Week 3 Start 'Em Sit 'Em: Why You Must Start Cam Newton

Andrea Hangst@FBALL_AndreaFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 22, 2011

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 18:  Cam Newton #1 against the Green Bay Packers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 18, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

What a difference a week makes.

Heading into Week 2, it seemed that Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton had no chance to repeat his first week's success against the Arizona Cardinals.

He was going up against the reigning Super Bowl champions, the Green Bay Packers, and it looked impossible for him to throw for over 400 yards for a second week in a row. We all figured him to be a one-off quarterback with no longer-term fantasy value.

Instead, he had yet another impressive game, going 28-of-46 for 432 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. He ran for another 53 yards and scored an additional touchdown. In my league (standard scoring, with fractional points), he ended the day with 29.58 fantasy points, despite the turnovers.

While those interceptions aren't flattering to his stats, he should have less trouble this week when the Panthers take on the floundering Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Jaguars have yet to face a team that relies on the pass as much as the Panthers have through two games, and they don't have the talent on defense to adequately prevent yet another high-yardage performance from the rookie Newton.

What remains is a perfect storm for Newton and Carolina. They have yet to win a game, even with Newton's arm doing so much work, while the Jaguars are coming off of a blowout loss to the New York Jets.

The Jaguars, who have had little success on offense, will be starting a rookie quarterback of their own in Blaine Gabbert. However, it is unlikely he is ready.

Considering this, the Panthers won't struggle as much as they have in their first two games. What's more, they won't have as much opportunity to play from behind, which might hold down Newton's numbers somewhat.

Nevertheless, he has thrown for a total of 378 yards in the first half of both games and neither were out of hand by that point. The Panthers are still struggling to establish the run, and with that, Newton will still have to pass to advance the ball.

There's no reason to believe that Newton will be unable to repeat his high-yardage performances from Weeks 1 and 2, albeit with fewer turnovers and more touchdowns.

If Newton's on your fantasy team's roster, start him by all means. The caveat being that you should only do so if your regular starter is not Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers or Philip Rivers.