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The Saints don’t think there is a chance it might rain on game day, they all but guarantee it will.

To get ready for the damp divisional matchup, New Orleans head coach Sean Peyton is preaching to his players that preparing for unfavorable playing conditions is just as important as prepping for the next opponent.

So important, that Thursday the Saints are stepping outside and practicing in less than ideal conditions in preparation for the division rival Buccaneers and a December rain storm down in < ahref="http://www.nflweather.com/en/team/Buccaneers">Tampa Bay on Sunday.

According to NFLWeather.com, thunderstorms are in the early Sunday forecast with rain likely to linger all afternoon. As of Thursday, there was well over a 90% chance of precipitation and a 12-14 mph breeze is expected. Temperatures will hover in the mid-to-low 70’s which seems pleasant for early winter, but a swirling wind and endless downpour will get real old real fast for players and fans gutting it out in the rain.

Coach Peyton is having his players focus on wet ball drills for ball security and testing out a couple different lengths of cleats to handle the slippery grass surface inside Raymond James Stadium He’s so focused on the elements and even knows which way the wind will be blowing come kickoff.

"The wind will be blowing from the Tampa Bay ocker room towards the pirate ship," Peyton said during a press conference this week. Sounds like he’s plenty ready for Mother Nature, but will he have his defense ready to square up against the league’s best passing attack?

The New Orleans (10-2) passing game has been consistently one of the league’s most dangerous for years but who would have thought the Saints don’t even have the best passing attack in their own division this season? Quarterback Drew Brees has been his exceptional self for most of the season but did put up a dud last week in a surprising loss to Dallas. Brees has racked up 340 yards or more five times this season and if the rain subsides a bit, against the NFL’s fifth-worst defense against the pass (average over 274 yards per game), the future Hall of Famer will give fantasy owners something to smile about.

Unless the wind and heavy rain slow Brees down, the veteran should have no trouble picking apart the Tampa secondary. Aside from the last two weeks, Michael Thomas has stolen the show as Brees’ top target and been virtually unstoppable. But once Ted Ginn Jr. went down for the season, nobody really stepped up as the number two and teams have wisely began doubling Thomas. Two weeks ago Tre’Quan Smith had a field day against Philadelphia then was only targeted once against Dallas Even tight end Ben Watson hasn’t been able to become a consistent presence in the offense, having only hauled in two catches over the last four games. Aside from Thomas, fantasy-wise, nobody should be trusted in the passing game.

The ground game for the Saints though is a completely different story. It doesn’t matter if it’s Alvin Kamara or Mark Ingram, both have had tremendous success when healthy or dealing with a suspension. Kamara will be a force in both the passing and rushing attack, but Ingram’s carries could be dictated by the weather. The worse the conditions, the more carries Ingram will see, and with terrible weather extremely likely then the Saints’ road to the playoffs will have to include a week 14 grinder in the rain.

Somehow, someway, Tampa Bay (5-7) is still in the NFC playoff hunt. There’s no question they are a long shot, but there’s still hope. If the Bucs can win out, 9-7 might be enough to sneak in but they’ll need help in the form of losses by similar fringe teams like the Vikings, Redskins, Eagles and Panthers.

Alvin Kamara Alvin Kamara. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

If the Buccaneers hope to pull off the great escape and sneak into the NFC playoffs, the fate of the entire team lies in the hands of Jamies Winston. Winston might not be the most reliable QB to show quality leadership when it matters most, but now is his chance to put the past behind him, show critics his maturity and prove to his doubters he is indeed the franchise QB in TB. He does has a 6:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio over the last three weeks and finally might be returning to the phenom he was at Florida State.

But he’ll need help.

Like Thomas in New Orleans there’s no question Mike Evans is the star wideout in South Florida and the QB’s go-to guy. Now that DeSean Jackson is down thought, it’s Adam Humphries and Chris Godwin next up and both have already proven themselves as thirsty targets for Winston. Tight end Cameron Brate on the other hand has been a hit-or-miss guy in fantasy and doesn’t see enough targets to be worth starting in fantasy.

The sneaky fantasy play in the Tampa offense this week is starting running back Peyton Barber. Let’s face it, Winston has a history of turnovers and with rain in the forecast, the Bucs will force-feed the ball to establish the ground game. Barber is the proven lead dog and has seen double digit carries every game since week six. Listed at only $3,600 in daily fantasy, if Barber just falls into the end zone he’s a worthy play and allows owners to spend big elsewhere. The heavier the downpour, the more likely a chance Barber will see his first career 20+ carry game.

To many fans’ surprise, this game is a kind of a toss-up. According to the NFLWeather.com Historical Analytics, neither team has had tremendous recent rain game success with the Saints posting a 1-2 soggy record since 2013 while the Bucs are 2-4. At home though, Tampa Bay is 2-2 over that span with the last game being a 25-23 win over the New York Giants last year. This game is no gimme for New Orleans.

If you think Tampa Bay doesn’t have a chance, maybe you forgot week one when the Bucs stormed into NO and hung 44 points on one of this season’s best defenses and pulled out a win with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center. Nobody thought New Orleans would lose last week to a dismal Dallas side, but it happened.

The Bucs have everything to play for this week because a loss basically all but pulls the plug on a topsy-turvy 2018 season. But a win over New Orleans, a massive upset win over the hated rivals, and they’re still alive.

In all honesty though, it’s much more likely the Saints play the role of Grinch and steal whatever hopes and dreams TB still has of postseason glory. Man oh man, the holidays can be so cruel.


Images from NFL weather games through the years

by The NFLW Team | 12-07-2018 08:00

 

The people over at Usa Today have posted a great article with images of weather games through the years

.

Check it out here: https://www.usatoday.com/picture-gallery/sports/nfl/2018/12/06/worst-weather-games-nfl-played-elements/2222706002/


 

Winter isn’t coming, winter is here.

Weeks have come and gone and both the East Coast and Midwest have seen their fair share of snow days already. But as the monthly calendar turns to December, a much more mild front is about to sweep through. The good news, temperatures will be higher than usual. The bad news, rain will be in the Sunday forecast when the New England Patriots host the Minnesota Vikings in a massive non conference matchup with major playoff implications on the line for both contenders.

Adam Thielen Adam Thielen. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

According to NFLWeather.com, rain is expected all Sunday afternoon but there’s a chance that the downpour could reduce to drizzle by the time kickoff rolls around at 4:25pm. While Thanksgiving weekend resembled a winter wonderland in some regions, the Northeast will get a breather for Week 13 with temperatures in the mid-50’s and a cool breeze around 5-6 mph. That will be short lived though so enjoy it while it lasts.

It usually doesn’t matter whether or not the rain will have an impact on the New England Patriots (8-3). Bad weather in Foxboro typically only has a negative impact on the opposition. The Pats are 12-2 in rain games since 2009 and a flawless 8-0 at home. Minnesota will have a slippery mountain to climb.

Currently listed as the second-seed in the AFC, if New England can win it’s next three games then the team will feel much more comfortable about claiming a first round bye. After the Vikings, Bill Belichick’s men head to Miami who’s still shockingly in the hunt then a huge game in Pittsburgh. Houston is hot on NE’s tail but the Texans still have the Colts to shake in their own division.

But before all the stars can align and home field advantage appear, business needs to be tended to on a soggy Gillette Stadium turf against the visiting Vikings.

Rain or shine, there’s no question Tom Brady will be ready to roll. Despite putting in a limited practice Wednesday, he’ll be be golden come Sunday. Not only does he never let Mother Nature bother his play long, neither did a slow start to the season. Over the last eight games, Tom Terrific is 7-1 with 12 touchdowns and over 250 passing in every game. Simply put, he’s back to being the most trusted QB in the league, and what better a time than deep in a playoff push with the outdoor elements only getting worse.

It’s never felt like Tom Brady has quite had all his offensive weapons at his disposal this season, whether it was via injury or suspension. But not this week. Trusted wideout Julian Edelman has reemerged as Tom’s top target while Josh Gordon has seen double digit targets in two of the last three weeks. And last week, Rob Gronkowski finally put forth a decent performance since his injury and finding the end zone.

While the passing game is back to looking it’s best, the same can be same for Brady’s backfield. James White has been a stud, Sony Michel is healthy again and even Rex Burkhead has been lifted from IR in time for Sunday’s game. White’s versatility will be relied upon heavily in the rain this week, as will Michel’s shiftiness following his 21 carry, 133 yard performance against the Jets last week that was capped off by a TD.

With all the cylinders in motion offensive for New England right now, the Vikes third-best overall defense in the league is about to be tested and probably in trouble.

The Minnesota Vikings (6-4-1) are currently in the thick of the NFC wildcard race and clinging for dear-life onto the fifth seed. Even though the Minneapolis team are plenty used to living in the cold temps, rain or snow; they don’t need to worry about playing in them. When they do though, it doesn’t go well.

According to the NFLWeather.com Historical Analytics, the Vikings are 0-3 when precipitation is apparent over the last few years and haven’t won a rain game since they beat the Steelers in damp and dreary London back in 2013.

Even though the team hasn’t had the most recent success, at least their quarterback has. Veteran Kirk Cousins won his last rain game on the road, last season under center for the Washington Redskins in Seattle. Cousins is notorious for avoiding turnovers but tossing five picks in his last six games just isn’t good enough against a swarming Pats’ D. The former Michigan State grad is plenty use to playing in bad weather, and given the gunslinger has registered at least one passing TD a game this season, it wouldn’t be the biggest surprise if this game turns into a shootout if the downpour can disappear. And listed at only $5,500 this week in daily fantasy, Cousins could be the cheap play to beef up the lineup elsewhere while still producing a top-six or eight performance.

Another reason that Cousins shouldn’t be counted out this week to put up big numbers is that the guy has the best WR combo in the league right now. Adam Thielen and Stefan Diggs have become superstars and it’s doubtful a little rain will slow their All-Pro runs down. If veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph can be more than just a touchdown here-and-there weapon in the Minnesota offense, the Pats will have their hands full.

