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Robert Griffin III to IR changes Browns' fantasy outlook


Well, our hearts go out to Browns fans. Why? Let Around the NFL's Dan Hanzus explain:

While Robert Griffin III could still return under the league's new designation rule, his absence has immediate fantasy repercussions for the Browns. Chief among them is the return to fantasy relevance of Gary Barnidge.

Owners were likely waking up in cold sweats Sunday night after Barnidge ghosted them in lineups with a big old ZERO, but with Josh McCown set to assume the starting quarterback duties they can rest peacefully from here on out. Using the Rotoviz Game Splits app, Barnidge averaged 5.75 receptions, 8.62 targets, 80.12 receiving yards, and .75 touchdowns per game with McCown in the lineup for an average of 12.51 standard fantasy points per game. That total dropped to 7.28 fppg without McCown. While there are more options in the Cleveland passing attack this year with the emergence of Corey Coleman and Terrelle Pryor, McCown will look for Barnidge more often than RGIII had.

As for the rest of the bunch, there's no reason to panic at all. McCown was serviceable in fantasy last year, averaging 271.1 yards and 1.71 touchdowns per game over his seven full games in 2015, per Adam Levitan. And that was without the athletic, talented pass-catchers he'll now be throwing to. There's no reason to overreact and trade or cut any other Browns players on your fantasy roster. In fact, this could end up being a good thing, after all, so stay calm, and stay tuned.

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-- Follow Alex on Twitter @AlexGelhar