and Hill are limited - the deep threat is simply not as threatening. For comparison, Hill posted a 3-20-0 line, while Diggs went 6-46-1 during that Monday night game. We expect these players to still get opportunities, but the big blow-up games may not happen if rain becomes a factor.
Below further illustrates this point. These graphics are frequency distribution charts for 0.5 point PPR for QBs and WRs that played in heavy rain games.
Its not all bad news - there is still hope for some big games for certain players. This could be the case here for the Tight End and Running Back positions. Clyde Edwards Helaire has come on strong of late, posting 100+ yards in each of his last 2 outings. Although the Bills front is strong, I expect CEH to get volume in this one. Last time these teams met, CEH had 26 carries for 161 yards, in addition to hauling in 4 completions. As a result, we at the very least expect CEH to get the opportunity and volume in this matchup.
Both these teams also have dependable pass catchers at the Tight End position. Travis Kelce continues to beast-out and Dawson Knox has also made a name for himself in recent weeks. Last time these two faced off ,Kelce posted a 5-65-2 line, and we expect him to be the 1st read for Patrick Mahomes between the 20s and in the red zone. We also expect Dawson Knox to get some redzone looks as well, providing a solid upside play.