After three weeks of pleasant weather, the NFL will finally experience Mother Nature impacting the schedule this week. Heavy rain is currently falling on the East coast and the reach of Hurricane Joaquin will be felt in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic throughout the weekend. This means that fantasy owners need to pay special attention to pregame weather conditions on Sunday as final roster decisions are being carefully researched and executed. Below, we will take a stroll through all the weather forecasts for hosting NFL cities this week, and break down necessary adjustments that need to be taken by fantasy owners. Grab yourself an umbrella and strap up those boots as we dig into Week 4 weather forecasts around the NFL.
The following two games have precipitation in the forecast and will need to be monitored on Sunday morning as kickoff approaches.
Philadelphia at Washington (1:00 PM ET): The major weather event of the week is Hurricane Joaquin, which has been threatening to move inland on the East coast of the United States. The good news is that Joaquin is now projected to stay at sea and won’t be reaching land this weekend. Despite the avoidance of this hurricane hitting the coast on Sunday, there will still be extremely heavy precipitation in the Carolinas that will reach as far north as Washington D.C.
This brings us to the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles, who will face off at FedEx Field on Sunday at 1:00 PM ET. The Sunday forecast for the Washington D.C. area is relatively tame, but hurricane-related rainfall that will sweep through the Mid-Atlantic region could still find its way to FedEx Field on Sunday. Temperatures will be at 63 degrees with winds at 10-20 mph for this NFC East battle, with a soggy playing surface expected at the very least. So, how does this forecast impact the fantasy options in this game?
The Washington Post reports that Redskins running backs have been practicing with wet footballs all week, in anticipation of swampy conditions on Sunday. The Post expects Washington to focus their offense around their running game no matter what the weather looks like, so the fantasy options on the Redskins side of the ball won’t be impacted much unless significant rainfall hits D.C. near kickoff. The Eagles are likely preparing for this game the same way, and will most likely focus their efforts on the ground game if conditions are sloppy on Sunday. Philadelphia quarterback Sam Bradford has not completed a single pass over 20 yards this season per Pro Football Focus, so the normal short and intermediate passing attack of the Eagles should be mostly unimpeded by wet conditions. Again, this situation will require monitoring on Sunday morning but all fantasy options should be fine in this contest as of now, with an added emphasis likely to be given to the running game of both teams.
Cleveland at San Diego (4:05 PM ET): While most of the country had no idea it even rained in Southern California, we have Qualcomm Stadium making an extremely rare appearance in the “rain watch” section. Temperatures will still be comfortable at 73 degrees on Sunday, but a 50 percent chance of rain is in the forecast under cloudy skies. Philip Rivers and company should be fine playing in the “occasional rain showers” that are in the forecast, but expect a few extra carries for the running backs in this game if conditions get soggy.
The following eight games have no expected weather impact forecasted for Sunday, so fire up all fantasy options from these games like normal.
New York Jets at Miami (9:30 AM ET): The NFL International Series kicks off this week when the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets meet up at Wembley Stadium in London. While Wembley Stadium has a partially retractable roof, the London area will see pleasant weather on Sunday anyhow, with zero chance of rain and 67 degree temperatures expected for this matchup between AFC East teams.
New York Giants at Buffalo (1:00 PM ET): The fantasy world dodged another bullet this week, as the weather in Buffalo has cooperated through four weeks of the NFL season. Nobody will confuse Buffalo for Los Angeles on Sunday with 62 degree temperatures and cloudy skies in the forecast, but an October game at Ralph Wilson Stadium has the potential for tricky weather and this game should be of no concern.
Carolina at Tampa Bay (1:00 PM ET): Winds could creep up over 10 mph on Sunday, but conditions will be otherwise perfect in Tampa Bay when the Buccaneers host the Carolina Panthers. Tampa forecasts call for 81 degree temperatures and partly sunny skies with just a 20 percent chance of rain for this NFC South matchup.
Oakland at Chicago (1:00 PM ET): Cloudy skies and temperatures of just 61 degrees are in the forecast for Sunday’s game between the Chicago Bears and Oakland Raiders. The only weather-related issue that could potentially impact this game is wind that is expected to be around 15-20 mph. I wouldn’t go as far as downgrading the passing games in this contest, but kickers Robbie Gould and Sebastian Janikowski can be swapped out for safer options.
Kansas City at Cincinnati (1:00 PM ET): The sun will make a brief appearance on Sunday in Cincinnati but cloudy skies are expected for most of the afternoon when the Bengals host the Kansas City Chiefs at Paul Brown Stadium. No rain or heavy winds are expected, so all normal fantasy options can be trusted in this game as usual.
Green Bay at San Francisco (4:25 PM ET): The best Week 4 weather will be found in Santa Clara, California when the San Francisco 49ers host the Green Bay Packers. 79 degree temperatures and sunny skies are expected for this game, with winds anticipated to be at 10 mph. The setting will be nearly perfect for Aaron Rodgers to face the San Francisco defense that has given up 90 points in the last two weeks.
Minnesota at Denver (4:25 PM ET): Denver will see cloudy skies and temperatures of 67 degrees on Sunday when the Broncos take on the visiting Minnesota Vikings. Only 9 mph winds and a 20 percent chance of rain is in the forecast for this game, so conditions will be just fine for Peyton Manning and the stout Denver defense.
Detroit at Seattle (8:30 PM ET, Mon): Seattle with host the Detroit Lions on Monday night at CenturyLink Field in Seattle in near perfect conditions. Temperatures will dip below 60 degrees as nightfall arrives in the Emerald City, but skies will be mostly sunny and clear at kickoff. Winds of just 5 mph won’t be a bother to either team in this game, as Detroit searches for win number one on the season.
Home Teams Are Dome Teams
Four Week 4 games will be played in domes or stadiums with retractable roofs, including the 3-0 Arizona Cardinals hosting a divisional game against the St. Louis Rams.
Jacksonville at Indianapolis (1:00 PM ET)
Houston at Atlanta (1:00 PM ET)
St. Louis at Arizona (4:25 PM ET)
Dallas at New Orleans (8:30 PM ET)
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