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Cam Newton – FantasySP Blog

Carson Palmer Is Streaking

Carson Palmer is still available in one-third of fantasy leagues as he continues to rack up the numbers.

Analysis: The Raiders may have been thumped in week ten but Carson Palmer continues to light up the fantasy scoreboard. He’s now passed for 6 touchdowns and 782 passing yards over the past two games. He put up 368 yards and two scores against Baltimore Sunday and now has the Saints in week eleven. The Saints can score in bunches so expect Palmer to be airing it out as the Oakland defense continues to struggle.

Palmer now ranks 3rd in the NFL in passing yards, 10th in touchdown passes and 2nd in passing attempts. This is all a recipe for fantasy success but Carson continues to fly under the radar. I’m sure there will be stories this week on how great Christian Ponder is and how Colin Kaepernick is a fantasy revelation in the wake of Alex Smith’s concussion but Palmer simply has the numbers to back it up. With a week eleven matchup at home against the Saints you have to like Palmer for 300 plus yards and two touchdown passes or you could roll the dice with Cam Newton and hope for the best.

Selling High- Cam Newton

Cam Newton threw for 422 yards and two touchdowns Sunday against the Cardinals.

Analysis: Cam Newton may have put up some solid numbers in the opener but he did it against Arizona. Arizona was 29th last year in total yards allowed, 23rd against the pass and 30th in points allowed. Arizona managed to “put” up these numbers in a division where no team finished at or above .500 last year.

Cam will be a solid fantasy quarterback one day but that day isn’t going to be any time soon. Take a look at the defenses coming up for Cam- Green Bay, Jacksonville, Chicago, New Orleans, Atlanta and Washington(do not sleep on their defense). Cam will remain a lower tier QB2 this year and the smartest play here is to sell this guy while he is hot. His value will not get any higher and now is the time to stockpile on depth at running back or upgrade at another position. Perhaps the biggest surprise with Cam was only eighteen rushing yards on eight carries. Cam has to produce on the ground if you are to keep the rookie.

Draft Impact- Cam Newton

Cam Newton figures to be the starting quarterback for the Panthers on day one but is he a legit QB2 this year?

Analysis: Even without DeAngelo Williams the Panthers still have a solid ground game with Jonathan Stewart and Mike Goodson. Newton, like Sam Bradford before him will not be asked to win games just limit mistakes. Obviously, Newton’s greatest asset is his legs and a potential 500 rushing yard year is not out of the question. A 500 yard season on the ground would easily put him into low end QB2 status with the potential for more. However, Newton’s decision making and defensive recognition is suspect so you can expect just as many passing touchdowns to interceptions. In dynasty/keeper leagues you really have to pass on a guy that more than likely will never throw for more than 3,600 yards and seems to be a glorified version of Vince Young. Guys like Josh Freeman and Aaron Rodgers put up more than solid rushing numbers for a quarterback but at least they can throw it without question. There is only one Mike Vick and Newton isn’t him. Newton does have slightly more talent than Vince Young but he is years behind in terms of polish when each came out of school early.

Projection: Look for Newton to pass for 2,500 yards with up to 500 rushing yards. Twenty total touchdowns is possible but expect twenty picks. He’s an extremely low end QB2 this year but could wind up being a top 18 quarterack by year’s end.

NFL Draft Recap: NFC South


No division in the NFL made more of a splash in the draft than the NFC South. Each of the four teams making selections that may have a huge impact. Atlanta with a big move up in the 1st round, New Orleans trading for an additional first round pick, Tampa Bay taking a high risk/high reward pick and of course Carolina picking number one overall.

We start with Atlanta, the elite team in the NFC South. Feeling they are close to an NFC crown, the Falcons traded multiple picks to move up to number six and grab Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones. Jones will provide another big time target for quarterback Matt Ryan and might relieve the double teaming of Roddy White. Atlanta used its fifth round pick to select Oregon State running back Jacquizz Rodgers. Rodgers was highly productive in college and will be a nice change of pace to bruiser Michael Turner. The Falcons addressed defense with a pair of local stars. Georgia linebacker Akeem Dent and South Carolina defensive end Cliff Matthews are both very capable of making the roster.