As for the ground game, Dalvin Cook is finally healthy but Latavius Murray is still a 10+ touches a game back. With rain in the forecast, Cook will still see plenty of action and start the game but Murray will definitely get his fair share of carries. Murray is also only listed at $3,700 and if Minnesota has a goalie opportunity, the bruising back that is Murray will get the nod. This could be a crazy cheap sleeper if all he does is fall over the goal line once.

New England might seem like a heavy favorite but the Vikings are a tricky team. When they’re on, they’re one of the league’s most electric offenses and dominating defenses. When they’re off, they’re a sad stagnant puddle on all fronts. If the latter shows up Sunday, this game will be a stroll for the Patriots. Even in the heavy rain.


 

The Turkey Bowl.

It’s as American as a Western flick and equally as synonymous with Thanksgiving as the roasted turkey itself. This year as thousands of Turkey Bowls kickoff nationwide first thing in the morning on a frigid Thanksgiving Day, snow has blanketed the backyard football fields for most of the East Coast and Midwest. Making holiday travel a nightmare but playing conditions absolutely perfect. However, that glistening snow will be long gone and converted into freezing rain and slush just in time for the weekend NFL action in the greater Chesapeake area when the Baltimore Ravens host the Oakland Raiders Sunday afternoon.

Despite this being Thanksgiving weekend, it’s safe to assume that neither the Raiders nor the Ravens have much to be thankful for this NFL season. While Oakland took a heavy loss before the season even started by trading away Khalil Mack, Baltimore has been on a slow and steady decline over the last few weeks. With the forecast calling for a wintery mix, Mother Nature could make these two struggling sides look and play even worse than they already are.

According to NFLWeather.com, a drizzle is expected for the 1pm kickoff with overcast skies hovering above through the rest of the afternoon. Baltimore is anticipating rain both Friday and Saturday so the Sunday grass surface inside M&T Bank Stadium is likely going to be a massive mud bowl by the second half. Temperatures should be in the low-50’s so unless a cold front storms through, snow isn’t very likely. The wind shouldn’t be too much of a bother, topping out around 6-8 mph, but a damp and dreary afternoon is virtually a guarantee.

It didn’t seem like all that long ago that the Baltimore Ravens (5-5) were perched atop the AFC North and fresh off a pummeling of the Steelers in Pittsburgh. Oh, how things have changed… both for Baltimore and veteran Super Bowl winning quarterback Joe Flacco.

Despite the recent free fall, Baltimore has endured, the team does have a stat that should get fans excited heading into the Week 12 match; the Ravens recent success in the rain. According to the NFLWeather.com Historical Analytics, since 2009 the Ravens are an astonishing 11-1 in rain games and unbeaten in their last four outings. Over those four rainy wins, the B-More offense averaged 28.5 points per game while defensively surrendering only 15 per game.

Even though it’s been the stout Baltimore D that’s carried the team this season, the Ravens will look to an unlikely hero on the other side of the ball to elevate their recent run of poor performances. Rookie QB Lamar Jackson will make his second career start but his first with poor playing conditions likely to be an issue. Jackson lead the Ravens to a crucial win over Cincinnati, 24-21 and racked up 117 rushing yards on 27 carries (the most by a QB in the Super Bowl era) on the ground while completing 13-of-19 passes as well. The versatile and shifty former Louisville gunslinger will have all eyes on him Sunday and if Baltimore sticks with the same game plan regarding a handful of designed QB rushes in the rain, Jackson could turn heads for a second straight week and keep the Ravens in wildcard contention.

Even though a lot will be expected from Jackson against a horrific Oakland defense, he won’t be the only rushing threat in the Baltimore backfield Sunday. Running back Alex Collins returned to practice Friday but despite not producing a 100-yard rushing game this season, a matchup against the league’s second-worst defensive unit against the run could finally see triple digits in Collins’ box score. One concern for Collins owners, aside from Baltimore limiting his touches following his injury, has been the emergence of undrafted rookie Gus Edwards who piled on 115 yards and a touchdown last week against the Bengals. There’s a chance the Ravens could ride the hot hand despite Collins being the lead back all season.

As for the passing attack, not having Flacco under center and seeing rain in the forecast will definitely diminish the likelihood of Jackson having a massive day through the air. That does not bode well for Michael Crabtree, John Brown and Willie Snead IV fantasy owners; not that either of the three has consistently provided fantasy-worthy performances in 2018. The best way to avoid figuring out the Baltimore passing game from a fantasy perspective is to avoid it completely.

Even though Baltimore is still very much in the playoff mix, it really doesn’t feel that way. But a convincing win over a struggling Jon Gruden’s Raiders side could eliminate any lingering concern from the Ravens faithful.

As for Oakland little, if nothing at all, has gone well for the Raiders (2-8) this season. Once Mack was shipped to Chicago, the avalanche began. And statistically, much like the upcoming weekend weather, nothing looks bright in the Raiders immediate future. Since 2009, Oakland is 3-7 in the rain and 0-4 on the road during that dismal and damp stretch.

Quarterback Derek Carr has looked like a shadow of himself this season and desperately needs a solid performance to show Coach Gruden he’s still the franchise QB when the team moves to Las Vegas. Against the league’s top D Sunday, Carr could be in for a long afternoon and now that Amari Cooper has been traded to Dallas, the former Fresno State quarterback doesn’t have many weapons to work with.

Veteran wideout Jordy Nelson hasn’t been the deep threat the Raiders desperately needed this season and even though Nelson returned to practice midweek, the former Green Bay WR has consistently underperformance and little is expected to change in the rain this week. Carr’s top target has actually been tight end Jared Cook who’s been targeted 15 times over the last two weeks. With Cook being a solid security blanket for Carr and crummy conditions in the forecast, Cook could see a ton of dump passes and gobble up most of the redone targets.

As for the Oakland backfield, once Marshawn Lynch was sidelined for the season the starting duties were handed to veteran Doug Martin and the Muscle Hamster has seized the moment. Jalen Richard still controls third downs and passes out of the backfield, but since taking over as the lead back Martin has racked up double digit carries in four straight games. If Martin can find the endzone, listed at only $3,900, it’s rare to see a starting RB at such a low daily fantasy price which will allow owners the opportunity to spend up on other positions this week.

While the Raiders are just about ready to pack it in for the 2018 campaign, Sunday’s matchup is an absolute must-win for the Ravens who are very much still in the playoff picture. A Baltimore win and the pressure will subside for now, but a loss and we could see a massive changing of the guard across the harbor from Fort McHenry. I’m not talking about Flacco officially handing over the offensive reigns to Jackson, I’m talking about the end of the John Harbaugh era on a rainy Sunday on the banks of the Chesapeake. Even during the holiday season, sometimes when it rains, it pours.


 

Two fierce rivals will clash in the Chicago snow on Sunday night when the Minnesota Vikings visit the Bears with first place in the NFC North on the line.

Mitch Trubisky Mitch Trubisky. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

Heated rivals forced to do battle in the snow with so much to play for. Does it get any better than this?

I would say absolutely not unless your the idiot in the nosebleeds of Soldier Field who forgot to layer up.

According to NFLWeather.com, it will definitely be a cold one with the possibility of snow. Chicago is expecting precipitation Friday and Saturday and those familiar with the Windy City's unpredictable weather patterns know flurries in the forecast should never be counted out. Game time temperatures will be in the low-30's then dip into the 20's as the game unfolds. Wind shouldn't be too much of a factor, topping out around 10-12 mph, but as the east coast gets an unexpected warm break from the early winter, the midwest will be the polar opposite.

Despite being a cold weather team, the Minnesota Vikings (5-3-1) haven't played many recent games in the snow. In fact, the last snow game the Vikings competed in was a 21-13 loss to Chicago back in 2014. Since 2012, the Vikings are 0-2 in the snow with both losses coming at the hands (paws, excuse me) of the Bears.

If they have any intention of keeping pace with Chicago at the top of the division and overturning their recent lack of success in the snow, quarterback Kirk Cousins desperately needs to shine. Since week three, only twice has Cousins put up 20+ points in daily fantasy and with a healthy Chicago D featuring Kahlil Mack, Cousins could be in real trouble behind his sometimes shaky offensive line.

Pending Cousins has the time to drop back, thankfully he has two of the league's most dangerous threats to find downfield. Stefan Diggs and Adam Thielan are an electric pair and they'll be relied on heavily to help their veteran QB in the cold. Thielen typically dominates the targets but only saw seven targets each of the last three weeks whereas all season he's been targeted 10+ times per game. Diggs is the speedster who if the flurries turn to full-on blizzard, short passes and screens to Diggs could be the move.

Speaking of short passes, expect Dalvin Cook to finally be a threat in the passing and rushing attack. Cook was a "full-go" this week after only appearing in four games all season. Even with a healthy Cook, as the weather worsens the Vikings will turn to their more bruising back, Latavius Murray. Between Murray and Cook, if Minnesota can establish the ground game and alleviate the pressure off Cousins, the Vikings might just pull this thing out.

Like the Vikings, the Chicago Bears (6-3) have dueling options in the backfield as well. Jordan Howard demands the bulk of the carries while Tarik Cohen has emerged as a formidable threat in the passing game. At $4,300, even though Cohen is the more explosive play, Howard is extremely cheap and given the crummy conditions in Chicago Sunday night that Howard could have himself a big game.

Not only has Chicago had success in the ground game, but over the years the team has also done extremely well competing in the snow. According to NFLWeather.com Historical Analytics, the Bears are 4-1 in the snow since 2010 and have scored 20 or more points in all four of their frigid wins.

While the team has had tremendous success and experience in the snow, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is a newbie. Since week four, Trubisky has only tossed four interceptions and if the young gunslinger wants to keep his team's momentum going, avoiding turnover against Minnesota's solid defense is a must. Trubisky has been inconsistent at times so it will be interesting to see which Mitch shows up and if the snow has a major impact on the QB.

Trubisky doesn't have the best depth on his outsides, but they've certainly done the job. Veteran Allen Robinson is the top wideout with Taylor Gabriel and rookie Anthony Miller making significant offensive contributions. While Gabriel is fading from the mix, Miller has stepped up and has seen 26 targets over the last four weeks. Listed at $4,200 in DK this weekend, Miller could be the sleeper play of the day from this game.

