Panthers Newton & Smith Unexpected Fantasy Darlings

CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 09: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers reacts to a touchdown during their game against the New Orleans Saints at Bank of America Stadium on October 9, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

I'm really enjoying going back and reading what some people wrote about the Panthers offense prior to the start of the season. To be honest I have to say I was very bearish on the Panthers myself before the games started to count but I love how the conventional wisdom has been turned upside down so far this season.

Look no further than leading ROY candidate Cam Newton. Who expected him to be #2 overall in fantasy points scored after five weeks? Not this writer for Fake Teams, SBN's fantasy blog:

Cam Newton

Newton is getting drafted way too often this season, with owners going completely off of name recognition.  He was remarkable in his one full season of division I football at Auburn, so much so that he won the Heisman trophy and was selected first overall in this years draft.  Realistically, there isn't much reason for him to be drafted in any one year leagues, even though he's been named the starter for the Panthers.

Historically number one picks, whether they went on to be successful or not, have not had great rookie seasons.  Add on top of that, he's going to the NFL's worst team from a year ago and he isn't surrounded by excellent talent.  Expect the Panthers to run the ball and use a lot of short routes, dump-offs, and heavy utilization of the tight end spot.  Cam may show some flashes of greatness, but on a week to week basis, he's going to have some really underwhelming games as he adjusts to the NFL.  Just say no unless you're in a dynasty league.

Ha! 'isn't much reason to draft him'? 'Just say no'?...How about "Yes We Cam!" I'm certainly kicking myself for not drafting him at any point in any of my drafts. I agree that typically rookie QB's do not fare well...but Newton is hardly your typical rookie QB. So much for the expected short routes too huh?

Likewise WR Steve Smith was said to have lost a step and is on the downward spiral of his career.Yeah right. That and other preseason analysis gets debunked...after the jump...

I feel sorry for you if you followed this preseason fantasy analysis on WR Steve Smith:

He may no longer even be the best Steve Smith in the NFL.  Being a part of the worst passing offense in the league last year didn't help, and now he goes from Clausen to Cam, but will that help him improve?  The 32 year old caught 2 TDs last year and they came in the first 2 games of the season.  Smith is still getting drafted in fantasy based on what he once did, and past elite WRs did have success into their mid-30s, but how do we know how Smith will react to his worst season in years?  He's getting drafted ahead of some interesting young options like Jacoby Ford and Danny Amendola, and I'd rather take a chance on one of them.

Oh Lord where do I start? I think it's safe to say he IS the best Steve Smith in the NFL, though both are 1-4. It's also a no brainer switching from Clausen to Newton helped tremendously. Picking Ford or Amendola ahead of Smith? Downright laughable now. Smith of course is the #2 WR in fantasy averaging 16 pts per game and is showing he is still one of the top WRs in the league.

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