Drafting your fantasy quarterback can come with huge upside or a major downside depending on who you take to be your number one. If you’re lucky enough to be the owner of a team who nabs Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, you’re pretty set. After the major players go down, you’re looking at the lottery as far as who to go with as your starter. Waiting until the later rounds to grab a couple of guys who you can rotate from week to week depending on which defense that particular team is facing is an option. One player at the most scrutinized position in all of the NFL that many fantasy owners along with experts are expecting to produce big numbers in 2013 is, insert drum roll here, Cam Newton.
Really? The man who led his Carolina Panthers team to a 7-9 record in the NFC South which included a disappointing New Orleans Saints team and an up and down Tampa Bay Buccaneers squad? I don’t think so. Newton is ranked way too high in all mock drafts, and I advise against gambling on him with a high draft pick.
Newton will be entering his third year as the starter for the Panthers where He posted some eye popping numbers during his rookie season making fantasy owners look back at their draft wondering why they didn’t pick him up. In his second year as quarterback many owners drafted Newton with high hopes that he would produce the same kind of all star numbers he did during that remarkable rookie season. This was not the outcome. He was very inconsistent and never could seem to be on the same page as the receivers. His rushing yards decreased, and he only threw for four touchdowns while committing seven turnovers before the bye week in week five. Was Newton the one year wonder kind of quarterback? Many owners thought so and scrutiny was building for the second year man out of Auburn.
In the newly released NFL.com 2013 Fantasy Draft Kit, the experts that comprised the list have slotted Newton as the number three overall quarterback to take in this year’s draft. They place him under Rodgers and Brees, of course, yet ahead of the always dependable fantasy stars Brady and Manning. When you look at the draft board as your turn rolls around and see Brady, Manning and Newton available, there is absolutely no way that anyone should turn down Brady or Manning for the third year man on the Panthers. The only way to describe Newton’s projected position in this year’s fantasy draft is overrated.
The Panthers have limited weapons that would show Newton is sure to succeed in 2013. His options at receiver haven’t changed in 34 year old Steve Smith and fourth year man Brandon LaFell. They acquired a lackluster Domenik Hixon from the New York Giants and non factor Ted Ginn from the San Fransisco 49ers, neither of whom will pose a threat to opposing defenses. The Panthers had five picks in the 2013 draft in which they decided not to take a single player to give Newton any added weapons. When Newton enters the locker room at the end of the game, quite a few of his fantasy points that day come from his rushing abilities. Quarterbacks that showcase their running abilities tend to more often than not end up taking a visit to see the team doctor. We see Michael Vick break ribs in what seems like week after week. Robert Griffin III had his knee twisted in a direction most of us would not like to forget. Remember Daunte Culpepper‘s catastrophic knee injury from which he never recovered?
Consider yourself forewarned. Don’t waste one of your high draft picks on Newton praying each and every night that he will come home safe and bring your team to the fantasy championship.