Cam Newton is a Patriot now. We in the sports world are still in shock and Patriots fans everywhere are crowing that the boys are back. Superman has officially signed in New England and the betting and fantasy worlds are going nuts. Cam has the ceiling to be a top-level performer and elevate a team when he is at his best. The question is, what can Cam, now 31, do with a new team and system. What exactly are the fantasy and gambling implications after the Patriots sign Cam Newton?
Patriots to Win Super Bowl (+1200)
The Patriots are now +1200 to win the Super Bowl, according to MyBookie. Fourth-best odds to lift the Lombardi Trophy this year. Now you can never count out Bill Belicheat- er Belichick and his defensive prowess. Their defense has an average age of 27, rookies excluded due to lots of undrafted free-agents. Couple an aging defense with a difficult 2020 schedule and the defense will be hard-pressed to repeat their dominant 2019.
In 2019 New England went 3-3 during the regular season against playoff teams, and two of those wins were one-score games against an ever-improving Buffalo team. Add in a Wild Card loss to the Titans and the Patriots finished 3-4 against playoff teams. For all the praise heaped on their defense last year, most of their legendary success was against non-playoff teams. Cam may move the needle on the excitement level for the offense, but he most likely cannot move the needle more in the wins column or carry this team to a Super Bowl. For the first time in a long time, the Pats are longer shots to win it all than their odds would indicate.
Patriots to Win AFC (+600)
For all the previously stated reasons, this is a long-shot to happen so you should avoid it. However, if you need some more reasons here are two, Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes. The AFC belongs to these two, and if Josh Allen takes the steps everyone in the Bills Mafia is hoping he also has a smaller ownership stake, and for how great Cam has been in the past he will not unseat the young guns. There is simply not the roster around Cam in New England to beat Baltimore and Kansas City.
Those are the two teams that we can guarantee New England cannot get past, even with Cam under center. Factor in a talented Chargers team, a gritty Titans squad, and whoever else emerges from the bloodbath that is the AFC North, that is a monstrous mountain. Winning the AFC is not as long a shot as winning the Super Bowl, but you still need to pass on these odds.
Patriots to Win AFC East (+100)
Unlike in years past, the AFC East is a division on the rise. The Process is humming along in Buffalo and the Takes No Talent Dolphins suddenly have some talent. If Adam Gase and the J-E-T-S can figure out how to be a real team, spoilers they will not, this is in the discussion for the best-coached division in football. With the return of a dominant defense and a quarterback who can throw the ball 20+ yards with some zip, pending shoulder issues, the Patriots have a chance in the AFC East.
When we all saw the headline “Patriots sign Cam Newton” on our respective devices the outpouring of profanity was heard across the internet. Nowhere was that heard louder than within the Bills Mafia, but Sean McDermott rightfully pointed out that until someone unseats them from the throne, the East is the Patriots’ division. Based on their past 20 years of dominance, they have earned this respect. These odds are much more reasonable, but not favorable to all the degens out there. Side note, Bills at +140 is probably as good as you can get for them to win the AFC East if their odds get longer jump all over it.
Cam to Win MVP (+1000)
…Offensive Player of the Year (+1000)
…Comeback Player of the Year (+200)
Lumping all the individual awards into one category here because it all comes down to what will happen with the Patriots depth chart at quarterback. There is a buzz that despite singing Cam the Patriots still really like Jared Stidham as their starter. That news feels like a classic Patriots smokescreen. Especially since Cam is a former MVP who threw for 3395 yards and 24 touchdowns through 14 games in 2018. He also completed 67.9% of his passes that year. Cam was on fire in 2018 before an injury derailed the remainder of that season and 2019 as well.
This is the kind of narrative Cam can win the Comeback Player award with. Former star cast cut and rejected by all teams in free agency who signs a low-dollar contract. He also does not have to play the full season to win that award. If he replaces Stidham anytime before Week 6 and leads the Pats to a winning record or the playoffs, you can cash this bet. Really like these odds, good value, and a solid play. “Patriots sign Cam Newton” has a good chance of turning into “Cam Newton Comeback Player.”
As for the other three, MVP, Offensive Player, and Passing Leader, avoid these bets. Unless you have multiple doctors who have looked at Cam’s shoulder and told you he is 100% good to go. If you believe that, and you believe he will be the starter from Week One on then you can consider this bet. Also to consider, can Cam pick up a new offense, or will Josh McDaniels tailor his offense to Cam’s strength? Cam can win all the awards if you believe in all those things to happen. If you do not believe all that, avoid these odds.
Cam Newton’s Fantasy Value
Right now Cam is ranked as the 16th quarterback according to Fantasy Pros. Behind guys like Roethlisberger, Daniel Jones, and Matt Stafford, but ahead of Kirk Cousins, Joe Burrow, and Drew Lock. His ADP though is QB26 which puts him below Cousins, Burrow, and Lock. The disparity between ADP and rankings is due to his ceiling being QB08 and his floor at QB34.
There are many questions that have to be answered about Cam before trusting him as your starting QB for fantasy. Is the shoulder better? Will he be the starter? How have the Patriots receivers improved? If his shoulder is fine, consider him in the last or second to last rounds of your draft. If you learn he will be the sole starter before your draft as well, look at him in the QB12-16 range. If Harry, Sanu, and company improve and develop chemistry with Cam, he will be a top ten quarterback for fantasy. That is a lot of things that need to go right for Cam to be a top ten QB, but crazier things have happened. As it stands now, target him at the end of drafts, but make sure you pair him with another quarterback at least on the level with Daniel Jones, Joe Burrow, or Kirk Cousins.