Both teams, despite hating each other, are very similar. They both have stout defensive units, they both have high octane offenses and they both have a completely touchdown dependent tight end in Trey Burton and Kyle Rudolph (which is beyond frustrating from the fantasy owner perspective).

Both teams also have the opportunity to take control of the division as Green Bay continues to sink, something that's seemed unfathomable the last few years. This is a massive game, for both teams.

It's starting to feel like playoffs....


 

The reigning Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles knew the road to repeat wasn't going to be an easy one but freezing rain in the forecast definitely doesn't help.

Carson Wentz Carson Wentz. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

Not only will Philly need to battle the elements Sunday night, but the Birds will have their most hated rival to conquer as well, the Dallas Cowboys. Even the frozen forecast bound for the City of Brotherly Love has no chance of cooling down the intensity of this must-win matchup.

According to NFLWeather.com, the Sunday forecast still claims partly cloudy skies on Sunday but a Northeastern-bound storm has yet to do it's eventual damage. A cold rain and gusty winds are likely to roll through the Appalachian Mountains on Friday and roll through Pennsylvania and New York. Saturday is expected to still see rain but if the storm lingers longer than expected, Sunday could be a damp and dreary one at Lincoln Financial Field. Temperatures will likely be in the high-30's with wind roughly 4-5 mph but a late 8:20pm kickoff means a frigid fourth quarter is a guarantee.

Lucky for the Philadelphia Eagles (4-4), this will be the fourth game featuring rain the Eagles have played in this season. Quarterback Nick Foles started the opening rain game with a win over Atlanta and Carson Wentz has guided the Eagles to victories in the last two. This team has proven they have both big game experience and rain game experience, meaning Dallas has a tall order to handle on Sunday.

The statistics for this one really favor Philadelphia. According to the NFLWeather.com Historical Analytics, Philly has won it's last four straight rain games at home and hasn't lost at home since 2012. Overall, since that loss at The Link in '12 the team is an impressive 5-1. Whether it would be Foles or Wentz under center this weekend (don't worry, it's definitely Wentz), history says Eagles fans have minimal need to worry.

The real concern for Philly fans would be if Mother Nature negatively impacts the passing game, then who would step up in the backfield?

Veteran scat back Darren Sproles was eyeballing a return this week but the seasoned speedster was a nonparticipant in Thursday's practice leaving Wendell Smallwood as the listed lead running back once again. Corey Clement also missed Thursday's practice so Smallwood could see almost the entire workload in the ground game. Listed at only $3,400, if Clement and Sproles don't dress on Sunday then Smallwood could be a phenomenal cheap play.

While uncertainty surrounds the Philly ground game, there are zero questions when it comes to the passing attack. Unless the rain turns from drizzle to downpour, Wentz will have himself a field day in the freezing rain. Good or bad weather, tight end Zach Ertz is the perfect security blanket but the rich just got a whole lot richer given the teams' recent trade day acquisition. Golden Tate joins Alson Jeffrey, Nelson Agholor and Jordan Matthews as the league's most dynamic wide receiving corps and if the Cowboys had trouble game planning how to handle the original trio of wideouts before the trade; this game could get out of hand quickly.

The Dallas Cowboys (3-5) are bending big time right now but the 'Boys haven't broken just yet. A loss at Philadelphia this weekend though could open the flood gates.

The Cowboys haven't fared well in poor weather recently, posting a 2-2 rain game record since 2012 but did manage an impressive 33-19 rainy road win in Washington last season. Quarterback Dak Prescott didn't put forth his most impressive performance in that win, but he got that win, and that's all he'll need to do this Sunday.

Prescott has definitely had his ups and downs over his short career, but his gritty style should embrace an ugly game featuring curly conditions, like this one. Thankfully he has the perfect weapon for a rain game in his arsenal, his running back Ezekiel Elliot. Even though Elliot has less than 20 touches in each of his last two games, expect Prescott to feed the beast well over 25+ times this game. Zeke will be an absolute freak this week and the Cowboys will force feed their star RB, rain or shine.

Despite the heavy workload Zeke will take on, the passing game can't be and won't be a stagnant puddle Sunday. Newly-acquired Amari Cooper is the new #1 target in town and much like Zeke is relied on in the ground game, expectations are high for Cooper so 12+ targets isn't a crazy thought. Cole Beasley will still see his underneath targets but given the uncertain health of tight end Geoff Swain, Coopers involvement will only increase.

Typically a high scoring contest, Philly against Dallas has always been a fun matchup to sit back and enjoy from the unbiased spectators perspective. But given the playing conditions and direction both NFC East rivals are headed, this could be the moment during the season where we pinpoint when the Cowboys finally fell through the thin ice that was their 2019 season.


Seattle Hosting Rivers and Rain Sunday

by Will Strome | 11-01-2018 10:00

 

Two potential playoff bound teams, the Chargers and the Seahawks, are basically in identical situations midway through the season. They both seem to be flying under the radar despite fantastic records, they both trail seemingly unbeatable teams in their divisions and on Sunday, they'll both be completely soaked.

According to NFLWeather.com, a light rain will begin in the morning with a constant drizzle continuing throughout the day. Come kickoff, temperatures will hover in the mid-50's with wind only topping off around 8-10 mph. With wind not much of an issue, if the worst of the weather if merely a drizzle, hopefully that won't have any negative impact on the game. However, if the drizzle turns to downpour then this massive non conference matchup will see two top teams look sloppy.

The Los Angeles Chargers (5-2), used to playing in sunny Southern California, will no doubt be out of their comfort zone this weekend. Since 2012, the Chargers have only played in three rain games and lost each of them. All three losses were within a single score but the offense could only muster a total of 22 points. Not 22 points per game, 22 points over three games.

If LA has any intention of beating Seattle on the road with terrible weather in the forecast, the team can't rely on the stout play of the defense while the offense is loaded with talent. Veteran quarterback Phillip Rivers hasn't had much success in the rain but here's a golden opportunity to do so while trying to keep pace with Kansas City at the top of the division. Rivers has been careful with the ball this season, limiting his turnovers which he'll need to continue in the damp Pacific Northwest.

But limiting turnovers alone won't bring the Chargers back to LA with a win, they'll need someone to step up and help their veteran QB. Rain definitely won't help the passing game but a lot will be expected of wideouts Keenan Allen and Tyrell Williams. Allen is long overdue for a big game, having not found the end zone since week one, while Williams has been getting better and better. As the rain worsens tho, Rivers will likely target his third down back Austin Ekeler who's been a force in the short passing attack.

Phillip Rivers Phillip Rivers. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

While Ekeler has been a delight in Rivers' aerial assault, he's been nonexistent in the ground game. There's a chance he'll get the start again but all signs are pointing to Melvin Gordon returning from his hamstring injury. With a healthy Gordon and heavy rainfall, the Chargers will without question favor keeping the ball on the ground with their sensational young RB.

The Seattle Seahawks (4-3) too have had to deal with injuries to running backs but it looks like the team finally has a strong lead runner. Chris Carson has been on a tear his last four games and he'll get a heavy workload on Sunday given how mediocre the 'Hawks passing game has been.

p>Even with the state of the passing game, Seattle shouldn't be worried. According to the NFLWeather.com Historical Analytics, the Seahawks are 8-3 in the rain at home since 2010 and have scored 24 or more points in eight of them. Clearly a little rain doesn't slow this train down.

Aside from Seattle's stellar defensive units over the years, much of the rain game success credit should go to their versatile gunslinger. Russell Wilson is the perfect player under center when the elements are working against the offense. However, over the last couple seasons Wilson's rushing attempts have slowly dimmed down. Only once this season has Wilson rushed for six times or more in a game, but the 'Hawks might feature more rushing plays for their QB as the weather worsens this week.

Another reason why we might see Wilson scramble more than usual this week is the lack of help he's getting from his offensive weapons. Doug Baldwin has been a dud, Tyler Lockett still isn't emerging as a legitimate #2 and David Moore is slowly becoming more and more involved. All three players are below $5,500 in daily fantasy but not even worth a look.

Nobody is talking about both of these teams but nobody in the league wants to play either of them. In the words of Rodney Dangerfield, "I never get any respect!" Well, with a statement win this weekend in crummy conditions, maybe one of two will finally start getting some love around the league.


Redskins, Rain Bound For Big Apple

by Will Strome | 10-26-2018 15:00

 

Unlike destructive tropical storms that have been a constant threat to the East Coast over the last few weeks, Eli Manning and the New York Giants are the gentle eye of the hurricane. Despite being right in the heart of all the NFC East action, the Giants have been the calm, non-threatening break during any opposition's regular season schedule. While the rest of the chaotic division features a trio of teams considered dangerous and all legitimate contenders for the conference title, heading to play the Giants is now an easy win. But in the Big Apple this weekend, the soft eye of the hurricane will be far from New York City as a coastal storm is expected bring rain and gusty winds to the Northeast.

Alex SMith Alex Smith. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

According to NFLWeather.com, Sunday sees mostly cloudy skies throughout the day but the weather is beginning to look increasingly worse with the storm headed straight towards New Jersey. As of Wednesday, the low could dip into the high-40's and winds are in the 10-12 mph range but as the storm approaches, expect that temperature to plummet and the wind to only worsen. There's currently a 15-18% chance of precipitation for Sunday but with the Northeast expecting heavy rain all day Saturday, don't be surprised if the rain storm continues.

The New York Giants (1-6) have been a stagnant puddle in the NFL for a while now but at least the team is competitive in the rain. Since 2010, the Giants are 7-5 when rain is in the forecast and 5-2 at home over that span. They'll need Mother Nature to be on their side if they have any intention of pulling of this upset within the division and saving their season from all but seeming officially over.

One thing that helps when rain is a factor is a strong ground game and the Giants have one of the best backs in the biz. Rookie Saquon Barkley has done everything expect disappoint and even though the running back only averages 12.5 carries a game, the former Penn State star has been a monster in the passing game. Over the last two weeks, Barkley's been targeted 22 times and expect that trend to continue into week eight.

