If you’re a serious dynasty player, you don’t take a day off. You’re constantly thinking of trade scenarios, re-assessing player values and tinkering with your team to make it just right. You spend countless hours reading articles (thanks, by the way) and mining for information to make sure you’re prepared for the upcoming season.
Then a day like Saturday comes along and blows it all up with two key injuries (we’ll hit the second one in a separate post).
Jeremy Maclin of the Philadelphia Eagles will miss the entire 2013 season with a torn ACL in his right knee. It’s a serious blow to Maclin’s dynasty value and a very tough break for him personally as he was entering a contract year. Maclin has been a bit of a disappointment thus far in his career as he’s been seemingly primed for a breakout campaign in each of his four seasons, yet has still failed to have a single 1,000 yard season. In his four years with the Eagles, Maclin has posted 258 catches, 3,453 yards and 26 touchdowns – those are solid, but unspectacular numbers thus far. In short, we’ve expected more. Unfortunately, we’re going to continue to want.
As far as Maclin’s dynasty worth goes, this will undoubtedly send his value spiraling. He’s currently being taken as the #76 player overall (right between Kenny Britt and Cecil Shorts). Owners of Maclin were certainly hoping for him to have a great season under new Head Coach Chip Kelly, but as we mentioned today, he may not have been the greatest fit anyway. His future is very much up in the air now. If Kelly’s offense takes off and the Eagles seem to do just fine without him, it’s very possible Maclin has already played his last down in Philadelphia. If the Eagles struggle and faceplant with nobody stepping up to replace him, all bets are off. Unfortunately, you’re just going to have to wait it out (and likely reject a few ridiculous trade offers) and see just where he may play again in 2014.
Speaking of players who need to step up, this opens the door for a host of players, including Riley Cooper, Arrelious Benn, Jason Avant and Damaris Johnson. In my opinion, we’ve already seen what Cooper and Avant bring to the table and it’s really not much from a fantasy perspective unless you’re really starving for points. In a run heavy offense, it’s going to be tough for any of these receivers to really hold a ton of value fantasy-wise. If I’m looking to hit a home run and not play it safe, Benn or Johnson would be the better pickup. Benn has talent, but has had his share of struggles. Perhaps this fresh start will do him well. As for Johnson, he’s flashed potential before, so he could be worth a flier. I wouldn’t be running to the waiver wires until you find out if the Eagles look to the street (like Brandon Lloyd, not Vince Papale) to fill the void left by Maclin.
As for the rest of the Eagles offense, it’s more bad news. Sure, one or more of the receivers are going to get more targets, but having Maclin in the lineup helps Michael Vick or Nick Foles immensely. In fact, this may put even more pressure on LeSean McCoy in the end as the Eagles may have to be even more run heavy than they anticipated. Some will look at this and bump up DeSean Jackson, but I’d be pretty hesitant to do that. Jackson is a one trick pony and if the Eagles think they can line him up all over the field to use him as a true WR1, they’ll be disappointed.
This is a tough break for Maclin and we hope he gets better quickly and makes good on his talent. He’s still a solid prospect since he’s only 25 years old, but this just makes his future very murky and marks a sad day in his career.
Ken is on Twitter at DLF_KenK