Cam Newton – Quarterback – Age 30 – Year 9
Cam Newton has been a fantasy darling throughout his NFL career. He always finishes as a QB1 (a top 12 QB), due in large part to his rushing ability which can skew the quarterback position from a fantasy value. Year after year he carries fantasy teams to championships on the back of his big game performances. Coming off of his second shoulder surgery in the past three seasons, how will SuperCam fare in 2019? I’ll get to that in a bit, but let’s rewind last season.
Cam and the Panthers started off 2018 hot as the team started off the year 6-2. However, after a week 10 beat down by the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the tide of the season changed. The Panthers lost out the rest of their games, and the club shut down Newton after week 14 once his shoulder injury continued to worsen. That said, Newton was unbelievable during his time on the field. From week 2 through week 13 he threw for 2+ touchdowns in every game. While interceptions have always been a concern for Newton, he finished with 13 on the season. However, he threw four in one game vs Tampa Bay late in the season. Take that out and he’d thrown single-digit interceptions for the first time in his career. Additionally, he saw a completion percentage of 67.9% which is by far and away the best of his career. As far as his patented rushing totals go, he had 101 attempts for 488 and 4 touchdowns, which was one of his lowest totals to date, albeit, it was only 14 games. Regardless, Cam Newton was incredible once again from a fantasy football perspective in 2018.
Cam’s 2018 stat line: 320/471 passing (67.9%), 3395 passing yards, 24 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, 101 carries, 488 rushing yards, and 4 rushing touchdowns. He was QB #5 through the 14 games he played.
Coming off of the previously mentioned shoulder surgery, Cam Newton is expected to be available at the start of the year, but just because he’s available doesn’t mean he will be fully utilized like normal. Remember last season the coaching staff wouldn’t let him throw deep downfield, limiting his passing ability. That said, this might be Cam’s best set of offensive weapons he’s ever had. But at age 30, and Christian McCaffrey shining in the backfield, Newton’s rushing dominance will continue to slowly decrease, though it is still viable. For every good thing to like about Newton this season, there is something negative to negate it. Additionally, the quarterback position increasingly gets deeper with more options available. I have Newton ranked as my eighth quarterback this year (for now), but it’s not a comfortable eight. His average draft position in 12-team leagues right now is the third pick of the ninth round (pick 101). He is the eleventh QB taken off the board behind Kyler Murray (WOW), Russell Wilson, and Carson Wentz. However, he is going ahead of Jared Goff, Jameis Winston, and Philip Rivers. At the ninth round and especially QB 11, Cam Newton is a value this year as a quarterback who has never finished outside the top 12 and has top 5 upside when he’s on the field.
2019 projected stat line: 330/500 (66%), 3,450 passing yards, 26 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, 115 rushing attempts, 520 rushing yards, 5 rushing touchdowns.
UPDATE**** July 29th, 2019: After stating out the rest of the Panthers’ offense and factoring in Newton’s recent comments about his arm post-shoulder surgery, there’s no way he throws 500 passes. I have bumped him down to 310/450 (68%), 3200 passing yards, 24 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, 115 rush attempts, 520 rushing yards, 5 rushing touchdowns.