NFL Rookie Of The Year Odds: Texans QB CJ Stroud Climbs Rankings
As fans begin to look at NFL Week 4 odds, we saw a big shakeup in Offensive Rookie Of The Year odds after Week 3. With bad performances or injuries affecting most of the contenders, Texans QB CJ Stroud took advantage in an upset win over the Jaguars. Debating whether Stroud is now a viable contender and whether Bijan Robinson should still be the favorite after a stinker in Detroit is fascinating. Let’s dive into Rookie Of The Year odds and my rankings for the award after three weeks.
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Rookie of the Year oDDs: Week 3 Takeaways
Week 3 was, outside Stroud, remarkable for the failures from this rookie class:
- Zay Flowers had 8 catches but only 48 yards in a loss.
- Bijan Robinson only rushed for 3.3 yards per carry on 10 carries.
- Gardner Minshew’s victory for Indianapolis raises questions about how much credit Anthony Richardson should get in the offense.
- One somewhat bright spot was Jahmyr Gibbs having 80 yards in Detroit’s win.
Stroud stood out above the rest. 20-of-30 for 280 yards and 2 TDs will lead the headlines, but they don’t do the performance justice. Fourth in both Dropback EPA and Success Rate for the week, Stroud built on his performance in the second half of Week 2. And now with his arrow pointing up in a weak division, he’s seriously in play for this award.
What looked to be congealing into a two-horse race is now three.
Betting Stroud now may not make a lot of sense though, even if you think he’s in a good spot to win. Markets like these can be heavily reactive, as Stroud’s line shortening shows. Waiting until Richardson has a good game or Robinson scores again to get a better number may be prudent.
Week 4 Rookie QB Matchups
Panthers QB Bryce Young ()
Young has the most risk of not playing in Week 4, with Frank Reich having said he’d miss 1-2 weeks with an ankle injury. Given that, Young might not be fully healthy if he plays against the Vikings. At home, however, Young could theoretically be expected to play better.
Young getting to play the 25th-ranked Minnesota defense by EPA if he plays would be an advantage, and finally give him a chance to show why he was drafted highly. Against a Vikings defense that is 24th against the pass by EPA and liable to big plays, maybe Young can connect on a deep shot or two.
That said, if he can’t take advantage, questions about just what Carolina was thinking will ramp up even further.
Texans QB CJ Stroud ()
Stroud was obviously incredible in beating the Jaguars in Week 3. With that said, the Steelers do pose a greater threat defensively to him. If Stroud is able to pick apart the Steelers like he did Jacksonville, then he might be Rookie Of The Year favorite by the end of the week. But if he doesn’t, there’ll be doubts.
The likelihood is that the Steelers run heavy offense and strong defense will reduce the pace of the game. That means that even if Stroud plays well, his counting stats may be down. If so, that might provide an opportunity to get back into the market at a better price, especially if Pittsburgh wins as a favorite.
If he does manage to get a win and/or put up gaudy numbers, his high quality of opponent defense could vault him to the top of the Rookie Of The Year odds.
Colts QB Anthony Richardson ()
The Colts getting a win with Gardner Minshew will raise questions, but not too many. Minshew was bottom 10 in Dropback EPA in Week 3. They won in spite of him, not because of him. At home against the Rams, Richardson should be able to take better advantage of the Rams’ bottom-10 defense.
Richardson seems to be on track to play in Week 4, and assuming he does, he’ll be trying to lead the upstart Colts to a 3-1 record, somehow. The chances we get a down Richardson game of the kind that scared scouts is real. That said, the Rams defense doesn’t seem like the unit that is going to cause him issues.
Offensive Rookie Of The Year Rankings
As always, this Rookie Of The Year ballot is not a predictive exercise. This is where they’d be right now, not where I think they will be at the end of the season.
- Colts QB Anthony Richardson
- Texans QB CJ Stroud
- Rams WR Puca Nacua
- Falcons RB Bijan Robinson
- Ravens WR Zay Flowers
NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Odds
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