Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Weather starting to impact fantasy football lineup decisions

OK, fantasy football owners, it's time to look to the heavens. No, not for praying. For some of you, it's way too late for that.

OK, fantasy football owners, it's time to look to the heavens.

No, not for praying. For some of you, it's way too late for that.

Rather, all those holiday decorations are reminders we're at that stage of the NFL season when fantasy owners have to consider the weather in assembling their lineups.

Of course, it all depends on the depth of an owner's roster as to whether there's any wiggle room to make substitutions based on weather.

More than likely, the waiver wire has been picked clean.

Still, this is the last week of the regular season for many fantasy leagues. If a few points are the difference between making the playoffs or not, any edge is worth pursuing.

So who is likely to be playing in inhospitable conditions?

Cincinnati is in Pittsburgh, New England is in Chicago, and Miami is at the New York Jets. The weather is supposed to be particularly bitter at Soldier Field and not much better at Heinz Field, where there's a good chance for snow showers. At the Jets' late afternoon home game at New Meadowlands Stadium, there's a likelihood of rain.

That's not entirely bad news if you have a player such as Miami's Ricky Williams sitting on the bench or available on the waiver wire. This might be the week when the Dolphins put the ball in the hands of their 230-pound running back, assuming they don't fall too far behind early.

If an owner's normal starting quarterback is the Bears' Jay Cutler, the Bengals' Carson Palmer, or the Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger, a QB playing in fair weather or in a dome should be considered. Two thinly owned alternatives are Dallas' Jon Kitna (at home against the Eagles), whose fantasy numbers have been decent to excellent, and Oakland's Jason Campbell (in Jacksonville), who threw for a touchdown and ran for another last week.

Divided loyalty. The case of a Montgomery County man who won $25,000 in a fantasy football contest Sunday in Las Vegas sponsored by illustrates how fantasy sports affect one's sports loyalties. Joe Vance, 32, lives in Gilbertsville, but he's a transplanted New York Giants fan from Long Island. Vance became one of 10 players in the showdown on the final weekend of the contest's qualifying period, partly on the strength of performances by Eagles QB Michael Vick and WR DeSean Jackson.

"Under most circumstances, I'm definitely not an Eagles fan," Vance said. "But I'll take whoever can make me money, and what makes sense on the matchups."