Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin tore his ACL during training camp at the end of July. As a result, he missed the whole 2013 season. In what could have been a career-year for Maclin, he spent watching from the sidelines. To make matters worse, 2013 was a contract year for Maclin and will become a free agent.
He is expected to sign a one-year deal with the Eagles to prove to himself and ownership that he deserves a multi-year deal.
While Maclin was out, Riley Cooper stepped up in a big way. In previous seasons, he did not score over 45 fantasy points. In 2013, Cooper finished with 835 yards, eight touchdowns and 128 points, 22nd-best in ESPN.com standard leagues. In Maclin’s last full season, he had 857 yards and seven touchdowns, 127 fantasy points.
Heading into 2014, Cooper will be the No. 2 guy in Philly behind DeSean Jackson. Cooper accumulated 83 targets from Nick Foles, second most on the team. Maclin is a great wide receiver and can put up top-20 numbers, but the trust and chemistry isn’t there with Foles, which will result in a slow start for Maclin.
Dropping down to the No. 3 on the depth chart isn’t a bad thing, however. If the Denver Broncos can effectively use three wide receivers (and a tight end), why can’t the Eagles? Granted, Foles is nowhere near the level of quarterback Peyton Manning is, but the results are the same. Jackson is the deep-ball option, Cooper is the short-to-medium route man and Maclin can come across the field and catch in the open area.
Even with his skill set, Maclin will fall in drafts.Expect to see his name on the board until round 10 at least. He will be a WR5 until he proves to be back to normal. Maclin will be ready for the 2014 season and could become a top-30 wide receiver after just a few short weeks.
Bill Pivetz is a fantasy football writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @Mr_Piv1127.