You spend your week analyzing the matchups to see which lineup you should trot out as you try to take down your opponent. You typically focus on the defense your players are facing, and whether injuries to either team could affect their play.
One of the things that is often overlooked is the weather, which can wreak havoc on your fantasy performance just as much as a shutdown corner. Here’s a look at games that could be affected by this week’s weather (according to weather.com).
Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills
It looks like this one will be cold and wet. Wind shouldn’t be too much of a factor, but I’m expecting this to be run-heavy on both sides. It would be hard to rely on Ryan Fitzpatrick or Steve Johnson for the Bills. Benjamin Watson could still be a solid play catching short passes. Peyton Hillis and Fred Jackson could both see a lot of carries in this one.
Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers
There is expected to be a rain/snow mix in this one. I’d stick with the Steelers’ regulars in the passing game as Big Ben and Mike Wallace have a juicy matchup. Hines Ward has not been productive enough this year so I’d look for an alternative. If Carson Palmer wasn’t already on your bench because he’s facing Pittsburgh, the weather should swing your decision. Too much of a risk. I’d consider sitting Ocho and T.O. as well. Meanwhile Rashard Mendenhall and Cedric Benson get a boost.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Washington Redskins
This one is expected to be wet, and wind could play a factor. The Redskins have issues that run deeper than the weather though, as their RB situation is a mess. Imagine that from a Shanahan team. The only Redskin I’d trust is Chris Cooley. For Tampa, I’d downgrade Josh Freeman, Mike Williams and Kellen Winslow. The weather only bolsters LeGarrette Blount’s prospects.
Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets
This one is also supposed to be wet and windy. Unless you’re in a bind, I would avoid Mark Sanchez and Chad Henne. Braylon Edwards doesn’t need help dropping footballs, but the wet conditions would only add to his issue. I would still use Santonio Holmes, as he will be the likely target when they do have to throw the ball. Dustin Keller is another player that could see targets. Davone Bess is the only option in the Dolphins passing game that I would consider.
New England Patriots at Chicago Bears
Chicago is expected to live up to its Windy City moniker on Sunday. Since the Patriots are less reliant on the vertical passing game, Tom Brady and his numerous weapons (Wes Welker, Deion Branch, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez) are still decent options.
You may consider benching Brady’s targets if you have suitable alternatives. It would have to be a very good option to sit Brady the way he’s playing. Jay Cutler, on the other hand, would be harder to gamble on. This also downgrades Johnny Knox, Earl Bennett and Greg Olsen.
Running backs BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Danny Woodhead and Matt Forte should be more active.
As Jonathan Erdman says on weather.com, it is not advised to use a kicker in these bad weather games. You may want to seek an alternative.
Also check out:
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