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Avoid This Quarterback in 2024 Fantasy Football


A wise man once said, “You can’t win your fantasy league with the draft, but you can lose it.” 


A wise man indeed.


In the first few rounds, you want the players with the best shot to finish at the top of their position. Some players have an easier path to the top than others. If you do not want to lose your fantasy league this season, avoid this young star quarterback when your draft rolls around. He has a tough path ahead of him.


Who is this quarterback?


It is none other than CJ Stroud of the Houston Texans.


 

2023 season


CJ Stroud was drafted by the Houston Texans with the second overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft. A player drafted that high is assumed to be good, but his season was even better than expected. He became one of only five quarterbacks in NFL history to throw for 4,000 yards in their rookie season. He ended the season with 4,108 passing yards, 23 passing touchdowns, and only five interceptions. He would add another 167 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. (PFF)


His passing yards total would put him eighth in the league, and his touchdown total was tied for 13th. He is on the path to be one of the league's young stars. That said, he is not a good fantasy pick this season.


 

Buyer Beware


CJ Stroud fired everybody up in his rookie season. The Stroud “Hype Train” has a lot of passengers, and his ADP reflects that. He is the QB5 and 45th overall player in fantasy drafts. I firmly believe that although Stroud is incredibly talented, he is being over-drafted in fantasy football.


Many expect the Texans offense to be among the league's best with the arrival of Joe Mixon and Stefon Diggs. They enter an offense with two young stars in Nico Collins and Tank Dell. This stacked offensive unit is the main reason why Stroud’s ADP has skyrocketed. He had an excellent rookie season and now has an even better offense around him. Houston should have a high-powered offense with CJ Stroud leading the charge.


The biggest problem with drafting Stroud high in fantasy drafts is that he does not have the same kind of floor that the elite fantasy quarterback options have. He has essentially zero rushing upside. Quarterbacks with rushing upside (Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts, Lamar Jackson, etc.)  generally get you more fantasy points than those without. They can make magic happen with their legs when things are not working through the air and get yards on the ground when the play collapses. These guys are not as one-dimensional as a traditional pocket passer like Stroud. 


While rushing quarterbacks are generally more valuable, pocket passers can still have great fantasy seasons. Since 2020, there have been six quarterbacks who finished inside the top five with less than 300 rushing yards:


2020: Aaron Rodgers; QB3


2021: Tom Brady; QB3

Matthew Stafford; QB5


2022: Joe Burrow; QB4


2023: Dak Prescott; QB3

Jordan Love; QB5


All of these quarterbacks threw for at least 4,100 yards, and none finished outside the top two in passing touchdowns. 


History shows us that CJ Stroud needs to have a HUGE season through the air to finish as a top-five fantasy quarterback in 2024. While that is in the realm of possibilities, his limited rushing ability gives him less margin for error than the elite fantasy quarterbacks.


CJ Stroud's ADP of QB5 is optimistic. He is a risky pick in the third round, and if he does not have an MVP-caliber season, he will be a fantasy bust.


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