|Cecil Shorts - Love him/List him||Tweet|
|Written by Steve Braun|
|Thursday, 06 December 2012 07:43|
Love Him or List Him: Cecil Shorts III
Just to be clear, Love Him doesn’t mean refuse a trade that will blow your doors off. No player is untradeable if the price is right. And List Him doesn’t mean trade him for a sack of dirty jock straps. Try and trade him for what his current value is worth.
Cecil Shorts is a 24 year old wide receiver, 6’0 205 lbs, who ran a 4.5 forty at the 2011 NFL Combine. Shorts played his high school ball in Cleveland where he played quarterback for his father who coached the team. He went to Mount Union College, a Division III school, where he started out as the backup quarterback. He missed his entire freshman season due to injury, and in his second year he was used sparingly as a receiver. Shorts switched to WR fulltime in 2008 and had immediate success, setting a league record for receiving TD’s in 2008 and then helping his team to the championship game in 2009. Shorts missed a few games in 2010 but still made first-team Little All-America for the second year in a row. Here are his college stats:
On top of being a top pass catcher, in 2009 he also ran for 206 yards and eight TD’s. Overall at times he played QB, WR, KR, PR, and DB so it’s obvious he is a very talented athlete. Shorts’ college results indicate he was significantly better than his competition in Division III. So despite his eye-popping statistics and demonstrated athleticism and versatility, he was projected to go in the middle rounds of the NFL draft. He ended up being taken by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fourth round of the 2011 draft.
In 2011 Shorts was used very sparingly by the Jags. He played in ten games and caught only two passes. He did see some time returning both punts and kickoffs but did not really have any success in that role. This season Shorts won a receiving gig out of camp but was clearly behind Justin Blackmon and Laurent Robinson to start the year. As such, and with Blaine Gabbert throwing the ball, Shorts went undrafted in fantasy. But this year he got an opportunity to start and made the most of it. He leads the team in receiving by a fair margin. His stats in 2012 so far:
As it stands after week 13, Shorts is the 14th highest scoring WR in fantasy. If you were one of the very unlikely few who drafted him then I’m sure it was at the end of the draft and you got an absolute steal. But more likely if you have Shorts it’s because you scooped him up off waivers early in the year, in which case you made a very wise waiver move and have enjoyed his production for many weeks. But as always the question is, will he continue to produce both this year and in the future?
As mentioned earlier, one of the ‘knocks’ against Shorts if you want to call it that is that he excelled in college against inferior competition. But his skill set translates well to the NFL. His 4.5 speed isn’t going to blow anyone away in the bigs, but being a good route runner and the mechanics of how he makes a catch are NFL-quality. And while his elusiveness and quick burst off the line made Division III defenders look like Pop Warner players, both are still serving him well in the pros. Shorts has been producing fairly consistently since week 6 when he began to regularly see starter’s minutes. He had one down week against Detroit when he only had 56 receiving yards and no touchdowns. Otherwise he’s either had big yardage totals or caught a TD pass or both. Consistency in a wide receiver is a sometimes undervalued asset in fantasy football. So many of the top receivers have great numbers at the end of the year but have two or three – or more – weeks where they provide almost nothing fantasy-wise. Much more valuable is the wideout who is consistent week to week while still producing the occasional monster game. While it’s admittedly a small sample size, Shorts has produced home and away, and with two different QB’s throwing to him. That is definitely a positive sign for his future fantasy prospects. His worst games understandably were mostly against stronger pass defenses so let’s take look at his remaining schedule:
Obviously week 14 is the tough one. Shorts was diagnosed with a concussion after last week’s game but reportedly has passed his concussion tests. At this point it’s 50/50 at best whether he plays. But if you make the playoffs or are still alive after round one depending on your league playoff format, Shorts is a must-start the last two weeks. His two best weeks this year were against Indy and Tennessee, each ranked higher than Miami and New England at the moment.
One Year League: Love Him. Chances are he’s your WR3 if you’re in the playoff hunt, you can’t ask for much better production from that slot, and week 14 he should still produce WR3 worthy numbers if he plays. If he’s your WR2 you will have to try and survive a slightly down week, but after that he just may be the key to you winning the championship.
Keeper/Dynasty League: Love Him. I really like Shorts’ upside. He’s shown what he can do with little talent at the QB spot. So at worst he’s a valuable WR2 most weeks. If Jacksonville can ever land a quality QB and Blackmon develops as his first round draft pedigree suggests, he and Shorts could be one of the top WR tandems in the league. I know, just doesn’t seem possible when talking about the Jags.
Re-Draft Update: Going into week 14 both my one-year league teams are sitting in a playoff spot but not assured of getting in. In a somewhat painful coincidence, in both leagues I’m up against the #1 team while the team or teams chasing me are facing the last place teams. In one league I can still get in with a loss but the other league I’m almost guaranteed to miss out if I lose. Luckily in that league my players are facing no higher than the 15th ranked defense so I have a decent shot of pulling off a win. This is one of the most fun parts of fantasy football, agonizing over roster decisions knowing that one wrong move can be the difference between making the playoffs and missing out. I love watching the Sunday night and/or Monday night games, excitedly hoping that my one player remaining has a big game to catch my opponent. Or praying that one player doesn’t flop, or get injured early, and cost me the game.
Good Luck to those of you still alive for the playoffs!
For those of you who aren’t going to make it and still have a regular season week left, please be a good sport and at least try to field a competitive team.
|Last Updated on Friday, 07 December 2012 09:12|