Fantasy Feud 2013: Pierre Garcon vs Cecil Shorts
It’s been a little while since I debated two players as a part of my Fantasy Feud series. As a matter of fact, the last time I did one of these columns, it was July 22nd. For that, I sincerely apologize. And, for those of you who absolutely hate this series, well, you’re welcome, I guess. Anyway, as the season rapidly approaches, we need to start debating some closely ranked players for fantasy owners out there. We will continue with the wide receivers. Which wideout should you target this summer? Pierre Garcon or Cecil Shorts?
Making the case for Garcon
A lot of people believe that if both Garcon and quarterback Robert Griffin III suit up for a full 16 games, Garcon will emerge into a top-10 fantasy wide receiver. I’m not quite sold on top-10 just yet, but a top-15 option? Book it. When both were on the field last season, the two developed a very impressive rapport for fantasy owners. Remember, Garcon tore ligaments in his foot during Week 1, and at a time, was expected to undergo season ending surgery. However, Garcon battled through it and missed only six games. When he came back from injury, Garcon was very fantasy relevant. From Week 12 on, Garcon was targeted a very healthy 46 times. During that span, Garcon scored three times off 475 receiving yards, resulting in 62 fantasy points (top-20). RG3 was always looking for his number one guy, and I fully expect that to continue in 2013. Garcon says he is fully healthy right now, which makes me excited. However, I can’t ignore the injury concerns from the past, which makes him a bit risky. With the high volume of rushing used in Washington, opposing defenses are almost always expecting either Griffin to take off and run, or fellow rookie sensation Alfred Morris to pound the rock. That will open up some killer play action passing, which may make Garcon a viable deep threat. RG3 threw a very strong deep ball last season as well. I just hope Garcon can stay healthy because if he does, we are going to see a ton of big plays from this guy. Top-15 finish is very much a possibility.
Making the case for Shorts
Shorts was one of the waiver wire darlings of the year in 2012. Fantasy owners who took a chance on adding him to their rosters were handsomely rewarded. If it hadn’t been for concussion issues towards the end of the season, Shorts would have posted the first 1,000-yard season of his career. Still, for a guy who was one absolutely zero fantasy radars coming into the season, 55 catches for 979 yards and seven scores isn’t too shabby either. The fact that he produced like that, despite the often atrocious quarterback play in Jacksonville is pretty impressive. The Jaguars are currently involved in a quarterback competition between Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne. Hopefully, for Shorts’ fantasy value, Henne wins this job. One, because Gabbert is simply awful, and two, because Henne often targeted Shorts a ton when under center. During the eight games where Shorts and Henne were on the field together, Shorts was targeted an impressive 71 times. Shorts’ 2012 season was no fluke. The kid is skilled. He is strong enough to get off of opposing corners at the line, and when he has the ball in open space, he is deadly. He should be the main target in this passing game, especially for the first four weeks with Justin Blackmon being suspended.
Both of these guys are inside my top-25 among wide receivers, but if I had to choose one to roster, it would be Garcon. I think he just has a bit more upside, with more explosiveness. Also, the debate comes down to each player’s offense, where Garcon clearly gets the edge. I like his chances of emerging as a top-15 guy alongside RG3 more than Shorts alongside Henne/Gabbert. Also, the Redskins offense has much more balance than the Jaguars. Honestly, it’s more of a knock against Shorts’ offense than the player himself.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.