While Barkley has thrived on a weekly basis, superstar Odell Beckham Jr. seems to come and go. Every other week, OBJ has racked up over 100+ receiving yards but only twice has he seen less than 10 targets. Beckham might disappear from time to time, but Barkley is without question the foundation of this struggling offense.

One major reason for the offensive struggles have been the atrocious play of the offensive line. Quarterback Eli Manning has been the second-most sacked QB in the league thus far and don't expect much to change against a stout Washington defense. Since he'll have little time for the deep ball, given the awful o-line and the potential elements from the storm won't allow it, Manning must stick to the short swing pass to Barkley and get Sterling Shepard (averages over seven targets per game) and now-healthy tight end Evan Engram involved in what's been a pathetic passing game.

Like the Giants the division-leading Washington Redskins (4-2) haven't had the most intimidating offense this season but Washington does have a QB who's had plenty of experience winning in the rain. Veteran Alex Smith has seen it all when it comes to weather conditions having previously played in Kansas City and the former first-overall pick knows what it takes to pulling out an ugly win in crummy conditions.

According to NFLWeather.com Historical Analytics, Smith is 7-3 in the rain since 2013 and 3-3 on the road. Since 2010, the Washington Redskins franchise is 4-5 in the rain over that span so having an experienced quarterback under center when playing conditions could be unpredictable is a nice upgrade from the youngsters in the past.

Alex Smith is hoping to have a healthy Chris Thompson for both the rushing and passing game. As the weather worsens the team will look to get Adrian Peterson and Thompson more involved on the ground but Thompson has been much more effective catching out of the backfield. Expect Thompson to see opportunities via carries and receptions will AP will be the lead back in the ground game. At a reasonable $4,900 price tag in daily fantasy and averaging about 20 carries over the last two weeks, AP could be a great start if winds get heavy.

If the 'Skins don't have to abandon the passing game because of the weather, it will be interesting to see who finally steps up for Smith. Both Paul Richardson Jr. and Jameson Crowder missed last week and as of Wednesday, don't appear on track to play this week. Tight end Jordan Reed will need to be the number one target, despite only seeing 6 or more targets only once this year. Wide receivers Josh Doctson and Michael Floyd are listed as the starters but Reed finally needs to play to his potential.

The last time Smith threw for 200+ yards was week four and coincidentally, that was also the last game he turned the ball over. Even though he's not getting help from his mediocre receiving corps; forcing deep balls and straying from the short game that's been working could lead to Washington surrendering the NFC East lead.

This game will be nasty on a number of fronts. The weather will be nasty, the hate these two rivals have for each other and will show is genuinely nasty, and the final score will likely leave a nasty taste in the mouths of the home teams' players, coaches and fans. Little has gone right for the New York Football Giants this season and as long as Washington can avoid any self-inflicted wounds, the 'Skins are going to win an ugly one in some ugly weather.


Heavy Breeze Awaits Brees, Saints In Baltimore

by Will Strome | 10-19-2018 20:00

 

In the friendly confines of the Superdome, the New Orleans Saints high octane offense is absolutely electric and routinely puts up substantial points with ease and grace. One reason for that, aside from the obvious home field advantage, is the team never has to worry about battling the outdoor elements.

Well, come Sunday in Baltimore the team that plays it's home games indoors is going to have to endure swirling 15-18 mph winds on a chilly night. Oh, and they'll have to handle a Ravens' defense that forced 11 sacks inTennessee last week.

Drew Brees Drew Brees. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

According to NFLWeather.com, partly cloudy skies and an endless breeze will be in the Sunday forecast with temperatures dipping into the high-40's. A late 4:05pm kickoff in M&T Bank Stadium will leave for a frigid second half, but thankfully for fans and players alike there's a minimal chance of precipitation as of Thursday.

New Orleans (4-1) hasn't played in a poor weather game in quite some time so it might take a quarter or two for this offense to get rolling, if it indeed can.

According to the NFLWeather.com Historical Analytics, it's been over three years since the last time the Saints played a rain or snow game and only six times since 2013 has New Orleans played an outdoor game when temperatures dipped into the 40's or lower.

Quarterback Drew Brees, who loves the deep ball, might be a bit more limited in his passing attack as the wind picks up. Brees, a trusted veteran, is notorious for making smart decisions and avoiding forcing the ball into areas that result in turnovers but a breeze could easily create unexpected issues where there typically isn't (the same goes for the kicking game).

If Mother Nature forces Brees to abandon the long ball, luckily he has no shortage of offensive weapons. Wideout Michael Thomas has become an elite WR in the NFL with veterans Ted Ginn Jr. and Cameron Meredith alongside him, however, Ginn Jr. and Meredith have a questionable tag leaving Tre'Quan Smith as the potential #2 target this week. If both veterans can't suit up, Smith will look to add to his 111-yard receiving performance from a week five against Washington and a $3,700 price tag in daily fantasy makes him a sneaky potential sneaky sleeper play worth monitoring.

While the passing game gets most of the attention for the league's second-best offense, it's been the Saints' ground game that's been extremely impressive and will be relied upon heavily given the expected crummy conditions for Sunday's non-conference bout. Alvin Kamara is a force in both the passing and rushing attack but now that Mark Ingram has returned from suspension, Kamara's touches might decrease a bit but the two-headed monster will be even more effective as a whole. In other words, the rich just got richer.

Like the Saints, the Baltimore Ravens (4-2) have more than one option in the backfield and both will be leaned on heavily to try to eliminate the wind-factor. Alex Collins has been the lead back who's seen double digit carries each of the last four weeks while Javorious Allen has been more involved in the passing game and even redone appearances. Even though Allen's on the field for less than 40% of offensive plays last week, the worse the weather gets will only increase his usage.

While Baltimore will want to control possession by dominating the ground game, Joe Flacco will desperately need to do something he hasn't done since Week Four if the Ravens want a second straight win and that's avoid throwing an interception. Flacco has yet to drop back less than 34 times a game so even with wind a factor, it's impossible for the Ravens to completely avoid the passing game. Flacco will still attempt well over 20-25 passes with John Brown, Michael Crabtree and former Saint Willie Snead IV as his veteran go-to's.

This matchup is a classic great offense pitted against a great defense with Brees and Terrell Suggs as the proven leaders. But if the wind gets out of hand, it could be the kickers, not the future Hall of Famers, who might steal the show. Let's not forget, Saints' Will Lutz is used to living life indoors while Justin Tucker has never missed a PAT in his career. On a nicer day, this could be a shootout but a strong breeze could turn this battle into a low-scoring chess match.


Can Denver snow slow red hot Rams?

by Will Strome, Columnist | 10-12-2018 20:00

 

Nothing has been able to simmer down a piping hot Los Angeles Rams offense this season but a cold front in the Rocky Mountains could be just the thing that can cool down the league's most sizzling offense.

As Hurricane Michael heads towards the East Coast, the midwest is in full-fall mode but apparently Denver is skipping straight to winter. Only six weeks into the 2018 campaign and snow is already in the NFL forecast when the Denver Broncos host the undefeated Rams on Sunday at 4:05 EST.

According to NFLWeather.com, a 90% chance of precipitation is expected and with the temperature come kickoff lingering in the mid-to-high 20's, the first snow of the season is very much a possibility. As of Thursday, about 2-4 inches is anticipated at Broncos Stadium at Mile High Wind shouldn't be much of a factor, maxing out around 8-10 mph, but a slick grass surface is very likely even if the snow doesn't stick after the pregame tarp is removed.

Los Angeles (5-0) hasn't played in a snow game in years but the Rams are definitely a team built to play in poor weather which is surprising for a side that plays in sunny LA. The Rams foundation is built around, arguably, the best defensive front seven in the league, making rushing the football against LA extremely difficult and forcing the opposition to use additional blockers for pass protection against the Rams' merciless pass rush.

But, the offense is equally as ideal a group to compete in crummy conditions. Even though the Rams have been recently getting plenty of praise for their passing game, it'll be the solid rushing attack that works so well in the snow. While the team averages over 131 rushing yards per game (7th in NFL), top dog Todd Gurley handles the bulk of that work. Gurley averages over 20 touches a game but the more the snow falls, the more Gurley will get handed the rock. However, the worse the weather gets, the more likely Gurley will be involved in the passing game as well.

Leading that aerial assault is quarterback Jared Goff, heading into his first career NFL snow game, who seems to improve every week. Goff already mentioned how it's the wind, not the snow, that bothers him the most during a game but even if he has no issue with his release, he'll desperately need to avoid losing control turning the ball over which has been the lone criticism of his performances this season.

If the forecast features flurries and the passing game is available, there's a chance Goff still might struggle if he'll be without his top targets. Receivers Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp were non-participants in practice midweek after a concussion last week, leaving Robert Woods and Josh Reynolds as the potential primary receiving threats. Reynolds could be a sneaky daily fantasy play, listed at only $3,900.

Todd Gurley Todd Gurley. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

While the Rams offense has flourished and thrived this season, the Denver Broncos (2-3) desperately need the natural elements to help slow down the visitors attack so the hosts can control possession on offense as much as possible. The best chance Denver has of downing an unbeaten LA team is keeping Goff and Gurley off the field, plain and simple.

However, the Broncos do have success in the snow at home in big games. According to the NFLWeather.com Historical Analytics, Denver's last snowy Mile High win was a 30-24 overtime thriller over New England in 2015. By the way, that dealt the Patriots their first loss of the season. Sounds like a familiar opportunity is in front of Denver this week.

What the Broncos will have to do well in the snow if they want to pull off this massive upset is do the one thing they've been able to do well this season, run the football. The team is third in the league in rushing, averaging 137 mpg, with Phillip Lindsay featuring as the lead back who's seen double digits carries in four of five games this season.

Despite the team's rushing success, the Broncos ground game unfortunately hasn't quite opened up the passing attack. That being said, Denver can't rely on Case Keenum to win this one for them, battling both the Rams staunch defense and a frigid Mother Nature. If Keenum's ineffective, sadly for fantasy owners expect star wideouts Emmanuel Sanders and Demeryius Thomas to have frustrating afternoons.

