Thursday update: Forecast models from NOAA have now decreased the likelihood of snow this Sunday in Orchard Park from 80% to 50%. The bulk of the snow should fall Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, with precipitation tapering off Sunday into Monday. There is no doubt this will be a high snow event, with accumulation from 3-6 feet, but Sunday could be relatively light in comparison. We should have a better look at wind numbers on Friday, but they should be reduced, at least compared to what they’ll see during the heart of the lake effect snow storm.
You’re going to be hearing a lot about the weather for the Week 11 Bills vs. Browns game and for good reason. Orchard Park, where Highmark Stadium (formerly Ralph Wilson Stadium) is going to get multiple days of lake effect snow. Snowpocalypse, snowmaggedon, thundersnow, these are just a few of the made-up words you’ll hear about this weather event.
Weather needs to be extreme to truly impact games, but when deciding between two players who you like equally, it might be a helpful tie breaker. What we really don’t want to see is 20 mph or higher wind speeds. Rain can cause problems, but unless it is a combination of high winds and rain, we usually don’t want to downgrade our fantasy football players too much.
Weather for Bills vs. Browns in Week 11
For Buffalo, they’ll start getting lake effect snow dumped on them starting Wednesday evening that will continue on through Sunday into Monday morning. The Bills-Browns game is at 1pm EST on Sunday and all that really matters are the conditions on the field for those three hours.
The temperature will be below freeezing, but not that much below, at 31 degrees. Unlike Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Highmark has no heated areas on the field of play though. The turf is A-Turf Titan, which isn’t great, but for an outdoor stadium in Buffalo, you aren’t getting grass.
At this point the wind forecast has sustained winds of 20 mph and gusts up in the low 30s. This is where are problem lies. It is still early, but if these wind estimates hold, it is going to be pretty tough to get the deep passing game going. And I wouldn’t play any kickers in fantasy.
The field should be frozen rock solid, but it should also be clear to start the game. The question will be how much snow will fall during the game. If it is significant, footing could also be a problem. Snow amounts likely won’t be accurate until the day before the game.
We’ve got two good offenses going up against each other here and the over/under is currently at 43 points. That’s below what you would expect for two teams that are Top 5 in overall offense. But I could see that number falling still if the forecast gets worse or even stays the same.
We’d expect the running back and short-yardage plays to get more use if the wind forecast remains the same. But overall, the offense would take a hit.