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Player Showdown: Jimmy Garoppolo or Cam Newton?

(All offseason, Michael Moore will be looking at some specific draft conundrums facing drafters in an effort to determine which player should be the preference.)

The NFL draft is still three weeks away, but it’s never too early to start planning for your fantasy drafts. And after a few-month hiatus, our FWSA-award nominated Player Showdown series is back and analyzing fantasy drafters’ biggest decisions.

We kick off the 2018 edition trying to decide between two enigmas at quarterback: Jimmy Garoppolo and Cam Newton. Newton’s fantasy value has been a roller coaster the last three seasons, finishing first in 2015, 16th in 2016, and then rebounding to finish second last year. That all led to a current 2018 ADP of QB5 in fantasy drafts. Meanwhile, Garoppolo — who has started all of seven games in his career — is QB6 in ADP. So if you’re adopting a quasi-mid-round-QB approach in 2018, which should you choose?

The players

Through the air, Newton’s averaged only 3,582 passing yards and 22 touchdowns per season since he entered the league. Those numbers by themselves are not elite, but in order to fully grasp Newton’s fantasy value, you have to factor in the run game — where he might be the best of all time. Not only has he averaged 617 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns across his seven-season career, but he’s already third all-time among quarterbacks in rushing yards and has three of the top-10 seasons all-time for QB rushing yards. Perhaps the most impressive number is the 54 rushing career touchdowns — third among all players since 2011, including running backs. The second-highest total by a quarterback over that same span is 18(!), literally a third of Newton’s total.

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