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Field goals down Ravens in loss to Texans


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(12/21/2014) Coming off their best performance of the season, the Ravens DST unit failed to live up to expectations in Week 16's 25-13 loss to the Texans.

The Ravens mostly held the Texans offense in check, limiting them to 313 yards of total offense. However, the Texans had the ball in the red zone seven times, and were able to rack up a solid scoring day despite being held to just one touchdown, as they kicked six field goals in the win. The Ravens forced just one turnover, and failed to sack Case Keenum in the loss.

The Ravens finished Sunday's game with just 5 Fantasy points, one week after dropping 26 against the Jaguars. They will look to bounce back in Week 17, as they face the Browns in the season finale.


Texans DST keeps on rolling in win


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(12/21/2014) The Texans defense dominated in Week 16, in a 25-13 win over the Ravens.

The Ravens managed just 211 yards of total offense in the game, despite running 68 plays. The Texans pass rush got home for just two sacks in the game, but they forced Joe Flacco into three interceptions anyways, as they finished the game with 18 Fantasy points, their second in a row with that total.

The Texans DST unit enters the final week of the season riding a eight-game streak with at least 10 Fantasy points, and they should have no trouble keeping it going with a matchup on the way against the Jaguars. 


Steelers pass rush dominates in victory


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(12/21/2014) The Steelers DST unit continued its solid play in Week 16, in a 20-12 win over the Chiefs.

The Chiefs racked up 327 yards of total offense in the win, but did little to take advantage of that. They made four trips to the red zone and failed to come away with a single touchdown, settling for four field goals in the loss. The Steelers forced one turnover and sacked Alex Smith six times, en route to 14 Fantasy points.  

The Steelers have at least 9 Fantasy points in eight of their last nine games, including 9 against the Bengals in Week 14. They will look to pull that feat again in Week 17, with the Bengals on the schedule again to close the season out. 


Chiefs slow Steelers, but not quite enough


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(12/21/2014) The Chiefs DST unit mostly slowed the Steelers down in Week 16, but not enough to come away on the right side of a 20-12 final score.

The Steelers managed just 282 yards of total offense against the Chiefs defense, but reached the red zone four times and scored on each trip. The Chiefs sacked Ben Roethlisberger just once, and failed to come away with a single turnover en route to 7 Fantasy points in the loss.

The Chiefs have managed to score in double figures in Fantasy points just once in the last six games, and have another tough matchup on the way in Week 17 against the Chargers. 


Panthers DST continues strong run


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(12/21/2014) The Panthers DST unit entered Week 16 against the Browns having scored in double figures in two straight games, and they made it a third in a 17-13 win Sunday.  

The Panthers limited the Browns to just 228 yards of total offense in the game, much of which came on a single long touchdown pass to Jordan Cameron. The Panthers forced one turnover and sacked Brian Hoyer three times in the win.

The Panthers' pass rush has been strong lately, as they have 11 sacks in their last four games, while averaging 12.3 Fantasy points per game in that stretch. They will look to keep that going in Week 17, against a Falcons team they had 8 Fantasy points against in Week 11. 


Browns remain solid in Week 16 loss


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(12/21/2014) The Browns DST unit put together a solid showing in Week 16, though it wasn't enough in a 17-13 loss to the Panthers.  

The Panthers racked up 404 yards of total offense in the game, mostly on the ground, but the Browns adopted a bend-don't-break defensive philosophy. They forced two turnovers in the game and one sack, en route to 11 Fantasy points in the loss.

The Browns have been mostly solid of late, riding strong pass rush to at least 9 Fantasy points in four of the last five. They will look to close the season out strong against the Ravens in Week 17. 


Big plays salvage rough showing for Dolphins DST


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(12/21/2014) The Dolphins defense came up with a few big plays, but struggled overall in a  37-35 win over the Vikings in Week 16.

