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CJ Stroud is amazing. What he has done as a rookie is unprecedented. He could be a franchise quarterback for the next decade. All that being said, sell high on CJ Stroud.

Fantasy vs Real Life

At no other position is there a larger disconnect between real life and fantasy football than at the quarterback position. The main reason is that rushing yards are worth significantly more than passing yards. It’s like a cheat code. Additionally, in most leagues, rushing touchdowns are worth more than passing ones. Some leagues even offer points per carry. Weaker quarterbacks like Justin Fields can be great for fantasy because, even though he doesn’t put up even decent passing stats, he puts up large numbers on the ground. This gives him a high floor and ceiling. Another note is that throwing pick-sixes, though clearly horrible for real-life football, also helps for fantasy since they mean more time on offence. On the other hand, pocket passers like Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa, who are better real-life quarterbacks, can be weaker and more inconsistent than dual-threat quarterbacks.

His Stats

CJ Stroud put up record-breaking numbers as a rookie. He had a bunch of passing yards, passing TDs, and few interceptions. With all that, he still only finished as the QB11 and the QB10 per game. This isn’t bad, but he wasn’t winning people their championships with his fantasy numbers.

In college, CJ Stroud averaged 3 attempts for 5 yards on the ground with only 1 rushing touchdown over 27 games. Then, in the NFL, he averaged 2.6 attempts for 11.1 yards and got 3 rushing touchdowns over 15 games. In other words, he’s a pocket passer.

This showed in his weekly fantasy finishes. He only had 5 games over 20 points and only 2 top 6 games. In contrast, Justin Fields had 6 games over 20 points and 5 top 6 games. He also did it despite playing 2 fewer games than Stroud and playing significantly worse.

His Price

According to KeepTradeCut, he’s being ranked as the QB3 in Superflex leagues and 4th overall. In 1QB leagues, he’s still the QB3 and ranked 20th overall. He is decently overpriced in Superflex leagues and massively overpriced in 1QB leagues. I also expect that he’ll be overdrafted in redraft leagues similarly to how Trevor Lawrence was this past year.

Sure, he has job security, which is important for dynasty, but he isn’t likely to win you seasons. He’ll have some boom games if he scores a bunch of touchdowns, but he doesn’t have the type of rushing upside many other QBs do. In 12 team 1QB leagues, only 6 QBs are above average each week. I don’t see CJ Stroud being a part of that 6 very often. Job security may matter more in Superflex but there are still QBs with job security and rushing upside that are being passed up like Lamar Jackson, Jalen Hurts, Justin Herbert, and Kyler Murray.

The Texans are also a team that had one of the weakest rushing offences in the league. If they can improve that, that could hurt Stroud’s passing volume. I do expect him to have some highly efficient seasons with a bunch of touchdowns, but in general, I don’t see him often being a reliable week-to-week QB and I don’t see him finishing as a top 6 QB for many seasons. Furthermore, I don’t see him being a good starter for a competitive team in 1QB leagues and I see him more as a QB2 for a competing team. I do see some improvement possible if that receiving corps can improve and/or get healthy.

Wrap Up

Playing fantasy isn’t about not sucking, it’s about winning. CJ Stroud is more about the former than the latter. Sell high on CJ Stroud. That being said, he is an amazing talent and I look forward to seeing what he will do in the NFL.