Not all fantasy owners think alike.
As we head into the 2013 fantasy football season, I would’ve thought people would be higher on Cecil Shorts and his average draft position. The Jaguars speedster is currently being drafted 33rd among all receivers and 84th overall in standard 12-team formats. Some of the names being drafted ahead of him include: T.Y. Hilton, James Jones and Danario Alexander.
Cecil Shorts Game Log
Based on the type of season I expect from Shorts, adding him after any of those three receivers is a real steal.
Last year was Shorts’ first full year as a starter. The Mount Union product established a solid relationship with both Chad Henne and Blaine Gabbert throughout the season and surfaced as Jacksonville’s leading receiver.
The presence of Justin Blackmon did little to hinder Shorts’ production in 2012 and that’s not likely to change in 2013. Blackmon will miss the first four games of the 2013 season thanks to a suspension from Roger Goodell for violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy. That will leave Shorts as far and away the most productive returning receiver in Jacksonville to start the season. Mohammed Massaquoi will be the leading candidate to fill in for Blackmon for the first four games. Expect Shorts to be the No. 1 option on nearly every pass play during that time, at least until Massaquoi can get up to speed with whoever the starting Jaguar quarterback ends up being.
Shorts should also flourish from a PPR standpoint in 2013. The Jacksonville Jaguars will likely be playing from behind once again in most of their games, leading to plenty opportunities for Shorts to build on his 55 catch, 979 yard and seven touchdown season he turned in last year.
Like fellow Mount Union alum Pierre Garcon, Shorts excels both over the middle and on deep routes thanks to crisp route running and top-flight speed. He possesses that rare ability to turn a five-yard route into an 80 yard gain.
Adding to Shorts’ appeal is the lack of a premier shutdown corner in the AFC South. In my opinion, only Houston’s Jonathan Joseph has the ability to give Shorts problems. That said; Jacksonville won’t play Houston until the second half of the season. At that time, you could see Joseph matching up with the bigger, more physical Blackmon.
The fact that Hilton, Alexander and Jones are currently being drafted ahead of him in any format baffles me. All three of those receivers will struggle to crack the top two slots on their respective depth charts, while Shorts is hands-down the No. 1 receiver in Jacksonville. Shorts outgained all three last season and trailed only Jones in scores. With James Jones’ track record and the emergence of Randall Cobb, I’d be extremely surprised to see him eclipse double-digit scores again in 2013.
Cecil Shorts Career Stats
|Career Totals (Full)||24||57||116||1009||17.7||8|
Given that, I still wouldn’t wait for those three to go off the board before drafting Shorts. Once that first wave of No. 1’s is gone, I’d pull the trigger on him as early as round five in a traditional leagues and round four in a PPR format (12-team league). Waiting too long could leave you scrambling for consistent production from your No. 2 WR slot. I don’t know that they’ll be a more consistent No. 2 fantasy receiver in 2013 than Cecil Shorts.
If you are in a dynasty league, I’d lock down Shorts as soon as you get a chance. He should produce solid numbers over the next two seasons in Jacksonville. After that, he’ll be a free agent and likely a highly coveted one at that. I can see him looking to get out of Jacksonville ASAP and going somewhere where he can take his career to the next level.