Three and out: Newton a fantasy question mark

Here’s some fantasy takes on the NFL news of the day…

Cam Newton destined to be an NFL bust?: On Monday, our panel of NFL writers and analysts was asked which player taken in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft will be looked upon as a bust. One of the most popular responses to that question was Newton. I tend to agree, as the pressure to produce immediately in a division that fields Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Josh Freeman will be immense. I also don’t see Newton as much of a fantasy option, at least not as a rookie. Sure, his skills as a runner make him more valuable than some other first-year quarterbacks, but it will also put him more at risk to take a pounding from defensive players. If Newton does beat out Jimmy Clausen for the top spot on Carolina’s depth chart, he’ll be worth a late-round flier in deeper, seasonal leagues. But that’s about the extend of his fantasy value.

Rex Grossman in Redskins’ quarterback mix: There are a lot of questions surrounding the ‘Skins this offseason, none more pressing than who will be under center for coach Mike Shanahan. During his weekly live chat, senior analyst Pat Kirwan suggested that Donovan McNabb’s contract makes it “almost impossible” for him to come back. Kirwan, who also isn’t a fan of John Beck, does think the coaching staff likes Rex Grossman. Before you scoff at the thought of “Sexy Rexy” under center, don’t forget Grossman actually put up huge fantasy numbers in two of his three starts in 2010. It wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility for Grossman to actually become a matchup-based fantasy starter off the waiver wire.

Hines Ward leads “Dancing with the Stars:” Honestly, I have never watched this show and wouldn’t be inclined to unless Megan Fox is a contestant. But I wasn’t surprised to hear that another NFL player, Ward, is in contention for a championship. So while he’s twirling around in a pink suit, I can’t help but think about how his fantasy value as tumbled. Once considered a solid fantasy starter, Ward, now 35, enters 2011 with a lot of question marks. He’s lost the prominent role in the offense to Mike Wallace, and the late-season emergence of Emmanuel Sanders could mean even fewer targets. So while he might be in the mix for a DWTS title, Ward is not going to be a big help in your personal quest for a fantasy league title.

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