Newton acknowledged that Tuesday's trade of top wideout Kelvin Benjamin to the Bills "changes much" of the Panthers' offense, which head coach Ron Rivera said would include more downfield throws following Benjamin's departure, Marc Sessler of reports.

Although Benjamin's absence leaves a sizable hole in the Carolina receiving ranks, it paves the way for the team to inject more speed into the offense, with rookie Curtis Samuel, Russell Shepard and Kaelin Clay all mentioned by Rivera as players who could help the vertical passing game. While it remains to be seen whether the Panthers have the personnel to threaten defenses over the top, more deep passes would obviously help Newton's fantasy stock if Carolina's plan works. In contrast, losing his favorite wideout mid-season could hurt Newton's short-term value, particularly with security blanket Greg Olsen (foot) still sidelined.

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