NFL Week 15: Fantasy Weather Report
Fantasy football is played on paper—but the real games are played amidst the elements.
Here's a look at the inclement weather forecasts for Sunday's NFL games—and a consideration of the net effects on the teams and players involved...
Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers: Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
A wintry mix and strong winds (around 25-30 MPH) are expected for Sunday's game in Pittsburgh.
This could have drastic effects on several players—including kickers Jeff Reed and Josh Scobee. Seeing how difficult it is to kick at Heinz Field under ideal conditions, I'd sit both if possible.
Expect each team to keep the ball on the ground more than usual, resulting in a slight downgrade for QBs Ben Roethlisberger and David Garrard.
Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins: Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
Scattered thunderstorms and high winds are the forecast in Miami as the Dolphins continue their pursuit of a single 2007 win.
This game probably won't be that exciting, as both of teams are among the worst in the league. Both kickers (Jay Feely and Matt Stover) should be benched, no question. The offenses shouldn't be affected too greatly by the thunderstorms, so continue to start WRs Mark Clayton and Derrick Mason, if you must.
There isn't a lot of exciting fantasy talent in this game in the first place, so pick your starters here cautiously.
Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns: Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
Major snowfall is expected in Cleveland, with temperatures around 30°.
Look for both offenses to focus on the running game, and give a slight upgrade to Jamal Lewis and Marshawn Lynch.
Both quarterbacks are young, so I look for Derek Anderson and Trent Edwards to make more passing mistakes than usual, possibly leading to turnovers.
New York Jets at New England Patriots: Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
Attention Tom Brady—time to step up!
With strong winds (22+ MPH) and a 100 percent chance of a wintry mix, it's sure to be a good sight in Foxboro. Keep all of your Patriots active—and you may even want to consider starting Laurence Maroney and Kevin Faulk, as the Pats will probably keep the ball on the ground more than usual.
Avoid starting any of your Jets, with the exception of RB Thomas Jones. New York will stall in that snow and ice.
Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
It's going to be a windy day in Tampa, so keep both kickers (Morten Andersen and Matt Bryant) benched.
Why would you have them starting anyway?
The wind should be a limiting factor for the deep passing game, but keep your Atlanta and Tampa Bay players active on both offenses, as you should expect regular output.
Washington Redskins at New York Giants: Sunday, 8:15 PM EST
The final game with weather issues this week—expect to see a wintry mix and winds around 20 mph.
Both teams will probably keep the football on the ground, resulting in a slight fantasy upgrade for Clinton Portis and Brandon Jacobs. Both QBs tend to make mistakes, so I'd be cautious in starting either Jason Campbell or Eli Manning.
One of those guys is bound to have an ugly day.
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