Could Larry Fitzgerald Be a No. 1 Fantasy Pick In '09?

Tom FroemmingCorrespondent IFebruary 9, 2009

No player has ever had a more impressive post-fantasy season than Larry Fitzgerald.

In his six games (including the Pro Bowl) following Week 16 (when most fantasy leagues end), Fitz caught 10 touchdown passes and totaled 757 yards. Throw in the fact that he has averaged over 1,100 yards and nine touchdowns per season over his five-year career, and the evidence begins to build for his candidacy as a potential No. 1 overall pick.

While others prefer Andre Johnson, Fitzgerald will be, no doubt about it, my top fantasy receiver heading into 2009. He led all wideouts in fantasy points, was tied with Calvin Johnson with an NFL-best 10 TDs and was fourth in both receptions and targets. While it's not clear how the expected departure of Anquan Boldin will affect Fitzgerald's production -- and were not sure who exactly will be throwing him the ball in '09 -- Fitz still has to be the guy amongst next year's receivers.

So, the question becomes where does he rank overall on a draft board?

While there will be plenty of changes that could greatly change the draft stock of a lot of players., if I had a fantasy draft today, here's what my top five would look like:

1. Adrian Peterson
2. Michael Turner
3. Larry Fitzgerald
4. Matt Forte
5. DeAngelo Williams

While some fantasy players may think it's crazy to put a receiver at third overall, I think you can even make the case for Fitzgerald to be the top overall pick. Think about it. Purple Jesus has been inconsistent, and has just one more TD than Fitz over the last two years. While Burner Turner was more of a touchdown threat, there are still questions whether he will be a one-hit wonder, and Fitz has a much longer and more impressive track record.

Obviously, where you rank players -- especially receivers -- has a great deal to do with your scoring system. With how inconsistent and injury prone running backs are, however, receivers like Larry Fitzgerald will be in high demand in any scoring format. Who knows, he may even ascend to the top overall pick in some leagues. I know I would consider it.

*Article originally posted at Fro Bros. Fantasy Football