On a football field for the first time since the 2008 season, Plaxico Burress showed no signs of rust in his Jets debut on Sunday, snagging three receptions for 66 yards and a touchdown in New York’s 27-7 beatdown of Cincinnati.
Granted, the Bengals have a legitimate shot to challenge the 2008 Detroit Lions’ level of ineptitude this season, and preseason performance doesn’t guarantee regular season fruition. But Burress’ big game helped alleviate some of the anxiety surrounding the receiver, as an ankle injury fueled speculation that Burress may not have much left in the tank.
Sunday night’s show had multiple fantasy implications. One, Burress’ stock is on the rise, vaulting inside the top 30 at the wide receiver position ahead of Braylon Edwards, Lee Evans and Roy Williams. Santonio Holmes’ worth received a bit of love as well, as the threat of Burress may take some of the defensive attention away from the former Super Bowl MVP. Furthermore, the arrival of Burress elevates Mark Sanchez up the draft board. The Jets still employ a run-first attack, but if Sanchez continues to develop he can easily become a top-15 fantasy quarterback.
And in a related note, the fantasy merits of every defense facing Cincinnati this season went through the roof. In two games this preseason, the Bengals have scored 10 points, just 120 rushing yards and thrown five interceptions. The 1999 Rams they are not.