Cam doesn't equal consistency
Philadelphia, PA ( - The quarterback position is getting perilously thin for some NFL teams.

The St. Louis Rams reached out to Brett Favre, Jeff Garcia is bugging the Cleveland Browns for a tryout and the Minnesota Vikings are this close to calling up Daunte Culpepper.

One team that doesn't have that issue is Carolina, who just rolled the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers Thursday night.

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton looked great, throwing for 221 yards and two scores and running for 50 and another touchdown in the win.

It's performances like those that make Newton one of fantasy's most coveted quarterbacks.

However, we've yet to see Newton develop the consistency of Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers, fantasy's holy trinity at the quarterback position.

Far too often, Newton will have duds like his Week 5 game at Arizona in which he threw for 308 yards and run for 25 but had zero touchdowns and four turnovers.

He was extremely efficient in Week 7 against the Rams, completing 15-of-17 for 204 yards (12 ypa), but he only had one touchdown and 26 rushing yards.

In standard scoring leagues, Newton has had 27-30 fantasy points in three games but 6-16 points in four.

Brees highest two games this season were 32 and 31 points, and he also had games with 20 and 19 fantasy points. His lowest two games were 12 and 16 points. Rodgers' three best games were between 23-35 points and he had 11, 14 and 16 in his three worst.

Newton showed in his rookie year that he has the ability to be a top-three fantasy signal-caller, but his inconsistency over the last season and a half puts him closer to the Tony Romo, Andrew Luck and Philip Rivers group than the top tier.

After a long rest, Newton will face the Atlanta Falcons at home in Week 9. The Carolina QB has produced nine touchdowns (six passing, three rushing) in four career games versus the Falcons, who also happen to have allowed 19.5 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs, fifth most in the NFL.

However, in the three weeks following that game, the Panthers oppose the San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins, who have given up the 20th, 24th and 25th most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season, respectively.

Carolina also has two games left against the Saints and one against the Jets. New Orleans has given up the 28th most fantasy points to quarterbacks, while the Jets have allowed the 19th most.

Given that tough slate and Newton's boom-or-bust production, I'd prefer to have Luck, Matthew Stafford or even Matt Ryan, who has thrown for at least two TDs in every game this season, in the season's second half.

Newton's big games may very well give him more fantasy points than those quarterbacks at season's end, but its his far-too-frequent flops I'm looking to avoid during the playoff chase.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Thomas J. Harrigan at