Week 17 is on our doorstep and Mother Nature plans to be relatively kind to the NFL this week, as all 32 teams will be in action on Sunday and just two games have weather worth watching. The main areas of the country that will see precipitation this weekend are the Southeast and the Northeast, with rain moving over the West coast later on Sunday. The precipitation in the Northeast will be primarily confined the to the upper reaches of New York State, as lake effect snow will hit the area that includes Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo. Overall, the 2015 season was fairly mild from a weather perspective with few games impacted by wind, rain, or snow and higher than normal temperatures found across the United States for the bulk of the season.
Grab a jacket and don’t forget the coffee as we take a spin through chilly Week 17 weather forecasts around the NFL.
NY Jets at Buffalo (1:00 PM): Lake effect snow will hit the Buffalo area this weekend, as 1-3 inches are expected to fall on both Saturday and Sunday. When the Bills and Jets kick off, skies will be cloudy above Ralph Wilson Stadium with 33 degree temperatures keeping conditions cold. Aside from snow showers, wind will be troublesome during this game with 20 mph gusts in the forecast for this AFC East matchup. Both kickers Dan Carpenter and Randy Bullock are not top fantasy options, and can be safely discarded to the waiver wire in place of kickers playing in safer conditions. Significant downgrades for both passing games are not necessary, as 1-3 inches of snow should not have much of a chance to accumulate before the game, but winds are concerning. Both Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker are quality wide receiver options and can still be started even if downgraded due to the conditions, but all other Buffalo and New York Jets passing game options should be downgraded when compared against similar fantasy options this week.
Pittsburgh at Cleveland (1:00 PM): Winter conditions in Cleveland won’t be terrible for football, with 34 degree temperatures and cloudy skies in the forecast. Winds will be concerning however, with 18 mph gusts expected as the Steelers and Browns face off. The wind levels in the Cleveland forecast are enough to warrant replacing kickers Travis Coons and Chris Boswell with safer options, but with gusts expected to stay mainly below 20 mph, no significant fantasy lineup adjustments should be necessary to the passing game options in this matchup.
New England at Miami (1:00 PM): Rain will be found in Miami on Saturday night, but conditions are expected to be dry on Sunday afternoon before more precipitation moves into the area on Sunday evening. Temperatures will be very comfortable at 80 degrees at kickoff, with six mph winds no cause for alarm. Cloudy skies should make for pleasant game conditions between the Patriots and Dolphins as long as the rain holds off until later in the day.
Baltimore at Cincinnati (1:00 PM): Cincinnati will be chilly on Sunday, but conditions will otherwise be perfect as the Bengals host the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium. Partly cloudy skies will hover above this game with 33 degree temperatures expected. Wind won’t impact this game at just eight mph, so feel free to start all Bengals and Ravens fantasy options as normal.
Philadelphia at NY Giants (1:00 PM): Unlike Buffalo in upstate New York, the New York Giants will enjoy fine winter weather on Sunday when they host the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Game one of the post-Chip Kelly era will be played under sunny skies in 44 degree temperatures with 12 mph winds expected. No worries for the fantasy players in this contest.
Detroit at Chicago (1:00 PM): Snow is expected to make an appearance in Chicago, but not until after the Bears and Detroit Lions wrap up their Week 17 contest. Chilly 31 degree temperatures are in the Chicago forecast for Sunday, with cloudy skies and 12 mph winds expected. No weather worries for this game as the snow will likely wait until Sunday night to begin falling.
Tampa Bay at Carolina (4:25 PM): Weather will be very comfortable in Charlotte for a January day, with 57 degree temperatures expected on Sunday when the Carolina Panthers host the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Just three mph winds will be present during this game under partly cloudy skies, so feel free to start all fantasy options from this game as usual.
Oakland at Kansas City (4:25 PM): Arrowhead Stadium will be cold but pleasant on Sunday when the Kansas City Chiefs host the Oakland Raiders, as 33 degree temperatures will accompany sunshine during this AFC West battle. Nine mph winds won’t impact the kicking or passing games in this matchup, so all fantasy systems will be good to go on Sunday.
San Diego at Denver (4:25 PM): Temperatures in Denver will creep up to 46 degrees on Sunday, which is reasonable for January, as the Broncos host the San Diego Chargers. Sunshine and just four mph winds are expected for this game, so no major weather concerns need to be factored in when starting fantasy options from these two teams.
St. Louis at San Francisco (4:25 PM): Rain will hit most of the West coast over the weekend, but the precipitation is not expected to hit San Francisco until after the 49ers and St. Louis Rams complete their game on Sunday. Cloudy skies will be present at kickoff in this contest with 61 degree temperatures in the forecast along with 11 mph winds. No serious cause for alarm from Mother Nature at Levi’s Stadium on Sunday.
Minnesota at Green Bay (8:30 PM): The Packers and Vikings will play a divisional game on Sunday and the conditions will be cold, but dry as these two teams do battle. Temperatures will dip to 15 degrees as kickoff approaches on Sunday night, with cloudy skies expected above Lambeau Field. Winds of just nine mph won’t be an issue, and precipitation expectations sit at just 20 percent. All Green Bay and Minnesota fantasy options should be good to go in this game.
Home Teams Are Dome Teams
Five Week 17 games will be played in domes or stadiums with retractable roofs, including a matchup of two NFC playoff teams in Arizona when the Cardinals host the Seattle Seahawks.
New Orleans at Atlanta (1:00 PM)
Jacksonville at Houston (1:00 PM)
Tennessee at Indianapolis (1:00 PM)
Washington at Dallas (1:00 PM)
Seattle at Arizona (4:25 PM)