Instant Fantasy Outlook: Can CJ Stroud Make an Immediate Impact With the Texans?

CJ Stroud has his work cut out for him in Houston.

Many voices assumed the Texans would take a quarterback at No. 2, with some saying Will Levis, but there were rumblings that they might go elsewhere, such as Alabama linebacker Will Anderson. Well, por que no los dos? After taking Ohio State’s CJ Stroud at No. 2 overall, they traded to No. 3 to take Anderson and got the best of both worlds.

Stroud lands in a situation that’s still recovering from the fallout of Bill O’Brien’s last season running the team in 2020. Now, he joins a franchise that just drafted its offensive and defensive anchors for the future.

Can Stroud help break the historical stigma of Ohio State quarterbacks? Considered “the most naturally accurate top-tier quarterback in the 2023 draft class,” by’s Lance Zierlein, Stroud joins fellow OSU alum Justin Fields as quarterbacks lauded for their accuracy out of college, yet coming into shaky offensive situations in the pros.

CJ’s receiving room in Houston is a world apart from the embarrassment of riches he had at OSU with guys like Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and Marvin Harrison Jr. Time will tell how much the Buckeyes’ WR room and pass-happy scheme lifted Stroud’s game.


Following two years of misery, the Bears finally landed Justin Fields a true WR1 in DJ Moore. But, question marks still exist with the Texans, including third-round pick WR Tank Dell, whose explosiveness is rebutted by unreliable hands/route-running, and his lack of size (5’8″/165, only seven receivers have tested lighter at the combine, per Bleacher Report). With the return of John Metchie, the trio of Stroud, Metchie, and Nico Collins contains a massive amount of unknown, and so naturally, a considerable amount of upside, with time.

After day two of the NFL Draft, Houston could still add to its offense, perhaps adding a pass-catching running back. Regardless, this isn’t a situation that should become any kind of fantasy powerhouse overnight.

No matter his S2 score, Stroud’s accuracy and ability to go through his progressions make the future promising in Houston, even if the only fantasy-relevant offensive pieces might be limited to Dameon Pierce and Dalton Schultz in 2023.

At 6’3″, 214 pounds, the five inches Stroud has over Bryce Young could legitimately make him the first quarterback off the board in dynasty rookie drafts, also ahead of the freakishly athletic, yet unrefined, Anthony Richardson. Stroud also has the edge over Young in career completion percentage (69.3 to 65.8) and TD:INT ratio (85:12 to 80:12).

No matter how the rest of the NFL Draft plays out, Stroud likely finds himself undrafted in redraft leagues, on a Texans squad that might need a couple of years to figure it out on both sides of the ball.


“Overall, Stroud must become more comfortable embracing his athleticism and escapability, but he is an outstanding rhythm passer with touch, pacing and ball-speed control to carve up the defense. His passing skills give him an encouraging floor as an NFL starter and his development as a creator will ultimately determine his NFL ceiling,” wrote Dane Brugler of The Athletic.


  • Driven by profit, has the lobes for business. Prioritizes anchors as part of a diversified portfolio. Seeks to be the first hue-mon to become the Grand Nagus. On Twitter @ChaseM_G


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