Fantasy FootbaIl Impact of Jeremy Maclin Injury in Philadelphia

With Chip Kelly’s new offense, Maclin was looking at potential high WR2 value due to Kelly’s history of utilizing his speedy weapons all over the field.  Not to mention that if Vick were to get the starting nod, it has been clear that he prefers to go Maclin’s direction early and often.  With a weapon like Jeremy going down, preparation for teams to prepare for the Eagles just got a little easier.  Before, you would have to plan for McCoy/Jackson/Maclin getting the ball and carving the Defense up for yardage.  Focus too much on Jackson, and Maclin will hurt you.  Focus too much on Maclin and Jackson will hurt you.  If another wideout does not step up and become a threat, Jackson’s value will take a hit when it comes to receptions and yardage.

So, who could potentially step up and have fantasy value other than DeSean Jackson at WR?  Keeping a close eye on the Eagles camp, here are my potential players that could make an impact.

The first two names that you hear are Jason Avant and Riley Cooper when it comes to the WR who will step up.  Avant I feel has always been underutilized by Philly, the guy has great hands and he runs good routes.  With his size and hands, the Eagles should have him on the field more than they do and especially in red zone packages.  Unfortunately with Kelly under the helm, you need to have speed and versatility and even though Avant can make catches he is pretty much a possession receiver and cannot be moved around the field.  It will be more of the same this season for Avant, he will have a game or two where he will be tempting to pick up off waivers, but when you do he will then get you 2 catches for 20 yards.

Riley Cooper has the size and speed to not only play the outside, but he can also do a pretty good job in the slot.  Cooper saw increased time late last year catching a career-high 23 passes, three for touchdowns.  My opinion is that if Riley can step up and prove he is the one for the job, he could be looking at WR2 numbers easily with teams doubling up on Jackson.  Unfortunately, Cooper is now in the media spotlight for making a very poor decision off the field.  Even though some players have come out to the media and said they forgive him and have accepted his apology, I have a feeling this is not 100% accurate.  Naturally, some players are going to be very upset and only time will tell if ALL of his teammates wholeheartedly forgive him.  If this becomes a distraction, it could affect Cooper’s life on the field as well with missed catches and less playing time.

Ifeanyi Momah is someone to keep an eye on during the preseason games.  Ifeanyi is 6-7 and 239 pounds, yet he still runs the 40 in 4.40!  So far, he has been making nice adjustment catches at camp and could have major value if the Eagles have another injury or two in their WR core. Because he has not played since 2011, I would say he will have a limited role unless injuries come up.

If you don’t know who Damaris Johnson is, start looking him up.  Johnson is college football’s all-time leader in all-purpose yards, music to Kelly’s ears!  At 5-8 170, he is considered short for the position but Jackson is only 5-10 and 175.  So far, Johnson has been impossible to cover at camp due to his quickness and ability to shake defenders on routes.  Also, Johnson has not dropped a pass during any of the practices so far!  However, it should be noted that Avant had a camp like this too and he did nothing that year.  Damaris has been lining up all over the field and you can tell that Kelly is trying to get him open space to work with.  This player could potentially be a Sleeper with HUGE upside due to his speed and ability to play all over the field.  Keep an eye on how much he plays during the preseason games and look to take him in the later rounds where inexperienced drafters will be taking a kicker over him.

Tight ends on this team are going to see their value increase due to the Maclin injury as well.  James Casey has been lining up in multiple positions along with Zach Ertz and Brent Celek.  Out of the three, Casey and Ertz will provide the most fantasy value.  Celek is being viewed in this offense as a blocking TE, lining up at H-Back as well.  There have been packages where Celek will be the H-Back, Casey will be at TE, and Ertz will be lined up wide.  Kelly had a reason for picking Ertz and getting Casey; these two will be all over the field and should see a lot of balls thrown their way.

With no preseason games played yet, it is especially hard to see how this whole thing will pan out in Philly.  Add in the fact that players are not tackling to the ground and the WRs are not taking hard licks after catching the ball, it almost makes it impossible!  Players at this level should catch everything near them when they are not threatened by the fact that they could get popped after the catch, we’ll see what happens next week when those catches they made during practice are followed up with some hits that would make us gargle our kidneys!

 

 

 

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