The NFL and the world of fantasy football head into the Divisional Round with our weekly weather report. Who doesn’t need more information to stress over? We break down the NFL slate, the weather forecast/report for this weekend’s games, and determine if any of your fantasy/DFS players could be impacted.
As always, good luck. Stay safe. And let’s win this week.
Note: All times are Eastern Time. The Divisional Round weather report will be updated if any changes happen from the time of writing to kickoff. The NFL weather forecast is based on National Weather Service reporting. All NFL odds are from the NFL’s official website.
16 games per week has been reduced to just four. Sure, I love the volume. It gets the blood pumping and gives you whiplash trying to see all the TVs at once. Yet, there is something about the quality of games. Even last week in the Wild Card round, we had four blowouts. That isn’t happening this week.
We have four incredible games on the slate. It’s just a great week to be a fan, and possibly even better if you are into DFS and betting. All of these contests should be close and have the chance to be games of the year. As a fan of football, there is not much else you can ask for at this point in the season.
San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers (-5.5), O/U 47.5 | Saturday 8:15 PM ET
No game will have massively impactful weather. That’s been the trend basically all season, as few games saw outlier conditions aside from a rainy game here and there (and the tornado in Buffalo). Green Bay is just going to be cold. I mean, really cold. I’m talking negative-6-degree-wind-chill cold. That will be accompanied by mostly cloudy skies and 7 mph winds.
For the Packers faithful, this is normal. For Jimmy Garoppolo, who is dealing with thumb and shoulder injuries, this is uncharted territory — not going to Green Bay, but the cold. Garoppolo has never played in sub-32-degree temperatures and now gets to do so in the biggest game of his career as he attempts to outduel the likely back-to-back NFL MVP, Aaron Rodgers.
The player to watch for the 49ers is Elijah Mitchell. The Packers are 28th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA against the run and are 31st in yards per carry (4.7) despite facing the fourth-fewest attempts. Mitchell has carried the ball 21 or more times in six consecutive games. Over that stretch, he is averaging 24.2 carries, 98.3 rushing yards, and 0.7 TDs a game. He has rushed for 100+ yards in five of his 12 games this season and has 17+ carries in all but two games.
Last week, Mitchell saw 27 carries, and he could come close to that again on Saturday. After all, the best way to stop Rodgers and the Packers’ offense is to keep them off the field while simultaneously lessening the burden on Garoppolo. At $5,800, Mitchell is the No. 5- priced RB on the slate, but he’s my No. 1 running back play in DFS (GPP or cash).
NFL Weather Report and Forecast for the Divisional Round: Worry-free weather
The clear weather forecast is a welcome sight for fantasy managers. With that said, there is a 100% chance of chaos.
Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans (-3.5), O/U 47.5 | Saturday 4:30 PM ET
Are the Tennessee Titans the worst No. 1 seed ever? I don’t say that to bash them, but holy cow, I cannot remember a top seed getting this little attention. I get that they had a week off. Yet, they still went managed to go 12-5 without having Derrick Henry since Halloween and Julio Jones and A.J. Brown missing large swaths of the season.
All eyes are on the Bengals’ offense, and for good reason. The trio of Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, and Tee Higgins has been must-watch TV. Tennessee has been a pass-funnel defense as well, with teams throwing on 59% of their plays in neutral game scripts (third-most).
Opposing WRs have seen more targets against the Titans than anyone else (22.9 per game), and they are No. 2 in receptions (14.5), yards (188.8), and No. 4 in TDs (20). If the Bengals plan to topple King Henry and his empire, Burrow will need to have a massive day. I love Higgins ($5,700) to have a bounce-back game for DFS managers after a down showing last week.
Nashville’s Divisional Round weather forecast should feature sunny skies, 5 mph winds, and highs near 39 degrees.
Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3), O/U 48.5 | Sunday 3:00 PM ET
For all of the massive names in this game, it comes down to two players. On Tampa Bay, it’s Tristan Wirfs and his ankle. Can he hold up against Leonard Floyd and Aaron Donald to protect Tom Brady? If the Rams can get to Brady and dirty the pocket, they can win this game.
As for the Rams, the X-factor for me is not Cooper Kupp ($8,600) or even Cam Akers ($5,500), but Odell Beckham Jr. ($5,300). Beckham Jr. has 6 touchdowns in his nine games with the Rams, becoming a favorite target for Matthew Stafford inside the red zone. His yardage is low (39.9 yards per game), but I like him to find the end zone once again as the Rams pull off the upset.
As for the weather forecast in Tampa Bay, expect sunny skies, 9 mph winds, and 62 degrees at kickoff.
Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs (-1.5), O/U 53.5 | Sunday 8:30 PM ET
This is basically the Super Bowl. It’s the game we have all wanted to see. The Bills are set to show they are the new dominant team in the AFC, and in order to do so, they need to take out the two-time defending AFC champions in their home stadium. I think they pull it off, and we even see something thrown into the end zone after one of their touchdowns.
Josh Allen at +145 anytime touchdown is a prop bet I will be on. And given how juiced the over is at 53.5 (-115), it’s easy to see how he could repeat as the No. 1 QB in DFS. Allen is well worth the pay-up at $7,600.
Kansas City’s Divisional Round weather forecast should feature mostly clear skies, 8 mph winds, and highs near 33 degrees.