Rethinking the Value of Cecil Shorts
A breakout sensation in 2012, Cecil Shorts caught seven touchdowns despite the Jaguars’ quarterback struggles. He was in the endzone on only one of the scores, but did take three in from one yard out. The other three scores included long runs to the endzone (39, 62, and 64 yards). Interestingly, Shorts caught only four passes inside the 13 yard line all season, scoring on all four.
I was lucky enough to pick up Cecil Shorts right before he broke out in my fantasy league last year. But I, like many fantasy owners this year, understand that I need to temper my expectations on Shorts for 2013. In the article quoted above, author Mike Clay of Pro Football Focus assessed Shorts based on a new statistic he created to replace the outdated red zone reception data: Opportunity Adjusted Receiving Touchdowns (oTD). Essentially, instead of calculating a receiver’s “scoring opportunities” based on red zone reception data, Clay evaluates opportunities based on what yard line the ball was caught by the receiver. Using oTD, we can categorize receivers into two groups: receivers whose who overachieved or underachieved the number of TDs predicted by oTD. Not surprisingly, Shorts was an overachiever. However, it is important for fantasy owners not to dismiss the value of Shorts in a 2013 draft. Take a look at Jacob Meyers’ article on RotoViz comparing Shorts to Randall Cobb. Meyers concludes that while owners should never draft Shorts before Cobb, Shorts is a bargain in late rounds compared to Cobb. Make sure to read the entire article for the full breakdown. Also, if you want to study some fantasy projections for Shorts in 2013 make sure to check out the RotoViz WR Similarity Score App.