Fantasy Forecast: Week 1
How the weather could impact your fantasy football league.
-- ABC News meteorologist Mel explains how this week's weather forecast could impact your fantasy football league.
The Jets vs. the Bengals in East Rutherford, New Jersey:
Temperatures are expected to be in the mid-80s throughout the game. Although football players are accustomed to playing in the heat, their bodies don't necessarily respond well, especially the bigger players. This works in favor for the offense.
Both teams have good defenses, but playing for hours in the heat could hinder their skills. The recommendation here: Start Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, but for Matt Forte, it will be interesting to see how he fits in with this offense. Go with another running back until he proves himself on this new team.
Of course you're starting AJ Green on the Bengals – but the backfield is an interesting situation. The Gio Bernard and Jeremy Hill duo is enough to run any defense down, with or without the extra burden of the heat. But do you start either of them? There is definitely upside now that Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu are gone and Tyler Efiert is injured. For now, if it's a PPR league, start Gio Bernard. If not, go with Hill.
The Eagles vs. the Browns in Philadelphia:
Philadelphia has had its fair share of heat waves this summer and it's another hot one this weekend when the Eagles play the Browns in Philadelphia. On Saturday the heat index could reach the triple digits! Heat is probably the best weather condition for even the not-so-great offenses to make big plays against a worn-out opposing defense.
There are high hopes for both tight ends this week, so play Gary Barnidge and Zach Ertz. Another solid start is running back Ryan Mathews. With a rookie quarterback on the Eagles, the team will rely more on running the ball. An added perk: the Browns are one of the worst defenses in the league and they are stuck playing in these warm temperatures.
The Bills vs. the Ravens in Baltimore:
Another hot spot this Sunday afternoon is in Baltimore where the Bills and Ravens play at 1 p.m. ET. Lots of sunshine, but fall isn’t in the air just yet! Game time temperatures are also in the mid-80s. The Bills, however, are used to playing in the chilly weather of Buffalo, New York. The Buffalo defense will surely tire quickly, but that doesn’t mean the Ravens offense has much fantasy value this week. We all know Steve Smith Sr. is older, and it will be tough for him to gain momentum on Sunday, on top of the fact that he's just coming off an injury. Other Ravens you'll want to keep on your bench for this matchup are Joe Flacco, Justin Forsett and Terrance West. It's a completely different story on the Bills side, though. There's no doubt that if you own Tyrod Taylor, Sammy Watkins or LeSean McCoy, you're starting at least one of them.
Here are your top 10 players to start and sit based on the weather this week.
The Wayback Weather game of the week is all about the heat. The Eagles at Cowboys matchup on Sept. 3, 2000, was one of the hottest NFL games on record. The Eagles destroyed the Cowboys 41-14 in a game that was best remembered for the 109 degree heat in Dallas that day. While the Eagles thoroughly outplayed the Cowboys, they also surprisingly seemed to be much more prepared for the heat. They might thank pickle juice for helping them combat dehydration and keep their muscles from cramping. One scientific study found that pickle juice helps with cramping more than water does. The top player in the game was Duce Staley, who ran for over 200 yards and a touchdown – it was the second most rushing yards in a regular season game in Eagles history. Maybe we should bring some pickle juice to the games in the Northeast this weekend!