Shorts seeking big season: Two years ago, Cecil Shorts burst onto the scene with a string of big performances in the second half of the season. Last year, in the wake of Justin Blackmon’s suspensions, Shorts began to see more attention from defenders and his numbers suffered. This season, the fourth-year wideout knows that this is his opportunity to score a big payday as his contract expires … and that has him motivated to do big things. The trick will be turning that motivation into production. The good news is that the Jaguars have some coaching stability for the first time in awhile. Hopefully that allows Shorts to get comfortable with his role in the offense. It still might not be enough to move him out of the range of a WR4 in many leagues.
Johnson feeling heat in Buffalo?: Speaking of players with added motivation, the Bills could be looking for something extra from Stevie Johnson. The talented, but mercurial receiver still has three years left on his contract, but the team has begun stockpiling receivers — notably Robert Woods, Mike Williams and Marquise Goodwin. Last season was a forgettable one for “The Joker”, who had just 597 receiving yards, ending a string of three straight 1,000-yard seasons. Part of the reason was a litany of injuries, which Johnson hopes to avoid this year through more dedication to offseason conditioning. At his very best, Johnson was a low-end WR1. Heading into 2014, he’ll be hard pressed to be better than a third option.
Allen feeling good: One of the players that bears watching this offseason is Dwayne Allen. The Colts tight end missed all of 2013 after hip surgery. Now he’s been cleared to fully participate in offseason workout and tells reporters that he feels good. That’s good news for the Colts and fantasy owners. Allen’s star was on the rise heading into last season and if he can return to form, he’s almost certain to surpass Coby Fleener on the depth chart. Allen has a chance to be a major fantasy factor in 2014.
— Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG