Before I get going into the slate of games, let me start by wishing you and your loved ones a belated Happy Thanksgiving. As time goes by, it’s essential to sit back and take a second to reflect on where we are at in life and the things that are important to us. Whether it be your family & friends, your passions, your faith, or even your significant other, I hope you take the time to reflect on what matters in life. Also, I want to say thank you directly to the people reading this. Without your support and trust in myself, along with everyone here at Pro Football Network, this wouldn’t be possible. With that being said, let’s get into the Week 13 weather forecast for fantasy football.
Week 13 is arguably the most critical week of the season as far as the regular season is concerned. There is a large portion of you and myself included, that are in a must-win situation in the hope to grab the last playoff spot. This is the week where you need your studs to shine, and everyone is firing on all cylinders. Unfortunately, this week has arguably the worst weather forecast we have all season.
The conditions run the entire gambit from warmer temps (Miami) to inches of snow and freezing rain (New York/East Rutherford) and even 40mph winds (Kansas City). It truly is all over the map this week, and you need to make sure to stay updated on these forecasts. Weather, especially this time of year, is prone to change, so keep tabs on here as well as on my Twitter as I will keep posting updates as we draw closer to the games.
Before we break down the Week 13 weather forecast, here’s a reminder that if you have any questions regarding fantasy football, check out our recent articles from our talented staff here at PFN. We have you covered from PPR & Standard rankings, notable additions including an in-house waiver-wire mock draft, start/sit recommendations, daily dynasty content, podcasts, and much more to help you make the most of this fantasy season.
Note: All times are Eastern Standard.
Game Impacting Winter Weather
Green Bay Packers -7 at New York Giants (1:00 PM) – 44.5 o/u
To sum these weather conditions in one word, ugly. A few weeks ago, I said that Green Bay was going to give us the first chance of flurries of the year. In their game against the Giants, we have our first chance of sizeable accumulations of snow this Sunday. As Winter Storm Ezekiel pushes east across the country, it will bring a wintery mix with it into the Northeast portions of the USA. The New York/New Jersey area is right on the line, where they will see both a wintery mix as well as snow.
Starting Saturday night and into Sunday morning, we expect to see the snow begin to accumulate, and depending on the fall line, we could see between 1-3 inches of snow. As we move into the afternoon, snow changes to a wintery mix along with an increased probability or sleet and freezing rain. Adding in wind speeds of 15-20mph to temperatures in the low 30’s, and we have enough adverse conditions to make this a fade-worthy game.
The problem is, it’s hard to do against guys like Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams, and Saquon Barkley, and I wouldn’t advise doing it. In fantasy football, you have to start your studs, but know that conditions like this will lower their chances for a boom game. A player like Barkley is a prime example of this.
I put out a piece earlier this week on whether you should trust Barkley going into your fantasy playoffs, and I still think you have to. He is an exceptional talent that, when on the field, has the chance to change the game and give you a big scoring performance every week. If you have someone that is a bit more on the fence and are looking for little factors to decide on who to start, a weather forecast like we have here might be enough to help choose which fantasy option you want to put your faith in.
Strong chance of rain
San Francisco 49ers at Baltimore Ravens -6 (1:00 PM) – 45.5 o/u
I wish this game would have a better forecast as this matchup is a potential Super Bowl preview between two of the best teams in the league. As the winter storm drops snow up north, Baltimore gets the rain and is expected to see between 1/2″ to 3/4″ of rain between early Sunday morning and heading into the later parts of the afternoon. In addition to the rain, 15mph winds are expected and will make it feel much colder than the 43-degree forecasted temperature.
You really can’t ask for a much better game than this Week 13 matchup, although it might be better to watch than it will be for fantasy. Anytime you put two great teams together, it’s hard to have those large breakaway plays you see against lesser teams. Then again, it’s Lamar Jackson, and there is a reason he is the MVP frontrunner. Something has to give.
