Yes, but not through FTP. You'll need to use FTP to upload the file and then use SSH to gain command line access where then you can extract the file.
The command to extract a file is: tar zxf file.tar.gz
x - extract
z - it's gzipped
f - supplying filename on command line.
If the file is on a remote server (and you're just using your desktop as a "proxy" to xfer files) you can get even fancier and use wget to download the directly on your site. Again, through SSH command is: wget http://domain.com/url/to/file.tar.gz
Then use the above tar command to extract it.
yerba# rm -rf /etc