The Pittsburgh Steelers are facing serious injury concerns across their roster, but the signing of veteran free-agent wide receiver Plaxico Burress should help the team dramatically—especially with the latest report that Antonio Brown would miss yet another game.
According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Brown will be unable to play Sunday with an ankle injury, and it will be Plaxico Burress who sees even more time on the field Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.
That’s great news for fantasy owners who took the risk picking up Burress.
Burress still has the height to be an effective red-zone threat, and if his time with the New York Jets in 2011 proved anything, it was that he can still go up over smaller defenders and get the ball in the end zone.
Pittsburgh is down to four healthy wide receivers this week (h/t Mike Florio), and to think Burress won’t be a part of the Steelers’ pass attack in Week 12 and going forward is naïve. The veteran will be a huge weapon for the team, and even more so when Ben Roethlisberger returns.
Realistic Fantasy Expectations
With Mike Wallace taking all of the Browns' top coverage, Pittsburgh third-string-QB-turned-starter Charlie Batch will have Burress along the sideline almost all night in man coverage.
Batch doesn’t have much of a rapport with any of the wideouts, but he knows the league well enough to play to their strengths. Burress will be the QB's safety valve in the red zone and could score a touchdown in his first game back with the Steelers and back in the NFL.
With a lack of depth at cornerback in Cleveland and no one who can match up against Burress’ size, Pittsburgh now has their consistent red-zone target.
That’s bad news for fantasy owners of Wallace, who will see his red-zone targets drop drastically.
While it won’t be an unbelievable statistical game for the newly signed veteran, the fact that the Steelers will target Burress in the end zone from day one proves there are big things on the horizon for the former star.
Sunday Stat Line: Four catches for 44 yards and a touchdown.
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