10 for 10 with Ian: Week 15 Top Plays on FantasyAces - Cam Newton Edition
Cam Newton is the favorite to win this year’s NFL MVP award. Going into this season I viewed Newton as a great fantasy quarterback (mostly due to his insane rushing output), but not yet a top tier NFL quarterback. This wasn’t necessarily Newton’s fault (here’s a breakdown of the guys Newton has had the pleasure of throwing the ball to and, with respect to Steve Smith Sr., oh my goodness), but it’s safe to say six months ago Newton wasn’t viewed nearly as highly as he is right now.
Well, it’s safe to say Newton has shown everyone just how great the real Cam can be this year…right?
Newton’s best season was his Pro Bowl 2013 campaign where the Panthers finished 12-4, but that season will hardly be remembered in a few weeks. Here’s the interesting part of the above table though: Newton really hasn’t played that much differently overall in this 2015 season.
Newton’s completion percentage, passing yards, yards per attempt, and rushing output are all essentially identical to what he has put up throughout the entirety of his five year NFL career. His interceptions are a little down, but averaging .08 less interceptions a game is hardly revolutionary. For this season as a whole Newton has simply found the end-zone more often throwing the football.
I really can’t explain why this is the case. Newton lost his number one wide receiver (Kelvin Benjamin) in the preseason, has thrown the ball actually less often than he has in his career, and has only barely thrown the ball downfield more often (7.75 Y/A average versus his career mark of 7.69). So how did Cam Newton become CaM(VP)?
The answer is the hottest five game stretch of Newton’s career. Newton has become more: accurate, effective throwing downfield, and touchdown prone than ever before in his career, by a wide margin. Newton’s rushing totals have taken a small dip recently, but so have his interceptions.
Newton’s literal transformation from Cam Newton to Super Cam has not gone unnoticed, and it shouldn’t: the numbers this guy is putting up are absolutely insane.
In the past we haven’t given Newton the credit he and Panthers’ fans felt he deserved. Maybe it was due to Newton’s history of questionable comments in press conferences following losses. Maybe it was due to Newton’s occasionally over-the-top celebrations. Regardless, Newton and his 13-0 Panthers are both playing like they’re the best in the league, and even if we cannot explain exactly why or how this revolution has happened, let’s agree to make some money by exploiting it.
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