Newton is still dealing with the effects of offseason ankle surgery. A rib injury during the preseason has also impacted his ability to use his legs more. Newton stressed that he's looking to be more of a pocket passer, though, even when he's fully healthy. "I look at myself as a pocket passer with the ability to run," Newton said. He added, however, that he's feeling healthier and might be able to show off his running skills soon. "Hopefully I will be able to display my running talents soon," he added.
I understand passer rating doesn't mean what it used to with completion percentages on the rise, but that's not even where Newton excelled against the Ravens. He averaged 7.9 yards per attempt and didn't turn the ball over -- two important measurements regardless of the times.
And he's been great in both areas all year. The problem is it hasn't yielded much in Fantasy because he hasn't delivered the touchdowns.
I think that changes eventually -- maybe even this week against the Bears, who allowed four touchdown passes to the Packers' Aaron Rodgers last week -- but I'm of the belief that at a position as deep as quarterback, you don't start a guy until he gives you reason to start him. I feel more comfortable with everyone Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Richard rank ahead of Newton at quarterback for this week, which means he should probably be sitting in standard 12-team leagues.
Newton put together his worst performance of the season, as the rushing attack fell apart and left the passing game spread thin. He wasn't bad, necessarily, but 13 Fantasy points isn't going to make anyone happy. And, the biggest issue remains that Newton no longer looks like a threat to run the ball, as he finished with just two carries for 7 yards.
Newton has been handed a deck that was stacked against him from the start this season, so he is making due with what he has for now. Unfortunately, this makes him awfully hard to rely on, with matchups really dictating Newton's Fantasy utility from here on out.
Newton's only touchdown pass came when he hit a wide open Kelvin Benjamin for a 28-yard touchdown with 8:35 left in the second quarter, which tied the game at 7. Newton completed 8 of 16 passes for 135 yards in the first half.
Newton, who rushed for 7 yards on two carries, hasn't thrown an interception in three games, but he has totaled just one passing touchdown in each game. The Panthers, who have lost their last two games, are back in action Week 5 vs. Chicago.
Fantasy owners have to be pleased with Newton's play so far, but they might want to pump the brakes a bit heading into Week 4, with the Ravens on the schedule. Baltimore's defense has allowed just 14.0 Fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, good for the sixth-lowest total in the league, and Newton's various injuries have pretty much sapped his mobility.
What has made Newton such a dynamic Fantasy option in the past has been his ability to bully his way into the end zone, having racked up 28 rushing touchdowns in his first three seasons. Through two games, however, he has rushed the ball just six times, a trend that is unlikely to change in the short term.
The Ravens have done a good job so far in stopping the pass, though they have just two sacks, so Newton might be able to stay upright this week. Unfortunately, neither Jamey Eisenberg nor Dave Richard is particularly high on him this week; neither has him higher than 15th among quarterbacks for Week 4. Consider him a risky start in most leagues.
|6||10/12/14||@ CIN||1:00 pm|
|7||10/19/14||@ GB||1:00 pm|
|10||11/10/14||@ PHI||8:30 pm|
|Bye: Week 12|
|13||11/30/14||@ MIN||1:00 pm|
|14||12/7/14||@ NO||1:00 pm|
|17||12/28/14||@ ATL||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
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