Little known fact: Cam Newton outscored Peyton Manning in standard fantasy football leagues last season. Look it up. I was shocked too. So why are fantasy owners taking the old QB with the twice-surgically-repaired neck a round (or two) before the young, still-may-be-improving QB?
It feels like a huge part of this is hangover from Newton's expected regression. After Newton's 14 rushing TDS in 2011, everybody and their brother-in-law expected him to regress in 2012. Those rushing touchdowns sure looked flukish, and he indeed couldn't repeat that number. Even so, he edged Manning in fantasy points.
There's no doubt that Manning blows Newton away in the air. But fantasy value isn't restricted to the air, and Newton's rushing contributions have to be taken into account. Newton rushed 127 times for 741 yards and eight touchdowns. For reference, that's 59 yards and two touchdowns less than what Michael Turner did last season.
Manning meanwhile rushed six times for 23 yards and no touch...