Burleson’s value won’t change with Lions

Nate Burleson's move to the Lions won't change his fantasy stock. (Greg Trott / Associated Press)

The first fantasy-relevant signing of the 2010 free-agent period came when the Lions signed Nate Burleson to a five-year, $25 million contract.

Burleson will instantly move into the second spot on the depth chart and start alongside Calvin Johnson. He’s a nice upgrade over Bryant Johnson, but whether he can draw attention away from Megatron is questionable.

His presence is good for the value of Matthew Stafford, who now has another proven threat in the vertical pass attack.

Burleson, who posted 63 catches for 812 yards and three touchdowns for a bad Seahawks offense last season, shouldn’t see a major move in fantasy value with his new team. Consider him a high-end No. 4 fantasy receiver.

In Seattle, Deion Branch has moved into the second spot on the depth chart in Burleson’s absence. The veteran hasn’t made much of a fantasy impact during his time with the Seahawks, and that won’t change even if he does open 2010 as a starter.

Based on his recent injury woes and an overall lack of production, Branch won’t be worth more than a late-round flier.

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