2012 Recap: Cam started the season with extremely high expectations, but failed to live up to them during the first half of the season. If you were able to hang in there and survive the first 7 games of the season, then Cam may have led you to a championship. In his final nine games of the year, Newton was the top QB, with 26.4 FPG on 159/273 for 2168 yards, 14 TDs, and 4 INTs. He also added 76 carries for 431 yards and 5 TDs. For the year he was 4th among QBs (24.5 FPG). Overall, his TDs and passing yards dipped, but his rushing yards went up. His ridiculous 14 rushing TDs in 2011 could not be matched, as they dropped to 8 for the season (still great).
What’s Changed: Rob Chudzinski is now in Cleveland and Mike Shula has been promoted from QB coach to OC. This should help with the continuity of the offense and hopefully bring some consistency as well. The Panthers threw the ball well below the NFL average last season and although some of that has to do with the fact that Cam runs, it is a problem for his passing numbers. I am hoping Shula can get the running game going and get Cam in more spread formations where he looks the most comfortable. The Panthers coaching staff have indicated that they will run an uptempo offense that will run more actual plays which should lead to more fantasy points. The only real addition to the pass attack is Dominick Hixon, who is an intriguing late round pick, but is far from a major upgrade. Cam shed 13 pounds this offseason, which may make him even more dangerous on the ground.
Outlook: Cam Newton has elite tools to work with and is fantastic in the pocket and dangerous when he takes off and runs. Steve Smith can still get it done and Greg Olsen is a solid option at TE. Brandon LaFell flashed at times, but didn’t step up the way I expected. I mentioned Hixon earlier, and he can be a deep threat that can make big plays. Newton’s improvements over the second half of the 2012 season was very encouraging and it looks like Cam is growing up mentally. The guy has freakish abilities and could be the #1 fantasy QB by year’s end. With an ADP that is appealing, Newton provides all the positives stated above with a cheap price tag.
Juan – has written 5290 posts on this site.
Juan Elway is an enthusiast of Fantasy Football, Movies, and Combat Sports, but don't call him an expert. He once shook Adrian Peterson's hand and AP winced in pain. Follow him on Twitter where you can partake in all sorts of shenanigans.