Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 8/4/13
When it comes to Cam Newton, most people want to focus on his negatives more than all the positives he has to offer.   Let’s face it; the national media has been tough on Newton, coining him a cry baby hot head and stating that he doesn’t know how to be a leader.  This year people will be talking about Cam Newton as a top quarterback in the NFL; a true leader and the future of the Carolina Panthers.From a fantasy football perspective, Cam Newton will get you the points because he can do it all. The first two years of his NFL career are the best two years on record as far as quarterbacks are concerned. Not only has Newton thrown for 7,920 yards and 40 TDs, he has also rushed for 1,447 yards and 22 touchdowns. Sure, some say he didn’t perform up to expectations in his 2nd year, but if you dissect the numbers, Newton is becoming a smarter quarterback, cutting his interceptions down to 12 from 17 in his first season. If you compare his stats from 2011 to 2012, they are very similar in most aspects otherwise.  Newton has admitted that he can’t have any more excuses, because as he said in an interview on NFL Network, “I’ve committed too many senseless turnovers.”  From what I have seen that includes being smarter when rushing the ball; he needs to tuck and run out of bounds more than he has in the past which has caused a lot of fumbles.Another negative aspect of Newton’s game last year was the fact that early on, Newton was not spreading the ball around enough and always was looking for Steve Smith. As the season went on, this did improve and we saw more production out of the other WRs and TEs. Actually, even though the Panthers finished 7-9, they were 9th in the red zone and I see that improving this year if Newton picks up where he left off last year.The constant questioning of his leadership abilities is fueling Newton as he stated in that same interview he is ready to “go to the next level”.  While watching this interview, it is evident that Newton has grown; he recognizes what needs to be done to improve. Any improvements on what he has already done would be nothing short of spectacular.In addition to a solid receiving corps, Newton and the Panthers have a new offensive coordinator, Mike Shula, who has already established a strong Bond with the popular QB. This can only help.The bottom line is this; If Newton can find that leadership ability, learn to spread the ball around more and be a smarter rusher, I feel that Newton could easily be the No. 1 ranked fantasy QB in the league. The rushing yards alone will get 4-5 more points than the average QB and more chances for rushing TDs. I project a monster year for Newton on an average team.
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