New Panthers offensive coordinator Mike Shula plans to make Newton think pass first, and then run the football if no one is open. Expect Newton to stay in the pocket more, which should increase his passing yards and decrease his rushing total. Newton has two above average running backs, Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams to reduce his workload.
Although Newton led the team in rushing yards last year with 741 yards, do not expect him to lead in that category this year. Expect him to snap more from the center than from the shotgun position. He will have to opportunity to have a career high in passing yards with at least 4100 yards
The only new weapon the Panthers added was former Giants WR Domenik Hixon. Hixon should be the new number-three receiver. He will push for the number-two receiving spot that is currently claimed by Brandon LaFell. Although Hixon is a better slot receiver than former Panthers receiver Louis Murphy, Newton will play with the same core of players from last year.
Newton should be in the first tier of quarterbacks drafted with Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers around the first or second round in a 10-team league. After those three quarterbacks, the second tier of quarterbacks should be Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Matthew Stafford and Matt Ryan in the next three rounds. If you cannot select the first or second tier quarterbacks, it is okay. Plenty of good, young quarterbacks will be available in the later rounds such as Robert Griffin III.
Fantasy Projection: 4300 passing yards, 25 passing Touchdowns, 12 interceptions, 90 carries, 550 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns.
Alan Lim is a Dallas Cowboys writer for rantsports.com. Follow him on twitter @alanlim_.