NFL Week 8 Weather Conditions (Fantasy Football)

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Most of the time we should simply play our best players and ignore the weather. Rain, wind, and even snow have little predictable fantasy impact on games the vast majority of the time. Too often, we overestimate the affects weather will have on games especially compared to other more dominant factors like skill, matchups, injuries, game script, and pace of play.

This is an outstanding read on how different weather conditions affect QB play (with a special section on Drew Brees), but it basically says that the only weather variable that has a significant impact on the fantasy production of QBs is average wind speed especially in excess of 20 mph. Unfortunately, there are a few games this week with winds that high and a couple others approaching it making start/sit decisions very tricky especially with six teams on bye.

With a few games being played in very poor weather and a few others that are borderline, this article will be updated leading right up to the games and here on Sunday morning with a final update around 12:30 PM ET.

Catch ‘SUNDAY LIVE’ at Noon ET —  Mike “The Fantasy Hitman” Wright will be answering start/sit questions, and covering injury updates for Week 8.

Sunday, November 1st, 2020:

Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers
1:00 PM ET

Temp: 35°
Precipitation: None
Wind: 23 mph
Wind Gusts: 35 mph

Fantasy Impact: Believe it or not, forecasts called for winds even higher than this earlier this week. It’s also a colder game, which really creates problems for both QBs.

Aaron Rodgers averages 254 passing yards and 2.18 TDs per game in cold temperatures (21-40° F); slightly lower than his career average overall, but still useful for fantasy. Unfortunately, even Rodgers struggles in windy conditions where he averages less than 250 yards and two TDs per game. In good weather, this is a smash spot against a very weak Minnesota defense. Rodgers is still worthy of a start in all formats, but he should be dropped down a few notches in QB rankings for this week. Davante Adams is a must start weather be damned. Aaron Jones normally crushes it in harsh weather conditions, but he’s out this week. Jamaal Williams is more than capable of big games . In 2018 he faced the Jets in Week 16 and posted 15/95/1 rushing and 6 receptions for 61 more yards and 19/77/1 with 4 receptions for 37 yards last week vs HOU with Aaron Jones out. MIN’s defense is arguably worse this year, but Jones put up a 23/154/2 rushing line against them in Week 16 last year so yeah…Williams will be in a lot of my DFS lineups.

The weather impact is more bleak for Minnesota. Kirk Cousins only averages 236 yards and only 1.25 TDs per game in windy conditions. He also has 15 interceptions over the same 16 windy-game sample. Adam Thielen should still see plenty of targets, but the quality might not be very good- something like 9 targets that go for 5 receptions and 43 yards. I feel for managers trying to decide what to do with Justin Jefferson this week. It’s a brutal matchup in brutal weather conditions, but he’s put up 467 yards receiving and three TDs in his last four games. This game could be another stinker like his 23-yard stinker against SEA in Week 5, but with so many teams on bye and a few other games in similarly harsh weather conditions, you probably don’t have many other options to plug into your lineup and almost certainly not of the caliber of Jefferson.

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Green Bay’s rushing defense has given up 95 yards rushing per game and just over seven receptions a game to opposing RBs.  Dalvin Cook may be back this week and should get all the work he can handle while trying to push a three-game TD streak against GB. If Cook misses another game, Alexander Mattison becomes a risky flex play. Lastly, Irv Smith Jr. has posted consecutive five target-4 reception games and a two-point conversion. If MIN falls behind and Cousins struggles hitting receivers downfield, he may turn to Smith.

