With Cam Newton likely sidelined, here's who you should start instead
Per Jay Glazer of FOX and Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Panthers are leaning toward sitting Cam Newton. Fantasy owners can no longer be thinking about rolling the dice and waiting for Newton. At this point, you have to go in another direction. Here are some options that are all available in at least 45 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Carson Palmer, Cardinals -- Palmer and the Cardinals host the Chargers in the nightcap of Monday Night Football. With Andre Ellington banged up and likely out, the Cardinals may lean on Palmer and the passing game even more than usual. The Chargers present a beneficial matchup for Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd. Their starting cornerbacks, Brandon Flowers and Shareece Wright, ranked 94th and 105th in pass coverage last year among 110 cornerbacks, according to Pro Football Focus. Of the regularly available quarterbacks, Palmer is the best replacement for Newton.
Josh McCown, Buccaneers -- Newton may not be playing in this game, but new Tampa Bay starter McCown will be. He looked like a different guy as a starter in place of Jay Cutler in Chicago last year, taking advantage of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. He has two similarly big receivers in Tampa with Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans, and Doug Martin is ready to reprise his role as a great pass-catching back. Carolina’s defense figures to be strong, but they have three new starters in the secondary. He’s not an ideal replacement, but if you’re reaching McCown can be of service today.
Jake Locker, Titans -- If you need to reach very deep, Locker may be your guy. The Titans could spring the mini-upset on the Chiefs today, and Locker would be at the center of that effort. With Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter, Locker has the best wide receiver duo that few people talk about. The Chiefs do still have an above-average defense, but Locker brings a lot to the table for owners that need to replace Newton. Don’t forget about what he can do with his legs, either. Ken Whisenhunt was able to revive Philip Rivers career a season ago, and he may well help Locker realize his potential this season.