5 most pleasantly surprising fantasy football players in 2023

  • Los Angeles Rams had two players that no one saw coming
  • Veteran receiver put in a huge year for Panthers
  • Rookie QB turned an entire franchise around

Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love (10) high fives head coach Matt LaFleur after throwing a TD pass against the Bears.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love (10) high fives head coach Matt LaFleur after throwing a TD pass against the Bears. / Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans
Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) draws back to pass Saturday, Jan. 6, 2024, during a game against the Colts. / Robert Scheer/IndyStar / USA TODAY

C.J. Stroud, QB, Houston Texans

C.J. Stroud was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2023 draft, but did anyone think he was going to be so good so quickly? Not likely.

The Houston Texans were a really bad team last season but under new head coach DeMeco Ryans, things have turned around in a hurry. Stroud also had to deal with the whole "no quarterback from Ohio State has ever been good" stuff, and he put that to rest.

Stroud missed two games with a concussion this season and his 4,108 yards passing were still good for eighth in the league. He threw 23 touchdowns but also only had five interceptions this season.

dark. Next. League Winners. Players who helped fantasy football players win a championship

He is only going to get better as his ceiling is likely quite high and fantasy players are going to flock to him in drafts next season. If you happen to have him on your dynasty roster, you could have a guy that has a trajectory similar to that of Patrick Mahomes when he first came into the league.