Cam Newton COVID-19 Update Crushes Patriots' Fantasy Outlook with Jarrett Stidham at QB in Week 4

Jason Schandl
Cam Newton has tested positive for COVID-19, and he is ruled out for Sunday's Week 4 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Cam Newton has tested positive for COVID-19, and he is ruled out for Sunday's Week 4 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs. / Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

The NFL was the only major sports league that didn't make significant changes to their 2020 season structure amid the coronavirus pandemic, and the results are starting to show. The Week 4 Pittsburgh Steelers vs Tennessee Titans has already been postponed, and now the first major non-Titans player has been ruled out for the week due to COVID-19.

Cam Newton Coronavirus

New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list and will miss Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Jarrett Stidham will start in his place, downgrading the fantasy football value of the Patriots' entire offense.

The Patriots claimed to be comfortable with Stidham as their starting quarterback all offseason, and even after signing Newton they pretended there was a legitimate competition for the QB1 job.

Stidham is incredibly unlikely to play up to the level Newton has, however. The former MVP has returned to form in a big way in 2020. His 7.3 adjusted yards per pass attempt (AY/A) are the third-highest mark of his career (and highest since his 2015 MVP season), and he's completed a career best 68.1 percent of his passes.

The Patriots may like Stidham's potential, but the 2019 fourth-round pick has thrown a grand total of four NFL passes, tallying 14 yards with 1 interception.

Not only do Patriots pass-catchers lose fantasy football value with the QB downgrade, but the likelihood that the offense is just less efficient all around is a big ding to the rushing game as well.

PPR stud James White and Julian Edelman are still viable starting options, but fantasy managers with deep benches should also be considering other options this week.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.