The NFL and the world of fantasy football head into Week 18 with our weekly weather report. Who doesn’t need more information to stress over? We break down the NFL slate, the weather forecast and report for Week 18, and if any of your fantasy players could be impacted.
As always, good luck. Stay safe. And let’s win this week.
Note: All times are Eastern Time, and the NFL Week 18 weather report will be updated if any changes happen from the time of writing to kickoff. The NFL weather forecast for Week 18 is based on National Weather Service reporting. All NFL odds are from the NFL’s official website.
NFL Weather Report and Forecast for Week 18: Once last blast of winter to wrap up the season
Well, we made it. The longest season in NFL history is set to wrap up. It’s been one heck of a journey. Remember when Sam Darnold was “back?” Yeah, tell me that doesn’t feel like a while ago. Yet, here we are with the fantasy season coming to a close.
To all of you that rode out the year and ever checked out a few of my articles along the way, thank you. You guys are the reason we are here and get to have this career. If you have already clinched your championship, congratulations. For those needing today, we have one last chance to end the season with the hardware. This week is going to be a mess, I’ll warn you now, but that is the risk of playing fantasy in Week 18.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (-3.5), O/U 41 | Sunday 1 PM ET
It’s almost fitting this game will have some winter weather. The Steelers vs. Ravens face off with a spot in the playoffs on the line. 39-degree temperatures will feel closer to freezing thanks to 10 mph sustained winds and gusts of 20 mph for at least the first half. Rain will also make an appearance. Sleet and an icy mix will start in the morning and transition to cold rain for kickoff. Precipitation totals are not expected to exceed 0.03 inches per hour.
Can the Steelers get up for this game? Last week was virtually their Super Bowl, but you have to think they still want to take out the Ravens and give Ben Roethlisberger one last win. If they do, it will be on the back of Najee Harris, who leads the NFL in touches as a rookie (366) with 1,612 total yards and 10 touchdowns. Back in the summer, I said Harris could see 290 rushes, 85 targets, 1,600 total yards, and double-digit touchdowns. I guess even I underestimated what he could do.
Washington Football Team (-5) at New York Giants, O/U 38 | Sunday 1 PM ET
The Week 18 weather will match the mood in East Rutherford. 36 degrees will feel closer to 29 with 10 mph winds and gusts of 22-25 mph. Morning ice sleet will give way to rain around noon and continue for the game. With that said, it is forecasted to be a drizzle at 0.01 inches per hour.
This is the final game for this iteration of the Washington franchise as they are set to announce their rebranding on February 2. I can only hope this isn’t some weird deleted scene out of Groundhog Day where we need to relive this multiple times.
Then, there is New York, who will enter the contest with open spots on their 53-man roster because they have not only injuries but 25 guys on IR that count against the cap. It’s honestly impressive. Neither team has anything to play for with both being eliminated from the playoffs. I believe we could see a game that reflects that.
New York Jets at Buffalo Bills (-16.5), O/U 40.5 | Sunday 4:25 PM ET
Of course, Buffalo wants to get in on the fun and have some snow in their final regular-season bout. Expect 33-degree temperatures to feel around 22 with 20 mph winds. Rain will start in the morning but is forecasted to change to light snow around 4 PM — just in time for kickoff, though no accumulation is expected.
With all the talk surrounding Cooper Kupp and his records, we also need to pay attention to Josh Allen as he is set to do something that has never been done. In the history of the NFL, only 13 players have scored 400 PPR fantasy points or more. Allen joined this illustrious group last season with 406.1. With 393.7, Allen is just 6.3 points away from becoming the first player ever to do it twice. It’s safe to say #BillsMafia is in good hands.
NFL Weather Report and Forecast for Week 18: Chances of rain
While not expected, these games carry a chance of rain. Still, I would not use that as a difference-maker for start/sit decisions in Week 18.
Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns (-5), O/U 37 | Sunday 1 PM ET
Sunday will just be a cold day in Cleveland as the winds off Lake Erie will kick up for Week 18. 35 degrees will feel around 28 due to 18-23 mph sustained winds and gusts of 28-35 mph.
