Fantasy Football Week 10: The Cecil Shorts Conundrum
At first glance it seemed like Justin Blackmon‘s recent suspension would be great news for Cecil Shorts‘ fantasy owners. With Blackmon gone, it only stands to reason that Shorts will be Chad Henne‘s first read on almost every single play. One of the most heavily targeted players in the league this season, Shorts has had no less than 10 passes thrown his way in every full game he’s played. Henne’s mailed him the pigskin a whopping 87 times so far and it wouldn’t be surprising if that number more than doubled by the end of the season. He’s currently on pace for 92 receptions, 1130 yards and two touchdowns.
The issue with Shorts is obviously not volume. The problem is that the rest of his schedule is brutal and without Blackmon there to draw some attention from opposing defenses, stopping Shorts will be item number one on every defensive coordinator’s list. From here on out, Shorts faces the Tennessee Titans twice, the Houston Texans twice, the Arizona Cardinals, the Cleveland Browns and the Buffalo Bills. As if it wasn’t bad enough that he would be facing the Titans’ and Texans’ stingy secondaries twice, he’ll also have meetings with Patrick Peterson and Joe Haden. The NFL‘s schedule-makers really did their best to ruin the Jacksonville Jaguars this year…
Although we know Henne will be targeting Shorts until his arm falls off, it’s pretty hard to ignore the difficulty of that schedule. The Jags will always be playing from behind and airing it out, so the garbage-time opportunities will be aplenty, but it’s going to be tough for Shorts’ owners to sit and wait for him to hopefully produce in the fourth quarter every week. He’s definitely worth holding onto right now because he doesn’t have a whole lot of trade value and he should still be able to put up WR3 numbers. But, owners who were expecting incredible things might want to get their expectations in check.