Cam Newton has enjoyed a bounce-back season from last year. After an abysmal season with 52.9 completion percentage, 3,509 yards, 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, Newton has been better in basically every category.
His fantasy status has jumped up as well. After finishing last season as the 17th ranked quarterback in standard leagues, Newton has bumped all the way up to the fifth in 2017.
Now he faces his toughest matchup of the year against the great Vikings defense. With fantasy football entering the postseason, it leaves fantasy owners wondering if Newton is worth a start in Week 14.
Case for starting him
Newton hasn’t been perfect for fantasy owners, but he has been good enough to start every week. Arguably the best rusher on the team with 515 rushing yards and five touchdowns, Newton always has a chance to break off a big run and score rushing touchdowns in the red zone.
This will be the key against the Vikings. The Minnesota defense has one of the best secondaries led by Xavier Rhodes and Harrison Smith, so the run game will be necessary for the offense to flow.
The part of Newton’s game that fantasy owners reap from the most is his ability to run the football. If he does in fact succeed in running the football against Minnesota, then he’ll rack up the fantasy points for sure.
As for throwing the football and utilizing his weapons, Newton has found much more success recently. Newton has increased his chemistry immensely with Christian McCaffrey and Devin Funchess, plus this week he’ll be getting Greg Olsen and Ryan Kalil back.
Newton’s success depends on his receivers catch success and his offensive line. The drops have been plaguing Carolina as their inexperienced receiving corps is getting the best of them. With the return of Kalil, it will hopefully provide more stability for Newton and the Panthers offense.
There is a lot of big play ability with Newton, and his rushing ability makes him a viable start on Sunday. However, there is a reason to sit him.
Case for sitting him
Newton may be one of the most frustrating players for fantasy owners. He has the talent and the big play ability to be a Hall of Fame quarterback, but his inconsistency and attitude are holding him back.
As a passer, he has had inconsistencies in completion percentage and passing yards. Newton is averaging just 215 passing yards per game. If Newton struggles to run the ball, then his fantasy numbers may take a hit.
Going up against the strong Vikings defense, if Newton doesn’t play smart and use his weapons like he should, he may struggle on Sunday. His top target, Devin Funchess will be going up against Xavier Rhodes, who has locked down elite receivers all season because of his size and strength. Usually Newton and Funchess can connect with jump balls, but that may not be the case going up against Rhodes.
With the Vikings secondary being as good as they are, and the front seven locking down against an inconsistent Panthers offensive line, Newton is a low tier QB1.
Look for other options, but he isn’t a must bench in Week 14.
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