A year removed from a Super Bowl victory, the Saints were aggressive, trading multiple picks to acquire an additional first round selection. New Orleans first addressed defense with California defensive end Cameron Jordan. Jordan is stout against the run and may push for the starting job at left end. Four picks later, New Orleans took the best running back in the draft, Alabama’s Mark Ingram. Comparisons to Emmitt Smith are valid, Ingram is ideal for 1st and 2nd down between the tackles. If  Reggie Bush’s ego can be soothed, it might make for a lethal combination in the Saints backfield.

Carolina had the number one selection and to no surprise took Auburn  quarterback Cam Newton. Newton is a lightning rod for criticism, but arrives with off the chart combine measurables.  Newton’s Heisman Trophy was well deserved as his passing and rushing numbers are among the best in the history of the game. The Panthers added several late round selections which may surprise. In the 5th round, the Panthers picked Hawaii receiver Kealoha Pilares who is tough and reliable over the middle. In the seventh round, great value in Auburn offensive tackle Lee Ziemba. Ziemba started for four seasons at left tackle, but projects at right tackle at this level.

Tampa Bay had defensive focus atop its draft board. Adrian Clayborn, the best of a great Iowa defensive line, was the Bucs first round  selection. He should start at end immediately. In the second, the Buccaneers took a gamble on Clemson defensive end Da’Quan Bowers. Just a few months ago, Bowers was mentioned by some as a potential  first overall pick. A serious injury scared many, some even removing Bowers from their draft boards. A year ago Tampa hit the jackpot with defensive tackles Gerald McCoy and Brian Price. With 1st and 2nd round selections in successive years on the defensive line, the buccaneers feel they may now have the pass rush to excel in the Tampa Cover 2 defense. If Bowers is healthy, watch out! The Bucs addressed a need at tight end selecting Luke Stocker from Tennessee. Some have compared him to former Vol Jason Witten.

Tomorrow we look at the NFC West

NFL Draft Day Mock


The 2011 NFL draft is finally upon us. With labor strife grinding league activities to a halt, the NFL draft has become even more center stage. No free agency, no trades, no mini-camps, just the draft. Without a doubt, trades will be made tonight, no player trades, not even trades involving selected players, just draft pick for draft pick. Rather than try to project tonight’s trades, which would be a shot in the dark, our mock is based on order as of deadline.

FantasySP takes a closer look with our own mock draft of tonight’s first round.

