By Jeff Brubach
The dynamic abilities of Cam Newton make him an unstoppable fantasy force at times, as illustrated by his 22 rushing touchdowns in just two seasons. While Cam’s legs make him a top flight fantasy quarterback, his arm makes another player successful. Steve Smith is no stranger to fine fantasy seasons, as he has collected seven seasons over 1,000 yards receiving, but he has found new life after the age of 30 with his young quarterback by his side. In Newton’s two years in the NFL, Smith has averaged 76 catches for 1,284 yards and 5.5 touchdowns. While the additional “0.5” touchdown may be difficult to accumulate, Smith has a great shot at continuing to produce those high quality numbers in 2013.
Pairing up Newton and Smith is a great idea in fantasy leagues, but not only because they are both among the leaders at their respective positions. With most QB/WR pairs, fantasy teams are in trouble if the pair’s NFL team gets shut down for the week. If the Jets get shut out, fantasy teams that own Mark Sanchez and Jeremy Kerley are in big trouble (just an example, don’t giggle too hard). In the case of our Panthers pair, Newton’s rushing skills have the ability to keep his fantasy point total at a respectable level, even if Carolina doesn’t find the end zone. Newton rushed for over 50 yards seven times in 2012, which makes him an attractive member of the top tier of fantasy quarterbacks. With Smith’s very generous ADP in the sixth round, as we mentioned last week, he makes a nice compliment to Cam Newton and has another successful season in store. With little other receiving competition in Carolina, it is hard to see how Smith wouldn’t receive the large majority of Newton’s targets once again, as he was on the other end of 28 percent of Cam’s passes in 2012. Pair up these two Panthers in the middle rounds and your fantasy team will reap the rewards each Sunday.