Per Football Outsiders, the Ravens have the #1 Offensive DVOA and are going against the #2 Defensive DVOA in the 49ers. Throwing fantasy out the window, just as a fan, I can’t wait to watch this game, even though the rain will try to put a damper on the potential coronation parade for Jackson.
Cleveland Browns -2.5 at Pittsburgh Steelers (1:00 PM) – 39 o/u
I doubt anyone will be dumb enough to swing a helmet again in this game, but I still expect there to be fireworks that even some rain won’t put out. Starting Saturday night, Pittsburgh will see around half an inch of rain before they wake up, saturating the field. Come Sunday morning, the storm will continue as we expect to see another half an inch as rains continue past kickoff and into the evening off and on. The 57-degree temperatures won’t be nearly as cold as other games, but 10-15mph winds will drop down that RealFeel a few degrees.
On their own, this forecast wouldn’t overly concern me. It’s not a lot of rain, and the wind is below the threshold where we see impacts, but we have to look at where this game is at, Heinz Field. Heinz Field is known for arguably the worst turf in the entire NFL as it sees constant action from both local high schools and their playoffs to Pitt playing its home games there. It never has a chance to “heal” from continuous usage.
Being saturated the night before, I am worried that the field will deteriorate quickly throughout the game. Adding the wind into the already challenging open end of the stadium and you have a kicking nightmare. Looking at the injury report, JuJu Smith-Schuster is already out, and James Conner is highly doubtful, making the job of QB Delvin Hodges even more difficult. Hodges takes over the position for the week after head coach Mike Tomlin benched Mason Rudolph in Week 12. The Steelers’ defense is good enough to keep this game close. All Hodges has to do is not kill the Steelers, and they can pull off this much-needed home victory.
Chances of rain with increased wind speeds
Washington Redskins at Carolina Panthers -10 (1:00 PM) – 38.5 o/u
Once again, we see an East Coast game being affected by the weather in Week 13. Sunday morning is forecasted to see rain showers but should taper off as we get closer to game time. Getting into the afternoon, we see an increased chance for scattered thunderstorms, and I’d expect to see some form of precipitation during the game. We will see some higher wind speeds as they could reach into the 20mph range with sustained 15mph winds for the game. Overall, its nothing concerning but is worth mentioning since there is rain in the forecast.
As for fantasy, this game is pretty simple. You start Christain McCaffrey, and be thankful you have him. It’s not too late to say that to your family even though it was celebrated yesterday. A group text will do just fine. Facing a Redskins’ defense that has allowed 14 touchdowns to wide receives, both D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel have a great matchup. Both players were full participants for practice at the end of the week, making you feel safe starting them in all lineups.
On the other side, Terry McLaurin gets to face a Panthers’ defense that allows the most receptions per game to his position of any team in the league. In theory, this sounds great. The problem is Dwayne Haskins’ lack of consistency makes McLaurin’s upside a risky play for Week 13.
New York Jets -3.5 at Cincinnati Bengals (1:00 PM) – 42 o/u
Starting relatively pleasant other than some clouds early in the day, look for storms to develop around Cincinnati as we get later into the day. I’m not overly concerned, but it is worth a mention since there is a 70% chance of rain during the day. The only weather that might impact the game is the 15-20mph winds that are expected in the area. They aren’t speeds that I would be very concerned with, but you will see them impact kicks more than anything.
As for the play on the field, well, it can’t get any worse for the Bengals, right? It will be interesting to see how the team responds to Andy Dalton returning to the starting lineup. A rather sneaky person this helps is WR Auden Tate. In the six games where Tate saw over 89% of the snaps with Dalton at QB, he averaged 11.41 fantasy points per game in PPR scoring. Compare that to the 6.06 points per game with Ryan Finley at QB. The problem this week is the Jets are an excellent defensive team (5th ranked in DVOA) and are going against the 31st ranked offense.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -3 at Jacksonville Jaguars (1:00 PM) – 47.5 o/u
Jacksonville gives us another game with a chance of scattered storms with increasing chances during the game. The concern here for me is the wind, though. As of right now, forecasted winds are expected to be between 20-30mph and gusts could reach 35mph. At these levels, you will see the passing game affected as balls thrown into the wind have a much higher chance to stall and have the tendency to float when aiding the quarterback. Throw in a player who has a knack for throwing multiple interceptions in Jameis Winston, and you have a recipe for a tough day at the office.
