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Fantasy Football Today

Jeremy Maclin's stock on the rise

By Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
Jeremy Maclin should take advantage of DeSean Jackson's departure. (USATSI)

When it comes to offense, Chip Kelly knows what he's doing. Kelly thinks he can afford to replace DeSean Jackson with Jeremy Maclin.

Kelly needs Maclin to succeed. He's the guy who can make sure Maclin gets the ball.

Jackson drew 126 targets last year and converted those into 82 catches, 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns, good for 10th among Fantasy wideouts. It was a career year for Jackson, and it came in part due to Kelly's scheme and Nick Foles' accuracy.

Now Maclin gets to experience those benefits. Maclin isn't going to put up D-Jax's numbers, but there's no reason this 2009 first-round pick can't produce like a WR3 in Kelly's up-tempo attack. Having signed a one-year, "prove-it" deal, Maclin has all the motivation in the world. His ceiling is high, even if Philly drafts a wideout early.

The big question is health, as Maclin rehabs from a torn ACL. He'll be nearly 14 months removed from his injury when the season starts.

"The one thing about Mac is he's been there every single day, even last year during the season," Kelly said last week. "He still attended position meetings. He was in the training room every single day. (He) really attacked rehab. According to what everybody's saying is he's on track.

"I think it was a big blow losing him in the preseason just because I was excited to work through OTAs and minicamp with him. He's very, very talented. He's one of those guys that if we're going to see a lot of man coverage, he can do a really, really good job because he's such a precise route runner, has outstanding speed, is good after the catch. We're excited to have him back. I don't know what his status will be during the offseason through OTAs and minicamp, but I know he'll be there in (training) camp."

Maclin's average draft position has risen from the 10th to the 7th round in mock drafts on fantasyfootballcalculator.com. I grabbed him in the 8th round of our Thursday mock, as a WR4 behind Demaryius Thomas, Victor Cruz and Torrey Smith.

Jamey Eisenberg ranks Maclin 35th among wideouts, while Nathan Zegura has him 36th and Dave Richard 39th. Assuming the reports stay positive about his knee, Maclin's ADP and ranking should continue to creep up.

 
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