Fantasy Football: NFL Week 6 Weather Conditions

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I think a lot of people factor weather way too much into fantasy football decision making. I find myself in rarefied territory this week, where I think the weather in Denver is a bigger problem than people think. While many are factoring in the effects of snow (I doubt we see any on the field or during the game), they should be thinking about the cold.

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Seattle Seahawks at Oakland Raiders (London)
1:00 PM ET
WEMBLEY STADIUM
WEMBLEY (LONDON), ENGLAND

Temp: 55°
Precipitation: Drizzle Possible
Wind: 12 mph
Wind Gusts: 21 mph

Fantasy Impact: It will be breezy outside, but Wembley is about as close to a dome as you can get without actually being a dome. I wouldn’t expect the winds to be a factor at all.

Los Angeles Chargers at Cleveland Browns
1:00 PM ET
FIRSTENERGY STADIUM
CLEVELAND, OHIO

Temp: 57°
Precipitation: None
Wind: 7 mph
Wind Gusts: 9 mph

Fantasy Impact: None

Chicago Bears at Miami Dolphins
1:00 PM ET
HARD ROCK STADIUM
MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA

Temp: 90°
Precipitation: None
Wind: 10 mph
Wind Gusts: 10 mph

Fantasy Impact: None

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Carolina Panthers at Washington Redskins
1:00 PM ET
FEDEX FIELD
LANDOVER, MARYLAND

Temp: 64°
Precipitation: None
Wind: 6 mph
Wind Gusts: 10 mph

Fantasy Impact: None

Indianapolis Colts at New York Jets
1:00 PM ET
METLIFE STADIUM
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY

Temp: 57°
Precipitation: None
Wind: 6 mph
Wind Gusts: 10 mph

Fantasy Impact: None

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals
1:00 PM ET
PAUL BROWN STADIUM
CINCINNATI, OHIO

Temp: 50°
Precipitation: None
Wind: 6 mph
Wind Gusts: 10 mph

Fantasy Impact: None

Los Angeles Rams at Denver Broncos
4:05 PM ET
SPORTS AUTHORITY FIELD AT MILE HIGH
DENVER, COLORADO

Temp: 27°
Precipitation: Flurries Possible
Wind: 10 mph
Wind Gusts: 12 mph

Fantasy Impact: I’ve seen people worry about the snow. Don’t worry about snow. It looks like most of it will pass well before the game. You may see flurries, but it won’t be anything significant. The problem is the temperature.

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Had this game been played on Saturday, we would be talking about 60° temperatures but the temperature in Denver has dropped by over 30° within 24 hours. Nobody on the field will be ready for this cold, but how much it will impact the players on each team is extremely difficult to predict.

Todd Gurley should get all the volume he can handle against a Denver defense that got shredded by Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell last week. Even if his snap percentage goes down a little because of the effects of the cold and/or altitude, the expected volume and matchup should be more than enough to justify his price in daily fantasy football. If you’re even thinking about benching him in regular leagues, you need to seek immediate medical attention. The biggest fantasy concern I have is Jared Goff and his receivers.

I can’t find any precedence for Jared Goff playing in cold weather at all. In fact, I couldn’t find any games in his professional or college career where he played in anything colder than 45°. The closest I could find was a game he played in Colorado back in November of 2013 and that game was still played in the 40s. He had his worse game of the year going 23 of 45 for 173 yards, 0 TDs, and 1 interception although he did punt three times and averaged a respectable 40.3 yards/punt.

I’m also concerned about Goff’s volume. He’s attempted between 32 and 36 passes in every game this year, but has been incredibly efficient with those attempts. The only QB with greater than 100 attempts with a yards/attempt than Goff’s 10.4 yards/attempt is Ryan Fitzpatrick. Goff has also managed a 70% completion rate and 320 yards or higher the last four games in a row. The matchup is good against Denver’s defense, but I’m not sure he’s going to get the volume, I’m not sure he’s going to play well in temperature’s he’s not accustomed to, I’m not sure how much the altitude will impact him, and I’m not sure his efficiency is sustainable. The Rams’ offense is sufficiently potent that you can never say never, but there are way too many warning flags for me to trust Goff this week.

If I can’t trust Goff, I can’t trust the Rams’ receivers. Of the three, I still like Robert Woods. He has played in plenty of cold weather while in Buffalo, he’s the healthiest of the three, and he has the highest percentage of the teams targeted air yards. I’m not sure you can bench Cooper Kupp or Brandin Cooks in regular leagues, but I’m avoiding everyone on the Rams offense except for Gurley in daily fantasy.

I don’t think the weather changes the fantasy outlook for Denver very much. Case Keenum has been pedestrian so far this year, but he will probably have to throw the ball 40+ times. Demaryius Thomas and Courtland Sutton have been consistent, but largely fantasy irrelevant except for Thomas’ garbage time production last week. I wouldn’t expect that to change much this week, although the sheer availability of targets against an exploitable Rams secondary could generate a productive day for one of them.  The biggest beneficiary should continue to be Emmanuel Sanders who is a must start.

The Denver backfield is a fantasy quagmire. Royce Freeman leads the Denver backfield in TDs, Phillip Lindsay leads in yards, and Devontae Booker leads in receptions. There is no way to fully trust any of these RBs for this game.

Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans
4:25 PM ET
NISSAN STADIUM
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE

Temp: 64°
Precipitation: Drizzle Possible
Wind: 10 mph
Wind Gusts: 29 mph

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Fantasy Impact: The wind gusts are unusually high, but the sustained winds are reasonable. This game may be breezy, which may have the greatest effect on John Brown who leads the league in depth of target among WRs with greater than 10 targets. This takes him from a sneaky start to a sit.

Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots
8:20 PM ET
GILLETTE STADIUM
FOXBORO, MASSACHUSETTS

Temp: 52°
Precipitation: None
Wind: 5 mph
Wind Gusts: 9 mph

Fantasy Impact: None

Dome Games:

Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings
1:00 PM ET
U.S. BANK STADIUM
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA
Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans
1:00 PM ET
NRG STADIUM
HOUSTON, TEXAS
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons
1:00 PM ET
MERCEDES-BENZ STADIUM
ATLANTA, GA
Jacksonville Jaguars at Dallas Cowboys
4:25 PM ET
AT&T STADIUM
DALLAS, TEXAS

Monday, October 15th, 2018:

San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers
8:15 PM ET
LAMBEAU FIELD
GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN

Temp: 34°
Precipitation: None
Wind: 10 mph
Wind Gusts: 22 mph

Fantasy Impact: These temperatures and winds aren’t quite enough to change fantasy outlooks, but monitor the weather for this one. No fantasy impact if this forecast doesn’t change.