Cam Newton's ankle surgery causes rankings dip

The 2014 offseason has not been kind to Cam Newton.

First, his left tackle Jordan Gross decided to retire. Then the Panthers decided to part ways with veteran wideout Steve Smith. Soon there after, the team lost No. 2 wide receiver Brandon LaFell to the New England Patriots and No. 3 wideout Ted Ginn to Arizona. As things stand, that leaves Newton with Tavarres King and Marvin McNutt as his top two receivers in the pass attack.

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The two have combined to catch zero passes in the NFL.

As if all this news wasn't bad enough, now comes word that Newton will undergo surgery on his ankle this week. While the procedure is considered minor and will "tighten ankle ligaments," it could sideline Superman for four months.

That sort of timetable would cause him to miss OTAs but return in time for the start of training camp. That doesn't leave Newton much time to gain a rapport with his receivers, whoever those receivers might be in 2014.

The highest-scoring player based on fantasy points of anyone in their first three pro seasons, Newton has been a superstar in the stat sheets. But with questions marks at wideout and coming back from an ankle operation (no matter how minor), I dropped Newton down to sixth among fantasy quarterbacks. Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Nicks Foles and Andrew Luck should now all be drafted ahead of him.

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Have a burning question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!

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