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The case for drafting a running quarterback in fantasy

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) runs with the ball against the Washington Redskins during an NFL game at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. on Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015. (Chris Keane/AP Images for Panini)

Quarterback mobility has become a prime topic of conversation in recent years. Some quarterbacks have come into the league running, with guys like Michael Vick and Tim Tebow deriving a big chunk of their fantasy value through their legs.

Today we’re going to investigate the value of a mobile quarterback for fantasy, and how rushing yards for quarterbacks has changed value in recent years. Several examples suggest some teams have increased faith in these quarterbacks, which has paid off and, in turn, affected the fantasy community. We’re going to look at a few quarterbacks who derive value from their running, and use them to point out some trends at the position.

Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

Perhaps the best example of a mobile quarterback, Newton has to be the lead for this conversation. If we look at his 2015 MVP season, it’s a perfect example of just how much more value a mobile quarterback can provide. Despite ranking just 16th in passing yards with 3,837, Newton finished first in fantasy scoring. A large part of that was his rushing totals. Last year, Newton rushed for 636 yards, which, if you were to use standard fractional scoring, is an additional 63.6 points. By standard scoring, a quarterback would have to throw for 1,600 yards to equal the fantasy points Newton added with his rushing yards, to say nothing of the difference in touchdown scoring (six points for a rushing touchdown, four for passing in standard). For Newton to have gotten his same fantasy point total without his rushing yards (again, excepting touchdowns), he would have had to throw for 5,500 yards last year — 630 more than any quarterback actually passed for.


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