Cam Newton’s Absence Improves Odds Mac Jones Starts for Patriots in Week 1
Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Mac Jones
- The odds for the Patriots' starting QB has shifted since opening.
- The latest line movement indicates that there is a real opportunity for rookie Mac Jones.
The New England Patriots quarterback situation became a constant topic of discussion the moment they selected former Alabama quarterback Mac Jones with the 15th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. The assumption was that former MVP Cam Newton would hold onto the starting job for at least a chunk of the season while Jones’ worked on absorbing the Patriots’ offense.
But things have changed quite a bit since draft night.
The odds for Jones to be the Week 1 starter opened at +275 but since dropped to +225 (via DraftKings). This news coincides with Newton being out until at least Friday due to health and safety protocols related to COVID-19 testing.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick alluded to Jones having a great opportunity in the preseason in the time that Newton is out. On top of that, it was also reported that at least one member of the Patriots organization believes that Jones has a real chance at securing the starting job.
Through two of their three preseason games, both QBs have been solid. Netwon is 12/16 with one touchdown, while Jones—in extended time—has completed 26 of his 38 passes with no touchdowns and no turnovers.
And it certainly didn’t hurt Jones’ case that New England has won both of their preseason games by a combined score of 57-13. The Patriots’ final preseason game is on August 29 at 6 p.m. EST on the road against the New York Giants.
Whichever way Belichick decides to go, our NFL expert Sean Koerner doesn’t make much of a change either way to his betting and fantasy projections.
“Cam will still likely begin the season as the starter,” Koerner said. “His rushing upside makes him a borderline QB1 option to begin the season. If you punt the position and plan on steaming to begin the year, I would target him as a Week 1 streamer at the end of a draft. When he starts it lowers the value of the RB/WR/TE groups because he will hog most of the production.
“If and when Mac Jones starts, he will elevate the value of the RB/WR/TE group given he will throw more and goal-line opportunities will go toward the running backs. He’s less of a fantasy asset himself (at least as a rookie) as a result.”