August 11th was a big day for NFL news. Fans and fantasy owners were shocked to find headlines including, “Ezekiel Elliott Suspended” and “Sammy Watkins and Jordan Matthews both traded”. In the days following these events, there was a huge influx of content attempting to dissect the ramifications… and very few have taken the time to analyze a potential beneficiary: Eagles rookie wide receiver, Mack Hollins.
Hollins was selected with the 12th pick in the 4th round of the 2017 NFL draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. The 23-year-old former Tar Heel is built like a prototypical WR1 at 6’4” and 221 lbs. He also displayed above-average athleticism workout metrics with a 4.53 40-yard-dash which, at his size, resulted in an 88th percentile speed score (playerprofiler.com). This speed was displayed throughout his college career, where he excelled with 22.1 yards per reception (led the nation in 2015).
Since joining the Eagles, Hollins has received steady training camp buzz. In fact, the latest news coming out of Rotoworld confirms that Hollins has indeed earned a stranglehold on the WR4 spot in Philadelphia. In his first outing as an NFL wide-receiver, Hollins earned 6 targets, catching 4 of them for 64 yards and a touchdown. More importantly, though, was the fact that his touchdown came from Carson Wentz with the 1st-team offense; he displayed awesome YAC ability on his touchdown play, breaking 2 tackles with a mean stiff-arm at the 10-yard line.
The Eagles’ second preseason game was not as exciting for the rookie. Hollins received 5 targets, but he was only able to secure 1 of those for 6 yards with the second team. In his third preseason game, Hollins led the Eagles with 8 targets, all of which came with the second team. He continued to display exceptional YAC ability, breaking 2 tackles on his 1st reception, and gaining a 1st-down on 3 of 5 receptions. Needless to say, this preseason has included some highs and lows for the imposing wideout.
Mack Hollins is by no means draftable in redraft leagues as of right now, but he should be owned in all dynasty formats. He was a 3-time special teams captain for UNC and is expected to receive immediate playing time for the Eagles on special teams as a result. With Hollins already the WR4 on the depth chart, and with neither Alshon Jeffery or Torrey Smith guaranteed a spot on the team after this year, Hollins has a shot at being a regular fantasy contributor in 2018. His prototypical size, above-average athleticism, YAC-ability, and potential opportunity on a pass-heavy offense, offer significant upside. Sitting behind only an injury-riddled Alshon Jeffery, aging Torrey Smith, and a shaken Nelson Agholor, Hollins has a chance at being a fantasy WR2 in this league as early as this year.