Jeremy Maclin Signs with Ravens: Fantasy Impact 2017

Jeremy Maclin Fantasy

In a surprising roster move, the Kansas City Chiefs released Jeremy Maclin, creating an unexpected June free agency frenzy that all fantasy football fans have had a lot of interest in.

Maclin, a 29-year-old receiver with 46 career touchdowns and just over 6,000 yards receiving was on the open market for all of four days. Fantasy Football enthusiasts spent the weekend dreaming up fantasy potential landing spots, LeSean McCoy and Steve Smith tried their best in the recruiting process, but in the end, Maclin landed with the Baltimore Ravens.

For the Baltimore Ravens, this signing was an absolutely must. The team arguably needed to add a wide receiver like Maclin more so than any other team. The retirement of Steve Smith and the recent release of Dennis Pitta has left a considerable amount of targets to be had. Of the top 6 most targeted Ravens players in 2016, only 2 remain on the roster. Those four players who have retired, been released, or went elsewhere combined for 321 targets.

Going deeper into the overabundance of opportunity available for Maclin, 2 of those 4 players that are no longer on the roster were among the top three leading Ravens pass catchers. That is 1,528 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns left on the table. The intrigue over opportunities was as hard for Maclin to pass up as it will be for fantasy owners. The addition of Danny Woodhead will help the passing game out of the backfield but more was needed and Maclin fits the bill.

No.

Player 

Age

Pos

G

GS

Tgt

Rec

Yds

Y/R

TD

88

Dennis Pitta

31

TE

16

12

121

86

729

8.5

2

17

Mike Wallace

30

WR

16

16

116

72

1017

14.1

4

89

Steve Smith

37

WR

14

14

101

70

799

11.4

5

Make no mistake, Maclin had a tough 2016. He would spend a large part of the season dealing with a nagging groin injury. His numbers averaged throughout a full 16 games would still wind up being one of the worst years of his career. That being said, Maclin’s skill set has been slightly skewed since heading to Kansas City. 2015 was one of his best seasons but never the less, Alex Smith is known for being a fantasy football dream killer. Look at life after Alex Smith for Michael Crabtree. The Ravens may not be a prolific passing offense but there is more upside to being a receiver under Joe Flacco rather than Alex Smith.

Joe Flacco is Maclin’s new quarterback and His former quarterback out in Kansas City has failed to throw for 20 touchdowns or more in 9 of his 11 seasons. Joe Flacco, on the other hand, has had thrown for 20 or more touchdowns in 6 out of his 9 seasons as a Raven. Prior to Maclin heading to Kansas City, he was viewed as a solid deep threat out in Philadelphia. Flacco will utilize that where Alex Smith couldn’t. Maclin returning to some more deep ball passes could hurt Mike Wallace’s yards from 2016 and ultimately make Maclin the number one guy in Baltimore.

Also, an interesting note is that Maclin’s switching from the Chiefs to the Ravens will also allow for a more favorable 2017 schedule. According to Pro Football Reference, in standard league scoring, the Chiefs AFC West opponents allowed 928.70 points to wide receivers in 2016. His new division in the AFC North allowed 977.70 points. The Ravens will also have the pleasure of facing the Packers and Titans who allowed the most points to receivers in 2016. All of that sounds much better than playing the Broncos twice who allowed just 8 touchdowns and an average of 102.9 yards per game.

Fantasy Pros had Steve Smith finishing 2016 in PPR formats as the 37th wide receiver. That is where Maclin will fall in 2017, right in that 30-39 range. He will surpass Smith’s 2016 receptions, yards, and touchdowns (70/799/5). Just prior to the announcement of where Maclin would be playing in 2017, Fantasy Football Calculator had given Maclin an average draft position (PPR formats) in the early part of the 11th round. Given the targets at his disposal, having a quarterback with a stronger arm, and a more favorable schedule, I like Maclin to climb up draft boards by a round or two this summer. Some folks may not draft Maclin as the Ravens WR1 this summer but by year’s end, he’ll be that guy.

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