Top five fantasy wide receivers for 2009

With the fantasy football season over (unless you signed up for our Playoff Challenge, of course), it’s time to start looking ahead to 2009.

I’ll be working on a complete list of player rankings over the next several weeks, but for now, here are the top five players per position over the next few days.

I’ve already run through the quarterbacks and running backs, so here are the wide receivers:

1. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona — Unless the Cardinals fail to retain Kurt Warner (he’s a free agent in 2009), I see Fitzgerald as the top wideout in all fantasy drafts. He’s consistent, productive and one of the most three most talented wide receivers in the entire NFL.

2. Andre Johnson, Houston — Johnson, who could be taken ahead of Fitzgerald in some PPR formats, is coming off the best season of his pro career. He’s a physical, athletic wideout with tremendous hands who can put up huge fantasy numbers on a weekly basis.

3. Calvin Johnson, Detroit — Despite playing on a winless team and without a reliable quarterback, Johnson still finished 2008 with 1,331 yards and 12 touchdowns. Imagine the sort of damage he could do with a reliable signal-caller under center.

4. Anquan Boldin, Arizona — He does tend to deal with injuries from time to time, but Boldin will be hard to pass on in fantasy drafts. Despite missing four games and parts of others, he still finished the season with a solid 89 catches, 1,038 yards and 11 touchdowns.

5. Greg Jennings, Green Bay — So much for the notion that Jennings would lose value without Brett Favre. He thrived in the Packers offense with Aaron Rodgers at the helm, finishing with career bests in receptions (80) and yards (1,292) with nine touchdowns in 2008.

On the edge: Randy Moss, New England; Steve Smith, Carolina.

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