Week 8 looks to be the most impactful week yet for weather this season. Fantasy football owners tend to focus on rain and snow, but based on my research, high winds impact games more than anything. This week we have some of the windiest games we’ll see all season, as Patriots-Bills, Raiders-Browns, and Vikings-Packers, Saints-Bears, and Titans-Bengals all feature strong, gusty winds in the forecast, which could in turn impact fantasy start ’em, sit ’em decisions.
Before we get into the Week 8 forecasts, here’s a reminder that if you have any questions about sports weather or how weather could impact play (and, potentially, your fantasy, DFS, and gambling decisions), don’t hesitate to reach out to Rotogrinders’ meteorologist Kevin Roth on Twitter (@KevinRothWx) or check out the hourly NFL weather forecasts on RotoGrinders. To take your game to the next level, subscribe to RotoGrinders’ exclusive WeatherEdge tool and see how different weather conditions have impacted historical scoring.
NFL Week 8 weather updates
Forecasts courtesy for Kevin Roth at RotoGrinders.
Patriotts @ Bills. This looks like an ugly day for football: Windy (20-mph sustained winds), wet (scattered showers), and chilly (temps in the 40s). No one weather variable is all that disruptive on its own, but when you jam them all together, it makes for tough sledding on the offensive side of the ball. This game isn’t the windiest on the slate — and I don’t think it’s the worst of the lot overall — but it will definitely be ugly.
Raiders @ Browns. There should be sustained winds here between 25-30 mph with gusts likely around 45. Compared to Chicago, where we’ll likely see winds tapering off late, or Buffalo, where the worst of the winds comes after the game, Cleveland looks to be smack dab in the middle of the worst of it all game long. Deep passes are a no-go, and intermediate passes could be a problem, as well. The plus side here is that the winds will be somewhat parallel to the field, so maybe in one direction you can attempt some deeper throws and kicks (though I’d bet they are swirling in the stadium, and it’s a complete mess regardless). Bump down to passing, kicking, offense in general. Slight bump up to RBs and D/STs.
Vikings @ Packers. I think we see winds around 25 mph sustained and gusts close to 40 mph early, with winds gradually winding down in the second half. If the front comes through a few hours earlier, then winds will also subside a few hours earlier, so I still expect this game to be major trouble, but it’s a spot where I could see the forecast changing a decent amount. It’s also going to be very cold — temperatures in the 30s with a feels-like temps in the 20s. Bump down to passing/kicking/offense in general.
Saints @ Bears. Similar story to GB, but with this game starting later and winds getting lighter late, I think it may miss the worst of the impact or at least avoid it for the latter half of the game. I still think we are talking sustained winds of around 20-25 mph to start (gusts close to 40), with the majority of the game being played with winds more like 15-20 mph and 30-mph gusts.
Titans @ Bengals. I’m bumping up the winds a touch in Cincinnati based on latest forecast models, so now it’s looking like 15-20-mph sustained with gusts around 30 mph. This game isn’t nearly the worst on the slate, but deep throws and kicks could still have issues.
Rams @ Dolphins. Typical chance for Florida pop-up showers/storms, but coverage isn’t too high and it’s unlikely to be a real issue.
Steelers @ Ravens. There could be some light showers with winds around 10-15 mph, but ultimately you shouldn’t alter your lineup based on these conditions.
Cowboys @ Eagles. Another game with a chance for rain and winds in the 10-15-mph range. If needed any more reasons to worry about the Cowboys offense and load up on the D/STs here, let the weather be your deciding factor.
All of this is subject to change as we get closer to kickoff. You can follow meteorologist Kevin Roth on Twitter (@KevinRothWx) and check out the hourly NFL weather forecasts on RotoGrinders. For the best weather-related fantasy advice, take a look at WeatherEdge.