Cam Newton is back with the Patriots this season, and hopefully Year 2 goes better than Year 1. He should be considered a No. 2 Fantasy quarterback in all leagues, and he's worth drafting with a mid-round pick in two-quarterback and Superflex formats. In one-quarterback leagues, Newton is only worth a late-round flier in deeper formats. The biggest thing to monitor with Newton is if he can hold off rookie Mac Jones for the starting job, but all indications are Newton will open the season as the starter. Newton replaced Tom Brady in New England last year and started the season strong with consecutive games of at least 25 Fantasy points, but things went downhill from there, including a stint on the reserve/COVID-19 list. He only had four more games with at least 20 Fantasy points on the season, and he passed for just eight touchdowns. The good news was his rushing prowess with 592 yards and 12 touchdowns, and the Patriots added improved weapons this offseason with Hunter Henry, Jonnu Smith, Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne. Julian Edelman is gone, but Newton should improve this season with better talent at receiver, as well as an upgraded offensive line. He could emerge as a waiver-wire addition in all leagues by the end of the year -- assuming he stays ahead of Jones on the depth chart.
Through the first two practices of New England's training camp, Newton has "led off every team period," Jeff Howe of The Athletic reports. As could be expected, 2021 first-rounder Mac Jones followed Newton during drills. At this stage, it's too early to get a clear read on the Patriots' ongoing signal-caller competition, with Howe noting at this early juncture of training camp that "strictly by performance, the QB battle has been a draw." For the time being at least, the fact that Newton is taking team reps ahead of Jones is indicative of his current depth chart standing above the rookie.
The stage is set for Newton and first-round draft pick Mac Jones to compete for the Patriots' starting QB job during training camp, ESPN's Mike Reiss reports. Coach Bill Belichick has indicated that Newton is viewed as the team's top signal caller for now but acknowledged that Jones or even Jarrett Stidham will have the chance to be viewed as candidates to supplant the incumbent starter once they "are ready." Reiss notes that during spring practices, Jones displayed good "timing, anticipation and accuracy" when he was on his game, while Newton, who had an uneven 2020 campaign "looked more comfortable." Following an offseason in which the Patriots re-tooled their roster, notably adding several pass-catching options, much of the intrigue as training camp unfolds will focus on which quarterback will be under center in Week 1.
Newton was the first quarterback to take snaps throughout the Patriots' spring drills, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com reports. Though 2021 first-rounder Mac Jones -- who was next up for snaps in the team's QB drills -- eventually could make a run at the starting role in the coming months, Newton remains atop the depth chart as things stand. Compared to last season, when the veteran signal-caller didn't catch on with New England until the end of June, Newton is "way ahead of where he was last year at this time," coach Bill Belichick noted. With that in mind, it's going to take a strong training camp/preseason effort from Jones for the rookie to have a chance to supplant Newton, at least in the short term.
Newton (hand) is expected to try practicing during the Patriots' three-day minicamp this week, Andrew Callahan of Boston Herald reports. Newton sustained a bone bruise on his throwing hand June 4, but he was present for practice Friday and looked good while throwing passes. Coach Bill Belichick has said that the quarterback's injury isn't considered serious, so it's unlikely that the injury will impact his Week 1 availability.
Coach Bill Belichick indicated Thursday that while Newton (hand) won't partake in the Patriots practice Thursday, his hand injury is "getting better," Mike Reiss of ESPN.com reports. Newton's suffered a bone bruise on his throwing hand last week and hasn't taken part in any practice activity since then. However, it sounds like the issue is coming along fairly well, so there doesn't seem to be any concern at this point regarding his Week 1 status.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/19||@New York Jets||29||24.75|
|3||09/26||New Orleans Saints||10||19.00|
|4||10/03||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||12||19.80|
|7||10/24||New York Jets||29||24.75|
|8||10/31||@Los Angeles Chargers||25||22.63|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||66.0||2208||11||8||359||5||204|