Fantasy Football: 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Draft Cam Newton in 2014

Fantasy Football: 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Draft Cam Newton in 2014

Cam Newton Carolina Panthers
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Don’t draft Superman? This is madness! Madness? This … is … well, not Sparta. But this will be a new NFL season with a weakened Cam Newton without good tools for success. A lot has changed this offseason for Carolina, and most of the moves detract from Cam Newton’s fantasy value next year. Don’t draft him just because of his brand name. Here are a few reasons why.

5. Great Defense

Carolina Panthers
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5. Great Defense

Carolina Panthers
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In 2013, the Carolina Panthers' defense ranked second in the NFL in points allowed, with opposing teams scoring only 15.1 points per game. Regardless of how talented and skilled a QB is, the fact is that any smart coach isn’t going to risk turning the ball over when his team has the lead. While Newton has the arm strength and accuracy to sling the football, he doesn’t often need to when the Panthers limit their opponents from scoring.

4. Weakened Offensive Line

Jordan Gross Carolina Panthers
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4. Weakened Offensive Line

Jordan Gross Carolina Panthers
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Last season, the Panthers’ offensive line was ranked seventh in the NFL. But this offseason, the Panthers have lost OT Bruce Campbell to the Washington Redskins as well as OG Jeff Byers, OL Geoff Hangartner and star LT Jordan Gross to retirement. While Newton is definitely quick on his feet, a much weaker offensive line will impact both the running game as well as pass protection. Carolina’s offense may struggle to come together in 2014.

3. Poor Receiving Corps

Steve Smith Carolina Panthers
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3. Poor Receiving Corps

Steve Smith Carolina Panthers
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The Panthers released WR Steve Smith in March, and he is now a Baltimore Raven. The team also has a brand new receiving corps consisting of Jerricho Cotchery, Jason Avant and Tiquan Underwood. They may prove to be serviceable WRs, but they certainly aren’t superstars. Newton will need to build rapport with his new teammates, as TE Greg Olsen will be the only starter returning from last season.

2. Ankle Surgery

Cam Newton Carolina Panthers
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2. Ankle Surgery

Cam Newton Carolina Panthers
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Cam Newton’s fantasy value isn’t based on a ton of passing yards and TDs like Drew Brees or Peyton Manning. A lot of his value comes from his rushing yards and TDs. He underwent ankle surgery in March, and he’ll miss a lot of practice in the offseason. This gives him less time to work with his new receivers, and we’ll have to see how this impacts his rushing game. It may not hurt his rushing too much, but it will be a negative factor.

1. Better Value Elsewhere

Cam Newton Carolina Panthers
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1. Better Value Elsewhere

Cam Newton Carolina Panthers
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Odds are that Newton will still finish as a top-10 QB at the end of the 2014 season. But if your league-mates are still going to draft him in the early rounds, why take the risk on him? The NFL has evolved into a more pass-centric league, and there are a lot of QBs with cheaper price tags out there who can match or even outperform him. Take a guy like Matt Ryan, Andrew Luck or RG III later and build up your other positions first.


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