Tennessee Titans at Cincinnati Bengals
1:00 PM ET

Temp: 50° (Update: 46°)
Precipitation: Light Rain (Update: No Rain)
Wind: 17 mph (Update: 20 mph)
Wind Gusts: 30 mph

Fantasy Impact: The winds are edging pretty close to that 20 mph threshold, but Cincinnati’s offensive line has little chance to give Joe Burrow time to look very far downfield with both of their starting offensive tackles out for this game. Expect Burrow to pepper Tyler Boyd with targets while running for his life. Tee Higgins and A.J. Green might end up getting a lot of targets again, but quality will be suspect making them risky plays-a TD may be needed to save their fantasy day. If the game starts to get out of hand and Burrow is forced to throw Giovanni Bernard should see a spike in short targets, but TEN has yet to give up 40 yards receiving to RBs this year. TEN is more susceptible to TEs. They’ve given up an average line of 5.5/59/.67 receiving to TEs, but that’s somewhat suppressed by their mathups against BUF and MIN. In the other four games, opposing TEs cut them up for an average line of 7.5/82/.75 putting Drew Sample in play as a risky start.

Tennessee will likely find Derrick Henry runs just fine in wind and probably won’t need to adjust much for a passing offense that relies on efficiency over volume between Ryan Tannehill, A.J. Brown, and Jonnu Smith.

New York Jets at Kansas City Chiefs
1:00 PM ET

Temp: 48°
Precipitation: None
Wind: 13 mph
Wind Gusts: 17 mph

Fantasy Impact: The forecasts actually got a little better as the week went on for this game. Even the weather works against Adam Gase.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens
1:00 PM ET

Temp: 61° (Update: 51°)
Precipitation: Rain
Wind: 15 mph (Update: 7 mph)
Wind Gusts: 26 mph

Fantasy Impact: I’m sure you’re going to see some really bad rain around 11:30 a.m. Forecasts called for passing showers, but it looks like rain will start pounding Baltimore around 11:30 and continue into kickoff. The good news is winds should be light and the rain should taper off into the second quarter and mostly stop by halftime. Rain itself shouldn’t be too much of an issue for either team. If anything, a somewhat slick field could help shifty runners like Lamar Jackson. The rain might look bad, but absent high winds or cold temperatures, it won’t be the deciding factor in this game. This is especially true since half the game or more should be played with little to no rain.

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Los Angeles Rams at Miami Dolphins
1:00 PM ET

Temp: 84°
Precipitation: None (Update: Passing Showers)
Wind: 3 mph (Update: 10 mph)
Wind Gusts: 5 mph (Update: 13 mph)

Fantasy Impact: Miami is always tricky because showers can pop up at anytime. We probably will see some rain, but it will be light and the winds aren’t an issue so the fantasy impact is none.

 New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills
1:00 PM ET

Temp: 37° (Update 45°)
Precipitation: Passing Showers (Rain)
Wind: 17 mph
Wind Gusts: 37 mph

Fantasy Impact: This is a forecast I’ll be tracking very closely. Josh Allen and the BUF offense hasn’t looked nearly as dynamic following their first four games of the season. If the weather is bad and the offense sputters, they may resort back to what worked through 2019 with Josh Allen looking at his first read and tucking it and running if it’s not there. John Brown is back, but would be a risky start. Cole Beasley should be in line for good volume even with the poor weather. Stefon Diggs remains a must start, but he should be considered a WR2 instead of plug-and-play WR1. His outlook is also dependent on Stephon Gilmore who is looking iffy for this game.

Buffalo’s defense has struggled to contain the running game especially of late with 401 yards and 4 TDs rushing coughed up to TEN, KC, and NYJ. With Julian Edelman and N’Keal Harry out this week and the weather far from ideal, NE will likely batter BUF with their stable of RBs and Cam Newton. It’s a fool’s errand to try and predict what NE will do with the backfield, but I think it’s going to be a heavy workload for Damien Harris who will get sniped at the goal line by Cam or some other Patriots RB.

(Update: Stephon Gilmore has been ruled out. The winds at kickoff will be 17 mph, but increase through the game to around 24 mph to close out the game. Expect rain to open up the game, but it will decrease to light showers and should stop sometime in the fourth quarter.)

Las Vegas Raiders at Cleveland Browns

1:00 PM ET

Temp: 46° (Update: 42°)
Precipitation: Light Rain
Wind: 26 mph (Update: 32 mph)
Wind Gusts: 37 mph (Update: 40 mph)

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Fantasy Impact: This game was a popular one to target in DFS earlier this week, but this wind is significant and cuts the field diagonally. There also might be some light rain that might turn into flurries adding to the misery. We were looking for a back-and-forth air battle, but this is shaping up to be a slug fest.

