Fresh off of what may be considered a “sophomore slump,” Cam Newton and the Carolina Panther‘s offense is primed to run rampant on the lackluster defenses in the NFC South. With added weapons and an improved line, Newton is looking at sitting in poll position at quarterback throughout the entirety of the Fantasy Football season.
Newton came out of Auburn guns blazing before settling into a minor rut in 2012. But 2013 will offer Cam everything he needs to rise to the top of the fantasy QB rankings.
The Carolina Panthers have everything they had last year, with tons of added weapons. Newton has been given more time to build chemistry with TE Greg Olsen, as well as WRs Steve Smith and Brandon LaFell. As if Cam didn’t have enough targets, the Panthers also added former Superbowl champion WR Domenik Hixon and a very valuable deep threat in WR Ted Ginn. They also repaired the hole in the right side of their line by drafting Edmund Kugbila in the third round.
Along with the weapons on the field, Newton’s new offensive coordinator is former QB coach Mike Shula, whose quarterback specialty and familiarity with Newton allow him the ability to mold the defense around Newton and his wide array of tools.
And what of Cam’s schedule?
The NFC South is an all around gun show. Matt Ryan‘s Atlanta Falcons and Drew Brees‘ New Orleans Saints are two of the most high-powered offenses in the game. They can easily run up the score and they lack the defensive ability to prevent their opponents from keeping pace. Aside from a visit to the San Francisco 49ers and two games against the stout defense but lackluster offense of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Newton finds himself sitting pretty as far as opponents are concerned. It’s about time the Panthers rise to the occasion and prove that they are one of the more potent offenses in the league.
Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Brees and Newton are widely regarded as the top five fantasy QBs available, but Newton has several benefits the other four do not.
First of all, Newton has the best running ability of any QB in the league, with the size and speed that makes him more affective than some running backs. It’s his running ability that has always given him an edge. Even if he throws for 1000 less yards than the other four elite QBs, he makes up for it with 750 yards rushing and 10+ Rushing TDs.
Second of all, he didn’t lose anything. Rodgers lost Greg Jennings, his primary target, and has to play a good amount of games in the freezing weather of the North. Brady lost Aaron Hernandez, Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski‘s health is a major concern. Peyton Manning is only getting older, and the question becomes how much longer he can continue to put up elite numbers. Drew Brees will always command a powerful offense, but his schedule is not enviable. The Saints pay visits to the Chicago Bears, the New England Patriots, the Seattle Seahawks and the St. Louis Rams, along with welcoming the 49ers and Dallas Cowboys into the Superdome.
Cam Newton is fully capable of putting up 4500 yards passing with 25 passing TDs along with 900 yards rushing and 12 rushing TDs.
All things considered, Cam Newton has the tools, the skill set, the offensive scheme and the schedule to put his No. 1 jersey at the No. 1 spot of the fantasy QB charts.