1. Carolina (2-14) Cam Newton, QB, Auburn University/ The selection of Newton #1 is the only sure thing tonight. Perhaps the pick gets traded, but #1 overall will be Newton.
2. Denver (4-12) Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama/ A strong combine and consistency over several seasons vaulted Dareus over previous favorite Nick Fairley.
3. Buffalo (4-12) Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M/ The Bills are considering Blaine Gabbert, but can’t pass up the pass rush specialist. Ryan Fitzpatrick has surprised at QB for Buffalo, allowing them to focus on defense.
4. Cincinnati (4-12) AJ Green, WR, Georgia/ Is Terrell Owens done? Is Ocho Cinco going to stick with soccer? Green may be good enough to convince Carson Palmer to return.
5. Arizona (5-11) Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri/ This selection changes the remainder of the entire first round. LSU’s Patrick Peterson could go here, but if the Cards want Larry Fitzgerald long-term, they need to do this.
6. Cleveland (5-11) Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU/ If Arizona passes on the stud corner, could Cleveland pass? Would team with last years high #1 Joe Haden giving the Browns elite cover corners for a decade.
7. San Francisco (6-10) Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska/ Is big, athletic and physical, but cover skills are doubted by some. Even so, a productive corner is hard to pass up, especially at a position of need.
8. Tennessee (6-10) Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn/ Was projected as top overall pick early in the process. The Titans need a quarterback, but have had success with recent defensive selections from Auburn.
9. Dallas (6-10) Tyron Smith, OT, USC/  As usual, Jerry Jones with smoke screens and misdirection on eve of draft. Offensive tackle was only hole entering last season, time to plug it.
10. Washington (6-10) Julio Jones, WR, Alabama/ Skins need a lot, and limited picks = every pick must count. With Santana Moss slowing (and a free agent) and a pair of 2nd round busts at WR several years ago, Jones would become immediate go to guy.
11. Houston (6-10) Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina/ Everyone’s favorite defensive end in the class. Only drawback was the suspension in 2010.
12. Minnesota (6-10) JJ Watt, DE, Wisconsin/ Amazed scouts at the combine. Is big, fast and nasty. Could learn from one of the best already entrenched at right end. With trades right around the corner, the Vikes wait for Donovan McNabb.
13. Detroit (6-10) Cameron Jordan, DE, California/ Another “must have” on the corner. Jordan was a one man wrecking crew for the Golden Bears and climbed even  higher on boards after the combine.
14. St. Louis (7-9) Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri/ The run on ends continue with the versatile Smith. The Rams could use a WR and would take Green or Jones, but need to address defense after a lot of attention to offense in recent drafts.
15. Miami (7-9) Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas/ The Dolphins say they need a new running back, but they need a quarterback more. Talk of Mallett slipping to 2nd round or further are ridiculous. Andy Dalton is not near the talent Mallett is.
16. Jacksonville (8-8) Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue/ The run on defensive end’s continues with Big Ten defensive lineman of the year Kerrigan. The academic All-American figures to fit much better in a 4-3.
17. New England (14-2) — from Oak Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama/ The Patriots with the first of three picks in the top 33 of the draft. This gift coming from Oakland in the Richard Seymour trade. Think Emmitt Smith with this Heisman Trophy winner.
18. San Diego (9-7) Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor/ Every 3-4 team is yearning for this monster. 6’3″ 335 with decent mobility, perfect fit for the triangle in the middle of the Chargers defense.
19. New York Giants (10-6) Anthony Castonzo, OT.Boston College/One of three offensive tackles projected in the first round, Castonzo could step right in for the G-men. New York thrives on depth and versatility along both lines.
20. Tampa Bay (10-6) Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson/ IF healthy, the steal of the draft. Long considered the top player in the draft, injury has forced Bowers further and further down war room boards. Great addition after two very high defensive line picks a year ago.
21. Kansas City (10-6) Danny Watkins, OL, Baylor/Past high picks Tyson Jackson and Glenn Dorsey would combine for a stout run defense in the 3-4.
22. Indianapolis (10-6) Nate Solder, OT, Colorado/Prototype size, 6’8″ 320, for a tackle. Was selected Big 12 Lineman of the year by conference coaches. Peyton Manning is a happy man tonight.
23. Philadelphia (10-6) Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado/ Didn’t post an interception in 2010, but was only thrown at 20 times. Allowed only one TD in man coverage all season.

24. New Orleans (11-5) Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois/ Intrigues many teams with versatility to perform in 3-4 and 4-3 fronts. Breakout senior season culminating with selection on ESPN All-Bowl team.
25. Seattle (7-9) Jake Locker, QB, Washington/ Perhaps Matt Hasselbeck comes back, but what better long term answer than the homegrown Husky. Charlie Whitehurst is not the  future of the franchise.
26. Baltimore (12-4) Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA/ Baltimore also considered a wide receiver. Insurance pick for last year’s top choice Sergio Kindle.
27. Atlanta (13-3) Mike Pouncey, C, Florida/ The Falcons complete the rebuild of the O-line. High priority to keep Matt Ryan upright and healthy.
28. New England (14-2) Cameron Heyward, DL, Ohio State/ Son of “Iron Head” has a huge upside. Versatile to lineup anywhere along the D-line.
29. Chicago (11-5) Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State/ A perfect fit as the Bears rebuild the interior of the defensive line. The strongest player in college football.
30. New York Jets (11-5) Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina/ Time to give up on injury prone interior lineman and take a chance on “marvelous” Marvin. Stock fell due to  2010 suspension.
31. Green Bay (10-6) Adrian Clayborn, DL, Iowa/ The leader of the most talented defensive line in college football. Yet another piece in arguably the best young defense in the NFL.
32. Pittsburgh (12-4) Aaron Williams, CB, Texas/ Steelers brass have let it be known Williams is their’s if available at this spot. May fit better at safety.

Tomorrow, we wrap  up the week with a look back at how the first round fared.