Jeremy Maclin – WR – Philadelphia Eagles
6th Year – 6’0”, 200 lbs
2013 Stats – Did Not Play (Torn Right ACL)
Pluses – It may be hard for people to remember, but Jeremy Maclin is actually a pretty darn good receiver. The loss of DeSean Jackson has fantasy football players anxiously awaiting which Eagles WR steps up and acquires that production. One of the reasons that DeSean Jackson was let go was because he and Jeremy Maclin are very similar players. Although Maclin is viewed as more of a possession type receiver, he has outproduced DeSean Jackson on deep routes every season since his debut in 2009. The great thing about Maclin is that he doesn’t sell out routes and isn’t afraid to go over the middle. This makes him infinitely more valuable than a DeSean Jackson. Maclin won’t average the 16+ yards per catch that D-Jax did in 2013, but he will be a higher volume receiver that Jackson ever was. With Riley Cooper and newly drafted Jordan Matthews providing size on the outside I expect Maclin to play a lot out of the slot this season. This is a big advantage for Maclin as he will likely be able to pile up receptions working out of the slot in Chip Kelly’s offense.
Minuses – Everything comes down to how well Maclin is recovered from his torn right ACL. The good thing about his injury is he suffered back at the end of July last season meaning he’ll be over a full year removed from surgery by the time the 2014 season starts. We are going to have to watch him closely this summer during training camp to make sure that both he and the coaching staff trusts that knee enough to give him a full complement of routes, Because Maclin doesn’t possess elite size or strength, he isn’t a legitimate red zone threat. This means he won’t threaten the double-digit TD mark this season. Maclin is more of a moderate volume reception and big play threat, which can make him an erratic fantasy player.
Summary – Jeremy Maclin is a bit of a hidden gem heading into this fantasy season. Coming off the torn ACL, few fantasy owners are going to trust Maclin enough to be anything more than a WR3. This obviously presents an opportunity for value as the leading receiver in Chip Kelly’s offense will absolutely put up at least WR2 type numbers. Thus, it all comes down to whether you trust Maclin to stay healthy and whether you believe he’ll be the Eagles best receiver in 2014. There is no way that Riley Cooper can be productive enough on a game by game basis to catch more than 80 balls in a season. As much as I like Jordan Matthews, the Eagles rookie wideout there is just no way that they rely on him this much. This should be Maclin’s first 1000+ yard receiving season this year.
15 Games, 74-1076 Yards, 7 TD’s
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