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THE GREAT DEBATE: Tom Brady vs Cam Newton – Who’s the better Fantasy Football QB pick?

By: John Falabella

Question: Who will have a better NFL season in 2020…Tom Brady or Cam Newton?

This is a question that will resurface many times before the 2020 Fantasy Football season begins. Which QB will have the better season in 2020? Well, as we know football is the ultimate team sport so a big part of your success is associated with the players that are around you.

Tom Brady, over the past three seasons, has clearly shown declining numbers. His touchdown passes over that time span have gone from 32 to 29 to 24 but if you also look at the talent that has surrounded him it has also gotten worse each season. In 2019 the star quarterback did not have “Gronk” and over the past two fantasy football seasons he also lost reliable WR’s Danny Amendola and Chris Hogan. Then in the middle of last fantasy football season he lost Josh Gordon and even though they picked up Mohamed Sanu, chemistry is key and it just wasn’t there at that time. Even in the running game, the Patriots had fewer options than in years past.

Cam Newton, a big name quarterback with star appeal, also known as Superman to many, only played in two games last year. It was a foot injury that kept him out and even though Cam Newton is a great football player the thing that makes him special is his running ability. In his best years with the Panthers he was able to run for close to 40 yards per game, will he be able to do that in his present state for this year’s fantasy football season?

Why will Tom Brady flourish in Tampa Bay?

I feel that even though quarterback Tom Brady is getting older and even though his skill set may be declining (slightly) he will be going into a great situation in Tampa Bay. He will be playing for a great coach, Bruce Arians, who is a genius in the passing game. I am sure Tom Brady will bring his bag of tricks from New England as well. Next, Tom Brady will be throwing to young athletic receivers, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Both are coming off 1,000 yard seasons and both are able to separate from the defense. They are any quarterback’s dream, especially an older one. Brady will also have one of his favorite targets in Rob Gronkowski back with him in Tampa Bay. “Gronk” will be fresh and ready to have some fun with his old buddy in Florida. He will also have the services of OJ Howard and Cameron Brate, two very capable TE’s. The weapons Brady was lacking in New England will be present in Tampa Bay.

Why Tom Brady may have problems?

The offensive line and running game in Tampa Bay are suspect. If the offensive line can’t protect Brady (Jameis Winston was sacked 47 times last season) and can’t open up holes for running back Ronald Jones, then this conversation will be a short one. Winston threw 30 interceptions last season partially because he was on the verge of being sacked on every possession. Tom Brady will still need time in the pocket to work his magic.

Why will Cam Newton flourish with the Patriots?

Cam Newton is a tremendous athlete, assuming that his foot is healthy and that he is the Cam Newton of old, the Patriots will find a way to win. History has shown that regardless of who they have behind center that is true. Tom Brady didn’t miss many games in his career but since 2008, in the 19 games that Tom Brady did not play, the team went 13-6.  In 2008 Tom Brady was injured in the first game of the season. At that point New England inserted 7th round draft pick, Matt Cassel, and the team still went on to win 11 games that season. In 2016, while being suspended for 4 games, Tom Brady was replaced by Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett and they went 3-1 in those four games (a pace of 12-4). The Patriots will model their team off of Cam Newton’s strengths and they will win.

Why might Cam Newton struggle?

The Patriots love to pass the ball. Over the past four seasons they have thrown the ball 56% of the time which amounts to an average of 576 pass attempts per season. Cam Newton has only attempted over 500 passes twice in a season during his career and the last time he only completed 53% of those passes. Over the past four seasons Tom Brady completed passes at a 65% clip.

So now it comes back to the question of the weapons surrounding Cam in New England. Do you think Tom Brady would have left a winning situation willingly if he didn’t see the writing on the wall? The Patriots have fewer weapons than ever and if you look at the Patriots depth chart they have Matt LaCosse currently listed as the #1 TE and Devin Asiasi, the 3rd round rookie, as the backup. We all know that Cam loved to throw to TE Greg Olsen in Carolina, will these players give him the same safety blanket that he had with the Panthers? I am not so sure. I still think the Patriots will still be a winning team in 2020 but they will look very different than the Patriots we all remember.

Who will have the better fantasy football season?

I think that Tom Brady will fit in with the Buccaneers seamlessly while the Patriots will have to adjust to accommodate Cam Newton. I feel that the offensive line in Tampa Bay will be inspired to play and protect Brady because they know their window of opportunity to win a Super Bowl will be short (2-3 years).

There is no doubt in my mind that Tom Brady will be one of the top quarterbacks in football and will have a better fantasy football season than Cam Newton in 2020.

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Who’s the best fantasy football quarterback? Mahomes vs. Jackson coming soon.