After Bijan Robinson comes off the board at 1.01 in 2023 dynasty rookie drafts, the manager at the 1.02 has a decision to make: Bryce Young, CJ Stroud, or Anthony Richardson to fulfill the quarterback position. One could make the case for all three quarterbacks, but the guys at RSJ decided to make their own individual case for their QB1, plus the quarterback they’d take last between the three.
Drafting soon? Check out The Wolf’s 2023 Rookie Rankings.
Which rookie QB do you think should go first in 2023 Rookie Drafts? Why and where would you be looking to take them? (Consider both SuperFlex and 1 QB leagues)
CJ Stroud. I typically go talent over situation, and I think CJ Stroud is the best passer of this class with the upside for even more if his Konami Code ceiling is tapped into more at the NFL Level. Even if not, Stroud lands on a Texans team with a QB-Friendly, 49ers-inspired scheme, and he’ll have to chuck plenty. Especially in a SuperFlex, I side with the longevity & floor of Stroud. He belongs at the 1.02 in SuperFlex Rookie Drafts, behind only Bijan.
In a 1 QB league where I can absorb the risk more easily, however, I consider the limitless ceiling of Anthony Richardson, the most freak-ish QB prospect to ever enter the league.
Following CJ Stroud’s masterclass against Georgia and his strong NFL Combine, I locked in the former Buckeye as this class’ top quarterback and he continues to be my QB1 as we head into training camp. Although there are arguments for the other two quarterbacks, specifically Bryce Young’s intangibles and Anthony Richardson’s elite athleticism, Stroud’s accuracy (compared to Richardson) and size (compared to Young) give him the overall advantage over the other two signal callers. Similarly to Wolf, I’m taking the sturdy talent over the other two question marks.
Anthony Richardson. If you’re on the board at 1.02, you are likely in a rebuild and Richardson’s upside is too high to pass up. The former Gator has sky-high potential and long-term elite QB1 upside.
Anthony Richardson is a tier above the other two options to me for two reasons. First, Richardson is currently a 1st round start-up pick in SuperFlex leagues with an ADP of 11.3 compared to 18.4 for Young and 21.4 for Stroud. Passing on Richardson is leaving value on the table. Second, Richardson is the most athletic quarterback prospect of all time. His rushing edge gives him the easiest path to elite fantasy upside.
Anthony Richardson. At least to this point, it sounds like he processes the game well enough to show potential to overcome his mechanical/accuracy problems in college and flirt with his elite ceiling. He’s only behind Bijan Robinson for me in Superflex and only behind Bijan, Jahmyr Gibbs, and JSN in 1QB.
It pains me to say it, but Bryce Young – Both Young and CJ Stroud benefitted from a stacked receiver room throughout their college careers, but Young enters the league with a dramatically easier path to success.
New Carolina HC Frank Reich was hired to mentor a rookie QB and reset a franchise that has had no true star signal caller since prime Cam Newton. Out of these three rookies, Young slides into the highest-ranked 2022 offensive line per PFF at 15th overall, with Indianapolis ranking 18th and Houston all the way down at 26. Good protection up front is just that — a layer of protection for a young QB — which leads to a strong running game and allows for more time in the pocket.
Finally, Young has the best group of skill players around him, and it’s not particularly close. Veteran receivers Adam Thielen and DJ Chark provide production and stability, as well as mentorship for second-round pick Jonathan Mingo. Miles Sanders is coming off his most productive season as a pro, and Hayden Hurst and Tommy Tremble round out the group from the TE position.
Anthony Richardson. If you’re playing fantasy to win, why not take a shot on the most athletic QB to come out of college… ever?
I’d lean toward Anthony Richardson’s upside in SuperFlex and CJ Stroud’s higher floor in 1QB.
Of the “Big 3” Rookie QBs (Young, Stroud, Richardson), which one is last on your draft list? Why?
Bryce Young – mostly because I just really like the other two. If picking hairs, I worry about Young’s size and the lack of talent around him in Carolina. Frank Reich should be a good mentor, and the reviews are glowing so far from teammates, coaches, and beats. Young still belongs top four in any SuperFlex rookie draft… just at 1.04 without the ceiling of Richardson, nor the floor of Stroud.
It’s Bryce Young for me. If we were talking about who I would want to quarterback a must-win game, it would be Young. But, we’re talking about dynasty here and Young’s size, or lack thereof, is a major question mark for me. Outside of Russell Wilson, quarterbacks standing below 6 feet simply cannot stay on the field or put up fantasy points for an entire season. Like Kyler Murray (who is thicker than Young), Young will flash at times, but his size will be a serious question mark throughout his career.
Probably CJ Stroud. But, only because of his lack of surrounding talent and that shitstorm of an organization.
Stroud would be last for me, but I have Young and Stroud in the next tier below Richardson. If I had the 1.04 in SuperFlex and needed a quarterback, I wouldn’t give up anything significant to move up to the 1.03 and would happily select whoever falls. They are both similar prospects, so Young’s slightly superior ADP, draft capital, and short-term situation are the tiebreakers for me. But it’s very close.
Bryce Young. I’d love to be wrong about how much his size goes into this answer but with Richardson’s potential ceiling and the positive reports so far about Stroud, Young’s size sticks out like a sore thumb.
I’ll say, CJ Stroud. Each quarterback is entering the league with a new head coach, and both Young and Richardson are coached by first-time head coaches. Of these three, Stroud is the only one to be led by a defensive-minded coach in DeMeco Ryans. Now, this is no kiss of death, but it does shape the goals and direction desired in Houston. Stroud is also paired with a very green OC, Bobby Slowik, who followed Ryan from San Fransisco.
As stated before, the Texans’ OL was in the bottom third of the league in the past season and generated a league-worst 0.8 rushing yards before contact. Houston failed to address this issue in the draft, taking just two linemen and both at the center position. They turned many heads at the draft trading up from 12 to 3 to take Will Anderson Jr, and this move had Ryans’ fingerprints all over it. Although the Texans have a lot of capital from the Deshaun Watson trade, the organization will need to prioritize protecting their franchise quarterback alongside beefing up the opposite side of the ball.
Finally, in terms of fantasy relevance, Stroud is bringing up the rear in terms of surrounding talent. The best pass catcher currently rostered is Robert Woods, who is 31 and entering the twilight of his career. Following him at the WR position are two rookies in Tank Dell and Xavier Hutchinson and a “redshirt” rookie John Metchie, all of who have yet to suit up in the NFL. Former Cowboy Dalton Shultz rounds out the pass catchers, who is talented but may have benefitted primarily from a great connection with former QB Dak Prescott in Dallas.
CJ Stroud. Situations change quickly, but right now his situation and surrounding talent are the worst of the three quarterbacks.
Bryce Young is behind the other two mostly due to the lack of upside with his surrounding talent and his size. How many hits can he truly take outside of the pocket?