As we enter the season’s final month, an increasing number of games will be affected by Mother Nature.
It can create interesting roster conundrums on Sunday mornings as reports emerge about snow, rain, freezing temperatures and wind. We saw it just last week, as there were cold/wet conditions in Kansas City and snow in Denver. Some things to keep in mind:
WIND OVER ALL
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The strongest negative correlation when it comes to weather is between wind and passing stats. As wind speed increases, fantasy numbers of quarterbacks and wide receivers decline at a steady rate. The key number is around 20 miles per hour, but I start getting a little concerned if we have sustained winds between 15 and 18 mph. This can especially affect a weaker-armed quarterback like Philip Rivers, Ryan Fitzpatrick or Andy Dalton.
IT’S GETTING COLD IN HERE
Another condition to keep an eye on is temperature. Historical data shows that temperatures between 32 and 42 degrees only have a slight negative effect on quarterback production. But temps between 0 and 32 degrees have a far stronger impact on scoring. This makes sense, as truly freezing conditions make it harder to grip the football. Similar to baseball, the ball travels further in hot and humid situations.
WET AND WILD
The general fantasy player overreacts to both rain and snow too drastically. As a general rule, I only let wet conditions affect my decisions if it’s really severe. The Lions/Eagles “Snow Bowl” in 2013 comes to mind as an example of severe – Matthew Stafford and Nick Foles combined to complete 21 passes. But no wind and a little bit of rain can actually help a pass game, as defensive backs need longer to react to the cuts of receivers. There’s usually little reason to panic.
NFL PICKUPS OF THE WEEK
1. David Johnson, RB, Cardinals – With Chris Johnson done, it’s time for this athletic freak to spread his wings.
2. Scott Chandler, TE, Patriots – Was already expanding his pass-catching role even before the Gronkowski injury.
3. DeVante Parker, WR, Dolphins – Rishard Matthews has fractured ribs and the Dolphins are toast. It’s time to unleash Parker.
Fire up these borderline wideouts in Week 13:
1. Brandon LaFell vs. PHL – No Gronk, no Edelman, no Lewis and a possibly limited Amendola. LaFell’s matchup against Eric Rowe and Byron Maxwell on the outside is pristine.
2. Marvin Jones at CLE – Playing at least 85 percent of the snaps and getting 5-9 targets weekly. The eruption will come at some point.
3. Emmanuel Sanders at SD – Expect Demaryius Thomas to see a lot of Jason Verrett, allowing Sanders to feast on Brandon Flowers.
The Dolphins canned offensive coordinator Bill Lazor this week, another blow to the crumbling mystique of Chip Kelly. Presumably, Lazor was fired because he refused to commit to the ground. The Dolphins called 61 passes and nine runs against the Jets last week and gave Lamar Miller just seven carries in Week 11 even though he was averaging 6.3 YPC. Hard-nosed interim coach Dan Campbell will likely instruct new OC Zac Taylor to run the rock more, which gives Miller owners some hope heading into Sunday’s game against the Ravens.