Every week millions of fantasy football players pour over rankings from their favorite analysts and sites covering the National Football League. They go through every metric available to look at all the potential matchups for each game trying to get an idea on the game script.
There is, however, one matchup that gets overlooked that affects every player on the field – the weather those teams will be playing in. As we get further into both the NFL and fantasy football year, conditions continue to deteriorate slowly across the country. This change in the seasons turns what could have been a fantastic play for your top tier wide reciever into a dog fight in the trenches. Now let’s dive into Week 4 and local weather forecasts and see if there are any potential hazards along the way.
Note – At the time of writing this article, all the weather forecasts (F*) are accurate but are subject to change.
Sunday 1 PM Games:
Tennessee Titans at Atlanta Falcons
o/u – 46
This game is indoors, so there’s no negative effect for any Fantasy Football players due to weather. Indoor games are a trend for the Falcons for the remainder of their season as their next six games are indoors as well as 10 of the remaining 13 games. If you do play in a league with kickers, Matt Bryant is an intriguing play. Bryant kicks in as perfect of conditions as possible for the majority of his matchups on what should be a high scoring offense when in form.
New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills
o/u – 46
High Temp – 67, partly cloudy with 5-10mph winds
While this game may be outdoors in Buffalo, the weather shouldn’t have any factor in this. In a few weeks, this might very well be a different story. But this matchup is clear sailing and playbooks are wide open on both sides of the ball.
Kansas City Chiefs at Detriot Lions
o/u – 56
The game with the highest total for Week 4 in the NFL won’t have weather conditions holding it back. The Lions are playing at Ford Field and will need all the support they can get going against Partick Mahomes and the red-hot Chiefs. Both fantasy football and DFS players will be targeting this matchup as points won’t be hard to come by.
Oakland Raiders at Indianapolis Colts
o/u – 45.5
The weather won’t affect this game as the Colts play their home games inside Lucas Oil Stadium. Jacoby Brissett is coming off a fantastic performance after leading the Colts to a 27-24 win over the Atlanta Falcons and is looking to make it 2 in a row against the Raiders. The status of T.Y. Hilton is something fantasy football players will have to keep in mind as he has yet to practice after injuring his quad in Week 3. If Hilton is out, watch for the Colts to lean on Marlon Mack to keep the offense moving.
Los Angeles Chargers at Miami Dolphins
o/u – 44.5
High Temp – 86, mostly cloudy with 15-25mph winds
Anyone who has ever lived in Florida or has vacationed there knows the weather can change in an instant. While there is only a 20% chance of rain currently, the forecast 24 hours ago called for thunderstorms – so anything is possible. The only concerning detail of the forecast is presently the wind, which will make both field goals and long passing attempts challenging to convert.
In what should be one last workhorse level game against a woeful Dolphins, Austin Ekeler looks to be the focal point of the Chargers offense. The Chargers skill positions are depleted, having ruled out Mike Williams and Justin Jackson already after losing tight end Hunter Henry in Week 1. With Melvin Gordon returning from his hold-out, fantasy owners will have to wait to see if they are willing to rush him back verse the Dolphins.
Washington Redskins at New York Giants
o/u – 49
High Temp – 76, mostly sunny with 10-15mph winds
NFC East division rivals and their fans won’t have to worry as the weather looks great for the game. Fantasy Football owners are excited for this matchup to see the progression of Daniel Jones against a weak Redskins passing defense. The main thing to watch will be the status of the Redskins break-out rookie wide reciever Terry Mclaurin, who suffered an aggravated hamstring during Thursday’s practice. McLaurin’s status is only questionable but a soft-tissue injury this close to a game is never a good sign.
Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens
o/u – 45
High Temp – 84, partly cloudy with 5-10mph winds
Both the Browns and Ravens will look to get back on track after coming off losses in Week 3, and the weather won’t be any hindrance in that. Baker Mayfield and the Browns are looking for their second win of the season and, more importantly, to find their identity. Full of optimism and hope after adding dynamic superstar Odell Beckham Jr, the Browns haven’t shown up yet other than beating the New York Jets and their thrid-string quarterback. Something we will be focusing on is if Lamar Jackson can bounce back from his season-worst 16.66 OSM score, 5th worst among qualifying quarterbacks in Week 3. For more information on the PFN Offensive Share Metric (OSM), check out the PFN Data Lab for a full breakdown and sortable grades.
Carolina Panthers at Houston Texans
o/u – 47.5
Nothing should get in the way for these teams as this is an indoor game in Houston. While Kyle Allen put up the 4th best OSM score at 35.16 Week 3, the Panthers will be looking to rely on Christian McCaffrey to keep the Texans defense honest. The Texans, however, will be trying to do their damage thru the air with the dynamic combo of Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins. For Fantasy Football owners, this is a set-it and forget-it matchup. Start your studs and don’t overthink it.
Sunday 4 PM Games:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Los Angeles Rams
o/u – 49.5
High Temp – 74, clear skies with 5 to 10mph winds
In a game that could be one of the highest-scoring of the day, both teams won’t have to worry about the weather in sunny California. Mike Evans is coming into this game after finally having a breakout performance last week against a weak Giants defense and will look to make it two in a row. Something to watch in this matchup is if Jameis Winston can support two starting-caliber wide receivers in a single game. So far this season, only one Buccaneer wide reciever has put up starting-caliber numbers each game, frustrating fantasy owners who guessed incorrectly.
Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals
o/u – 48.5
Fantasy relevant scoring should be no problem for these teams as this is indoors, and weather will have no impact. Kyler Murray is looking to have a bounce-back game after a season-low 8.37 OSM, third-worst among qualified quarterbacks. If the Cardinals are going to have any success this week, they need to find a way to establish the run with former All-Pro running back David Johnson. Although this may be easier said than done behind one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL.
Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
o/u – 38
High Temp – 72, Thunderstorms all day with 10 to 15mph winds
Tied for the lowest implied total of the week, the Vikings and Bears will be dealing with adverse weather all game long. The forecast is calling for rain and thunderstorms all weekend, and that will continue thru the game. In a game with two teams struggling to get any real passing game working, the under is very much in play here. NFL rushing leader and fantasy football mainstay Dalvin Cook will look to build upon his lead while going against what has been arguably the best defense in the NFL led by Khalil Mack. Watch for both teams to employ a conservative game script due to the weather and only rely on their quarterbacks in obvious passing downs.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Denver Broncos
o/u – 38
High Temp – 87, mostly sunny with 15 to 25mph winds
The only issue weather-wise for this game will be the blustery winds at Empower Field at Mile High, but don’t expect this to be a fast-paced game anyway. This matchup features two offenses ranked in the bottom 10 in points per game, meaning points will come at a premium. After a lack-luster performance from Leonard Fournette in Week 3, the Jaguars might have to turn to rookie Gardner Minshew and his mustache if they want to return home with a win. Minshew could have a difficult time connecting with his favorite target DJ Chark, as cornerback Chris Harris will likely cover him.
Sunday 8:20 PM
Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints
o/u – 47
The final matchup of the day is another indoor game where the weather won’t play any role in the outcome. Dak Prescott leads the Cowboys into New Orleans for what should be a fantastic game to end the day. It is not often we get a matchup of two of the best running backs in the NFL, but we see that here with both Ezekiel Elliott and Alvin Kamara. Elliott is off to a fantastic start to the 2019 season much to the delight of the Fantasy Football owners who had the confidence to spend a top pick on him.
With Drew Brees still out with a thumb injury, the Saints will look to have Teddy Bridgewater get the ball into Kamara’s hands whenever possible. Sean Payton showed this last week in his play-calling as Kamara led the Saints in almost every offensive statistic. Watch for this to be much of the same as the Saints will use Kamara’s athleticism to move down the field to set up red zone attempts to Michael Thomas to finish the drive.
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Tommy Garrett is a writer for PFN covering Fantasy Football. You can follow him @TommygarrettPFN on Twitter.