Cecil Shorts: Updated Fantasy Outlook and Analysis for Jaguars WR

John RozumCorrespondent IOctober 28, 2012

Aug 10, 2012;  Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Cecil Shorts III (84) runs the ball during the second quarter of the preseason game against the New York Giants at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-US PRESSWIRE
Melina Vastola-US PRESSWIRE

Add Cecil Shorts of the Jacksonville Jaguars to your fantasy football team.

The man is proving to be Jacksonville's best, most consistently explosive and reliable offensive weapon this season, and his performance against the Green Bay Packers was impressive.

In catching eight passes, Shorts racked up 116 receiving yards and led all receivers in that game. No, the Jaguars are not a great passing offense and much is needed for them to get stronger production.

Still, whether it's a No. 3 or flex-position fantasy spot here's why Shorts suits well from Jacksonville regarding fantasy football.



Yards Per/After the Catch

Prior to Week 8, Shorts was averaging almost 24 yards per catch and had three touchdowns. Despite Jacksonville not winning, Shorts' 14.5 yards per catch resulted in half of his receptions moving the chains against Green Bay.

With awesome explosion when breaking a route, acceleration at the line and straight-line speed, Shorts can consistently beat man coverage. Additionally, he's a threat over the middle, on quick screens and down the seam to make plays.

Even more impressive is Shorts' agility in the open field and he doesn't spend an extensive amount of time moving lateral. Once making a catch, he gets going upfield and that factors into his excellent yards per catch average.


Impact in Jaguars Offense

Shorts is the Jaguars' leading receiver and although that may not offer much appeal, Jacksonville needs him to produce each week.

And because of that, we can reasonably expect Shorts to receive the most targets from Blaine Gabbert. That in turn, increases the most potential for yards, receptions and touchdowns as well. Shorts is arguably most dangerous against a Cover 2 look, because of his deep threat burst to get down the seam.

Against say, Cover 1 or 3, Shorts won't draw double coverage simply because Jacksonville still lacks as an overall passing team. That said, facing these looks leads to more open space underneath and thus more yards after the catch.

No one can match Shorts man-to-man, so, if anything, a zoning safety will likely roll his direction. Nonetheless, Shorts is capable of taking a skinny/quick slant the distance as was displayed against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 3.


What Remaining Schedule Dictates

Outside of the division, the Jaguars have to face the Detroit Lions along with the entire AFC East. Include the AFC South, and we see both games against the Tennessee Titans and one each against the Colts and Houston Texans.

The Lions are improved against the pass, but a guy with Shorts' explosiveness is certainly capable of breaking a few quick slants or screens the distance. Every AFC East team is vulnerable against the pass and not dominant enough in man coverage to totally shut down someone of Shorts' speed and quickness.

Other than the Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville can definitely find passing success against that division because the 'Fins do present one great pass rush. Within the division, only the Texans truly know how to lockdown in coverage, and Jacksonville felt that with just 76 yards passing in Week 2.

Now, combine everything from Shorts' averages in yards per catch, ability to accumulate yards after the catch, Jacksonville's need for him to remain dependable and the schedule, and he is a viable fantasy player.

Depth is crucial, because Shorts also possesses the big-play consistency worthy of a No. 2 receiver spot as a bye week filler.


Follow John Rozum on Twitter.