Quickly dodging the knee-jerk tone of this article (disclosure: I am one of those fantasy football nerds) and look at this interesting bit.
"To make matters worse, you even have NFL players trying to become Jerrys, forming leagues based on their own performances and those of their turf counterparts -- as if being an actual player isn't exhilarating enough. Redskins tight end Chris Cooley had four fantasy teams last year. Believe it or not, his performance on the field cost one of his teams a shot at making the fantasy postseason."
It doesn't end with Cooley; coaches have addressed reporters with fantasy proclamations, and hyped rookie Reggie Bush has appeared on ESPN commercials participating in a fantasy draft.
People may mock fantasy sports -- and that's fine -- but look at it this way: it's the best customer outreach the leagues could have. While fans might not pay attention to a particular sport if their teams are laughably bad, they won't turn away if their fantasy teams are excelling.