Jeremy Maclin: Eagles WR Is Fantasy Must-Start in Week 4 vs. Giants

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistSeptember 28, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 01:  Jeremy Maclin #18 of the Philadelphia Eagles catches a pass from Michael Vick #7 of the Eagles during a game against the Washington Redskins at Lincoln Financial Field on January 1, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

When the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants play each other, special things happen, particularly for fantasy owners who have a lot of players on the field. One of those players will be Jeremy Maclin, who is looking more like a great option for your team this weekend. 

Maclin has been a question mark due to a hip injury, but according to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer, he started practicing again on Wednesday.

If that's not enough to get you excited, Chris McPherson of the Eagles' official website reported that Maclin does expect to play on Sunday. 

"I felt good," Maclin said Wednesday after practice. "They’ve been easing me in to everything, but I felt good today.

Maclin injured his hip twice in the same area, which he said made his return difficult. But he was also quick to mention that he feels a "lot better" this week, and believes he'll be able to play Sunday.

This is welcome news to fantasy owners, and makes Maclin an instant must-start option for your team. For all the playmakers that the Eagles have on offense and at wide receiver, Maclin is arguably the most important. 

DeSean Jackson is the big-play threat on the outside. LeSean McCoy is the do-it-all running back who probably doesn't get enough touches. Maclin is the player who will make the catches over the middle and down the field that make it difficult to game-plan for. 

Michael Vick has been lost on an island virtually all season, but you could tell just how much he missed Maclin last week against Arizona. Vick had nothing going whatsoever, and completed only 17 of 37 pass attempts. 

When Maclin was completely healthy in Week 1 against Cleveland, he was terrific with seven receptions, 96 yards and one touchdown. 

Another factor to consider when evaluating what Maclin will be able to do this weekend is the Giants' defense.

Aside from a strong showing against a Carolina offense that it looks like we overrated coming into the year, the Giants haven't been able to stop anyone. The secondary is a mess and it shows in their performance, as they give up nearly 262 yards per game through the air. 

Also, the Giants have allowed five passing touchdowns, including three to Tony Romo in the season opener. Unless the defensive line is able to create pressure on the quarterback, which is possible with the way the Eagles have played, they don't stop people from scoring. 

Maclin is going to be a strong fantasy option and an absolute must-start for your fantasy team this weekend. The proof is in the numbers, which, as we all know, never lie.