DFS: Stop worrying about snow in fantasy football, worry about wind instead

Published:
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) celebrate Bell's touchdown run against the Buffalo Bills during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) celebrate Bell's touchdown run against the Buffalo Bills during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert) — Bill Wippert

OK, so admittedly the photo with this article is a bit of an overstatement.

You were playing Le'Veon Bell last week in DFS, right? You for sure had him going in your season-long league. But Bell was the second-most expensive running back in DFS last week behind Arizona's David Johnson. And the Pittsburgh running back did not disappoint, rushing for a Steelers' franchise-record 236 yards and three touchdowns.

That was good for 54 points on DraftKings, which said Bell's performance was the fourth-highest single-game fantasy total in site history.

Look at the photo again. Do you see something? A whole bunch of white flakes? The Steelers and Bills played in about four inches of snow this past Sunday.

It. Did. Not. Stop. Bell. From. History.

We're in December, and as long as there are outdoor games in December, there's a chance that a few players you're considering putting onto your DFS rosters each week will be playing in some kind of nasty weather.

There are weather elements to be concerned about, snow is not one of them, especially for running backs. Three years ago, in blizzard conditions, LeSean McCoy ran for 217 yards and two touchdowns for the Eagles against the Lions. Two weeks ago, Bears rookie Jordan Howard found the end zone three times against the 49ers.

But quarterbacks and wide receivers aren't immune to having good games in the snow and cold, either. Fantasy Labs' writer Kelly McCann pointed out last week that Aaron Rodgers has averaged 25.94 DraftKings points in games with below freezing temperatures. Matthew Stafford averaged 23.75 in two below-freezing games in the past three seasons. Brandon Marshall has three below freezing games under his belt, and scored at least 28 points in all three.

This doesn't mean you should actively target a player because of bad weather, but the point is to not be afraid of doing it. If other DFS players are going to take a look at the weather, see snow or rain in the forecast and immediately write off certain guys, a successful and potentially contrarian strategy is to put those players on your roster, with the added bonus of reduced ownership.

So when should you be concerned about a player in bad weather?

Check the wind.

Meteorologist and Rotogrinders' writer Kevin Roth put it this way in a tweet: "To me, 15mph sustained is on the low end of 'worry-spectrum'. By 20-25mph sustained I'm concerned. Stronger than that and I'm out."

It makes sense. Sustained high winds are going to affect a passing game in a dramatic way. I want no part of a quarterback, wide receiver or tight end in a windy game. Instead, look for the defenses in those games as potential sources of wayward interceptions, and points for you.

Weather is one of the easiest ways to separate yourself from an opponent in fantasy sports, but you have to know what you're looking for first.