I admit that I could not be happier for Teddy Bridgwater. He finally gets another shot to be a franchise QB, and he deserves it. Unfortunately, it had to come off the back of Cam Newton, but a change of scenery is need for Cam.
Let's start with Bridgewater before speaking on Cam Newton. Many people overlook the fact that his opportunity in Minnesota was never truly an opportunity. Norv Turner ran a very conservative playbook for Bridgewater early in his career, and Teddy still was just a missed chip shot field goal away from beating the Seahawks in their Legion of Boom prime. The next season, he suffers a devastating knee injury during the preseason.
Bridgewater reemerged with the New York Jets and played brilliantly during the preseason, but he had to get out of the way for Sam Darnold. Teddy ended up in New Orleans and became what I consider the best backup QB in the NFL. When Drew Brees was hurt early n the season last year, Bridgewater took over and played very well he lead the Saints to a 5-1 record in the absence of Brees. Teddy threw nine touchdown passes and only two interceptions, and he had a 99.1 QB rating. Bridgewater was a very efficient game manager who didn't kill the numbers of fantasy stars like Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara.
In Carolina, Teddy Bridgewater will have his best chance to become a fantasy star. This is assuming Cam Newton's days in Carolina are numbered of course. Carolina did recently give Newton the green light to seek out a trade, although he claims he did not ask for a trade.
I will get to the weapons in a minute, but the most beneficial fantasy factor for Bridgewater will be the coaching of new Panthers head Coach Matt Rhule and offensive coordinator Joe Brady. Brady was the architect of LSU's latest offense, and Joe Burrow's dominant run in the college ranks last season. Brady and Bridgewater have also worked together in New Orleans.
When it comes to the weapons, we have to start with the guy who will be standing behind Bridgewater: Christian McCaffrey, the best offensive player in the NFL. McCaffrey will continue to be a fantasy beast, and nothing will change on that front with Bridgewater under center. You can draft McCaffrey with the first pick and sleep well.
Where it gets interesting is with the Panthers weapons in the passing game. This is where I trust Rhule and Brady to make the most significant improvements.
D.J Moore finished just outside the top 12 in Wide Receivers in fantasy football production last season he caught 87 balls on 135 targets. I think both those numbers could go up in a new scheme. I believe Moore should be drafted as a high-end wide reiver two with wide receiver one upside. Curtis Samuel has disappointed, so any progress from the former Buckeye will be useful, but I don't see a big fantasy bump as of yet. Tight end Ian Thomas flashed down the stretch last season, and with Greg Olsen officially out of town, Thomas could put up excellent numbers in 2020. I see Thomas as a weekly starter in 12-team leagues, and he should be drafted as a value TE with upside. When Bridgewater started for six weeks last season, he was QB18, but he wasn't asked to do much since the Saints had transitioned to a run-first offense.
I don't think that will be the case this season in Carolina. Bridgewater will likely go off draft boards around QB20, making him a starter in two-QB leagues, and at worst, he's a cheap backup play in standard/PPR leagues. I think his ceiling can be a consistent starter in one quarterback leagues as a low-end QB1 during the 2020 season.
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