Both the Rams and Broncos boast two of the NFL's most dynamic rushing attacks and both will be on full display, especially as the snow falls more and more. If this game was in Los Angeles, nobody would give Denver a chance but the Rams have only played one game this season outside of the state of California. With snow in the forecast, the Rams players will very much be out of their comfort zones.


Dolphins at Bengals Preview

by The NFLW Team | 10-04-2018 18:00

 

The folks over at Cincy Jungle have a great preview of the upcoming game between Dolphins and Bengals. Can the Bengals continue their winning ways against another divisional leader?

Read the article


 

Whether it’s been against a good defense, in a difficult away atmosphere, or down two scores late in the fourth quarter, this season the Kansas City Chiefs have already proven they can overcome anything.

Well, just about anything, because the Sunday environment in KC could feature something the undefeated host team has yet to encounter. This week when the Jacksonville Jaguars come to town, we’ll see if the Chiefs can overcome a new feat; battling both Mother Nature and a strong AFC side.

Tyreek Hill Tyreek Hill. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

According to NFLWeather.com, a light rain is expected for the 1pm Sunday kickoff but precipitation will be apparent all day from morning through the evening. Kansas City is anticipating on rain arriving Saturday or possibly late Friday night but thunderstorms are in the Saturday and Sunday forecasts. Temperatures will be in the mid-to-high 60’s and wind will hover around 10mph, making a slick pigskin and grass surface inside Arrowhead Stadium the midweek concern for both sides.

Kansas City (4-0) has played in over a dozen rain games since 2010 but the team’s young quarterback has yet to participate in a single one. Sophomore QB Patrick Mahomes seems to look better and better each week and we’ll see if the backyard football-style gunslinger can shine through the upcoming weekend storm.

Lucky for him, his team has been almost perfect when the weather is anything but. According to the NFLWeather.com Historical Analytics, the Chiefs are 9-4 in rain games since 2010 (8-2 since ‘13) and 4-0 at home during that span. Clearly the elements don’t slow down the offense too much, given the team has scored almost 80 points over its last three rain games.

Much of that rain game success can be attributed to the team’s ability to avoid turning the ball over and control possession by dominating the ground game. This dominance in rushing began years ago with Jamaal Charles but Kareem Hunt is now the top dog in the KC backfield. Hunt, who torched Denver last week for 121 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown, is listed at only $5,800 on DK this weekend (cheaper than Chris Thompson) which is the lowest his price tag has been all season.

Two regularly expensive players in daily fantasy on the Chiefs offense can be found in the passing game, tight end Travis Kelce and speedy star wideout Tyreek Hill. However, Hill’s price plummeted from $8,200 to $6,900 this week and if Sammy Watkins is a no-go following last week’s injury, like Hunt, Tyreek the Freak are at a price worth considering. Pick with caution though, the reason for the cheap listing is a combination of the potential thunderstorms and the Jags stingy D.

Jacksonville, like KC, has been a tough team to beat in the rain recently and post a 5-2 record since 2010.

Unfortunately for the Jags this week, they’ll be without their most coveted rain game weapon, Leonard Fournette. Now that Fournette has been ruled out, T.J. Yeldon will be left with full-time running back duties while Corey Grant will see the occasional snap. With the rushing attack down it’s best best man, it’s up to the JAX passing game to put together a second straight perfect performance if the team wants any chance of pulling off this damp away game upset.

Quarterback Blake Bortles is a surprising 3-0 in rain games and could surprise a few doubters this weekend. In his three rain games, Bortles has a 2:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio and a 63% completion percentage. He’ll need his trio of WR’s to cause issues in the KC secondary but guessing who the weekly top target will be is turning into quite the mystery. Keelan Cole emerged as an early favorite for Bortles but both Dede Westbrook and Donte Moncrief had a pair of 100-yard receiving performances last week while Cole only saw three targets.

Despite Bortles’ rain game success, it’s truly been the Jaguars defense that should get all the credit. Especially given the unit gets better when the weather worsens. Over the last three rain games, the team has only surrendered an average of 11 points per game.

The red hot Kansas City offense hasn’t been weathered by much this season but a stout Jacksonville defense and crummtions come game time could be the storm that finally brings rain to the Chiefs’ 2018 unbeaten parade. A parade that lasted much longer than anyone expected.


NFL without cable

by The NFLW Team | 10-01-2018 18:00

 
Whether you've cut the cord or are sticking with cable, our guide will show you all the ways you can watch America's favorite sport on TV, including Monday Night Football and NFL RedZone. NFL without cable: A cord-cutter’s guide for the 2018 pro football season

Jets Visit Jags Just In Time For Scattered Storms

by Will Strome | 09-28-2018 18:00

 

The two most difficult forecasts in Florida to anticipate around this time of year are incoming tropical storms and the weekly performances of Blake Bortles. Tropical Storm Kirk is lurking far off the East Coast, midweek, but weekend weather will potentially be disrupted as the storm moves northwest, directly towards Jacksonville where the Jaguars host the New York Jets Sunday at 1p.

Keelan Cole Keelan Cole. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

According to NFLWeather.com, a drizzle is expected early in the day with the percentage chance of precipitation increasing as the game goes on. Jacksonville is likely going to begin experiencing scattered thunderstorms as early as Friday and extending through Tuesday. Game time temperatures will be in the mid-to-low 80’s with humidity around 70-72%. Wind shouldn’t be much of an issue, maxing out around 10mph, but a slick surface and football will be an interesting obstacle for both sides.

Jacksonville (2-1) is well aware rain is on the horizon this weekend, but the team has zero idea which Blake Bortles will show up. Will it be the quarterback who torched the Patriots for 376 yards and four scores with no Leonard Fournette or the QB who was a no-show against a mediocre Tennessee team?

If history tells us anything, expect Bortles to make it rain in the rain. In his two career rain games (both wins), Bortles completed 35-of-63 attempts for 330 yards, two touchdowns and only one turnover. If Fournette is once again a no-go this week, the Jags will lean heavy on the young gunslinger who still seems to be searching for a number one wideout to emerge this season.

Young receiver Keelan Cole has seen 17 targets over the last two weeks and appears to be Bortles’ early favorite, but WR’s Dede Westbrook and veteran Donte Moncrief have also been involved in the passing game. Another veteran waiting for a breakout game, tight end and former New York Jet Austin Seferian-Jenkins, has a juicy matchup for revenge given the visiting teams’ inability to stop the TE and the crummy conditions.

Poor playing conditions haven’t seemed to be a recent problem for the Jags. According to the NFLWeather.com Historical Analytics, since 2010 the team is 4-2 in the rain and 2-0 at home. Despite the team’s and the QB’s recent rain game triumphs; if they can’t establish somewhat of a ground game without Fournette, this could surpringly be a close one. Backup T.J. Yeldon didn’t practice on Wednesday but at least Fournette suited up, along with third stringer Corey Grant who could see an uptick in touches this week.

Like the Jags, the New York Jets (1-2) don’t exactly have a concrete starting running back headed into this week four matchup either. It’s been a split backfield between veterans Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell, with neither being an exciting start this weekend despite the bad weather. The Crow has slowly emerged as the lead back and has found the end zone four times already, but big RB fantasy points against the JAX D is hard to come by.

Another player who is an absolute must-sit this weekend is rookie QB Sam Darnold. Aside from this being Darnold’s first career rain game, we’re still waiting on the rookie to create some chemistry with at least one of his wideouts. Veterans Robby Anderson and Jermaine Kearse have been invisible, but an interesting top target for Darnold has been Quincy Enunwa. Enunwa has averaged almost 10 targets per game and could be a sneaky cheap play in daily fantasy given his $4,300 price tag.

Since 2009, the Jets are 3-5 in rain games and haven’t had a rain game road win since 2012. The Jets have a rookie QB under center going up against one of the league’s most tenacious defensive units. The Jets are staring at a brutal forecast coming up and Mother Nature isn’t going to be giving them any favors. This could get ugly and sloppy in more ways than one.


 

The Carolinas have been devastatingly crushed by Hurricane Florence and finally for the first time in a chaotic week, the East Coast will get a temporary breather from the downpours. But, it won’t last long. Hurricane season is far from over but for the moment, North and South Carolina can expect a brief few days of dry weather before more rain rolls through towards the end of this coming weekend. Charlotte is expecting rain Sunday all the way through Thursday, arriving just in time for the Cincinnati Bengals’ trip to the Carolina Panthers Sunday afternoon.

Andy Dalton Andy Dalton. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

According to NFLWeather.com, overcast skies are in the forecast with rain in the morning. Even if the precipitation dies down come the 1pm kickoff, the grass surface inside Bank of America Stadium should be slick. It won’t be a surprise to see players try out a couple different lengths of cleats during warmups. Temperatures should stay in the high-70’s with wind being a minimal factor, maxing out around 4-5 mph.

The last time the Carolina Panthers (1-1) hosted a rain game was a 20-17 loss to Kansas City in 2016. But, prior to that, the Panthers last home loss in the rain was to the Bengals back in 2010 Since 2010, the Panthers are 4-4 in rain games but their Heisman Trophy winning quarterback does post a career rain game winning record.

Cam Newton is a perfect QB for competing in crummy conditions. With a 4-2 record in the rain, Cam’s ability to control the game while battling the elements is not something all NFL quarterbacks can do. With a 56% completion rate in the rain (112-of-200), he’s totaled 1,325 yards and seven passing touchdowns. He’s also ran for two scores and over 180 yards, making him a dangerous dual threat in games where passing is considered a premium.

But against the Bengals, Carolina will likely lean on their sophomore sensation Christian McCaffrey, both in the ground game and passing attack. McCaffrey managed only 37 yards rushing last week but caught 14 passes for 102 yards out of the backfield. As the weather worsens, quick screens and short passes to the former Stanford star will likely be the go to.

