With the recent news that Cam Newton signed a 1-year deal with the New England Patriots the entire NFL community has been giving their opinions on the matter. Well, we thought that we would also get in on the action, but instead focus in on what this means for Cam in terms of Fantasy Football for the 2020 season and why he just became one of the MUST target late round QB's.
Before getting into the INSANE upside with Cam Newton, and we do mean insane, let's start with the obvious concerns. The health of Cam has been a point of conversation pretty much since he entered the league because of his physical playing style and the amount of hits he would expose himself to. And wouldn't you know it, sooner or later those hits started to catch up with him as up until this point Cam has suffered concussions, ankle injuries requiring surgery, a rib fracture, shoulder injuries requiring surgery, and most recently a foot injury that forced him to miss the majority of the 2019 season and also required surgery. Due to this it's pretty evident that Cam has taken a beating and affirms why many people view him as a HUGE injury risk still and shows why it took such a long time for him to get signed to begin with. On top of this however, is the fact that as of right now Cam isn't even guaranteed the starting QB spot and all the projections being made surrounding his 2020 season are speculative at best. BUT, the expectation is that if Cam shows the Patriots that he is healthy and can take in enough of the playbook by the start of the season that he will be the starter for New England, as well he should be. Because even though so many Patriot fans talked themselves into the Jarrett Stidham hype, the reality is that Cam brings an x-factor to the offense that Stidham just doesn't have, he's more experienced, and he's also a former league MVP. The fact of the matter is that having Cam under center alone will increase the expected New England win total significantly and will make all the offensive weapons more viable because of the threat of Cam as a rusher. At the end of the day we believe that this will be enough to cement Cam as rightful heir to Tom Brady, at least for 2020.
Reasons for Optimism
With that being said, lets now get into the nitty-gritty of it and look at the Fantasy Football expectations and costs associated with Newton. While it still might be a bit early to get the right pulse of correct ADP for Cam it's not far-fetched that most people view him outside of the Top 10 Fantasy QB's. This would suggest that Cam is being drafted as a low-end starter or maybe even more likely as a backup to your initial QB choice. In terms of value, at this moment in time, Cam might be the MOST UNDERVALUED QB in all of Fantasy Football. The reason we can say this is because production potential wise, Cam would shatter his current QB rank and when healthy is pretty much a LOCK for a Top 10 Fantasy QB finish. In fact, it's kind of ironic but the fact that Cam has been injured lately can be a bonus for his fantasy stock because if that weren't the case he would be going in the first 6 rounds like years prior and the upside wouldn't be nearly as high.
While Cam might not be a high volume passer (he has only once had over 4000 yards passing once during his rookie year) his real upside comes from his rushing ability (similar to other QB's like Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen that are all the rage now). In fact, the lowest rushing total Cam has ever had when playing a full 16 games has been 585 rushing yards with 6 rushing TD's (which would have put him in 2nd place for rush yards by a QB last year and in 4th for rushing TD's). Now sure, as Cam has gotten older, he's 31 years old, you expect a gradual dip in those numbers, but let's not forget that Cam has had almost had a full year without taking any hits and actually might be a bit more fresh than expected when he returns. Right now we are projecting around 400 rushing yards for Cam in 2020, which honestly might be conservative! A lot of people might say that the coaching staff for New England won't let Cam run as much, but let's not forget that this is a group of coaches that always try to adjust to what their players do best, hell they made Matt Cassel look like a viable QB! And the fact of the matter is that with the Patriots having Cam on only a 1-year contract they will be incentivised to get the most out of him on a week to week basis, which will likely mean giving him the green light to run when he seems fit.
Weapons wise Cam is also in a better situation than most think as he has done MORE with LESS back when he was with the Panthers. If you look at his 2015 MVP season, his WR's were as follows: Devin Funchess, Corey Brown, Ted Ginn, and Jerricho Cothcery.....THAT'S BANANAS! Compare that to Julian Edelman, Mohamed Sanu, N'keal Harry, and Marqise Lee along with Sony Michel/James White and it becomes a no contest. Lastly in terms of competition the AFC East might be one of the weakest divisions in all of football and outside of the Bills, Cam should have 4 games vs the Dolphins and Jets that should be pretty easy on paper to stuff the stat sheets!
But at the end of the day if you still need convincing that Cam is worth owning just think about it this way: last year Lamar Jackson was being drafted very late with the hopes he could be above average and we all remember how that turned out. Honestly, it's simple! With QB's in Fantasy Football you always want to target that ONE guy that you can get close to the double digit rounds that hasn't quite blown up yet but has that potential and can be a league winner. Well the great thing about Cam is that he has already proven he can do that! So wait no longer, go ahead throw caution to the wind and take a chance on Cam, it won't cost you an upper echelon pick and will provide FAR MORE upside than any QB being drafted in his range.