The last free agent who can turn the game around got rid of this status by signing an agreement with the Patriots. Cam Newton, a former MVP league, joined the team on a lightweight contract weighted by various bonuses. This step could potentially keep the team leadership in the AFC East Division after Tom Brady was sent to Buccaneers. It will also affect the fantasy league. Being strong and healthy, Newton was the driving force behind fantasy, becoming number 1 quarterback in 2014 and falling into the top 10 five times from his seven seasons. He had another season, where he was the top 10 with points in one game. For his first eight seasons, Newton averaged 23 pass touchdowns and 7 touchdowns with his feet per season, including two in double digit.
In those days, there would be no doubt that Newton would be the starting quarterback, knowing that Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham were competing with him. In those days, the Patriots would probably have been designing for their next championship ring. However, after a shoulder injury ended his season in 2018, and his 2019 was ruined by a leg injury, real questions arise about whether Newton is physically capable of being a starter.
The problem is that Newton greatly benefited both in the real game and in fantasy, from his ability to break through with the ball, which allowed him to shine when the envelope was opened, and at the same time served as the basis for the game in front of the test zone.
However, the last time we saw him running, Newton ran the ball just five times for 2 yards in two games in 2019, and he only had 25.6 yards per game. In the last nine games of 2018, there was also no remote touchdown. So, Newton will have to prove that he is healthy enough to become the same dominant running quarterback again, or he will have to prove that he can be a good enough walker to compensate for this in another way.
There are, of course, reasons for optimism regarding both options, despite the fact that much can go according to the worst-case scenario.
Newton's athletic style of play has left its mark, but it will enter the 2020 season, playing just two games in the past 21 months and be as fresh as possible. A foot injury is a serious matter, but if it makes itself felt, Newton may still be a valuable asset by staying in an envelope, even if “those days” with 700+ yards and a two-digit number of touchdowns on the legs have already passed.
If everything is bad with the removal, then Newton’s contribution to fantasy is much lower. However, if he is as good as he passing up to a shoulder injury in 2018, then this will be a good investment. Then, after the first twelve games of the season, Newton sold 69.5% of his passes for 2999 yards and 24 touchdowns, which gave him 7.5 yards per attempt and 6.0% touchdowns, which was enough for the third and second best seasons of his career .
Newton may have to look like the best version of himself in order to really make a difference in the Fantasy League in the Patriots attack, which looked lifeless for most of 2019, even with Tom Brady. Julian Edelman and Mohamed Sanu are the biggest names from last year’s attack, but at the moment, none of the attacks will be able to truly support the quarterback playmaker style. N'Keal Harry may be the very guy who will support Newton's attacking style and this will certainly help in the season. After the first season of the newcomer, who was also burdened with injuries, the host will have to prove himself once again, and only then help Newton. However, Newton plus Harry should be one of the best combinations in the end, because both have more than enough potential.
Newton’s signing can also affect other players on the team. This is probably not good news for Edelman, who made the most out of the sheer amount of short passes from Brady. At the moment, the 34-year-old with a long history of injuries, who need a higher percentage of targeted transmissions, will not be happy at all, as Newton’s ability to run on his own can deprive him of treasured short yards. The same can be said of San, who after joining the Patriots was largely in the wings. If New England relies on the pass game, then it will be N'Kil Harry, the second drafted host in 2019, with a strong athletic profile and an excellent track record in college, despite his inexpressive freshman season.
Ultimately, this is a good solution with minimal risk for the Patriots, which also works for fantasy players who aim at Newton in the draft. Especially for those who choose it before the opening of training camps. If Newton will look great in the training camp and secure a place at the start ahead of time, then we should expect that its price will increase to the top 10 quarterbacks. Therefore, if you have the opportunity to take Cam earlier, then the value will be even higher.