Dynasty League Football


Chief Concern: Jeremy Maclin signs with Kansas City


After agreeing to a one year “prove it” deal a year ago with the Philadelphia Eagles, Jeremy Maclin not only provided proof, but cashed in with the Kansas City Chiefs to the tune of five years, $55 million with $22.5 million guaranteed. The Eagles were interested in bringing the 26-year old back into the fold, but had started to prepare for his departure in last year’s draft with the addition of Jordan Matthews and Josh Huff – this led to a decreased need for the team and instead they decided to address other sore spots on the team including cornerback, running back and (to an extent?) quarterback. The Chiefs, meanwhile, had a clear interest in upgrading their receiving core after failing to see a single touchdown reception from their wide receivers in 2014.

The move certainly has some dynasty impact, so let’s take a look at the parties involved.

Jeremy Maclin, WR KC

In 2014, Maclin set career highs in catches (85), yards (1,318), and tied his career high with ten touchdown receptions. With the deal to the Chiefs, Maclin reunites with Andy Reid, with whom he spent the first four years of his career. As a second receiver in Reid’s offense in Philadelphia, he averaged 106 targets 65 catches, 860 yards, and 6.5 touchdowns per season. Considering Dwayne Bowe averaged 98 targets while under Andy Reid, that’s a fair target floor to assume for the upcoming season. Now that Bowe is gone, Maclin will step into the role of lead option for Alex Smith and is the first legitimate wide receiver since Reid took over. Everyone is downgrading Maclin significantly, but he can still function as a consistent weekly low end WR2 or solid WR3.

Travis Kelce, TE KC

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Kelce turned it up at the end of the season with four straight games of six or more targets (four catches or more) – this shouldn’t change much with Maclin and will likely free him up a little more to operate as defenses will have a second receiving option to account for. Maclin isn’t a red zone threat so Kelce will remain a top option in those situations. I also think he sticks around the 90-100 target range and delivers TE1 numbers in 2015.

Albert Wilson, WR KC

Let’s assume he is the other starter in Kansas City for argument’s sake. Wilson had a nice three game stretch from week 13 to 15 with over 200 yards receiving on 12 catches. He will see sporadic usage throughout 2015 as this offense isn’t equipped to feed too many mouths. A fun speculative add but Maclin’s arrival assures dynasty owners that Wilson will not be leading the team in any category.

Alex Smith, QB KC

Maclin is the type of receiver who can run the intermediate routes or go deep. One of those is extremely helpful for Smith, the other is not. Having a sure-handed receiver who knows how to get open will only help Smith in 2015. I don’t expect a momentous leap but a few more touchdowns and a possibility of improved efficiency is enough to secure him as a solid, but unspectacular QB2 option.

Sam Bradford/Mark Sanchez, QB PHI

This isn’t a blurb to speculate who will start at quarterback in Philadelphia so I’ll lump them together. Whoever it is loses the only proven receiver Philadelphia had and even with the young talent littering the roster, Maclin will be missed. Sanchez had a nice rapport with Maclin, using him as his failsafe option. Bradford, meanwhile, would be stuck with yet another unproven receiving core after years of trying to make chicken salad out of chicken… well, I won’t finish that one. Suffice it to say, it’s a downgrade for these quarterbacks even if Chip Kelly’s offense is greater than the sum of its parts.

Jordan Matthews, WR, PHI

This is Matthews receiving corps now. Maclin had 140 targets last year and I wouldn’t be surprised if Matthews reaches that number. Yes, DeMarco Murray will be the focal point of the offense but the running game has been prevalent since Kelly began coaching the team two years ago. Expect Matthews to get a run at the deep routes Kelly likes to call and a real shot at double digit touchdowns.

Josh Huff, WR, PHI

He may be the biggest winner of the bunch. Huff is equally adept at playing the slot or moving outside and should be able to move around with Matthews. Matthews played nearly 80% of his snaps in the slot and managed 103 targets. Now, Matthews will be needed more on the outside and Huff should pick up a good chunk of the work. He may not reach 100, but 80 targets should be a reasonable assumption for the second year former Oregon Duck.

Zach Ertz, WR, PHI

How many times have we heard this one before? Ertz has a real shot to breakout this year! Unreasonable expectations were placed on the youngster but his 2014 was only hurt by a lack of touchdowns (58 catches, 702 yards, three TDs). Those could see a bump with Maclin and his ten touchdown catches moving on to Kansas City. I could easily see Ertz get an increase in production that makes him look eerily similar to Kelce by the end of 2015.


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Johnny Jam Boogie
6 years ago

I had an empty roster spot going into the offseason and took a flier on picking up D’Rick Rodgers. He has bounced around I understand, but do you feel there is anything left in this kid worth holding onto throughout the offseason?

George Kritikos
Reply to  Johnny Jam Boogie
6 years ago

He’s worth a roster stash for now if you’re in a deep league. Wilson looks more slot than outside receiver and Rogers is talented athletically and looked good in college when he wasn’t failing drug tests. Don’t be afraid to cut him later but there is upside here.

6 years ago

Nice piece, George. Love these team perspectives, as they always provide new ways of viewing my dynasty players. Couple lines caught my eye.

1. “Maclin isn’t a red zone threat” – A head scratcher for me, as Maclin might not be a big body like say, Kelce, but he has proven to be an end zone magnet.

2. “Everyone is downgrading Maclin significantly, but he can still function as a consistent weekly low end WR2 or solid WR3.” Seems to me that dropping from WR1 to “solid WR3 or low end WR2” would be a pretty significant drop, wouldn’t it?

It would appear that Maclin, much like Jimmy Graham is due for a decent drop from recent production averages. However, there are a few strong positives in Maclin’s favor that indicate that he may not drop all the way down to WR3 production. First he’s head and shoulders better than Bowe, both skill wise and motivation. He will make Alex Smith better. Bowe never did that. I don’t think he will accept mediocrity quietly. Second, neither Reid nor Alex Smith can be happy about zero WR TD’s and have to really want much better WR production. Keep in mind also, when comparing Maclin’s statistical averages under Reid’s eagles, that thsoe teams had much more receiving weapons around Maclin. The Chefs do not, and won’t anytime soon from the looks of it.

I think all that adds up to solid WR2 production for Maclin. I think his energy & will to make the difference, assuming he can stay healthy. My 2015 prediction for Maclin: 75-80 catches, 1,000-1,100 yards, and 8-10 TD’s. Of course I could be way wrong, as Alex Smith always seems to find a way to limbo under the lowest of expectations, dragging his WR’s with him. Sure hope not. Cheers!

George Kritikos
Reply to  JohnnyD
6 years ago

Thanks for the comments and reading. Here are my thoughts (which I’m sure I could explain better in the article!):

1. Maclin has always been able to score but he is more of a “threat from anywhere” type of player than a legitimate red zone threat. He had three TDs in the red zone… he also had three from 50+ yards in 2014. That’s in-line with how he has been his entire career. What I meant was that Kelce is the primary threat when they have a short field so he won’t take a major hit in that area. Maclin will still get his scores because he is a dynamic player, not because he is dominant inside the 20.

2. That’s a good point and I was maybe looking at it differently than you were. If you look in terms of individual season (e.g. 2014 vs. 2015), it is a massive drop of potential as he will go from low WR1 stats to a WR2/3 performer. I was thinking of him being traded for mid to late first round picks before the KC move in dynasty startups and now dropping to where people are trading him for ASJ or Andre Johnson. That is a significant change in perceived value and I think it’s an overreaction. Again, could have phrased that better!

People like to downgrade the unknown but to your point, there is opportunity for Maclin in KC. He can do more with 100 targets than Bowe ever could. Also, he fits Reid’s offense better and is familiar with it from his early days in Philadelphia. For me, the ceiling is lower and your projection would be a little too ambitious.

Again, appreciate the feedback!

Craig Ressler
6 years ago

My 2015 prediction for Maclin: 75-80 catches, 1,000-1,100 yards, and 8-10 TD’s.

Yeah, I am probably down a lot more on Maclin. Primarily it is the Alex Smith factor. He’s averaged 3,300 passing yards a year in his two years with the chiefs and has always favored throwing TDs to his TEs. In fact, if you look up the numbers, Smith has only thrown 44 career TDs to his WRs over his nine year career (take out his rookie year, 43 in eight years = 5.4 TD passes a year to WRs). And in any given year, the total TDs he throws to his WRs (most was nine in 2013, usually it’s more like 5 and 6. He even had two seasons throwing zero to his WRs) only like half go to the number one WR on his team. Therefore, I don’t think it is presumptuous to expect the same trend to continue. Smith will throw somewhere around 3,300 yards and roughly 18-23 TD passes. Somewhere around 1/2 will go to his TEs, somewhere around 1/3 will go to his WRs and the rest will go to his RBs. This is what he has done his whole career. With only 1/3 going to his WRs, I think Maclin’s numbers will be more around 900-1,000 yards, and 3-5 TDs.

Craig Ressler
Reply to  Craig Ressler
6 years ago

Sorry, I meant to put your prediction in quotes.

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