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Fantasy Football Draft Advice: C.J. Stroud, Tua Tagovailoa, Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson

Fantasy Football Draft Advice: C.J. Stroud, Tua Tagovailoa, Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson

The NFL Draft will bring clarity to many teams and some quarterbacks might receive substantial upgrades to their pass-catchers, while others will be left looking on enviously. Regardless of the draft, some quarterbacks look like players we should avoid in drafts right now. This article will provide the reasons why.

Quarterbacks to Avoid

C.J. Stroud (QB – HOU) | Underdog ADP: 52.7

We’ll start with perhaps the spiciest take of all — C.J. Stroud is being vastly overdrafted and has been all offseason, even before the addition of Stefon Diggs. Stroud’s average draft position (ADP) has risen since the Diggs acquisition, from 59 to 52.7, putting him at QB5, ahead of Anthony Richardson. This is despite Stroud having only two top-five weekly finishes in 2023, a number beaten by 11 different quarterbacks, and Russell Wilson, Sam Howell and Justin Herbert were among the eight quarterbacks who had more top-12 weekly finishes than Stroud’s seven. Stroud had the highest single weekly score of any quarterback in 2023 when he scored 40.8 points in Week 9, but he was responsible for only one more of the top-100 QB performances last year. Stroud is an excellent quarterback with excellent weapons around him. He can take a step forward this year but he’ll struggle to compete with the dual threats at the top of drafts. He is best drafted sparingly as part of Texans stacks only.

Deshaun Watson (QB – CLE) | Underdog ADP: 153.6

In a purely football sense, the vibes around Deshaun Watson continue to be far from immaculate. Since the Browns opted to give him an outlier contract of $230 million fully guaranteed, Watson has earned $92 million, throwing 341 passes across 12 games for a miserable 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Watson appeared to have some level of form before his 2023 shoulder injury, scoring over 19 fantasy points in three games, but those games came against the Bengals in Week 1, who were a mess, the Titans, who failed to stop anyone through the air and the Cardinals, who were an up and down team, at best, in 2023. Watson has been sending out mixed signals about his current health. With an elite defense, the Browns are unlikely to ever be in true pass-heavy gamescripts. Watson’s ceiling has long since disappeared and his floor is mediocre now.

Aaron Rodgers (QB – NYJ) | Underdog ADP: 141.7

Playing in the NFL at age 40 is not something many players do. Those who have weren’t coming off a torn Achilles either. Rodgers hasn’t been particularly fantasy-relevant since 2021 when he was the MVP. In 2022, he saw his yards per attempt drop to 6.8, his lowest mark since 2015 and the second-lowest average of his career. Rodgers finished as the QB23 in points per game that year, throwing 12 interceptions, the most he’d thrown since 2008. Coming off a torn Achilles at age 40, it seems hard to believe Rodgers will let the ball rip in New York. For many years now Rodgers has played safe with the ball. With a strong defense on the other side of the ball, Jets games could hit the under more often than we’d like for fantasy.

Tua Tagovailoa (QB – MIA) | Underdog ADP: 109.5

The Dolphins were outplayed down the stretch of the 2023 season, floundering whenever they came up against above-average teams. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was unable to elevate his offense in those games. Tagovailoa’s top-seven performances came against the Broncos, Chargers, Panthers, Patriots, Commanders, Raiders and Giants, averaging 21.9 points in those games, as the Dolphins dominated weak teams. However, against the Cowboys, Ravens, Bills, Jets (twice), Chiefs, Patriots (again), Titans and Eagles, Tagovailoa never finished above QB16, averaging 12.4 points and throwing for more than one touchdown on a single occasion. Some quarterbacks manage to be fantasy-relevant while being efficient but the Dolphins still coach around their quarterback. It might be better to draft Miami receivers but aim to pair them with quarterbacks that have any form of a ceiling compared to Tagovailoa.

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