The winless Jaguars have an unenviable matchup this week against the 4-2 San Francisco 49ers in London, that's for sure.
However, Shorts has been a reliable WR No. 3 this season, and there's no question about his Week 8 availability after he reportedly played through the pain of a sprained SC joint in his shoulder in Week 7:
Shorts says he still has lots of pain in shoulder, but it is better than last week and he'll definitely play Sunday for #Jaguars.— Hays Carlyon (@HaysCarlyon) October 23, 2013
Here's a quick look at Shorts' production through seven games:
(*Shorts injured his shoulder in the first quarter of Week 6's outing against the Denver Broncos)
Pretty respectable numbers, right?
When it comes to fantasy wideouts, first and foremost, owners want targets.
Shorts is getting plenty of those.
If the injury against Denver never occurred, Shorts would probably be the NFL's leader in passes thrown his way.
Don't let the catch percentage of 52.7 scare you away.
|Cecil Shorts' 2013 Production|
|Week 1 vs. Chiefs||10||3||40||0|
|Week 2 at Raiders||14||8||93||0|
|Week 3 at Seahawks||15||8||143||0|
|Week 4 vs. Colts||12||7||61||0|
|Week 5 at Rams||11||5||74||1|
|Week 6 at Broncos||0||0||0||0|
|Week 7 vs. Chargers||13||8||80||0|
It's better than the catch percentage rates of Jackson, T.Y. Hilton and Mike Wallace, and Shorts' 491 receiving yards are one yard shy of Calvin Johnson's current total yet higher than the totals of Wes Welker, Pierre Garcon and Larry Fitzgerald.
Jacksonville's dealt with a quarterback carousel in 2013, and it sounds like Chad Henne will get the nod against a San Francisco defense that's allowed the third-fewest yards per drive this season, per Football Outsiders:
Gus says Gabbert participated fully, but he'll be backup to Henne on Sunday for #Jaguars.— Hays Carlyon (@HaysCarlyon) October 23, 2013
Neither Henne nor Blaine Gabbert have shown necessarily encouraging play this season, but Henne has been the more prolific passer of the two:
Ugly stats, but quite the disparity in general quarterback effectiveness.
|Comparing Chad Henne to Blaine Gabbert in 2013|
|Completion Percentage||Yards Per Attempt||Yards Per Game||TD%||INT%|
In short, Shorts' most productive games in 2013 have come when Henne has been in at quarterback for the Jaguars.
Sure, the 49ers' defense will likely dominate Jacksonville's offense.
But Shorts will reach his double-digit target number, make some plays—potentially most of them late, with the score out of reach—and piece together another fine fantasy day for his owners.
If you're in a PPR league—who isn't these days?—although the matchup is ugly, get Jacksonville Jaguars wideout Cecil Shorts into your lineup this week.