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What You Need to Know:
-A weak supporting cast and questionable arm strength crushed Cam’s passing production in 2020. On 368 attempts, Newton tallied only 8 TDs to 10 INTs.
-His adjusted completion rate of 78.1% actually T-13th league-wide. But he was among the league’s most conservative QBs with a 7.3-yard average depth of target.
-Newton didn’t exceed 1 passing TD in a game until Week 17 (3, vs. Jets)
-The Patriots failed to support Newton with quality pass catchers. His top-3 targets: Jakobi Meyers, Damiere Byrd and James White.
-Newton’s rushing production is the only thing that saved his spot-start fantasy value. His 31 goal line attempts ranked 3rd most among all ball carriers. So did his 19 carries inside the 5 yard-line.
-Newton ranked 2nd among QBs in total rush attempts, 3rd in yards and 1st in TDs.
-After testing positive for COVID, Newton missed 1 game. It marked his only missed game of the 2020 season.
-After the season, Newton spoke on the difficulty of learning New England’s system. He signed with the team in late June, 2020. "It was all new terminology, Cam said. “I wasn’t just trying to learn a system for what it was, I was learning a 20-year system in two months.”
-In March, Newton re-signed with New England on a 1-year deal worth $6 million. He can earn up to $14 million total with incentives.
-HC Bill Belichick has said Newton is the Pats’ starter until someone beats him out. The team used a 1st round pick on Alabama QB Mac Jones, who fell to them at the 15th overall pick.
-First round QBs very rarely sit for an entire year. So look for Jones to hit the field at some point in 2021.
-New England significantly bolstered the offense in free agency, adding TEs Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith and WRs Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne. Losing Julian Edelman to retirement won’t have much of a fantasy impact.
-If RT Trent Brown can remain healthy, the Pats’ O-line will profile as 1 of the league’s best units.
-High pass volume won’t be likely no matter who’s under center. The Pats had the league’s 2nd highest run rate last year and remain built to lean on their ground game/defense.
Draft Sharks Bottom Line:
Newton looks like a strong bet to start Week 1. Whether or not he keeps the job all year will come down to his performance -- and the development of Mac Jones.
With total games played a mystery, Newton is a potential dud in best ball leagues. But he'll likely end up as a usable piece for standard redraft leagues early on.