Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Is Plaxico Burress a Legitimate Week 12 Add?

Nick KostoraContributor IIINovember 19, 2012

IRVING, TX - OCTOBER 17:  Wide reciever Plaxico Burress #80 of the Pittsburgh Steelers watches during the game with the Dallas Cowboys at Texas Stadium on October 17, 2004 in Irving, Texas. The Steelers defeated the Cowboys 24-20.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Fantasy Football owners may be searching for any possible edge heading into the homestretch of the season and suddenly Plaxico Burress is back on the radar:  

Filed to ESPN: Free-agent WR Plaxico Burress is expected to go to Pittsburgh to meet with and take a physical for the Steelers. Need WR help

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 19, 2012

The former Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants and New York Jets receiver has not played yet this season, but the Steelers are desperate for help right now and have few places to turn.

Burress had success during his first go-round with Pittsburgh, but that tenure ended all the way back in 2004. In that five-year stint, Burress hauled in 261 passes for 4,164 yards and 62 touchdowns.

He is now a 35-year-old veteran that hasn't stepped onto an NFL field in almost 11 months.

So, can he possibly be a viable fantasy option in Week 12? The good news is that Burress has returned from hiatus before and been successful. He missed the 2009 and 2010 campaigns due to a rather notorious gun incident and managed to find the end zone eight times last season. 

He did so in a Jets offense that he was unfamiliar with and with Mark Sanchez at QB; no easy task. Still, this is a new situation and in Week 12 most signs point to Charlie Batch being under center for the Steelers.

Burress and Batch have obviously never played together and have not been able to build any on-field chemistry. That is always something to worry about, as Burress at least had time to work with Sanchez before the 2011 season started.

There is also the question of how fresh the former Michigan State Spartan will be once he gets on the field. Chemistry with the QB is irrelevant if Burress is too tired to stay on the field for a majority of the Steelers offensive snaps and put himself in position to contribute.

What Burress has proven over his career is an ability to put his 6'5", 226-pound frame to good use. He is an expert at positioning himself against smaller defensive backs and is a tremendous threat once inside the red zone.

Burress has 36 red zone touchdowns for a reason, as he can out-jump and out-manuever defenders seemingly at will.



This signing may come as a shock to most people, but Pittsburgh's offense clearly needed help on Sunday Night Football against the Baltimore Ravens.

Mike Wallace is a certified stud, but without Antonio Brown and Jericho Cotchery in the lineup, the Steelers only have Emmanuel Sanders to turn to. Solid players, but a big-bodied weapon can be a huge addition.

Will that equate to an immediate fantasy impact from Burress? That all depends on his conditioning, but playing the Cleveland Browns and their lowly 22nd pass defense in Week 12 gives him a solid opportunity to hit the ground running.

Pittsburgh will look to him plenty once they get inside the 20-yard line, but beyond that, his playing time will be a mystery in Week 12.

Burress has definite flex appeal and in deeper leagues can be a WR3 right out of the gate. However, he will need to prove he still has game before being rushed into a WR1 or WR2 slot in a fantasy lineup.