Cam Newton is Overrated

This is a guest post by Matt Lyon. Matt can be found on twitter. If you’d like to contribute, get in touch at Jason@starstreet.com or on twitter.

Cam NewtonCam Newton is overrated. More specifically, Cam Newton is overrated by StarStreet traders. 

You see, ever since Cam Newton took the NFL by storm two weeks ago, every fan, fantasy player and StarStreet trader has wanted in on the action. But why? Can Cam Newton really be this good, this soon?

Quite simply, Cam Newton is still a rookie quarterback who is learning how to play the position at the highest level. While most people have been caught up in the glitz and glamour of Newton’s first two games, more specifically his 854 passing yards, there is still an underlying issue running through his performances. Two games into his NFL career, the same questions remain about Newton that he entered the league with. How quickly can he learn to read defenses and play turnover free football?

So far this year, StarStreet traders haven’t cared about those lingering concerns. Sure, Newton’s thrown four interceptions but he also has five touchdowns (three passing, two rushing) and an 89.1 passer rating.  After two games, Newton has put up 57.6 fantasy points, well on his way to exceed his pre-season projection of 147.

Now, StarStreet (or numberFire more specifically) projects him for 258 points, more than both Matt Schaub and Matthew Stafford. As an investor, that screams overrated to me. A player who was projected at the same level of a Matthew Hasselbeck just two weeks ago is now in the same class as Matt Schaub, a 2010 pro-bowl quarterback? Furthermore, StarStreet traders are buying Newton at prices higher than his current projection, meaning investors believe Newton’s value can still go higher. So the question is, can Cam Newton get better in 2011?

Since 1970, there have been 48 rookie quarterbacks who started at least 10 games (an arbitrary cutoff). The average stat line for those 48 rookies is 2,250 pass yards, 12 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, 140 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. This stat line is worth 131 fantasy points. Newton is currently projected at 3,836 pass yards, 16 touchdowns, 22 interceptions, 400 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns, a projection of 258 fantasy points.

What this means is that StarStreet traders are investing in a Newton at a projection that is close to double the average performance of 48 rookie quarterbacks since 1970. In fact, the best fantasy point performance by a rookie quarterback during this time is by Jim Kelly in 1986, which was good for 218 fantasy points. The player Newton best resembles in skill though is Vince Young, who put up 207 points in just 13 starts in 2006, good for rookie of the year honors.

So, is Cam Newton the best rookie quarterback in the NFL since 1970? Many StarStreet traders are investing in him with that assumption, but don’t expect me to. I’d rather have established veterans who can meet their already lofty expectations. Best of luck Cam, but unfortunately i’m not buying you because you are overrated.

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