Cam Newton is a Fantasy enigma heading into 2020. We don't know how healthy he is, or even for sure where he's going to play. On Tuesday morning, Ia Rapoport gave us a clue as to the latter.
A lot can still happen in the coming months, but as of now, the #Panthers are moving forward with Cam Newton as their starting QB, sources say. While his foot is healing well, it will be several months until it’s game-ready — a timeline that complicates any potential trade.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 25, 2020
There's a lot to unpack here. First, it's not exactly encouraging that Newton won't be game-ready for "several months". It's less than seven months until Week 1. Seven and several are in the same ballpark. I'd really like to see Newton a full-go in training camp.
Of course, the other implication here is that Newton will remain on the Panthers. Assuming that stays the same, it's a real boon for Newton's upside. New Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady should install an offense that focuses on getting " and he has the weapons to do it. Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel fit perfectly and to elevate whoever plays quarterback in this system.
As miserable as last year was, it's worth remembering how good Newton was at his best. Every time he's played 16 games he's finished as a top-four quarterback. As recently as 2018 he was the No. 12 quarterback in just 14 games. And arguably, he's never had better weapons. If Brady has success as a rookie OC, a healthy Newton could be right back in top-five discussion.
The projections currently have Newton at No. 11, but I'm not sure how useful that projection is for him in February. What might be more useful would be to know that a fully healthy Newton would project as QB6 in leagues that reward six points per pass touchdown and QB5 in four-point leagues.
Newton's ADP will be rightly suppressed until he's fully cleared. If that happens by July, I'll project him as a borderline top-five quarterback.
Here are the rest of my early projections for 2020: