Shorts led the entire team last year with 979 receiving yards, seven touchdowns, and an average of 17.8 yards per reception. The 25-year-old ended up being a pretty reliable fantasy receiver down the stretch and proved to be a great third wideout.
In the last three games, Shorts received 34 targets alone and ended the year with six games in which he was targeted at least 10 times. He also hauled in four touchdowns in the last six games alone. Not too bad from a former free agent pickup.
Most locked onto rookie Justin Blackmon as the premier wideout in Jacksonville’s offense last season. However, after Blackmon was arrested for a DUI, the Oklahoma State star obviously has some problems to work out. Blackmon quickly faded into the background, while Shorts became the go-to-guy in Jacksonville. Now factor in that Blackmon will be suspended the first four games of 2013 for violating the league’s substance abuse policy and Shorts will have even more fantasy value when the season kickoff.
Jacksonville’s offense didn’t get any better in the off-season, so they will likely still finish among the bottom of every offensive category. However, it will only mean that the team will be throwing all game long, which should help Shorts pad his stats towards the end of the game. He may score some garbage touchdowns, but a touchdown is a touchdown in fantasy.
The receiver did leave practice this week with a strained calf, but it doesn’t appear to be serious. The injury should in no way cause his draft stock to drop, so don’t get caught up in the fact that he has a minor injury.
Shorts will still be a reliable third wideout to target in deeper leagues and the elusive receiver could fall to the last couple rounds. Make sure to keep an eye on the former Mount Union standout in drafts this summer, because he will be an amazing sleeper.