Philadelphia Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin: 2012 Fantasy Football Profile

Kevin Hanson@EDSFootballAnalyst IIIAugust 20, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 13: Jeremy Maclin #18 of the Philadelphia Eagles walks off the field with LeSean McCoy #25 after Maclin was injured on a play against the Arizona Cardinals during a game at Lincoln Financial Field on November 13, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Cardinals defeated the Eagles 21-17. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

If he had a disappointing season in 2011, Eagles receiver Jeremy Maclin would have had plenty of built-in excuses.

For starters, Maclin lost roughly 20 pounds last offseason because of an unidentified illness.

While the issue started in February, it wasn't until mid-to-late August that he was better. Aside from the obvious (and more important) health concerns, it also seemed likely for much of the offseason that Maclin would either miss games or have a slow start if he was on the field in Week 1.

Although he had only one reception in the first game of the season, Maclin made up for it in Week 2. In that game, he set career highs in receptions (13) and receiving yards (171) and tied his previous career highs of two touchdowns.

In addition to the mysterious illness that initially put his season in jeopardy, Maclin suffered a shoulder injury in the second half of the season that sidelined the third-year receiver for three consecutive games.

Despite the illness and injury, however, Maclin still had a solid season.

Maclin finished with 63 receptions for 859 yards and five touchdowns. While those numbers were down year over year, he set a career high in yards per game (66.1) average.

Using last year's per-game averages, he was on pace to have 78 receptions for 1,057 yards over the course of a full 16-game season. Both sets of numbers would have been career highs.

The Eagles are loaded at the offensive skill positions with DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy and Brent Celek to go along with Maclin. In addition, Michael Vick is one of the league's most dynamic playmakers at the quarterback position.

That means opposing defenses will need to pick their poison and Maclin should get his share of one-on-one opportunities.

Assuming Maclin stays healthy, he should set new career highs in receptions and yardage this season.

Strength of Schedule

Based on the cumulative fantasy points allowed wide receivers last year by Eagles' opponents this year, Maclin and Eagles' receivers have the 10th-most difficult schedule from a fantasy perspective and 11th-most difficult in the fantasy postseason (Weeks 14-16).

2012 Outlook

While the bar was set low, things went much better for Maclin this past offseason. He will play in the first preseason game tonight against the Patriots. In fact, it will be his first preseason game since 2010.

If he can stay healthy, Maclin has the potential to have a breakout season. A much more reliable and consistent option compared to teammate DeSean Jackson, Maclin is a sure bet over his explosive teammate.

Projection: (Receiving) 75 Receptions, 1,030 Yards, 7 TDs

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