2020 has been a wild ride for everyone, but Cam Newton has had more than his fair share of ups and downs. He was released by the only team he had ever played for, was a free agent for most of the offseason, then accepted a below-market, one-year deal with the New England Patriots. And that was just before the season started.
Early in September it looked like it all worked out. Newton led the Patriots to wins in two of their first three games and threw for 397 yards in their lone loss. Bill Belichick looked like a genius, Newton looked like Superman again, and the rest of the league had egg on their face. Then, as it has so often this year, COVID-19 messed things up.
Newton contracted coronavirus and missed a Week 4 loss to the Chiefs. The next week's game against the Broncos was postponed due to an outbreak on the team. The team's facilities remained closed through most of last week and three more Patriots were placed on the COVID/Reserve list list the day before they faced the Broncos. What I'm saying is; it shouldn't be too surprising they only managed 12 points in a disheartening loss. And I definitely wouldn't hold it against Newton in Week 7.
Seemingly, the Patriots face another good defense with San Francisco coming to town. But they're dealing with a handful of injuries and one thing they don't do well at all is defend running quarterbacks. No team has allowed more rushing yards to opposing quarterbacks than the 49ers. That's a boon to Newton, who has at least nine rush attempts in every start this year. He leads the Patriots with 225 yards and five touchdowns on the ground this year.
Put that miserable Week 6 performance out of your mind and start Newton with confidence in Week 7.
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Week 7 QB Preview
Numbers to know
- 27.6 -- Ryan Tannehill is averaging 27.6 Fantasy points per game. Even with a miserable matchup against the Steelers, there aren't any streamers I'd rather start than him.
- 365.7 -- Matt Ryan has averaged more than 350 passing yards per game in three full games with Julio Jones.
- 41.1 -- Carson Wentz has already set a career high for Fantasy points scored in the running game.
- 11.25 -- Cam Newton is averaging more than 11 rush attempts per game.
- 8.9 -- Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson are tied for league lead in yards per pass attempt. Watson is who we thought he was.
- 6.1 -- The Panthers have held opposing quarterbacks to 6.1 yards per attempt. No other defense is below 6.5.
- 5.9 -- Drew Brees is the only quarterback in the NFL below 6 intended air yards per attempt.
- 33.7 -- Opposing quarterbacks are averaging 33.67 Fantasy points per game against the Falcons.
- 2114 -- Joe Burrow's 2,114 intended air yards are third most in the NFL.
- 83.5% -- According to Pro Football Reference, 83.5% of Derek Carr's passes have been on target. Only Wilson has been more accurate.
Matchups that matter
Waiver Wire Targets
Derek Carr QB
LV Las Vegas • #4
Age: 29 • Experience: 7 yrs.
This is not an easy matchup, but Carr has been pretty much excellent against seemingly bad matchups. He scored at least 22 Fantasy points in four straight starts, including games at New England and at Kansas City. His team is rested and at home coming off a bye, while the Buccaneers are primed for a letdown after a huge win over the Packers and now have to fly across the country and spend a weekend in Las Vegas.
CAR Carolina • #5
Age: 28 • Experience: 7 yrs.
Bridgewater's roster rate is a little too high for this section, but I expect that to change after the first waiver run. If he's dropped in your league, scoop him up for his Week 8 matchup with the Falcons. If he's currently on your roster, don't drop him! In fact, I'd rather start him this week over Wentz, Brees and Goff.
MIA Miami • #1
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow have shown us what type of impact rookie quarterbacks can have. I don't want to start Tagovailoa in his first start against the Rams in Week 8, but I would like to have him on my roster just in case.
Cam Newton QB
NE New England • #1
Age: 31 • Experience: 10 yrs.
That was a miserable outing for the Patriots, but it's easy to give them (and Newton) a pass because of their lack of practice time and the missing pieces on the offensive line. I'm hopeful the offensive line stabilizes before Week 7, and I expect Newton's play will as well. Even with the dud, he's still averaging 23.4 Fantasy points per game in FanDuel scoring. That's better than DeShaun Watson, Lamar Jackson and Aaron Rodgers.
It's possible I'll have to change this later in the week because Herbert will be too chalky. He actually has a better projected Fantasy points per dollar ratio in my projections than Newton, but the game script risk is enough for me to stay away from him in cash games. In tournaments, he'll be my most rostered quarterback.
So who should you start and sit this week? And which surprising quarterback could lead you to victory? Visit SportsLine now to get Week 7 rankings for every position, plus see which QB is going to come out of nowhere to crack the top 10, all from the model that out-performed experts big-time last season.