The Philadelphia Eagles' Monday night game against the New England Patriots may have not meant much in terms of scoring, stats, etc. But for fantasy football owners, it was the first time we saw Jeremy Maclin suit up this preseason.
After dealing with a hamstring injury, Maclin sat out of last week's game against the Steelers as a precautionary measure. Maclin's debut Monday night wasn't exactly stellar after catching only one pass. But the fact that he didn't re-aggravate the injury while running at full speed against the Patriots' first-team defense spoke volumes. There have been a few receivers who have been dealing with hamstring problems this year. One such player has been Cowboys receiver Miles Austin. After last night's game, I suspect Maclin won't be another hammy casualty and will be good to go in the team's most important Week 3 preseason game against the Browns.
Maclin's been gaining steam on fantasy cheat sheets. And after last night, I suspect he will continue to draw more attention that teammate DeSean Jackson. Per MyFantasyLeague.com's ADP list, Maclin is the 20th ranked receiver drafted in standard 12-team leagues (PPR and NON). For me, I think that's a steal. After playing less than 100 percent because of health issues last year, Maclin still managed 63 catches, 859 yards and 5 touchdowns. Currently ranked as a low-end WR2, I think there is a good chance Maclin could wind up with top 12-14 numbers by the end of the season. With Jackson drawing a lot of attention on the other side, Maclin will predictably see single coverage come his way. That's going to add up to a lot of fantasy points.
So what is my prediction for Maclin's fantasy stats for 2012? I know, as an Eagles fan myself, some will say these numbers are biased. But when all is said and done, I think Maclin will wind up with 80-85 receptions, 1100-1200 yards receiving and 8-10 touchdowns. Not exactly LOFTY numbers, but much more for a guy who is supposed to be playing second fiddle behind Jackson.