Now that isn’t to say he won’t still take his shots. When you have Mike Evans and Chris Godwin on your team, you have to keep throwing the ball their way and let them make plays for you. When you have two receivers who have already surpassed 1,000 yards, you can’t go away from what works. I am less bullish on Jaguars’ running back, Leonard Fournette. He is their workhorse back, but this a tough matchup. The Buccaneers have given up the second-fewest rushing yards this year, making Fournette closer to an RB2 for Week 13.
Game Impacting Winds
Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs -11 (4:25 PM) – 50 o/u
While we get a break from the rain in Kansas City, the backside of this winter storm brings high winds into Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday. Currently forecasted for steady 25-30mph, we are likely to see gusts creep into the 40mph range. Add this with the mid-30-degree temperatures, and temperatures will be well below freezing.
Does Patrick Mahomes have a cannon for an arm? Absolutely. However, winds in this range do raise a red flag for me. At running back, the Chiefs will split the touches between LeSean McCoy and Darrel Williams after ruling Damien Williams out with a rib injury. McCoy becomes a low-end RB2/Flex play so long as he gets the majority of touches. It all depends on what he does with those carries.
Las Vegas sees this game to be a very high scoring contest and currently has it listed with the highest points total of the entire week. A more significant part of that is the vast disparity in the Chiefs’ high-powered offense against the Raiders’ weaker passing defense. The Raiders currently give up the 4th most passing yards per game in the NFL (287.4).
Philadelphia Eagles -10 at Miami Dolphins (1:00 PM) – 44.5 o/u
Playing on one of the league’s worst teams, Dolphins’ WR Devante Parker continues to have the most under the radar WR2 performance of the season. Having put up double-digit fantasy weeks in PPR scoring, Parker needs to be locked in your lineups every week. Unlike the other games on the slate, the 81-degree temperatures, partly cloudy skies, and 10mph winds won’t have any impact on this Week 13 game.
Los Angeles Chargers -3.5 at Denver Broncos (4:05 PM) – 38 o/u
Due to shaky quarterback play on both sides, expect to see a healthy dose of the rushing game for both offenses this week. The main thing to watch will be who plays at QB for the Broncos this week. Rookie Drew Lock was activated this week and has split the first-team reps with Brandon Allen. As of right now, it appears Lock will get the nod as the starter for Week 13, but until we know officially, it’s just the best guess we have currently. The 42-degree temperatures, sunny skies, and 6mph winds give us a favorable forecast for this game. Luckily for us, Colorado got hit with a snowstorm earlier in the week.
Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks -3 (8:15 PM Monday) – 50 o/u
It appears Chris Carson’s early-season fumbling issues have returned. Over the past three weeks, Carson has put the ball on the ground four times. In spite of that, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer stated that “Chris Carson is our guy.” Even though fantasy owners appreciate the vote of confidence, Rashaad Penny has crept his way back into an RB3/Flex consideration because of this. The 43-degree temperatures, partly cloudy skies, and light winds won’t be a concern for this game.
Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts -1 (1:00 PM) – 43 o/u
Los Angeles Rams -2.5 at Arizona Cardinals (4:05 PM) – 47.5 o/u
New England Patriots -3.5 at Houston Texans (8:20 PM) – 46.5 o/u
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Tommy Garrett is a writer for PFN covering Fantasy Football. You can follow him at @TommygarrettPFN on Twitter.