Let me start this off by saying congratulations on making it to this point. The vast majority of us are playing in our fantasy football championships this weekend, and this is no small task. Months of pouring over data, second-guessing players to start, and avoiding the dreaded injury bug have led to this. Sixteen games are all that stands in your way from fantasy football immortality and bragging rights against all your fallen league mates. Few things are more stressful than what we will all collectively feel watching the NFL this week. We all will look at plays and box scores, not as yards gained, but their fantasy equivalent. The difference between a trophy and disappointment will come down to the small details in your decisions. Hopefully, I can help alleviate some of that stress by letting you know whether or not your fantasy football players will be playing in adverse weather conditions or clear skies. Let me help you get an edge on your opponent by breaking down the Week 16 fantasy football weather forecast.
Before we break down the Week 16 weather forecast, here is 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, waiver-wire additions, start/sit recommendations, daily dynasty content, podcasts, and much more to help you make the most of this fantasy season.
We cover all aspects surrounding the NFL from breaking news and rumors thanks to our NFL insiders Tony Pauline and Benjamin Allbright. PFN also has you covered for those searching for betting advice thanks to the PFN Betting Crew, who is giving out free cash every single week.
Potential for Game Impacting Weather
Cincinnati Bengals -1 at Miami Dolphins (1:00 PM) – 46 o/u
When looking at the games over both days, this has the worst forecast of them all. Starting earlier in the day, Miami doesn’t seem to get any real breaks in the rain all day and into Monday as well. The combination of a system that developed in the Gulf meeting strong winds coming from the Atlantic will make for, at times, challenging conditions. Once we get past Noon on Sunday, the odds of rain changing to storms increase.
Whether or not we see intense storms are hard to say, but rain will be falling regardless, making for a wet playing field. Miami and the surrounding area could see an upwards of two inches of rain before Monday night. Luckily for us in fantasy, the majority of this will be after the final whistle. Adding to the concerns is the forecasted winds speeds and depending on which model you look at as they differ on their velocity. On the conservative end, I expect to see 15 mph sustained winds for the majority of the game. However, wind gusts could be much higher. Don’t be surprised to see gusts reported during the game in the 25-30 mph range.
For fantasy football, this is a pretty disappointing forecast to have to be concerned about. After an initial scare, Joe Mixon is cleared for play in as good of a matchup you could ask for against a porous Dolphins’ rushing defense. While I’m not too fond of the forecast, I am not overly worried about Mixon and expect him to have his fourth double-digit scoring again in a row. He is my #5 ranked RB this week in PPR.
I get more concerned for players who thrive on deep balls like a DeVante Parker. The higher wind velocities can play havoc on deeper passes and take what would have been a spot-on thrown, fall short. On the positive, both of these teams are bad. I am not going to sugarcoat that fact and sometimes bad teams facing off make for good games. The weather has a better chance of creating stops than either of these defenses do. Las Vegas tends to agree with that as well, giving this game a positive nod with a 46 o/u.
Chance of Rain
Houston Texans -3.5 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1:00 PM Saturday) – 51.5 o/u
Having this game on Saturday turned out to be a nice reprieve from the wet weather that will move into the area later on. As we get past Noon, the chance of rain increases, but as of now looks to be unlikely and is only getting about a 25% chance. Mainly when looking at the forecast, what draws my attention is the wind. Sustained winds should be between 11-15 mph for the game. Gusts could reach into the mid-20s, but I am not overly concerned as the sustained winds are below the threshold where we see it impacting a game.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense this week is one of the more intriguing topics when looking at this week’s games. Can Jameis Winston continue to throw for 350+ yards without both Mike Evans and Chris Godwin? We know Winston wants to throw the ball, but can Breshad Perriman take on the full WR1 duties? He’s seen six targets in each of the last three weeks, and they’ve led to 13 receptions, 270 yards, and four touchdowns. All of his scores came in the last two weeks on eight catches. Scoring every other catch is simply not sustainable. Am I going to be banking on him in some leagues where I need a home run play? Yes, but I also know the risk involved here.
Why do I have a sneaky feeling that O.J. Howard decides to show up this week?
Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers -7 (8:15 PM Saturday) – 44.5 o/u
There is a decent chance we see some rain here in the second half, but right now, I don’t see it being very impactful. While some reports are calling for upwards of a half an inch of rain, this will mainly hit during the overnight hours. Wind speeds will be around 10 mph for the game and could reach gusts closer to 20 mph. Overall, I do not see anything that will impact start sit decisions.
Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots -6.5 (4:30 PM Saturday) – 37 o/u
It’s hard to find a lot of upside players for fantasy football in this matchup. Both teams feature fantastic defenses and questions on the New England Patriots health to key players is a valid concern. Judging by last week’s performance and practice reports, something seems wrong with Tom Brady’s elbow, and Julian Edelman is trying to play through a long list of ailments. Both teams need a win, and I expect this to be a low scoring battle. The weather implications of 35-degree temperatures, clear skies, and light winds won’t impact the game, however.
Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns (Sunday 1:00 PM)
Week 16 might very well be the last time Lamar Jackson takes the field in the regular season in the hope of further cementing his MVP candidacy. If the Baltimore Ravens win, I would expect to see head coach John Harbaugh rest his main starters in Week 17 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. I expect Jackson to put on another show this weekend and have him ranked as my #1 QB. The 44-degree temperatures, sunny skies, and 6mph winds make for perfect December weather.
