Plaxico Burress: Exploring Fantasy Value, Roster Role with Pittsburgh Steelers

Gary DavenportNFL AnalystNovember 20, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 24:  Plaxico Burress #17 of the New York Jets looks on prior to their game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on December 24, 2011 in East Rutherford. New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Apparently it's old home week in the Steel City, for as the Pittsburgh Steelers prepare to face the Cleveland Browns this Sunday, not only will 37-year-old Charlie Batch be lining up under center, but he may be throwing passes to a 35-year-old wide receiver.

Plaxico Burress, who played for the team from 2000-2004, flew to Pittsburgh for a workout on Tuesday, and according to Adam Schefter of ESPN, things went well enough that the team intends to sign the 10-year veteran.

After watching wide receiver Plaxico Burress workout today, the Pittsburgh Steelers plan to sign him.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 20, 2012

Burress, who had 45 catches for 612 yards and eight touchdowns last year as a member of the New York Jets, had been hoping to latch on with a new team since being cut loose by Gang Green in the offseason, but until now there had been no takers.

The Steelers were left scrambling to shore up their receiving corps after Jerricho Cotchery was injured in Sunday night's loss to the Baltimore Ravens, which further thinned a group already dealing with the loss of Antonio Brown, who has missed the last two games with an ankle injury.

Given Burress' age and nearly two-year layoff while serving time in prison for a gun charge, it became clear last season that he has lost a step, but as his relatively high touchdown numbers also indicate, Burress remains a very dangerous red-zone target due to his 6'5" frame.

It's there that Burress will likely do most of his damage, and given that we're 12 weeks into the season, we'll probably see Burress eased into Pittsburgh's offense, starting out in select packages and then gradually picking up snaps as he gets into football shape.

From a fantasy perspective, there's really not a lot to see here, as Burress all but certainly just won't see enough snaps in the short term to merit a roster spot. In fact, the bigger fantasy storyline here may be Antonio Brown, as Burress' signing should serve as a red flag to Brown's fantasy owners that the ankle isn't healing as quickly as he (or the team) had hoped.