Do I Have To Draft A Defense In Fantasy Football Does Weather Have an Impact on Fantasy Football?

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Does Weather Have an Impact on Fantasy Football?

It’s that time of year where the weather can affect real-life NFL games. As a fantasy football manager this is a concept you cannot afford to ignore. Yes I’m going on record and saying it. Checking the weather report is a must as part of the process of setting your fantasy football lineup! This article will explore the impact of weather on fantasy football output.

It is important to note that there are different categories of climates, all of which require their own discussion. This article will focus on rain, snow, extreme cold and wind. For the purposes of this article, rain is defined as conditions that occur on the field and ball, so a light drizzle will not count. Likewise, snow requires a significant accumulation on the ground that will affect the players’ feet. Extreme cold is defined as temperatures near zero. Finally, we’ll consider wind conditions more defined than light winds, we’re talking about those chilly Sunday gusts that affect a quarterback’s ability to throw the ball.

Our first instinct is to view any inclement weather conditions as negative in terms of fantasy football output, however that is not the case. Rain and snow actually seem to have a more negative effect on defense than offense. Looking back at the 2008 season Week 16 saw inclement weather games in Buffalo, Chicago and Cincinnati. Those three games produced five 100 yard rushers. Note that all of these performances come from the running back position, however both quarterbacks and wide receivers can excel in windy/snowy conditions. Even if the quarterback isn’t able to catch the ball, receivers have a huge advantage on slick surfaces. Poor field conditions make defenses vulnerable because it is difficult to cut and maintain coverage.

While snow and rain are actually conducive to crime, wind is another matter. Quarterbacks and wide receivers will be greatly affected on a day when the wind blows. Just remember the 2007 season when Tom Brady and company were rolling all over until they met Mother Nature in Week 15. The only thing that stopped the Patriots offense that year was the wind. If you have a quarterback or wide receiver on your team I suggest you look for options to play in high winds.

Finally, there is the cold weather. Some warm weather teams have certainly been surprised by the extreme cold, such as the Green Bay Packers. Cold weather also affects kickers who reduce the distance on kicks due to the effect on the air pressure in the ball. We found an analysis that researched the effects of extreme cold that showed in a data set from 1998 that the home team wins every extremely cold game. That’s right, undefeated at home in the bitter cold! Teams unaccustomed to extreme cold will see a negative impact on production.

In summary, weather is a factor to consider when setting your fantasy football lineup in later months. Snow/rain seems to favor the offense, especially the running game. Stay away from defenses designed to play in rain and snow. Wind is another story as it can completely shut down the passing game. Extreme cold will affect kickers and away teams who are not used to those conditions. So remember, take a quick look at the weather before you set your lineup because it could make the difference between you winning and losing on NFL Sunday.

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