The Dolphins finished the game with 8 Fantasy points, entirely on the strength of one turnover and four sacks. They struggled otherwise, allowing 377 yards of total offense to the Vikings, though they came up with a blocked punt and a safety late to win it.

The Dolphins DST unit now failed to reach double figures in Fantasy scoring in each of the last three games, heading into Week 17 against the Jets. 


Cowboys shut down Colts offense in blowout


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(12/21/2014)  The Cowboys appeared to have a tough matchup on the way in Week 16 with the Colts on the schedule, but they completely shut their offense down en route to a 42-7 win.

The Cowboys allowed the Colts to score just once late in the game, after the Colts had already brought their backups in. The Colts had just 229 yards of total offense in the game, while turning the ball over three times, and Cowboys added a pair of sacks in the win as well.

The Cowboys DST unit finished the game with a season-best 18 Fantasy points, their second game in a row with at least 14. They will look to complete their strong finish to the season in Week 17, with Washington on the schedule. 


Colts DST falls apart in lopsided loss


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(12/21/2014) The Colts defense was enjoying their best run of the season entering Week 16, but the Cowboys put an end to that quickly in a 42-7 loss.

The Cowboys scored early and often on the Colts, racking up two touchdowns in each of the first two quarters, to go up 28-0 at halftime. The Colts ended up allowing 377 yards of total offense in the game, while forcing one turnover and sacking Tony Romo just once.

The Colts DST unit finished the game with just 3 Fantasy points, their lowest total since Week 2. They had a streak of four straight games with at least 11 points snapped, and will look to get back on track against the Titans in Week 17. 


Nothing special for Raiders DST


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(12/21/2014) The Raiders may have upset the visiting Bills in Week 16, allowing 24 points on 321 yards, but their DST didn't have much to show for it in Fantasy. They were a little light on big plays, recording two sacks and two interceptions.

The Raiders DST finished with eight Fantasy points in standard CBSSports.com leagues, which was actually one of its better performances on the year. It has scored double-digit Fantasy points only twice all season.

You should know better than to use it in Fantasy, particularly with the matchup it has Week 17 at Denver.


Bills DST underwhelms with favorable matchup


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(12/21/2014) Having scored double-digit Fantasy points (according to standard CBSSports.com scoring) in seven of its previous eight games, the Bills DST seemed like a gimme Week 16 at Oakland, which had allowed the fourth-most Fantasy points per game to DSTs this season. But for whatever reason, the defense didn't show up, allowing 26 points on 347 yards in a surprise loss for the Bills.

The points and yardage weren't even the biggest problem. The big plays that had carried the Bills DST in recent weeks, like the three touchdowns in its previous four games, were nowhere to be found. The Bills had just one sacks and zero takeaways.

The timing of this performance is all the incentive you need to sit the Bills DST for Week 17 at New England. With that matchup, it would have been a tough call otherwise.


Rams take step back defensively


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(12/21/2014) The Rams entered Week 16 one of the hottest teams on the defensive side of the ball, but they didn't perform up to their recent standards Week 16 against the Giants, allowing 37 points on 514 yards, both season worsts. They had just one sack with zero takeaways.

Altogether, the performance came out to one Fantasy point for the Rams DST in CBSSports.com leagues, this after averaging 18.0 in its previous seven games. It allowed an average of 12.4 points on 304.1 yards during that stretch. One game doesn't undo that kind of momentum.

Unfortunately, the Rams are visiting a red hot Seattle team in Week 17, but the Seahawks' surge has been more because of their defense than their offense. Still, you'll want to weigh your options carefully. The Rams DST is a fine start for Week 17, but not automatic.


Giants DST comes through again


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(12/21/2014) The Giants DST continued its strong finish Week 16 at St. Louis, scoring double-digit Fantasy points for the fourth straight game after doing so just twice in its first 11. It allowed 27 points on 387 yards and had only two sacks, but it made up for those lackluster numbers with four takeaways, including three fumble recoveries.

