Wednesday, October 9, 2013
And the league leader in targets is ...
By Nic Reiner
As atrocious as the Jacksonville Jaguars are, offensive weapons are beginning to emerge. In last Sunday's loss to the St. Louis Rams, Justin Blackmon took his first catch of the season to the house for a 67-yard touchdown, finishing with a healthy five catches and 136 yards with Blaine Gabbert under center. Equally interesting, however, is that fellow wideout Cecil Shorts leads the league in an important category for pass-catchers this year, a sign that he'll be a productive and consistent receiver going forward.
Per ESPN Stats and Info, Cecil Shorts has been targeted a league-high 60 times this season. Six of those targets have come in the end zone, which is tied for sixth-most among wide receivers. Who would have thought a Jags receiver would be leading the league in targets through five games? When a team is always trailing, I suppose it does make sense that the team might be throwing the ball all the time. And sure, targets aren't receptions; Shorts isn't catching passes from the best quarterbacks in the league.
Still, judging by the attention he's getting, we see Shorts as a strong fantasy play week to week, and given Chad Henne's presence in Week 6, he becomes even more attractive. Furthermore, Shorts is on the verge of the top 10 in opportunity-adjusted touchdowns (oTD), another clear signal he's getting plenty of looks in and around paydirt.
This week presents a tantalizing matchup for Shorts (and Blackmon). The Denver Broncos defense allowed more than 500 passing yards and five touchdowns to Tony Romo and the Cowboys on Sunday, including three touchdowns on balls thrown to the end zone. The Jags won't post those kinds of numbers, but it wouldn't be surprising to see Shorts lead the team in targets again and score at least once against Denver.