With Greg Olsen likely out for a minimum of five weeks, Carolina needs someone to step up in the passing game to avoid solely having to rely on Cam and McCaffrey. Wide out Devin Funchess is penciled in as the number one receiver but still has yet to produce impressive starting WR statistics. Along with Funchess, tight ends Ian Thomas and Chris Manhertz could see some heavy targets, especially in the red zone.

Like Carolina’s QB, the Cincinnati Bengals (2-0) have a gunslinger under center who doesn’t seem to get flustered when bad weather is looming in the forecast. Andy Dalton is a career 5-1 in rain games and averages 34 passing attempts per game, meaning a damp football doesn’t deter Dalton from veering away from the passing game. Wide out AJ Green will without question garner the most targets but Tyler Boyd has stepped up and performed well over the last two weeks. They’ve needed another threat in the passing game given tight end Tyler Eifert has only been targeted seven times this season. Expect Sunday to likely be Eifert’s breakout game.

The Bengals will need guys to step up for Dalton, especially if running back Joe Mixon can’t play. If Mixon doesn’t dress, Gio Bernard will get the bulk of touches and a lot will be expected from the versatile veteran back. Over the last few rain games, it appears Dalton favors finding his tight ends and running backs and little will likely change this weekend.

According to the NFLWeather Historical Analytics, since 2010 the Bengals are 6-3 in the rain with the last road rain game victory being against Carolina (20-7) back in 2010. If Cincinnati can continue playing a complete game like it has been the last two weeks, the Bengals will be a shocking 3-0 and easily one of the most deceivingly dangerous team in the league.

While the rest of the country, the Midwest especially, is expecting the first signs of autumn this weekend by welcoming cooler weather; the East Coast is still very much focused on the Tropical Storms still in the Atlantic basin. Just because Florence has come and gone, doesn’t mean we’re through the thick of it yet... and there’s a good chance that’ll be glaringly apparent for Sunday’s non conference Panthers-Bengals bout.


Hurricane Florence to Make a Rainy Cameo for Colts-Skins on Sunday

by Will Strome, Columnist, NFLWeather.com | 09-13-2018 15:00

 

Wasington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has already declared a state of emergency regarding the impending arrival of Hurricane Florence, the first major storm of the year which is likely destined for the Chesapeake this weekend. Despite the inevitable arrival of the hurricane, the NFL has yet to move the Washington Redskins and Indianapolis Colts game to a different time or location.

Josh Gordon Josh Gordon. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

The game is currently set for Sunday at 1pm inside FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. However, the league is considering contingency plans but zero information has been released. As of Wednesday, three NCAA top-25 teams’ have cancelled games while a number of other college games have been moved to an entirely different location or date/time to avoid the powerful storm with landfall expected Friday.

Catastrophic wind, rain and flash flooding are expected to hit the Carolinas and crawl up the coast this weekend, complements of the Category 4 Hurricane which is still lingering off the East Coast.

According to NFLWeather.com, the forecast currently says mostly cloudy with overcast skies throughout the afternoon but that will be a best case scenario. The closer we get to kickoff, the closer the storm is getting to the Carolina’s, Georgia, Virginia and the Chesapeake. Keep an eye on the NFLW forecast because East Coast weather will be changing dramatically and drastically over the next few days. As the weather worsens in the greater D.C. area, anticipate torrential rain and raging wind for Sunday’s non-conference bout (if the league doesn’t move it).

Rain has not led to many favorable results in recent years for the Washington Redskins (1-0). Since 2009, the ‘Skins are 3-6 in rain games and 0-3 at home during that span Perhaps an experienced veteran under center like Alex Smith, who has played in dozens of professional games in crummy conditions, can reverse the curse in D.C.

When asked by reports about how to handle the rain, Smith simply said, “ball security and ball handling are a premium. Fundamentals and attention to detail are a premium when playing in bad weather.” Smith is certainly one to know about ball security given the former first overall pick has only turned the ball over five times in his last seven games impacted by poor weather.

Given how well Washington ran the ball last week at Arizona (24-6 victory) the team might not even need to rely on Smith’s arm. The ‘Skins only averaged 90.5 rushing yards per game a year ago but managed to roll through the Cardinals’ defense for a league-best 182 rushing yards. Newly acquired veteran RB Adrian Peterson torched Arizona for 96 yards on 26 carries and a touchdown. AP even tacked on 70 yards receiving, showing us signs of the AP of old but he wasn’t alone. Chris Thompson averaged 13 yards a carry from only five touches but Thompson tacked on a TD and 63 receiving yards. This two headed monster in the backfield is what Indy should fear most, especially in a mud bowl.

Like the ‘Skins, the Indianapolis Colts (0-1) are pretty poor in rain games. According to the NFLWeather.com Historical Analytics, the Colts are 0-3 in the rain since 2014 including a 23-16 loss to Baltimore last season followed the very next week by the famous Blizzard Bowl in Buffalo which the Colts lost as well. Even though Indy plays it’s home games in a dome, it’s time to adapt to the conditions and finally win one in the rain.

But there is hope. Finally, the Colts have a healthy Andrew Luck back at quarterback who nearly beat the Panthers in a rain game in 2015 until Indy fell in overtime. Against Carolina, Luck still dropped back 47 times so it’s clear rain won’t deter the gunslinger from dropping back. Heavy winds, however, could alter the passing game plan of attack all together.

If winds do pick up, the Colts are hopeful running back Marlon Mack will be healthy enough to suit up. Mack missed the 34-23 loss to Cincinnati last week and in his place was Jordan Wilkins who had an incredibly ineffective 40 yards from 14 carries performance. Given, the team was without star left tackle Anthony Castonzo (also protects Luck’s blindside) who hopefully will be good to go for week two.

If Sunday rolls around and the league hasn’t moved the game to a different time/location, assume Hurricane Florence will completely disrupt both sides’ passing games. That said, it appears the ‘Skins have the edge both defensively and in the ground game. But just because the Colts haven’t won in the rain in a few years doesn't mean they can’t handle both the natural elements and the home team. If it comes down to a field goal, don’t forget Indy has the most clutch kicker in the history of the league in Adam Vinatieri.


 
Here is everything you need to know for when the Bengals host the Ravens for Thursday Night Football : https://www.cincyjungle.com/2018/9/12/17844432/nfl-week-2-primer-cincinnati-bengals-1-0-vs-baltimore-ravens-1-0

Winds from Hurricane Florence reach 130mph

by The NFLW Team | 09-12-2018 11:00

 
Winds from Hurricane Florence reach 130mph.
FlorenceHurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence Increases in Size

by The NFLW Team | 09-11-2018 08:00

 
Hurricane Florence Increases in Size as it approaches The Carolinas.
FlorenceHurricane Florence


 

High pressure in the forecast is typically synonymous with nice weather and if the pressure is low, then rain or clouds or other bad weather is looming. Well, the pressure is going to be high this weekend in Northeastern Ohio and not because the conditions will be great. In fact, pressure will be low with rain storms and wind bound for Cleveland. The high pressure results from the fact that the Pittsburgh Steelers might actually lose to the Browns for the first time since 2014.

A win for Cleveland on Sunday will, in the eyes of Browns fans, immediately eliminate the painful memory of a winless season from last year. The Steelers, AFC North Division champions from a season ago, have all the glaring pressure on them this Sunday. With rain storms headed for Lake Erie this weekend, the natural elements and an intensely fired up home team might be too much for the Steelers to handle.

Josh Gordon Josh Gordon. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

According to NFLWeather.com, temperatures will be a comfortable 68 degrees throughout the game but 17-19mph winds will be a constant nuisance for players and fans alike. As of Wednesday, Hurricane Florence is only a potential threat worth monitoring, but who knows what could change by Sunday. Light rains are expected for the 1pm kickoff inside FirstEnergy Stadium but if the storm approaches the coast in the next few days, the Kentucky Bluegrass surface could create some serious slippage.

The Steelers (13-3 last year) have had plenty of success in rain games over the years, 11-4 since 2010, but the Black and Gold haven't been invincible. According to the NFLWeather.com Historical Analytics, the Steelers are 2-2 in their last four rain games and 1-2 on the road in the rain. A record of 11-4 is impressive, but poor conditions might be the chink in the Steelers' armor.

However, when you take a look at the Three B's stats in crummy conditions, you'd think an already high octane offense was even more devastating. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is 13-3 in weather impacted games since 2012 with only seven total turnovers (speaking of seven, Big Ben's tossed seven TD's in only his last two rain games). Running Back Le'Veon Bell (James Connor might get the start given Bell has yet to report to practice) has averaged over 130 yards rushing and over 40 yards receiving in his last pair of rain games, including a touchdown a piece as well. To finish off the Three B's, wideout Antonio Brown needs no introduction and is a threat in the rain, snow or shine. If anything, with all eyes on AB, the Browns need to keep tabs on JuJu Smith-Schuster or the second year star WR will torch the Cleveland secondary.

The Browns (0-16 last year) have few stats that make the team look promising. But when it comes to rain games, here's proof that Cleveland is on the up and up. Even though the Browns are 2-7 in the rain since 2009, the team is 2-1 over the last three home rain games. Yes, you read that correctly, a winning record for Cleveland.

This season is an entirely new-look side, led by newly-acquired Tyrod Taylor with top pick in the draft this past offseason, Heisman winner Baker Mayfield, penciled in as the backup. Another big name listed as a backup is Josh Gordon who is likely only temporarily behind Jarvis Landry and rookie Antonio Callaway on the WR depth chart. But, the Browns difference maker in a grind it out rain game against a division rival could be veteran RB Carlos Hyde who was a former bruising back at Ohio State. Behind Hyde is Duke Johnson and rookie Nick Chubb, creating an intriguing and versatile backfield for the Dawg Pound.

Hurricane Florence is the first major hurricane of 2018, and there's a chance it could impact NFLWeather along the east coast this weekend. If the Browns can create the perfect storm on Sunday, there is a great chance we'll see the first major upset for the 2018 NFL season. For the latest forecasts and no pop-up ads, stay tuned to NFLWeather.com when entering your fantasy line-up.


