Monday, July 16, 2012

Desean Jackson vs. Jeremy Maclin: Which WR Will Fly Higher for the Eagles in 2012?

Recently, I was talking fantasy football with a friend, and he seemed to really be into Desean Jackson. This caught me off guard, because I'm more a fan of Jeremy Maclin. In fact, I didn't even think it was a competition. Apparently, my friend felt the same way, and here I am trying to dig deeper to see which of us is right (or if there's even a difference).

Desean Jackson

While I've often thought of Jackson as more inconsistent, he's actually picked up more than 900 yards receiving all four seasons he's been in the league. At 25, Jackson is still young, and 2011 was actually the first year that he hasn't picked up a rushing TD in addition to his receiving scores.

Of course, his consistency has a downside too. He's never started all 16 games of a season, and the most receptions he's ever had is 62. He picks up his yards in big chunks, but he's not a great point-per-reception guy.

He had some personal issues last year that got him benched, but that's all apparently water under the bridge with a new big contract. Or is it? It's always hard to tell if a player who's complained in the past is actually done complaining or not.

Jeremy Maclin

While Maclin is nearly as fast and definitely bigger than Jackson (by two inches and 20+ pounds), he's only eclipsed 900 yards once. That said, Maclin caught more balls two out of his three seasons--so he might be the better WR for points per reception leagues

Like Jackson, Maclin has trouble playing a full season. Unlike Jackson, Maclin's yards per reception average has stayed at a very level 13.6-13.8 range each season. Actually, it's incredible how consistent (and maybe not in a spectacular way) that is.

Jackson vs. Maclin head-to-head comparisons

During the past three seasons, both receivers have caught 19 TDs (with Jackson adding two rushing scores). So Jackson gets the slight edge there.

The two receivers played in 12 games together in 2011, and here's how they performed:
  • Maclin: 61 receptions, 853 yards, 5 TDs
  • Jackson: 44 receptions, 766 yards, 4 TDs
So in 2011, at least, Maclin had the very slight edge.

Who's Better--Jeremy Maclin or Desean Jackson?

After comparing and contrasting the numbers (instead of feelings), I think it's easy to see that both Maclin and Jackson are pretty much the same. Jackson has more big play ability, but Maclin seems to be the "go to" guy. If anything, I think this shows that Michael Vick has a great situation (especially when you throw LeSean McCoy into the equation).

I wouldn't reach on either of these WRs. If you really want one, wait for one to go and then grab the other to get a better value pick.

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