Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Cecil Shorts has been something of a headache to fantasy owners in 2013 after they drafted him with expectations of making a jump from his promising rookie campaign.
Truthfully, Shorts has been a serviceable fantasy wide receiver this season, but a mini-panic set in during Shorts' first game since Justin Blackmon's season-long suspension took effect in Week 10. Shorts was held to his lowest totals of the season in catches and yards, with the exception of his Week 6 game versus the Denver Broncos, which he left after three snaps due to an injury.
But is his recent clunker a cause to panic? Not in the slightest. The main reason for Shorts' halted production was a tough matchup against Alterraun Verner, a player staking his claim as one of the few shutdown corners in the league. Verner had his way with Shorts, just as he's had his way with every receiver he's faced this season. Verner has now allowed 17 catches for 278 yards on the season in nine games, allowing quarterbacks a rating of just 23.8 when throwing his way. He isn't targeted frequently, or with much success when he is, so it's not a mystery as to why Shorts disappeared from the stat sheet in Week 10.
Fantasy Spin: Shorts' four targets last week can be attributed to his difficult matchup, but going forward, expect his targets to look more like what happened while Blackmon served his four-game suspension to start the year. In that span, Shorts was targeted no fewer than 10 times a game, averaging 84 yards in each contest. Though he has another tough matchup versus the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, they aren't a defensive unit that is immune from giving up big plays from time to time. As a result, start Shorts as a WR3 with upside. He should be owned in all formats.