Stop Drafting Cam Newton as a Top-10 QB

Jun 16, 2017

Cam Newton completed a career-worst 52.9% of his passes in 2016

Maybe some are just pretending they didn’t watch Cam Newton complete a career-worst 52.9% of his passes in 2016, good for 30th in the league behind Brock Osweiler, Blake Bortles, and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Or perhaps some are simply convinced that a few new faces and the notably sluggish Kelvin Benjamin and his 51.5% career catch rate is enough to fuel a bounceback year. Whatever the case may be, Newton’s current ADP puts him at QB7 as the weather warms and training camp looms. He is still not cleared to throw a football at minicamp following shoulder surgery.

We all like to reminisce about the picks of fantasy seasons past, but Newton simply isn’t the player he was during his 2015 MVP run. He had the excitement factor of a two-dimensional, freakishly athletic signal-caller that never fails to suck fantasy owners in, but that player is gone. He has finished outside the top-15 in two of his last three seasons. As he continues to break down from his physical play, he is now limited by the one thing that made him most valuable.

Complete a mock draft in minutes with our free Draft Simulator >>

It’s clear Newton’s rushing numbers are trending in the wrong direction following last season’s concussion and will be inconsistent at best going forward. The Panthers organization has made a conscious effort to take the stress off Newton’s legs, adding Christian McCaffrey and slasher Curtis Samuel in the first two rounds of the draft, as well as extending Jonathan Stewart. Newton has never completed more than 61.7% of his passes in a season, which would have been good for only 19th-best in 2016. If the rushing element of Newton’s game continues to evaporate, so too does his potential as a fantasy QB1.

At his current draft price, you’re banking on Newton over the likes of Jameis Winston, Kirk Cousins, Marcus Mariota, Derek Carr, Ben Roethlisberger, and more. In some cases, he is being taken ahead of reigning MVP Matt Ryan. None of this is to say that a rebound year isn’t possible, or even probable, for Newton, but I won’t be among those taking on the necessary risk to benefit from it. In a year where the consensus seems to be that the quarterback position is as deep as ever, investing in Newton’s reasonable ceiling at this point in his career is nearly guaranteed to fail to return value.

Nail your draft by prepping with the FantasyPros Draft Kit. Cheat Sheets, sleepers & more >>


Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher | SoundCloud | Google Play | TuneIn | RSS

Mike Agrusa is a correspondent at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive or follow him @FauxFBNation.


What's your take? Leave a comment

Fantasy Games
FanDuel photo
Play for your share of $1m+
for FREE with first deposit
DRAFT photo
Play fantasy drafts for cash with a money back guarantee
CBS Sports photo
Serious Fantasy Football
Get our Mobile App!

Enter your phone number below, and we'll text you a link to download the app.

1Antonio Brown (PIT)WR
2Julio Jones (ATL)WR
3Le'Veon Bell (PIT)RB
4Kareem Hunt (KC)RB
5A.J. Green (CIN)WR
6Leonard Fournette (JAC)RB
7Michael Thomas (NO)WR
8Mike Evans (TB)WR
9Todd Gurley (LAR)RB
10Brandin Cooks (NE)WR
 View all Flex Rankings 
11Devonta Freeman (ATL)RB
12Larry Fitzgerald (ARI)WR
13Chris Hogan (NE)WR
14Melvin Gordon (LAC)RB
15Jordy Nelson (GB)WR
16Jordan Howard (CHI)RB
17Michael Crabtree (OAK)WR
18Rob Gronkowski (NE)TE
19Mark Ingram (NO)RB
20Doug Baldwin (SEA)WR
21Jay Ajayi (MIA)RB
22Adam Thielen (MIN)WR
23Carlos Hyde (SF)RB
24T.Y. Hilton (IND)WR
25C.J. Anderson (DEN)RB
26DeMarco Murray (TEN)RB
27Jerick McKinnon (MIN)RB
28Doug Martin (TB)RB
29Keenan Allen (LAC)WR
30Adrian Peterson (ARI)RB
1Jose Altuve (HOU)2B
2Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)1B
3Nolan Arenado (COL)3B
4Mike Trout (LAA)CF,DH
5Mookie Betts (BOS)RF
6Charlie Blackmon (COL)CF
7Max Scherzer (WSH)SP
8Joey Votto (CIN)1B
9Kris Bryant (CHC)1B,3B
10Chris Sale (BOS)SP
 View All Rankings 
11Manny Machado (BAL)3B,SS
12Anthony Rizzo (CHC)1B,2B
13Corey Seager (LAD)SS
14Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)RF
15Clayton Kershaw (LAD)SP
16Corey Kluber (CLE)SP
17Daniel Murphy (WSH)1B,2B
18Nelson Cruz (SEA)RF,DH
19George Springer (HOU)CF,RF
20Freddie Freeman (ATL)1B,3B
21Francisco Lindor (CLE)SS
22Edwin Encarnacion (CLE)1B,DH
23Josh Donaldson (TOR)3B,DH
24Yu Darvish (LAD)SP
25Robinson Cano (SEA)2B
26Bryce Harper (WSH)RF
27Miguel Cabrera (DET)1B,DH
28J.D. Martinez (ARI)RF
29Madison Bumgarner (SF)SP
30Jose Abreu (CWS)1B,DH
1Kevin Durant (GSW)SF,PF
2Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)SF,PF
3James Harden (HOU)PG,SG
4Stephen Curry (GSW)PG,SG
5Russell Westbrook (OKC)PG
6Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)C
7Anthony Davis (NOR)PF,C
8Kawhi Leonard (SAS)SG,SF
9LeBron James (CLE)SF,PF
10Nikola Jokic (DEN)PF,C
 View All Rankings 
11John Wall (WAS)PG
12DeMarcus Cousins (NOR)PF,C
13Chris Paul (HOU)PG
14Damian Lillard (POR)PG
15Rudy Gobert (UTH)C
16Jimmy Butler (MIN)SG,SF
17Kyrie Irving (BOS)PG,SG
18Myles Turner (IND)PF,C
19Hassan Whiteside (MIA)C,PF
20Paul George (OKC)SF,PF
21Kyle Lowry (TOR)PG
22Draymond Green (GSW)SF,PF
23Kristaps Porzingis (NYK)PF,C
24Kemba Walker (CHA)PG
25C.J. McCollum (POR)PG,SG
26Mike Conley (MEM)PG
27Bradley Beal (WAS)SG
28Klay Thompson (GSW)SG,SF
29Gordon Hayward (BOS)SG,SF
30Marc Gasol (MEM)C