Fantasy Football Week 1 Start Em Sit Em: Is Cam Newton a Viable Start in Debut?

Cian FaheyFeatured ColumnistSeptember 8, 2011

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 01:  Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers during their preseason game against the Pittsburg Steelers at Bank of America Stadium on September 1, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Carolina Panthers travel to Arizona to face the Cardinals in the very first game of the Cam Newton era.

The fact that neither of these teams figure to be powerhouses in the NFL this year means that only Cardinals or Panthers fans will have any real interest in the result of this game.

However, some fantasy fans across the country will be intrigued by the prospect of Cam Newton potentially leading their roster to a first-week fantasy victory.

Truthfully, Newton probably won't be able to lead your team to victory however he could give you solid numbers if you aren't expecting an elite day from the quarterback position.

Newton has his issues with accuracy, but that shouldn't be a major issue as the Panthers have designed a very rookie-friendly offense around him. With Greg Olsen and Jeremy Shockey giving him great support from the tight end position and Steve Smith going deep, Newton could have a big day in play action.

The Panthers should run the ball a lot and have some degree of success as Adrian Wilson won't be at 100 percent if he gets on the field at all. With Jonathan Stewart, DeAngelo Williams and Mike Goodson in the backfield, the Panthers can repeatedly pound the ball against the Cardinals front seven.

Newton will then have his opportunities to make plays with either his legs or his arm. Because of his physical size, Newton will be a threat to run the ball and even get in the end zone off of bootlegs while also being a threat for goal line sneaks.

The Cardinals traded away Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie during the offseason so Newton doesn't face the intimidating prospect of throwing at both he and Patrick Peterson while Adrian Wilson's status only serves to worsen the state of the secondary.

Kerry Rhodes can make plays on the football, but Newton should be able to put up decent yardage if the Panthers put him in the right situations.

Newton likely won't put up anything over 150 yards through the air, but he could add another 40 with his feet and have a combination of two or three touchdowns. That is a respectable showing for a late-round fantasy quarterback and worthy of starting on many teams.