Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 3/12/12
Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings may have just officially put an end to the question of whether NFL players care about their fantasy football production. During a panel discussion at SXSW Interactive about fantasy sports, Jennings admitted that fantasy statistics do matter to players. "When a player says it doesn't really bother them, they're lying," Jennings said, according to Forbes.com. "That's the politically correct answer. As players, it puts pressure on us to make sure we're the liked player in that category. It plays with your mind." Jennings added that players are frequently heckled on the field by fans who have them on their fantasy teams, and that, with close enough seats, players can hear that sometimes and have it affect their play. Specifically, Jennings brought up a game in Dec. 2009 in Pittsburgh against the Steelers when he scored an 83-yard touchdown after having a few having recent weeks of under-performance. "I wanted to turn around and be like, Am I still sucking for you?" Jennings said. "I remember sitting there and, like, I wanted to say something to a fan, but I can't let them know they got to me, because it's fantasy football. But it's probably the most serious game out there." In the 2011 season, Jennings scored nine touchdowns, which tied for the sixth-most among NFL receivers. However, that production came in just 13 games as Jennings missed the end of the regular season with a knee injury. "I remember getting hurt and I'm leaving the stadium, and first thing a guys says to me is, 'Jennings, should I drop you from fantasy?'" Jennings recalled. "And you sit back like, ugh, really?" But, according to Jennings, don't think that just fans are playing fantasy football. Players are, too. "Anything that's extra competition, guys want to be a part of it," Jennings said. "You think you guys are serious, get a player that's actually in the game and he's playing against a player who's on his fantasy team? You're competing against a guy, but you want that guy to be successful." Follow Paul Imig on Twitter.
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