Sacks had carried the Giants DST the previous three weeks. It had no fewer than seven against the Redskins, Titans or Jaguars. It'll give up some points at times but has also shown a knack for big plays in recent weeks. Unfortunately, its matchup Week 17 against the Eagles is just too dangerous for you to use it in Fantasy.


Jets DST surprises against Patriots


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(12/21/2014) Facing one of the league's most prolific offenses, the Jets defense continued its good run Week 16 against the Patriots, allowing 17 points on 231 yards. It was the third time in four games that the Jets allowed less than 20 points.

They also equaled a season-high with four sacks. They had just one takeaway, an interception by Marcus Williams, but still, the performance amounted to 14 Fantasy points for the Jets DST in standard CBSSports.com leagues, just its fifth game with double-digit points this season.

Of course, you probably shouldn't expect lightning to strike twice Week 17 at Miami. Even if the Jets have limited their opponents' scoring in recent weeks, it hasn't amount to much Fantasy production for their DST.


Patriots DST adequate against Jets


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(12/21/2014) The Patriots didn't have a monster defensive performance Week 16 at the Jets, recording just two sacks with one takeaway, an interception by Jamie Collins in the third quarter, but they performed adequately against one of the league's worst offensive teams, allowing 16 points on 307 yards.

It was their fourth game in five allowing less than 20 points. However, it was the just the second time during that same stretch that the Patriots DST didn't score double-digit Fantasy points in standard CBSSports.com leagues.

A lack of big plays are to blame, but those aren't always so predictable from week to week. The Patriots DST has been one of the most consistent in Fantasy this season and has a favorable matchup Week 17 against Buffalo, so keep it active.


Buccaneers DST not an embarrassment


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(12/21/2014) Facing one of the league's most prolific offenses Week 16 against Green Bay, the Buccaneers defense didn't do so poorly, allowing 20 points on 431 yards. Of course, its DST wasn't so productive in Fantasy either thanks to just one sack and one takeaway, a fumble recovery by Clinton McDonald.

The Buccaneers DST had a stretch of three games in Weeks 11-13 when it scored double-digit Fantasy points in standard CBSSports.com leagues, but it's been held to less than 10 in three since. It remains an unreliable unit and certainly isn't worth using against the Saints in Week 17.


Defense carries Packers in Week 16


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(12/21/2014) With quarterback Aaron Rodgers playing through illness, the Packers offense wasn't up to its usual standards Week 17 at Tampa Bay, but the defense responded with one of its best performances of the season, allowing a season-low three points on a season-low 99 yards. The Packers had only one takeaway, an interception by Datone Jones late in the fourth quarter, but they set a season high with seven sacks.

It was only the fifth game with double-digit Fantasy points for the Packers DST, but it's scored 20 or more in four of those games. Since it's a feast-or-famine unit, you'll want to pay close attention to the matchups with it. Week 17 against Detroit may be a bit too risky.


Saints DST comes back down to earth


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(12/21/2014) After a dominant performance on the road against the Bears in Week 15, the Saints defense looked more like itself back at home against the Falcons in Week 16, allowing 30 points on 403 yards. It had no sacks or interceptions (or takeaways of any sort) after setting season highs with seven and three against the Bears.

In standard CBSSports.com leagues, the Saints DST was worth zero points on the day. It was the second time in three weeks it was shut out in terms of Fantasy production.

The Saints DST is averaging just 5.4 Fantasy points in its last seven games -- and that's including that season-best performance against the Bears. Even with a favorable matchup Week 17 at Tampa Bay, it's a shaky option in Fantasy.


Late TD makes for big day for Falcons DST


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(12/21/2014) In what seemed like an unfavorable matchup with the Saints stepping up their offensive production in recent weeks, the Falcons DST turned in its second-best performance of the season Week 16 at New Orleans, scoring 23 Fantasy points in standard CBSSports.com leagues.

