Fantasy Impact of Patriots releasing Cam Newton

A Bill Belichick led team will be starting a rookie QB in Week 1. The New England Patriots released Cam Newton on Tuesday morning. Mac Jones, it’s your show now.

Here’s ESPN’s Adam Schefter with the news:

This isn’t all that surprising once you get over the part where Belichick trusts a rookie QB to lead his team into the season opener. Jones is a first round pick who has clearly played well in the preseason and has spent the past week or so practicing with the starters.

We mentioned this possibility in our Patriots Fantasy Preview, but once the coaching staff decided that Jones was the guy, they weren’t going to hesitate. They also weren’t going to keep Cam around. There’s no chance New England was going to do what the Dolphins did to Tua Tagovailoa last season with Ryan Fitzpatrick looking over his shoulder all year. This isn’t quite the same situation, but I think once Belichick felt comfortable with Jones, it was all systems go with the rook.

From a fantasy perspective, having Jones in the lineup raises the floor for most of the Patriots pass catchers. Players like Jakobi Meyers, Nelson Agholor and Jonnu Smith should be more valuable now. Two more big winners from this news: Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson. I’m not sure if James White will get targeted more now with Jones, but I do know Harris and Stevenson just picked up a ton of goal line carries. That’s big time for fantasy.

As for Cam, I fully expect him to land as a backup in Baltimore, a team that only has Tyler Huntley and Trace McSorely as backups for Lamar Jackson. If he doesn’t end up with the Ravens, he would also make sense in Seattle, Arizona or back in Carolina.