The Pittsburgh Steelers are bringing back Plaxico Burress. While Burress has not played at all this season, he did have eight touchdowns for the New York Jets last year after missing the 2009 and 2010 seasons while serving a prison sentence for weapons possession. But while the Steelers hope that Burress can make the same sort of comeback this season, fantasy owners searching for help at wide receiver are probably better off looking at two rookies, T.Y. Hilton of the Indianapolis Colts and Justin Blackmon of the Jacksonville Jaguars, who excelled in Week 11.
Burress is no spring chicken
Burress is now 35 years old. He is bound to be rusty after not participating in any team’s offseason workouts or training camp and not playing at all so far in the 2012 season.
Bear in mind that Burress has not been part of any team up to now in 2012 because no team chose to sign him.
The Steelers signed Burress after an injury to wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery following an injury to wide receiver Antonio Brown. But Pittsburgh still has lead wide receiver Mike Wallace and tight end Heath Miller, tied for the lead among Steeler pass catchers with six touchdowns each. Backup wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders had a career-high 82 yards in Week 11. Brown may also be back soon.
When it comes to fantasy football, Burress is not a good choice.
Steelers are pretty banged-up
And not only are the Steelers without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, they also lost backup Byron Leftwich with rib and shoulder injuries in Week 11, meaning Week 12’s starting quarterback will be 37-year-old third-stringer Charlie Batch.
While Burress is the familiar name, Hilton has already had three 100-yard games catching passes from fellow rookie Andrew Luck. While Luck was the heralded number one overall pick, Hilton was taken by the Colts in the third round out of Florida International.
In Week 11, Hilton had six catches for 100 yards and two touchdowns in the Colts’ loss to New England, bringing his total to four touchdowns, tops on the team through Week 11. Hilton also returns kicks.
Blackmon was the first receiver taken in the 2012 draft and the fifth player selected overall. He went to college at Oklahoma State, whose quarterback, Brandon Weeden, also went in the 2012 first round, to Cleveland.
Blackmon was arrested for DUI in 2010 and again in June of 2012.
Through his first nine games, Blackmon had just 250 yards receiving and one touchdown. But in Week 11, backup quarterback Chad Henne replaced an injured Blaine Gabbert. Henne threw for 354 yards and four touchdowns in Jacksonville’s overtime loss to Houston. Blackmon caught 13 passes for 236 yards and one touchdown, which went for 81 yards.
Blackmon will get a chance to show that his chemistry with Henne was not a fluke in Week 12, when Henne will get the start against Tennessee’s weak pass defense. The Jaguars also face weak pass defenses in playoff weeks 15 (Miami) and 16 (New England) and also face Tennessee again in Week 17.