New Orleans Saints -3 at Tennessee Titans (1:00 PM) – 49.5 o/u
Coming off a historic performance on Monday Night, Drew Brees faces off against a bottom ten passing defense in Week 16. I fully expect him and Michael Thomas to have an unbelievable day this week as the Titans are down two cornerbacks with Adoree Jackson being ruled out. Brees got his records last week, and I have no doubt he will try to get Thomas the single-season receptions record in Week 16. The 52-degree temperatures, cloudy skies, and calm winds won’t get in the way of history.
Pittsburgh Steelers -3 at New York Jets (Sunday 1:00 PM) – 37 o/u
Even though we will see the return of JuJu Smith-Schuster, it’s tough to find any reliable players worth risking your championship on. Neither quarterback has been playing well as of late, and both have tough matchups. Even at the running back position, both James Conner and Le’Veon Bell face uphill battles and are nothing more than RB3 plays for me this week. I plan on avoiding this game wherever I can. The 44-degree temperatures, sunny skies, and 4 mph winds will not have any effect on the outcome.
New York Giants (even) at Washington Redskins (Sunday 1:00 PM) – 41 o/u
Coming off a season-best performance in Week 15, I expect Saquon Barkley to continue that against a bottom-five Redskins rushing defense. Back in November, I detailed how I thought Barkley could end up being the MVP of your fantasy playoffs. Even with the return of Daniel Jones to QB, I don’t expect him to be slowed down as he could have another monster game. This game’s 49-degree temperatures, sunny skies, and light winds mean weather won’t be an issue.
Detroit Lions at Denver Broncos (Sunday 4:05 PM)
Will we see the return of Kerryon Johnson in Week 16? If it was up to him, absolutely, and reports are that he will be activated to the team’s 53-man roster on Saturday. Even if he is activated and plays, the matchup isn’t good. The Broncos defense has allowed the fourth-fewest points to opponents, and the Lions have averaged just 14.7 points per game since Blough took over as the starter. Allowing the 10th fewest points to running backs, Johnson loses a lot of potential upside this week. Personally, I have him in my biggest league, and I don’t think I will be starting him even if he is active. For me, the floor outweighs the potential ceiling. As for the weather, 64-degree temperatures, sunny skies, and light winds won’t have any impact.
Oakland Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers -7.5 (Sunday 4:05 PM) – 45 o/u
Oakland Raiders running back DeAndre Washington will handle the majority of backfield touches this weekend with rookie Josh Jacobs ruled out with a shoulder injury. Looking back to Week 14 when he filled in, Washington had a solid week. He had 20 touches for 96 total yards and a touchdown. With Jacobs out and Jalen Richard not expected to get too many touches, Washington has mid-range RB2 value. This is a very similar situation to what we see in Minnesota with Mike Boone. I expect a lot of fantasy owners will be putting faith into both running backs in the hopes they bring home solid value and a championship. The 63-degree temperatures, cloudy skies, and 9 mph winds should not worry fantasy owners in Week 16.
Dallas Cowboys -2 at Philadelphia Eagles (Sunday 4:25 PM) – 46 o/u
Dak Prescott (shoulder) was limited in practice all week, but he’s not being listed on the final injury report for Week 16. I don’t buy it personally, and I think the Cowboys know there is something wrong with him. In a game that they must win, I expect the Cowboys to lean on Ezekiel Elliott to get the job done and not rely on Prescott’s arm this week. He could easily see over 25 touches and is a locked-in top 5 play at the position. Philadelphia’s 45-degree temperatures, sunny skies, and 6 mph winds aren’t a concern.
Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks -9 (Sunday 4:25 PM) – 51 o/u
In Week 15, Kenyan Drake single-handedly killed owners’ hopes of making the championship with his fantastic performance. But let’s be serious, he is not going to get four touchdowns again this week. Drake should be looked at as a low-end RB2 who has upside due to the Seahawks’ mid-level rushing defense. The 46-degree temperatures, cloudy skies, and 5 mph winds shouldn’t concern fantasy owners in their championship games.
Kansas City Chiefs -6 at Chicago Bears (Sunday 8:20 PM) – 44.5 o/u
It is hard to trust any running back in this game when looking for a sure hit on your rosters. Damien Williams will return Sunday night and will be splitting reps with LeSean McCoy. Each one limits the other ceiling. On the other side of the ball, David Montgomery has been getting touches but has not done a lot with them so far. Over the past six weeks, Montgomery has seen at least 15 touches each game but is only averaging 7.55 fantasy points in PPR scoring. Even though the Chiefs give up the 7th most rushing yards per game (131.6), it is hard to place him any higher than a low-end RB2/high-end RB3. The 40-degree temperatures, mostly clear skies, and 7 mph winds won’t have any impact on this game.
- Jacksonville Jaguars at Atlanta Falcons -7.5 (Sunday 1:00 PM) – 47.5 o/u
- Carolina Panthers at Indianapolis Colts -7 (Sunday 1:00 PM) – 46.5 o/u
- Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings -5 (Monday 8:15 PM) – 47 o/u
Be sure to follow us on Twitter: @PFN365 and @PFNFantasy to stay up to date with all things around the NFL and the 2019 fantasy football season. Also, continue to visit Pro Football Network for NFL news and in-depth analysis while also visiting our Fantasy Football section for more coverage and our weekly rankings for both standard and PPR scoring.
Tommy Garrett is a writer for PFN covering Fantasy Football. You can follow him at @TommygarrettPFN on Twitter.