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#pounditWednesday, October 20, 2021

Kyle Shanahan trolls fantasy football players over Brandon Aiyuk usage

Kyle Shanahan

One thing that is indisputably true is that NFL coaches do not care about your fantasy team. San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan drove that home in hilarious fashion Friday.

There has been significant chatter about the usage of 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk in Week 1. Aiyuk saw just 26 snaps, and was not targeted once in the passing game. That came as a big surprise to many considering Aiyuk was a standout as a rookie in 2020, catching five touchdown passes and tallying 748 receiving yards.

That, combined with Shanahan’s public indifference toward Aiyuk, led to speculation that the wide receiver is in the head coach’s doghouse. Shanahan brushed that aside Friday, telling KNBR that a hamstring injury impacted Aiyuk’s status and it was only seen as a big deal because of fantasy purposes.

“Aiyuk got off to a little bit of a slow start and Trent (Sherfield) was playing very well,” Shanahan explained, via David Lombardi of The Athletic. “When Aiyuk was starting to catch him, and to me was about to go by him, which was going to be the third preseason game — where he would’ve gotten that spot completely back — he tweaked his hamstring. Then he had about 10 days off and his first practice was Wednesday before the Detroit game, so we planned on rotating him. … You get a big reaction to that, but that’s how it’s going. I don’t expect that to stay long.

“These things are a bigger deal because of the fantasy football world. It usually means you messed up a lot of people’s fantasy picks.”

Shanahan wasn’t done, trolling a bit further by adding: “You don’t need a fantasy team when you’re in charge of a real team.”

So yes, at least one NFL coach does know about people’s fantasy teams. He just doesn’t care. Then again, Shanahan isn’t forthcoming at the best of times, so he might just enjoy this.

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