Now in its third season, the fantasy football weather report has become one of my favorite weekly write-ups. With the NFL officially back for the 2021 season, we break down the slate, see what the NFL weather forecast and report for Week 1 will be, and if any of your fantasy football players could be impacted.
As always, good luck. Stay safe. And let’s win the week.
Note: All times are Eastern Time, and the NFL Week 1 weather report will be updated if any changes happen from the time of writing to kickoff. The NFL weather forecast for Week 1 is based on reporting from the National Weather Service. All betting lines are from the NFL’s official website.
NFL weather report and forecast for Week 1 games | A chance for rain and wind in Buffalo
While most games have a clear weather report and forecast for Week 1, it’s worth keeping an eye on the conditions in Buffalo.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills -6.5 (Sunday 1:00 PM) – o/u 48.5
Generally, early in the NFL season, the weather tends to be a non-issue for the majority of games. Unless there is a regional system or the game is in Florida, it’s usually little to no concern. With that said, there are always exceptions — one of those looks to be Buffalo in Week 1.
Starting around noon, there’s a chance for rain and thunderstorms that will increase as the afternoon goes on. However, I don’t see it being impactful even if it does hit. Expected rainfall totals shouldn’t massively impact ball security.
Weather-wise, if anything will affect the game, it would be the wind, something the Buffalo region is known for. Sustained winds forecast between 15 to 20 mph early in the day, with gusts in excess of 30 mph. But as we get closer to kickoff and this system moves in, the wind totals should drop to around 10 mph, which is below anything we see have an impact on gameplay.
As for the fantasy side of this, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this turn into a track meet. I don’t think the Steelers’ secondary can contain Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs. Pittsburgh needs to hope the wind dies down, as Ben Roethlisberger does not have the arm strength anymore to pose a massive threat on deep passing. Add in Tre’Davious White likely to shut down Chase Claypool, and no folding table will be safe from #BillsMafia on Sunday regardless of the weather conditions.
NFL weather report and forecast for Week 1 games | Worry-free NFL weather
With nearly all games in the clear weather-wise, fantasy managers have one less thing to worry about in Week 1.
Los Angeles Chargers at Washington Football Team -1.5 (Sunday 1:00 PM) – o/u 45
The only concern for this game does not come from the weather but from Austin Ekeler’s availability. He was a DNP on Wednesday and Thursday due to a hamstring injury but squeezed in a limited participation designation on Friday, placing him on track to play. Still, there’s a difference between playing and being at full health. He was listed as questionable on the Chargers’ injury report.
If Ekeler plays, he is a lower-end RB2 due to his hamstring and potential snap count concerns. If he is out, the Chargers will roll with a committee of Justin Jackson, Joshua Kelley, and Larry Roundtree III, but I would pass on them for fantasy. The Washington defense was No. 3 in points allowed to RBs in 2020 (15.7 ppg) and could be even better this year.
As for the Week 1 weather forecast, expect partly sunny skies, 6 to 10 mph winds, and highs near 90 degrees.
New York Jets at Carolina Panthers -4 (Sunday 1:00 PM) – o/u 45
Revenge game x2! Both Sam Darnold and Robby Anderson take on their former team, which I am sure will only be mentioned about a dozen times before kickoff. This is also the return of Christian McCaffrey, who is ready to take back his mantle as the fantasy RB1. For those who also play on Monkey Knife Fight, you know I am targeting this game in a few contests.
The weather in Charlotte will not be a concern for fantasy in Week 1. The current report calls for sunny skies, light winds, and highs near 88 degrees.
Minnesota Vikings -3 at Cincinnati Bengals (Sunday 1:00 PM) – o/u 47
I feel I can speak for all of us when I say it’s going to be great to see Joe Burrow back on the field after watching his promising rookie season come to an end in 2020 due to a gruesome knee injury. With that said, I would not expect to see the same Burrow who was on pace for 700 attempts out the gates. What concerns me for Burrow is the Bengals’ OL holding up to the Vikings’ defense.
The Vikings should have one of the more dominant front-seven groups in the NFL. Anthony Barr and Danielle Hunter are back and healthy. Furthermore, the Vikings made significant additions across their depth chart with Dalvin Tomlinson, Sheldon Richardson, Patrick Peterson, and Bashaud Breeland.
When looking at the weather report for Week 1, expect 90-degree temperatures, 8 mph winds, and clear skies.
Arizona Cardinals at Tennessee Titans -3 (Sunday 1:00 PM) – o/u 53.5
This game is going to be so fun to watch. Not only will we see the reigning two-time rushing king in Derrick Henry take the field, but Julio Jones makes his debut in front of the home crowd.
On the other side of the ball, Kyler Murray is primed to take the QB1 crown from both Mahomes and Allen. Before his shoulder injury (Week 11), Murray averaged a staggering 30.1 fantasy points per game. He now comes into the 2021 NFL season with DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green, and Rondale Moore as primary receivers. That’s about as scary as it gets.
