The Weekly Pepper: Larry Fitzgerald is 2009's Biggest Fantasy Bust

General PeppersCorrespondent IAugust 1, 2009

FLAGSTAFF, AZ - JULY 31:  Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald #11 of the Arizona Cardinals stands on the field during the team training camp at Northern Arizona University on July 31, 2009 in Flagstaff, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Welcome to the Weekly Pepper: A daily breakdown of the coming year in fantasy football.

In today's edition, I will be documenting the biggest bust of this year's fantasy football season.


When fantasy pundits speak of "busts," they mean a player who will be drafted in the prominent position of a fantasy prince and finish the season in the position of a pauper compared to others drafted as high.

Finding these busts is nearly as important as finding the steals of the draft—steals get the nod because a great steal can make up for a bad bust.

When I originally thought of writing this piece, my top three busts looked as such:

1. Ronnie Brown

2. D'Angelo Williams

3. Wes Welker

Then mock drafts started and one trend stood out from the rest of them: Larry Fitzgerald is going in the top seven of nearly 78 percent of fantasy drafts.

This set my fantasy bust radar to red alert. Thoughts began popping in my head.

Things like, "When has a receiver ever posted back-to-back 200-point seasons? When has a wide receiver ever finished No. 1 back-to-back? When did the best wide receiver score more points than the top quarterback?"

Then I realized Larry Fitzgerald has become the equivalent of fantasy football's LeBron James.

We now expect far too much from him.

No one is mentioning the loss of Arizona's only running back who knew how to pass block.

No one is mentioning the loss of one of the NFL's best offensive coordinators.

No one is mentioning that Kurt Warner playing all 16 games was quite the rarity.

No one is mentioning his seven games against the league's worst pass defenses of 2008 or his increasingly difficult schedule this year.

Most importantly, no one is mentioning that to make his (secretly creeping to seventh) Average Draft Position worth it he will have to put up numbers only Randy Moss' record breaking season scored.

When discussing this subject with fellow BleacherReport writers, Long Island Sound and The Rant, the reasons for his positions were the following:

1. The lack of top-tier wide receivers.

2. The inconsistency with the top tier running backs.

3. The abundance of quarterbacks.

While all of these are true it is important to remember that not only is wide receiver the most wildly inconsistent position but it is much safer to gamble on a top running back than a top wide receiver.

Will Fitzgerald finish in the top seven for wide receivers in the year 2009? Most likely, yes.

Will a wide receiver ever be worth a top seven pick in a fantasy draft? Most likely, no.