Yes, Cam Newton really could still determine your league's Fantasy Championship this season. Even though he has frequently delivered disappointing numbers this season, a primary culprit has been the chronic lack of cohesion and logic in Carolina's offensive strategy within nearly every contest. At times, he has certainly paid the price for this, as have his fantasy owners. But his unique ability to accrue yardage and fantasy points with his arm and legs has never been a source of debate. And in the aftermath of Newton's one man devastation of Philadelphia's rapidly degenerating defense, there is legitimate reason to believe that his Week 12 numbers are just the beginning of an extremely productive stretch, in which he delivers dazzling results for the remaining weeks of the season.
His ability to exploit the collection of vulnerable defenses that now exist on Carolina's remaining schedule could easily be extensive enough for Newton’s point totals to determine numerous fantasy matchups between teams that are battling for playoff berths, along with critical postseason contests that will decide fantasy championships.
He can accomplish this despite the fact that his output at this point of the season currently lags behind the numbers that he generated as a rookie last year. After the first 11 games of the 2011 regular season, Newton had passed for 3,093 yards and 12 TDs. He had also rushed for 464 yards and a whopping 10 TDs. Even after manufacturing 306 yards through the air against Philly, his season total of 2,701 trails last year's number by a sizable amount. Plus, even though his two rushing TDs against the Eagles improved his season total to six, that also trails last season’s output (14).
However, his Herculean performance last Monday Night enabled him to finally attain a positive 11 TD/ 10 INT ratio, and he is now just one TD pass behind last year's pace. He did toss nine scoring passes in the Panther's final five contests last year, and would need similar results to order to match his 21 TDs of last season. But he is fully capable of accomplishing that when he lines up against a collection of very burnable secondaries in upcoming weeks. He also remains a very effective runner who can expand his rushing total by a sizable amount in the next five contests. His 5.1 YPC average trails only C. J. Spiller, RG3, Adrian Peterson and Frank Gore among all players who have carried the ball at least 90 times.
He has a genuine opportunity to generate considerable yardage and amass fantasy points during the upcoming weeks, and the first installment in that five game stretch will occur this Sunday in Kansas City. The Chiefs rank just 24th versus the run, and their secondary has consistently allowed scoring plays throughout the regular season. KC has already permitted 22 TDs via the air, which is a total that has been surpassed by just two teams. They have also yielded at least two TD passes in nine of their 11 games.
After he faces Kansas City, Newton’s schedule remains very appealing:
Week 14 - Atlanta
Week 15 - at San Diego
Week 16 - Oakland
Week 17 - at New Orleans
Newton passed for 215 yards and two TDs when he faced Atlanta in Week 4, and he rushed for a season high 86 yards and another score. He is certainly capable of putting up similar numbers against the Falcons in Week 14. He will then meet a San Diego unit that has already permitted 20 TDs through the air, and is forced into frequent damage control due to the team's offense. The Chargers have now turned the ball over 22 times, which is the NFL's second highest total. After that, he should torture a Raider defense during his critical Week 16 matchup. Oakland has surrendered 169 points in their last four games, which equates to 42 points per game. They have also yielded a league worst 23 passing TDs. Finally, for leagues that choose to have their championships in Week 17, he will play the same Saints defense that enabled him to pass for 253 yards and a TD, while also running for 71 yards and another score in Week 2.
Considering his potential to pile up yardage in every way possible, combined with his favorable schedule for the remainder of the year, it is not difficult to envision Newton becoming a dominant force in upcoming games. That should help shift the pendulum toward any owners who have him on their rosters during their upcoming fantasy matchups. Which in turn could easily make Newton a major factor in determining who will win your league’s championship.