As for the weather forecast in Week 1, expect near 90-degree temperatures, 7 mph winds, and sunny skies.
Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs -5.5 (Sunday 4:25 PM) – o/u 54.5
When the NFL schedule was released, this was the first game I circled. It has Game of the Year written all over it as it could very well be the preview of the AFC Championship.
The Chiefs are, well, the Chiefs. They have Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce. But more importantly, a revamped offensive line after adding Orlando Brown, Joe Thuney, and Creed Humphrey.
As for the Browns, from top to bottom, they might be the most complete team in the NFL. They have talent at every single level of the depth chart and simply need to stay healthy and play to their potential. If they can do that, Cleveland might be rocking in February.
As for the weather forecast in Week 1, expect temperatures in the low 90s, 9 mph winds, and sunny skies.
Green Bay Packers -3.5 at New Orleans Saints (Sunday 4:25 PM) – o/u 49.5
Note: GB at NO is being played in Jacksonville due to Hurricane Ida
Aaron Rodgers is angry and playing with a chip on his shoulder. That’s a very dangerous player, as we saw last season when he dropped 48 touchdowns on opposing defenses.
For fantasy, the Packers should be phenomenal this season. I will say for Week 1, however, don’t be surprised if Aaron Jones struggles on the ground. The Saints were the No. 1 defense in fantasy points allowed to RBs at 17.8, allowed the fewest total yards per game (99), and tied for second-fewest in touchdowns (11).
As for the Saints, what does the post-Drew Brees’ offense look like? Also, who will Jameis Winston even throw to other than Alvin Kamara and Adam Trautman? Michael Thomas is on the PUP, Tre’Quan Smith was added to the IR, and breakout candidate Marquez Callaway will see shadow coverage from Jaire Alexander.
This game would normally be played inside the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans. Yet, due to the impact of Hurricane Ida, it is being held at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville instead. Because of this, the Saints have a rare home game where we care about the weather report.
Expect the typical chance of pop-up afternoon showers as always with games in Florida, but it’s just a 20% chance. Temperatures will be around 88 degrees with winds around 8 mph.
Denver Broncos -3 at New York Giants (Sunday 4:25 PM) – o/u 42
After an offseason full of speculation, it seems that fantasy managers will have Saquon Barkley (ACL) available for Week 1. However, what will you get? For one, he hasn’t seen any contact even though he looked good when running around in shorts.
The Giants also have three games in 14 days. We have a 17-game schedule for the first time and more than ever, navigating the NFL season is a war of attrition. They need Barkley for the long-term, not just for Week 1. I would not be surprised to see Barkley limited in his role in Week 1 against a stout Broncos defense.
When looking at the NFL weather report for fantasy, expect temperatures around 85 degrees, sunny skies, and 10 mph winds.
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots -3.5 (Sunday 4:25 PM) – o/u 43.5
I am going to go out on a limb and make a guarantee — something I never do when it comes to the NFL. But I am going to bet that a former Alabama QB wins this game. Bold, I know. But what can I say? I am a risk-taker.
Alright, in all seriousness, this is a fascinating game. We get to see how Tua Tagovailoa has progressed heading into Year 2, but he takes on a tough Patriots defense. Despite having a league-leading eight players opt-out in 2020, they were the No. 7 ranked defense in points allowed to QBs at 16.2 per game and just 231.8 passing yards.
The Dolphins will also be without Will Fuller, who is serving the final game of his suspension. But with Stephon Gilmore on the PUP list, Tua could find success with DeVante Parker and especially Jaylen Waddle.
Then we have Mac Jones making his first career start after winning the job. I want to reiterate that; Jones won the job with his play and maturity all summer. While the time Cam Newton missed certainly did not help his case, that was not why he was the backup and then eventually released.
Ideally, you’re not starting either QB in fantasy in Week 1. As for the weather report, highs will be around 82 degrees, with mostly sunny skies and winds around 10 to 12 mph that will decrease as the game progresses.
Early indoor games
Because these NFL games are indoors, the weather conditions can be controlled. As such, the only forecast and reports are that it will be optimal playing conditions for these teams. The passing and kicking game will not be affected.
Jacksonville Jaguars -3 at Houston Texans (Sunday 1:00 PM) – o/u 46
Seattle Seahawks -2.5 at Indianapolis Colts (Sunday 1:00 PM) – o/u 49
San Francisco 49ers -9.5 at Detroit Lions (Sunday 1:00 PM) – o/u 46
Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons -3.5 (Sunday 1:00 PM) – o/u 49
Both Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football will be played indoors. Therefore, there will be no impact for your fantasy football players in Week 1.
Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams -8 (Sunday 8:20 PM) – o/u 46.5
Baltimore Ravens -4 at Las Vegas Raiders (Monday 8:15 PM) – o/u 50