There will be rain in the area in the morning, but it is expected to clear out by kickoff. Still, there is a 50% chance for the first half.
The Browns have been eliminated while the Bengals won the AFC North. None of us saw this coming when predicting how the season would play out. Your guess is as good as mine in terms of fantasy as neither team will have their starting QBs. Baker Mayfield is out as he gets shoulder surgery, and Joe Burrow will rest on the bench.
Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd are expected to see minimal playing time, if any, leaving guys like Stanley Morgan Jr., Mike Thomas, and Trenton Irwin to see the majority of the snaps. With fantasy championships set to be decided, I wouldn’t get too cute and try to start any of these guys.
New England Patriots (-6) at Miami Dolphins, O/U 40 | Sunday 4:25 PM ET
Don’t worry, Miami — you are safe from the cold weather the rest of us are dealing with up north. It will feel like a balmy 75 degrees, but the winds will kick up. Sustained winds will hover around 16 mph with gusts around 25 mph. There is a 40% chance of rain through the day, so we could see it pop up, but totals would be less than 0.01 inches per hour.
The Dolphins would love nothing more than to repeat what they did in 2019 to the Patriots. I don’t think it happens, but they will play them close, forcing a New England team who needs a win to try and secure the division (plus a Bills loss) to keep their starters in for the majority of the game.
Well, that is at least until the scoreboard shows the Bills dominating the Jets. By that point, Rhamondre Stevenson should have had himself a solid outing. I believe he sees the bulk of the carries as they manage Damien Harris’ hamstring, which kept him limited in practice after forcing him out of Week 17.
NFL Weather Report and Forecast for Week 18: Worry-free weather
The clear-weather forecast is a welcome sight for fantasy managers. With that said, there is a 100% chance of chaos.
Indianapolis Colts (-14.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars, O/U 43.5 | Sunday 1 PM ET
The star of this game is Jonathan Taylor. That should be no surprise. He is what everyone wanted Saquon Barkley to be.
With Week 18 still left to play, Taylor has over 1,700 rushing yards, 340 receiving yards, 20 touchdowns, and is averaging 22.5 PPR points per game. Over his last 21 games, he’s recorded 21.9 touches, 133.3 yards, and 1.3 touchdowns per game.
If Taylor can score 39.4 fantasy points, he would be the first running back since Christian McCaffrey’s historic 2019 season (471.2 points) to hit the 400-point milestone.
Jacksonville’s Week 18 weather forecast should feature mostly sunny skies, 6 mph winds, and highs near 79 degrees.
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8.5), O/U 41.5 | Sunday 4:25 PM ET
All eyes are on the Tampa Bay receivers. As Antonio Brown continues to dominate the media, the attention needs to be on the guys who are still on the team, mainly Cyril Grayson Jr.
In Week 16, with Chris Godwin and Mike Evans out, Grayson caught all 3 of his targets for 81 yards. He backed it up last week with 6 receptions on 8 targets for 81 yards, including the game-winning 33-yard reception from Tom Brady.
Veteran QBs don’t target nobodies, especially when the game is on the line. If Grayson — a former track star from LSU — can do it again, he might be playing himself into a major role when the playoffs come around.
As for the weather forecast in Tampa, expect mostly sunny skies, 9 mph winds, and 83 degrees at kickoff.
Week 18 indoor games
The teams below will play in optimal conditions, and there will be no effect on the passing and kicking games. This helps to eliminate at least one variable fantasy managers need to consider each week.
- Tennessee Titans (-10) at Houston Texans
O/U 42.5 |Sunday 1 PM ET
- Green Bay Packers (-3) at Detroit Lions
O/U 44.5 | Sunday 1 PM ET
- Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings (-4)
O/U 44.5 | Sunday 1 PM ET
- San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams (-3.5)
O/U 44.5 | Sunday 4:25 PM ET
- Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals (-5.5)
O/U 44.5 | Sunday 4:25 PM ET
- New Orleans Saints (-3.5) at Atlanta Falcons
O/U 40 | Sunday 4:25 PM ET
- Los Angeles Chargers (-3) at Las Vegas Raiders
O/U 49.5 | Sunday 8:20 PM ET