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NFL players don’t care about your fantasy football teams, just like everyone else

So you’ve drafted a fantasy football team. Think carefully about your next move. (Al Behrman/Associated Press)

Back on Sept. 1, Green Bay Packers tight end Martellus Bennett tweeted out a shot at fantasy football.

This seemingly unprompted critique of fantasy football — the season had not even started yet, so it’s not like fantasy owners were complaining about Bennett’s performance — led to a strong reaction from many in the fantasy football industry, who pointed out to Bennett that fantasy football probably increased interest in the sport he plays. Bennett, in turn, said he wasn’t claiming fantasy football was a bad thing, per se; he simply doesn’t “give a s— about it.”

Martellus Bennett disses fantasy football and gets into it with fantasy football experts

In the end, everyone pretty much agreed to disagree. But now it seems as if a number of players are following Bennett’s lead.

Going into Monday night’s game between the Lions and the Giants, a Twitter user named Jameson Kendall needed nine fantasy points from Detroit wideout Golden Tate to win his weekly matchup. But Tate could only manage four receptions for 25 yards, a four-point outing in PPR scoring, and Kendall let Tate know about it on Twitter.

Tate was having none of it. His team won, and that’s all that mattered in his world, otherwise known as the real world.

Five moves you should make to improve your fantasy football team this week

Tate wasn’t alone in Monday night’s game. Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was a game-time decision after missing Week 1 with an ankle injury, leaving his fantasy owners with something of a dilemma as they finalized their lineups on Sunday: They could roll the dice and start Beckham, despite the chance that he might not play, or leave him on the bench and hope he doesn’t have a big game (he didn’t, finishing with four catches for 36 yards in limited action).

On Sunday, Beckham tweeted out a reminder that your fantasy football dilemmas are not what he’s thinking about when he’s deciding whether to take the field after an injury.

Eagles running back LeGarrette Blount also had something blunt to say about fantasy football owners on Sunday night after he had zero carries in Philadelphia’s loss to the Chiefs (the terrible MS Paint job covers up a profanity in the tweet):

There are probably a number of reasons for the Great Fantasy Football Schism of 2017. Increased use of social media seemingly has emboldened fans to take their gripes directly to the source, and emboldened the players to snap right back. And there’s a lot of money involved, more than $7 billion annually, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.

There also has to be a bit of frustration among fantasy owners about the way things have shaken out offensively over the first two weeks of the season. Fewer points scored in real life means fewer points scored on the fantasy side of things.

But tweeting at NFL athletes probably isn’t going to solve any of that.

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