Week 1 NFL football Sunday weather report

Marcus Mariota and the Titans head to Miami. Andy Lyons/Getty Images

It’s finally Week 1 of the NFL season and everyone is eager to get their wagering on and to see their freshly drafted fantasy rosters in action.  But before you lock in you should take note of weather conditions on Sunday that will be putting a damper (see what I did there) on a few games. Read on to see which games this week most likely to be impacted and how I believe the conditions will affect each fantasy position group:

Steelers @ Browns (noon central): The zombie corpse of Tropical Storm Gordon will be trolling the #lolBrowns hard on Sunday.  All indications right now point to a very soggy and breezy afternoon in Cleveland. Heavy rain will be possible throughout the game, likely making the natural grass surface a muddy mess.  Those with Antonio Brown on their team hoping for him to feast on the Browns may be disappointed in this game. Brown is a must start, regardless of conditions, but given the rain and the wind I wouldn’t bank on a huge day for him. These conditions present the perfect opportunity for the teams to lean heavily on the running game, so if you have Le’Veon Bell on your roster you have my sympathies. Winds look to be rather breezy out of the southeast at around 20 MPH with some higher gusts possible. The southeasterly direction means the wind will be blowing across the width of the field making kicking and deep passes challenging. Below are my rankings for how the conditions will impact each fantasy position groups (a total of 3 arrows are possible):

QB: ↓↓

RB: ↑↑↑

WR/TE: ↓↓

K: ↓↓↓

DEF: ↑

Bills @ Ravens (noon central) – This will also be a wet game, though probably not quite as soggy as Cleveland.  Light to moderate rain showers will be present throughout the game – enough to soak the field but not totally swamp it.  Wind will also pose a challenge, coming out of the east at about 15 MPH but gusting to 20 or 25 MPH at times. The orientation of the stadium makes it such that the wind will be blowing across the length of the field, giving each team an equal opportunity to be helped or harmed by the wind.  With less a less than stellar quarterback for the Bills (and that is putting it kindly) and below average receivers for the Ravens look for the running game to be heavily favored here. These aren’t the best conditions for kickers but it’s not the worst either. Despite the conditions I would still play Justin Tucker as he is one of the best, if not the best, kicker in the game right now.  If you have Steven Hauschka though, it might not be a bad idea to take a look at what other kickers are available for this week.

QB: ↓↓ (If Peterman or Flacco is your starting QB you need more help than I can offer)

RB: ↑↑↑

WR/TE: ↓

K: ↓

DEF: ↑↑

Titans @ Dolphins (noon Central) – This game won’t necessarily feature out of the ordinary conditions, but playing in Miami in early September is no walk in the park.  Typical of south Florida the heat and humidity will be downright stifling. The heat index will be hovering around 100 degrees with little to no breeze to provide relief.  As always in Miami there is the possibility of a passing rain shower, but any impacts from rain will be minimal. Rather it will be the heat that has the greatest effect, especially given that this is the first game of the year and conditioning may not be 100%.  I would give the defenses a bump down here as they are likely to get gassed more quickly than would otherwise be normal. Alternatively, I would give the kickers a slight bump up as hot and humid air is less dense which can give a little more distance on kicks.

QB: ↔ (Neutral)

RB: ↔

WR/TE: ↔

K: ↑

DEF: ↓

For more information on these games and to get any questions answered (including College Games) you can find me on Twitter @stephenuzick


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Houston's losing streak extended to five games

With key Astros missing, Detroit completes the series sweep

An overall bad day for the Astros on Wednesday. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

On Wednesday afternoon, the Astros received a big blow to their chances in the series finale against Detroit and potentially longer. Five players: Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, Martin Maldonado, and Robel Garcia would all be moved to the IL due to health and safety protocols, leaving them scrambling to get a whole team together for the game against the Tigers.

The Astros would not be able to overcome both the loss of players and the onslaught of another strong start by Detroit in Wednesday's game which put them too far out front for Houston to come back from to avoid a series sweep.

Final Score: Tigers 6, Astros 4

Astros' Record: 6-6, third in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Michael Fulmer (1-0)

Losing Pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (1-1)

Tigers knock out another starter early

Detroit continued their success of making Houston's starter work hard in early innings, getting after Lance McCullers Jr., and giving him an early exit. After a lengthy fist, they broke through in the second getting two hits, a walk, a hit batter, and an RBI groundout to put up three runs on 34 pitches.

He would have a quicker 1-2-3 third, but after giving up a single, a walk, and hitting another batter to load the bases and reach 87 pitches, he would be removed in favor of Joe Smith. Smith would allow all three of the inherited runners to score, adding those runs to McCullers Jr.'s final line: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 87 P.

Astros try to claw back into it

After Smith would go on to load the bases again in the inning, still with two outs, Houston made another pitching change to bring in Brandon Bielak to get the third out and stop the bleeding at 6-0. The Astros would get on the board in the fifth, getting a runner on base to set up a two-run homer by Jason Castro to cut the lead to 6-2.

Bielak remained in the game to try and eat up as many innings as possible. While he continued to hold the Tigers to their six runs through the six innings, the Astros clawed back into the game. In the bottom of the sixth, Houston put their first two batters on base with a walk and single before an RBI-single by Yuli Gurriel to make it 6-3. They would threaten for more but be held there for the time being.

Astros can't cash in, Tigers complete sweep

Ryne Stanek was Houston's next reliever in the top of the seventh, getting a 1-2-3 frame to keep it a three-run game, as did Brooks Raley in the eighth. In the home part of the inning, the Astros put their first two runners on base on an error and a walk, then loaded them with a one-out single by Carlos Correa. They'd waste their chance to make something happen, though, with an inning-ending double-play.

Ryan Pressly, who had no save opportunities in recent games, entered to get some work in the top of the ninth. He worked around a leadoff double for a scoreless inning, sending the 6-3 game to the bottom of the ninth. The Astros had yet another chance to make something happen, loading the bases with no outs to bring the go-ahead run to the plate. After two outs, Yuli Gurriel would bring one run in with a walk, but that's as close as they'd come, extending their losing streak to five games and getting swept by the Tigers.

Up Next: Houston will get a much-needed day off tomorrow to try and leave this poor homestand behind them. They'll pick things up in Seattle on Friday, with first pitch of the opener of three games at 9:10 PM Central. The expected pitching matchup is Jose Urquidy (0-1, 5.23 ERA) for the Astros and Yusei Kikuchi (0-0, 3.75 ERA) for the Mariners.

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