Super Cold Super Bowl Tailgate Expected…. Outside the Stadium

by Will Strome, NFLWeather.com | 02-01-2018 10:00

 

For the first time in NFL history, the second half kickoff temperatures during the Super Bowl will potentially dip below zero. Well, outside the venue it will be unbearably cold but luckily for fans attending Super Bowl LII, U.S. Bank Stadium will be cozy and comfortable for Sunday’s matchup in Minneapolis, MN when the New England Patriots play the Philadelphia Eagles.

An indoor Super Bowl always dampens the final NFLWeather.com story of the season, but, up until this final week we’ve endured just about every possible forecast. Serious snow found its way to Buffalo where the Bills won in a blizzard against the visiting Indianapolis Colts in overtime. Hurricane Irma forced the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers to reschedule their Week One matchup for sunny skies later in the season. Thus, both teams had to use their mid-season bye in the opening weekend. Dozens of games over the last few weeks featured freezing temperatures but somehow, someway, neither outdoor game over Conference Championship weekend offered even a flurry.

For Super Bowl weekend however, a frigid forecast will be in full force for any fan crazy enough to brave a Minneapolis outdoor bar crawl but conditions for the big game will be perfect, much to our dismay. Let’s be honest, wouldn’t we all enjoy watching another Ice Bowl?

Tom Brady Tom Brady. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

According to NFLWeather.com, the Twin Cities will be a frozen tundra with a cold front rolling in this week. Game time temps will hover in single digits but plummet as the evening goes on, with the wind chill expected to be around -14 come the fourth quarter. There’s still a chance for snow but a 100% chance of icy Siberian conditions, but probably not near enough for the dome to collapse……again.

Even though both sides play outdoor home games, Philadelphia and New England both competed plenty of times indoors over the last few years. Inside domes on the road since 2013, the Eagles are 4-6 but haven’t won indoors since Philly flew to Dallas and escaped with a 33-27 win in November of ’15. Quarterback Nick Foles was an indoor quarterback during his years in St. Louis, so don’t think he’ll be completely out of his element as he goes up against the G.O.A.T., Tom Brady.

According to the NFLWeather.com Historical Analytics, Bill Belichick and company are a flawless 10-0 in domes since the team lost to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl back in 2012. Football fans nationwide always talk about how ‘Tom Terrific’ lives up to his name best in games late in the season featuring extremely crummy conditions, but, who would have fathomed he’d be just as good, if not better, than his outdoor Hall of Fame self?

Both these outdoor teams are built for an outdoor style of football, with the New England offense likely to put up 50 points in any type of playing condition, giving them the ultimate edge. But Philadelphia has been a team of destiny and maybe in Minneapolis we’ll see a new hero in the cheesesteak city. Wow, that was a bad sandwich joke. Until August………


 

Here we have the updated weather report for the Eagles - Vikings NFC Championship game, brought by Joseph Martucci from The Press of Atlantic City. Check it out here!


Fair Weather Waits in Philly & Foxboro for NFL Championship Weekend

by Will Strome, NFLWeather.com | 01-21-2018 08:00

 

The East Coast has been absolutely pummeled with brutal winter weather for weeks now and surprisingly come championship Sunday, both Philadelphia and Foxborough aka Foxboro will be hosting games above freezing temperatures for the first time in weeks.

According to NFLWeather.com, both the AFC and NFC Championship games are expecting decent weather with temperatures in the mid-to-low-40s, after experiencing weeks of arctic conditions. However, if there’s one thing the last few weeks have taught us around the country is that weather conditions can change unexpectedly in an instant. Even though the forecast calls for decent weather, freezing temperatures are lurking once the sun goes down. If that’s the case, all four teams have had plenty of recent experience playing in temps below 32-degrees.

Despite the sun shining, single digit temperatures were waiting for the Jaguars in Pittsburgh but that didn’t stop Jacksonville from steamrolling the Steelers in a massive 45-42 upset. Quarterback Blake Bortles didn’t let the chilly elements get to him, especially when the team needed him most, finishing the game completing 5-of-6 attempts for 120 yards and some crucial first downs after starting the game 9-of-20. He didn’t need to play the role of hero and neither did his sensational rookie running back, Leonard Fournette, who still managed to torch the Black and Gold for 109 yards and three TD’s. It wasn’t one single man who beat the Steelers, it was a team effort, and that’s what it’ll take to stun the Patriots in New England.

The Pats are the heavy favorite to get to Super Bowl LII in Minnesota on Feb 4th, and if a frigid front finds its way into Foxborough then the likelihood of Jacksonville getting to its first Super Bowl in franchise history is substantially less likely. New England showcased its firepower in less than favorable conditions last week against Tennessee, basically freezing the Titans’ offense en route to a 35-14 win.

According to the NFLWeather.com Historical Analytics, the Patriots have won 13 straight home games when the temperature is below freezing with the last loss happening over seven years ago. Five of those frigid wins occurred in January, where Tom Brady is seemingly unbeatable. If Tom Terrific does what he does best and Rob Gronkowski continues to demoralize entire defenses, it’ll be yet another new chapter added to the Belichick-Brady dynasty story.

It seems like the Belichick-Brady combo have conquered just about everything a head coach and quarterback duo can, but they’ve never won a Super Bowl against a team playing on its home field. With the Vikings still in the mix, and U.S. Bank Stadium hosting this season’s grand finale, the Minnesota Vikings could be the first ever team to play in a Super Bowl in their own stadium. But they’ll have to overcome both the Eagles in Philadelphia and the potentially crummy conditions that stand in their way.

Philadelphia is expected to be a bit warmer than New England but with precipitation anticipated on Monday and cool temperatures currently in Eastern PA, below freezing temps are very much a possibility and even a very small chance of flurries (not likely though). Since 2013, on the road in the cold the Vikings are only 2-3 but the most recent was a 16-0 shutout of the hated rival Green Bay Packers in Lambeau Field. Minnesota pulled out the near flawless win with a heavy dose of pounding the football and limiting QB Case Keenum to only 25 passing attempts. Like Bortles, Keenum doesn’t need to be the star of the show this week, let the offensive line win the battle in the trenches so the rushers in the Vikings’ backfield can have a field day.

One player who completely uplifted this offense when injuries were devastating Minnesota was Latavius Murray. USA Today’s Steve Gardner had Vikings bruising RB Latavius Murray on his All Waiver Wire Team this season. “Murray took over as the lead back after rookie Dalvin Cook suffered a season-ending knee injury,” Gardner wrote. “However, it wasn’t until he rushed for 113 yards and a score in Week 7 did Murray become an every-week fantasy start.” Minnesota will need to establish the run early and often against an Eagles’ D that allows less than 90 rushing yards per game.

Philadelphia has been rock solid all season but the same can’t be said when the Eagles host a game when the thermometer dips below 32. Since 2011, Philly is only 3-4 at home in the cold but this season’s 6-0 regular season loss to Dallas was in Week 17 with the starters playing only a few snaps. However, last week’s 15-10 win over the Atlanta Falcons showed that even when the franchise quarterback is out (Carson Wentz), the Eagles still look like a complete team.

Quarterback Nick Foles has taken the team on his shoulders and now the Eagles are only one home game win away from a trip to the Super Bowl. Like Philly, Minnesota has an extremely stout defense so the QB can’t do it all alone, the running game will have to chip away at the NFL’s third-best D-unit against the rush. Luckily for the Eagles, the one-two punch of Jay Ajayi and LeGarrette Blount might be the perfect combo to wear down the Vikings D.

It’s an NFL Final Four nobody expected at the beginning of the season. Now, here we are, days away from knowing who will head to Minneapolis for Super Bowl LII. With only one elite quarterback left, on paper, it feels like the Pats’ year. But everyone was expecting to see the Steelers in NE this weekend and, well, here we are!


Weather report for Philly from The Press of Atlantic City

by The NFLW Team | 01-20-2018 18:00

 

Check out Joseph Martucci's great weather report for this weekend over at The Press of Atlantic City. Link here!


Wintery Mix Making its Way to Pittsburgh for Steelers-Jaguars Rematch

by Will Strome, NFLWeather.com | 01-14-2018 08:00

 

The Jacksonville Jaguars typically don’t do well in the cold, unless it’s against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

In the Jags five coldest games in franchise history, the team posts a 1-4 record with the lone win coming against the Black and Gold. The only team to beat the Steelers twice in Pittsburgh in the same season was Jacksonville, and that second win was a frigid January playoff win. This game seems like a slam dunk win for the Steelers but if weather-related history between these former division rivals has taught us anything, it’s that the Jaguars have Pittsburgh’s number.

Leonard Fournette Leonard Fournette. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

According to NFLWeather.com, game time temps for the 1:05pm EST kickoff will be in the 18-20 range but will feel more like a shivering ten given the light wind. In the days leading up to the rematch from the regular season, Pittsburgh is going to experience a heavy dose of a wintery mix with rain and snow to open the weekend. With horrendous weather on Friday and into Saturday, once temperatures plummet (as they’re expected to do), there’s a chance for icy conditions on Sunday. Since temps will be so low and precipitation still very much a possibility, snow could also sneak its way into the game day forecast.

In early October, the Jags ripped through the Steelers with a shocking 30-9 road win at Heinz Field which was the victory that solidified the team as a legit contender this season. Jacksonville pulled off the win by pounding the ball between the tackles with Leonard Fournette who finished the afternoon with two touchdowns and 181 yards from 28 touches. Quarterback Blake Bortles didn’t need to be a hero that afternoon with the former first-rounder finishing the day completing 8-of-14 attempts for only 85 yards and an interception. Nothing needs to change from the team’s previous game plan and Fournette should see another massive workload against a defense that allows on average over 105 rushing yards per game and terrible winter weather is expected in the weekend forecast.

In the Jags’ last two road games featuring below freezing temps, the team was 0-2 including a Week 17 15-10 loss at Tennessee (most starters were rested). Pittsburgh in sub 32-degree weather on the other hand, according to the NFLWeather.com Historical Analytics, is 16-4 in the cold since 2009 and 10-3 at home. Having won nine straight in frigid conditions, it seems nearly impossible to lose this week, but if Antonio Brown is a no-go, the Steelers could be in trouble against one of the league’s top defenses.