With Odell Beckham Jr. out for the season, Baker Mayfield will lean on the TEs and Jarvis Landry. Rashard Higgins and Donovan Peoples-Jones were going to be risk/reward sleepers, but they look avoidable altogether. Harrison Bryant and David Njoku should be on the field for the majority of the snaps again, but it was Bryant who led in snap count last week with Austin Hooper out and he also received more targets than David Njoku. Bryant may be a useful start. Kareem Hunt is a must start and will be used extensively regardless of game script.

Derek Carr likes to take occasional deep shots, but he’s had limited success connecting with deep threat Henry Ruggs III so far this year in much better conditions. A DeSean Jackson-like three receptions for 150 yards and a couple scores seems highly unlikely unless Ruggs can rip off big yards after the catch. Darren Waller should be a target magnet as both the Raiders TE and best slot WR. Despite posting a stinker last week vs TB, Josh Jacobs will get a lot of carries and had 70 or more yards in every game before that. He’s a solid RB2.

(Update: We’ll be lucky if the winds are ‘only’ in the low 30 mph range. Some forecasts are calling for winds closer to the 40s. Both teams are going to have to lean on their running backs.)

Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos
4:05 PM ET

Temp: 61°
Precipitation: None
Wind: 6 mph
Wind Gusts: 6 mph

Fantasy Impact: None

New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears
4:25 PM ET

Temp: 35°
Precipitation: None
Wind: 18 mph
Wind Gusts: 30 mph

Fantasy Impact: QBs average under 240 yards passing against CHI and less than one TD per game this year. Enter Drew Brees minus Michael Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, and Marquez Callaway. Drew Brees and the remaining WRs would have been a sit even if the weather was perfect. Jared Cook hasn’t had five targets or more since Week 2, but could see some more as basically the last man standing. He’ll still need a TD to save the day in fantasy, but he’s racked up three of them over his past four games. Alvin Kamara is still a stud and Latavius Murray should have no problem getting double-digit touches for the fifth-straight game. He’s a sneaky flex play that could pay off if he finds the end zone.

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I honestly don’t know what to say about CHI. Does a really bad offense get more bad with bad weather? You might have to put on a brave face and start Allen Robinson. What to say about David Montgomery? His volume should be good so there’s that.

San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks
4:25 PM ET

Temp: 54°
Precipitation: None
Wind: 5 mph
Wind Gusts: 7 mph

Fantasy Impact: None

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles
8:20 PM ET

Temp: 55° (Update: 45°)
Precipitation: Showers Possible (Update: None)
Wind: 14 mph
Wind Gusts: 30 mph

Fantasy Impact: This is one of those games where the injuries to DAL and returning players for PHI will dictate how this game goes far more than the weather possibly could.

Carson Wentz has made it work with a corps of skilled players that look more banged up than a pack of zombies so he’s still startable. Dallas Goedert becomes a must start this week along with Boston Scott who is still in for Miles Sanders. Jalen Reagor is set to return, but he’ll be awfully hard to trust coming of the injury in a game that should go PHI’s way fairly early.

Andy Dalton is doubtful, which means Ben DiNucci is likely to get the start against a defense that hasn’t allowed a 250-yard passer in three games. Amari Cooper Cooper and Ezekiel Elliott fall into Brave-face start territory. CeeDee Lamb and Dalton Schultz are desperation plays.

Monday, November 2nd, 2020:

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Giants
8:15 PM ET

Temp: 39° (Update: 34°)
Precipitation: None
Wind: 13 mph
Wind Gusts: 28 mph

Fantasy Impact: None

Dome Games:

Indianapolis Colts at Detroit Lions
1:00 PM ET


Jeff says:

Do I roll with Chase Claypool against tough Ravens D or Agholor who’s riding a high but the winds and rain look brutal in Cleveland, any suggestions?

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