Panthers QB Cam Newton will not be restricted as a runner
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Panthers QB Cam Newton will not be restricted as a runner

The Panthers added Mike Tolbert to DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart this offseason, giving Carolina three running backs who can get it done around the goal line. The thinking is that trio will subtract from Cam Newton's total of rushing scores -- he had 14 last season. That may still be true, but the opportunity will still be there for Newton to rack up plenty of fantasy points on the ground. Head coach Ron Rivera told CBS Sports' Pat Kirwin on Tuesday that he will not be restricting Newton in the run game this season. He expects Newton to rush six or seven times per game and continue to be a threat in the red zone.

Fantasy Analysis:

Seven carries per game would average out to 112 carries for Newton, which is about one carry less per game than what he had last season. But there's no accounting for Newton's improvisation. He'll probably end up rushing 120 or more times this season. While I think 14 rushing TDs is really ambitious to repeat, 10 sounds reasonable to me. He's a clear top-5 fantasy QB.

CBS Sports/Twitter

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Brian Murphy -
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Los Angeles, CA
FFToolbox Fantasy Football Writer since 2002
Follow me on Twitter: @Spokes_Murphy.

I have played fantasy sports since 2001. I've played mostly in fantasy football and baseball leagues. I wrote for FFToolbox from 2002-2005 and re-joined in 2009.

I was an undergraduate from the University of Central Florida, and a master's graduate from Cal State University, Northridge specializing in journalism/mass communication. I make my home in Long Beach, Calif.

While I grew up in California, my favorite football team has always been the New York Giants.

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