If AB can’t shake his illness and lingering calf injury, Juju Smit-Schuster and Martavis Bryant will be Ben Roethlisberger’s go-to targets and both speedsters have made plenty of big plays this season. USA Today’s Steve Gardner even included Smith-Schuster in his All-Waiver Wire Team. “There were several times fantasy owners could have grabbed the rookie wideout off waivers, but a touchdown catch in Week 4 signaled his arrival,” Gardner wrote in his most recent article. “Smith-Schuster caught seven passes for 193 yards and a score in Week 8 – and he dominated over the final two weeks of the season (218 yards, 2 TD’s, plus a kick return TD) with Antonio Brown sidelined by injury.”

With or without AB, the passing game anchored by Big Ben will have to find a way to flourish. Thankfully Roethlisberger is the ideal QB to have under center is a game featuring crummy weather conditions, but with a running back like Le’Veon Bell, the Steelers’ offense instantly becomes one of the most high-octane offenses in the league. Bell, who didn’t dress Week 17, has also become the most dynamic running back in football and his weekly fantasy numbers in Draft Kings back it up. In his last five starts, Bell has averaged an impressive 30.44 points per week, making him worth every penny.

Three months after pulling off a remarkable upset, the AFC South champion Jacksonville Jaguars are headed back to Pittsburgh to do something they’ve done before... beat the Steelers in the Burgh in the postseason. With New England the destination for the victor, if Jacksonville can hold off Mother Nature and the Steelers constricting defense, we could see the upset of the postseason thus far.


Frozen Forecast for Titans-Chiefs in Kansas City to Open Wildcard Weekend

by Will Strome, NFLWeather.com | 01-04-2018 20:00

 

Arctic temperatures and blizzards have swept through much of the East Coast and the Midwest this week and Saturday late afternoon in Kansas City will be no different when the Chiefs host the Tennessee Titans in a Wildcard weekend ice bowl opener.

According to NFLWeather.com, clear skies are expected in Arrowhead Stadium for Saturday’s 4:35pm EST kickoff but the grass surface will resemble a frozen tundra given temperatures will feel more like 15 degrees despite a thermometer reading of about 10 degrees higher. The breeze is expected to pick up as the evening goes on but for now the wind will likely swirl in the 10-12mph range. As of Wednesday, there was less than a 5% chance of precipitation but with rain/snow in the Sunday forecast, there’s a good chance flurries could make a cameo appearance.

Rishard Matthews Rishard Matthews. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

Just over a year ago, the Titans stormed into Kansas City on a freezing afternoon and stunned the Chiefs in identical playing conditions (if not colder). The Titans didn’t play the perfect game, tossing a pick and fumbling twice, but they successfully grinded out a difficult win in an extremely tough atmosphere to snag a coveted road win. If they can cut back on the turnovers, Tennessee has the potential to pull off a massive playoff upset and escape Arrowhead with another shocking win in less than favorable winter conditions.

Prior to beating the Chiefs last season, fourth-seeded Tennessee (9-7) was 0-4 in their previous four games when temps dipped below freezing but the Titans have been victorious in their last two straight. The most recent being a 15-10 win over Jacksonville to seal a spot in the playoffs and sweep the AFC South champions. Tennessee did it not by pounding the ball nor picking apart the Jags’ stout D thru the air, they did it by simply winning the turnover and time of possession battle.

Whether the team can pull it off again will all come down to the play and decision-making of quarterback Marcus Mariota whose inconsistency has been the team’s Achilles heel all year. Against the Jaguars last week in the freezing conditions, the former Heisman winner had a humble 12-for-21 afternoon for only 134 yards and a touchdown (10 rushes for 60 yards as well) but the goose egg in the INT department was really the only statistic that mattered. He’ll need to be more of a presence against the KC D and the only way to do so is having his top targets, wideout Rishard Matthews and tight end Delanie Walker, find some space in the Chiefs’ secondary. Especially with running back DeMarco Murray still a bit dinged up, the ground game may have to rely on Derrick Henry who’s been a stud the second half of the second but without an impactful aerial assault, the Titans’ offense could freeze up in the cold.

Like Tennessee, fifth-seeded Kansas City (10-6) has had tremendous success pounding the football all season. The Chiefs’ running back Kareem Hunt stormed onto the scene this season and is a genuine candidate for rookie of the year. USA Today’s Steve Gardner pointed out in his most recent article that Hunt wasn’t expected to be much of a factor last week, surprising fantasy owners when he found the end zone. “Hunt wasn’t expected to play much, if at all with the Kansas City Chiefs’ playoff position secure,” Gardner wrote. “He touched the ball once – a 35-yard touchdown run – and that was it.” He’ll be the go-to back this week and being a $1,600 cheaper play in Draft Kings than Todd Gurley this week makes Hunt a solid start in daily fantasy likely to see tons of action, especially given the winter wonderland setting on Saturday which could lead to increasingly awful passing conditions in the wind picks up or rain/snow arrives.

According to NFLWeather.com Historical Analytics, since 2010 the Chiefs are 9-8 in games featuring freezing temperatures including a 6-5 record at home over that span. In fact, the last two KC wins this season have been in back-to-back weeks, with the most recent victory being a 27-24 win in Denver last week where all the KC starters were rested for the playoffs. The week before the Chiefs solidified the AFC West title following a 29-13 drumming of Miami where QB Alex Smith had his best game of the season by completing 25-of-39 attempts for 304 yards and a TD.

Smith had a terrible outing the last time KC hosted a playoff game so all eyes will be on the former first overall pick to shine. The loss to Pittsburgh in the Divisional round last season was a rough one, which featuring Travis Kelce picking up a personal foul penalty at the worst possible moment late in the fourth quarter. Time for Kelce and company to redeem themselves, and this time around the team has Tyreek Hill ready to be the explosive offensive weapon he’s been all season.

If you go by what Vegas thinks, Kansas City is expected to be the frontrunner to advance this weekend with a -8.5 opening line, the largest of any of the four wildcard matchup spreads. But this, my friends, is the playoffs and with Mother Nature rearing her ugly head in Missouri, anything and everything can happen on Saturday!


Fantasy Football Guide to week 17

by The NFLWeather Team | 12-30-2017 08:00

 

Steve Gardner over at Usa Today has posted the complete fantasy football guide to Week 17. You can find it here.


Jags-Titans to Clash in Ice-Cold Conditions in the Music City

by Will Strome, NFLWeather.com | 12-29-2017 08:00

 

The only thing falling faster than the snow in the Midwest as of late has been the Tennessee Titans and the only thing colder than the local temperatures in Nashville has been the local offense.

Marcus Mariota Marcus Mariota. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

According to NFLWeather.com, clear skies are expected in Nashville on Sunday for the 4:25pm EST kickoff but a piercing wind will be the real challenge for both divisional rivals. Temperatures will be in the mid-20’s but will feel more like single digits since the breeze will likely be a constant 10-12 mph frigid swirl. There’s currently less than a 5% chance of precipitation but given the recent blizzards that have hit the Great Lakes, who knows if we’ll see a dusting of snow on the Bermuda grass inside Nissan Stadium.

A win for Tennessee (8-7) clinches the sixth seed in the AFC that will likely mean a trip to Jacksonville (10-5) next weekend in the wildcard round. A loss won’t necessarily eliminate the Titans, but the team would need losses from both Buffalo and the Los Angeles Chargers in order to sneak in. So it’s pretty simple for the Titans, a win and they’re in, but they’ll need to conquer both the Jags and the frosty winter conditions to do so.

According to NFLWeather.com Historical Analytics, the Titans are 1-4 since 2010 in games featuring below-freezing temperatures while Jacksonville is 0-1 over the same span. The frozen win came last season when Marcus Mariota valiantly brought the Titans back from 10 points down in the fourth quarter to stun the Chiefs in Kansas City, 19-17. If Mariota can do it in KC in mid-December, the former Heisman winner can do it again at home this week. He’ll just need help from his bruising backs DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry to wear down the league’s third best defensive unit.

If you look at the Titans’ performances over the past few weeks, the team is ice cold. Tennessee has dropped three straight, all of which by five points or less. But there’s hope, given TEN has already played and pummeled JAX once this season, a 37-16 thrashing in Florida. In that win, the Titans were able to shut down the strength of the Jacksonville offense, the punishing ground game which has steamrolled through top defenses all season and averages over 145 rushing yards per game. But after last week’s defensive performance against the LA Rams rushing attack, the Tennessee D needs to step up big time or enjoy watching the playoffs from the couch.

USA Today’s Steve Gardner had nothing but praise for the running back that absolutely torched the Titans last week and likely elevated fantasy owners to a league title, Todd Gurley. Gardner pointed out in his most recent article that “Gurley carried the ball 22 times for 118 yards and added 10 catches for 158 yards and two touchdowns. That translated to 39.6 fantasy points in standard scoring leagues, and 49.6 in PPR leagues,” Gardner wrote. If Jacksonville’s Leonard Fournette can accumulate half of what Gurley did, then the rookie RB might drive the final stake through the heart of the Titans’ playoff hopes.

The Jaguars’ punishing ground game has been the strength of the JAX offense all season, but don’t sleep on the passing attack. Quarterback Blake Bortles has shockingly been remarkable the last few weeks, pointing up at least 23 points or more in Daily Fantasy in four of his last five games. Given, Bortles hasn’t played many games in winter conditions so it’s difficult to predict how he’ll handle the elements, but with the ground game that Jacksonville has, there’s no reason why the team needs to relay on the former first-rounders’ cannon. It’ll be the Fournette show for sure.

Tennessee fans can hope and pray that their team will heat up on Sunday given a postseason berth is on the line, but the freezing temperatures on the other hand, well, there’s little to no chance of that heating up.


Tyler Sullivan Coverage of Patriots for 247sports.com

by The NFLWeather Team | 12-28-2017 08:00

 

Check out the great work of Tyler Sullivan covering the Patriots, over at 247sports.com. Also, have in mind that there is a weather alert for Foxborough for the regular season finale.



 

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