NFL Wild Card Weather Impact
There is some interesting weather this weekend for the wild card round of the NFL playoffs. This should have an impact on fantasy performance so we will breakdown what weather will be like at each game and historically who tends to perform better in games with that weather.
Kansas City at Indianapolis
The Colts close the roof in cold weather. Weather is irrelevant.
New Orleans at Philadelphia
Calm winter weather in Philly. No snow or rain, around 30 degrees throughout the game, no wind. This could be significant as Nick Foles and Drew Brees are playing in mild weather and may be the only reliable plays at QB this week.
San Diego at Cincinnati
A mix of rain and snow is the weather prediction for this game with 10-15 mile per hour winds throughout. While it isn’t supposed to get significant until late afternoon, which will be towards the end of this game, it will be significant enough to make an impact. The game should have a slushy field, reminiscent of the Redskins vs Chiefs matchup earlier this season, as well as the game 30 minutes down the road that week Vikings at Ravens.
Special teams had a large impact in the first game as the Chiefs had both a kick return touchdown and a punt return touchdown. The Chiefs blew out the Redskins who were ineffective passing the ball at all in these conditions. Jamaal Charles was the stud of the game, rushing 19 times for 150 yards against a really bad Redskins defense.
Special teams again had a large impact in the Ravens game as Jacoby Jones had a KO return for a TD as well as 4 catches for 37 yards. Both teams were ineffective running and passing however Cassel managed to throw two TDs while Flacco threw 3 TDs. Cordarelle Patterson was the star of the game with 5 catches for 141 yards and a TD.
With those games in mind, I would definitely upgrade Defense/Special Teams from those games. Neither seems particularly appealing, as the San Diego defense is awful and the offense rarely turns the ball over, but with Cincinatti having a turnover prone Andy Dalton at QB San Diego may be a good bargain. Keenan Allen is upgraded because he returns punts for the Chargers. Given Charles success against the Redskins, I’d upgrade Giovanni Bernard and Ryan Matthews. Both are the best fantasy options on their team at RB and should be better off in slushy conditions as both have elusive styles.
San Francisco at Green Bay
This game is going to be epically cold. It will be -2 degrees at its worst with wind of 12 miles per hour throughout. It is going to feel like -20 degrees with the wind chill. This is actually quite similar weather to the 2008 NFC Championship game where the Packers played the Giants at Lambeau again, where temperatures reached -4 degrees with a wind chill of -24 degrees.
In that game no one did particularly well. Donald Driver had 5 catches for 141 yards and a TD but was heavily supplemented by a 90 yard score. Plaxico Burress had arguably the most successful game with 11 catches for 154 yards. Both running games were very ineffective but the Giants managed to get two scores, one by Bradshaw and the other by Jacobs.
With the previous game in mind, I would downgrade everyone in this game. Weather this cold is just miserable, it’s almost impossible as an athlete to get motivated when all that is on your mind is how terribly cold you feel. San Francisco will not be used to this sort of weather and may be shocked by it. The Packers obviously have experience with weather this cold so I’d feel safer using a Packers player. Still, the weather is going to have an adverse effect on everyone so I would probably stay away from this game entirely despite the 49ers having a good matchup against the poor Packers defense.
Hope this helps your picks this week and good luck!
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