Understanding the Impact of Weather on DFS Performance

Matt Brown
By Matt BrownPublished: January 23, 2024
Understanding the Impact of Weather on DFS Performance

In the dynamic and ever-evolving DFS market, understanding and leveraging every possible factor that could influence player performance is essential to gain an edge over your opponents.

Among these, weather stands out as a significant yet often overlooked element.

We're discussing how weather conditions can affect player performances in various sports, thus influencing DFS outcomes.

The Weather Factor in Sports Performance

Weather conditions can dramatically impact sports performance. In outdoor sports like football, baseball, and soccer, weather plays a direct role.

But even in ostensibly indoor sports like basketball, external weather can indirectly affect player performance, though a bit different than you might think.

These are some of the most common situations where weather can influence performance—

  • Football and rain. In football, a rainy day can lead to a slippery field, affecting players' grip and ball control. This can result in more turnovers or a conservative game plan, focusing on running plays over passing. A classic example is the infamous "Mud Bowl" game in 1982, where the Miami Dolphins took advantage of the muddy, rain-soaked field to defeat the New York Jets.
  • Baseball and wind. The wind is a critical factor in baseball. Sure, it's a small ball, but it's light. A strong wind blowing out can turn fly balls into home runs, while a breeze blowing in can have the opposite effect. For instance, Wrigley Field in Chicago is notorious for its wind patterns, which have historically altered game outcomes.
  • Basketball and travel delays. Something you most likely never thought of. While basketball is primarily an indoor sport, weather can still impact player performance indirectly. For example, unexpected travel delays due to bad weather can result in fatigue and a lack of preparation, influencing game performance on the court.

There's more, but you get the idea. Weather can either positively affect or negatively impact the performance of any pro player at any moment.

Strategies for DFS Players

As a DFS player, understanding these nuances can give you a significant edge.

Here are some strategies our EatWatchBet expert DFS players consider—

  • Check the weather forecast. Always check the weather forecast before finalizing your lineup. Look for extreme conditions like heavy rain, strong winds, or extreme temperatures. Don't just consider the forecast for your players, but also consider who your opponents are playing. This is a great time to employ a late swap strategy.
  • Analyze historical data. Look at how players and teams have historically performed under certain weather conditions. This data can be a goldmine for predicting future performances - both good and bad.
  • Consider the venue. Some stadiums and arenas are more susceptible to weather effects than others. Factor this into your decision-making. Remember when we mentioned Wrigley Field? Dodger Stadium has also experienced some crazy winds in the past. Don't look at the obvious.
  • Adapt your strategy. This is where the action meets your research. Be ready to pivot your strategy based on the latest weather information. This might mean favoring certain positions or players who perform better under specific conditions.

Of course, weather might not be the most significant factor, as these are professional athletes who'll play through, but it's worth considering.

Real-Life Examples and Outcomes

Let's look at some real-life examples where weather played a pivotal role in DFS outcomes—

  • The snow game. In December 2013, a game between the Detroit Lions and the Philadelphia Eagles, known as the "Snow Bowl," was played in heavy snowfall. LeSean McCoy of the Eagles had an outstanding game, rushing for 217 yards and showcasing how some players can excel in extreme conditions.
  • The wind factor in baseball. In a game at Oracle Park, known for its strong winds, a seemingly routine pop fly turned into a home run, significantly altering the DFS scoring for the players involved.
  • Heat and tennis. In the Australian Open, extreme heat has led to fatigue and underperformance from top-ranked players, impacting DFS outcomes.
  • The fog bowl. In a December 1988 NFL game between the Chicago Bears and the Philadelphia Eagles, thick fog engulfed the field. Visibility was so poor that players struggled to see more than a few yards ahead. This unusual condition led to a low-scoring game and affected the performance of key players, which, if DFS had been around then, would've affected the score.
  • Rain-delayed cricket match. In a 2019 World Cup cricket match, heavy rain caused a significant delay, shortening the game. The Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method was used to reset targets, drastically changing the match's dynamics. Top batsmen and bowlers, who are usually high DFS scorers, had their roles and performances altered, affecting fantasy points.
  • High winds in golf. At the 2015 Open Championship, strong winds played havoc, with many top golfers struggling to keep their scores low. This led to unexpected players rising in the DFS rankings as they adapted better to the challenging conditions.

These implications go beyond just DFS and also include sports betting and championships. The weather gets a vote in the outcome of every game, no matter how subtle.

Track the Weather and dominate in DFS!

Weather is an often-underestimated factor in DFS that can significantly affect player performances and game outcomes.

By incorporating weather considerations into your DFS strategy, you can gain an edge over competitors who overlook this aspect.

It's not to say that you have to spend hours checking the weather forecast for every MLB game for the evening, but if you're banking on a starting pitcher to deliver some value, check the weather to see if it's a good bet.

Matt Brown

Matt Brown

Head of DFS

Matt's deep-rooted enthusiasm for sports betting and daily fantasy sports infuses the EatWatchDraft team with valuable expertise in football, hockey, and baseball. His forward-thinking perspectives are grounded in a solid academic foundation, including a B.S. in Aeronautical Computer Science and an M.S. in Project Management. This combination of sports passion and technical knowledge fuels Matt's innovative input to the platform.