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Plant a Flag: WR

Footballguys staff members make a stand on a wide receiver

Make a call on a wide receiver. Who will surprise - either good or bad? Why?

Ryan Hester: Jeremy Maclin, currently being drafted at WR22 in PPR leagues, should easily finish the season ahead of that position. Maclin performed very well in his debut season in Kansas City, taking the Chiefs from a 2014 in which zero touchdowns were caught by wide receivers and turning in a 1,000-yard, eight touchdown season. Maclin led the team in target share as he was the intended receiver of 26.8% of Alex Smith's passing attempts.

Consider also that Kansas City finished last season on a 10-game winning streak in which they bludgeoned the majority of their opponents with stingy defense and a focus on the running game. From Week 7 through Week 17, the Chiefs ran 290 times and passed only 262. Kansas City will likely have to play from behind a little more this season (considering their schedule and just simple regression because we don't often see teams put together double-digit win streaks in consecutive seasons).

If Smith's passing attempts rise by just a modest four per game and Maclin's target share remains, the same Maclin would receive 141 targets. If he maintains the same Fantasy Points per Target clip from 2015, that would result in a PPR finish of 278 points (up from his 244 last year). In 2015, 278 would have ranked as WR8. That's Maclin's ceiling (or perhaps even slightly above it), but WR22 sure seems like his floor. He's a great value.

Chad Parsons: Vincent Jackson has been a 10% Touchdown Rate wide receiver over his career on a per-catch basis. Over his last 103 receptions, Jackson has just five touchdowns in Tampa Bay through the pre-Jameis Winston and rookie season of Winston the past two seasons. The Tampa Bay offense has two primary receivers (Jackson and Mike Evans), a muddy tight end situation between Cameron Brate, and a lackluster outlook from WR3 and beyond on the depth chart. Evans and Jackson should dominate targets. Outside the top-50, Jackson is the perfect upside play to turn into a sturdy WR3 or better weekly option as Jameis Winston develops in Year 2.


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