Of course, a long fumble recovery return for a touchdown in the game's closing seconds padded that number a good bit, but the Falcons genuinely did play good defense, limiting the Saints to 14 points on 328 yards. They had two fumble recoveries, two interceptions and a season-high five sacks, as many as in their previous five games combined.

Though they weren't at their best with tough matchups against the Packers and Steelers in Weeks 14 and 15, the Falcons have done a better job of forcing turnovers in the second half of the season, and it made a big difference in Week 16. Still, outside of deeper leagues, you have no reason to resort to the Falcons DST against Carolina in Week 17.


Bears DST does better against Lions


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(12/21/2014) After surrendering 34 points on 474 yards to the Lions in Week 13, the Bears stepped up their defensive game Week 16 against Detroit, allowing 20 points on 367 yards. They had four sacks and three takeaways (two interceptions and one fumble recovery), their most of either since Week 12 against Tampa Bay.

Though it was a big improvement for the Bears DST, the fact it had allowed an average of 35.3 points on 438.0 yards in its previous three games shows it's not a reliable unit in Fantasy. Granted, none of those was a particularly favorable matchup, but the way rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has played recently, neither is Week 17 at Minnesota.

You can probably do better than the Bears DST in standard 12-team leagues.


Lions DST continues to role


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(12/21/2014) For the sixth time in seven games, the Lions held a team to less than 20 points in Week 16, limiting the hosting Bears to 14 on 234 yards. They were a little light on big plays, recording two sacks and one interception after averaging 4.3 and 2.0 in their previous three games, but with Jimmy Clausen starting at quarterback for the Bears, they could get away with it.

According to standard CBSSports.com scoring, the Lions DST has scored double-digit Fantasy points in four straight games, only once allowing 300 yards during that stretch. Of course, they've all been pretty favorable matchups, which certainly won't be the case Week 17 at Green Bay. But considering the Lions DST scored 22 points against the Packers in Week 3, limiting them to seven points on 223 yards, it's not an automatic sit for that one.

Just weigh your options carefully. With a division title on the line, Aaron Rodgers and company are sure to bring their A game.


Hamstring injury knocks Falcons CB Josh Wilson out of Week 16


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12/21/2014) Falcons cornerback Josh Wilson was forced out of Sunday's game against New Orleans with a hamstring injury. He sustained the injury in the third quarter and was ruled questionable to return to the game.

Falcons S William Moore exits with shoulder injury


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12/21/2014) Falcons safety William Moore was forced out of Sunday's game against the Saints with a shoulder injury. Moore sustained the injury in the third quarter and was ruled questionable to return to the game. He registered two tackles before leaving the game.

49ers take a step back defensively


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(12/21/2014) After allowing an average of 16.6 points on 308.4 yards in their previous five games, the 49ers gave up 38 on 446 to the Chargers in Week 16. It was only the second time they allowed more than 30 points in a game, and the 446 yards were a season worst.

From a Fantasy perspective, though, their DST still turned in a fine performance thanks to three interceptions, including one that Antoine Bethea returned for a touchdown in the second quarter. The 49ers also had two sacks.

The 49ers DST has scored double-digit Fantasy points in six of the last eight weeks and showed in this one that it's still capable of big numbers even when the defense isn't at its best. Keep it active for a favorable matchup Week 17 against Arizona.


TD makes Chargers DST's day


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(12/21/2014) The Chargers didn't have a standout defensive performance Week 16 at San Francisco, allowing 35 points on 447 yards, but their defense was still instrumental in their 38-35 victory. Ricardo Mathews stripped quarterback Colin Kaepernick of the football late in the third quarter, and Corey Liuget recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown.

It was one of two sacks and three fumble recoveries for the Chargers on the day. Their DST has contributed a touchdown in three of the last five weeks.

Though the touchdowns have made the Chargers DST a productive Fantasy unit in recent weeks, it's been giving up plenty of points and yardage. You still wouldn't want to trust in it outside of an especially favorable matchup, which it doesn't have Week 17 at Kansas City.


 
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