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Falcons defense doesn't stand a chance


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(9/2/2014) Coming off a poor showing in 2013, the Falcons defense couldn't ask for a tougher test to begin 2014. The Saints come to town in Week 1.

The Saints, of course, are an offensive juggernaut coming off another fine season in which they ranked fourth in total offense and second in passing offense. The Falcons, conversely, tied for 27th in total defense and 21st in passing defense. They allowed a 102.4 passer rating, second-best in the league.

The Falcons made some changes to their defense this offseason in the hope of better results, signing Dwight Lowery to play free safety and switching to a 3-4 scheme, but those changes won't be enough to slow down Drew Brees and company. And if the Saints jump out to an early lead and can rely on the ground game more than usual, the matchup is even more in their favor. The Falcons ranked 31st against the run last season, allowing 135.8 yards per game.

Clearly, this isn't the week to gamble on the Falcons DST.


Kyle Van Noy placed on short-term IR


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(9/2/2014) The Lions placed linebacker Kyle Van Noy (hernia) on short-term injured reserve Tuesday. He will be allowed to practice after Week 6, but he won't be allowed to play until after Week 8.

Colts DST facing long odds in Week 1


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9/2/2014) The Colts DST finished a surprising ninth in Fantasy points last year, and the unit will be playable in certain matchups this season. Week 1 is not one of them.

Indy travels to Denver to face a Broncos offense that set NFL records with 606 points and 76 touchdowns. Denver tied an NFL record by scoring 50-plus points three times. Keep the Colts DST reserved in all formats Sunday night.


Saints have tough first test


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(9/2/2014) Coming off a season in which they excelled against the pass, allowing the second-fewest yards per game (194.1) while recording the fourth-most sacks (49), the Saints will have a chance to validate that performance when they travel to Atlanta in Week 1 to take on the most pass-heavy offense in the NFL.

The Falcons threw the ball 68.7 percent of the time last year, according to TeamRankings.com, tops in the league. They ranked seventh in passing offense, averaging 265.2 yards per game. The Saints limited the Falcons to 271 yards through the air in their second meeting with them last year, but of course, star wide receiver Julio Jones was out for that game. The Falcons threw for 341 yards in the teams' first meeting.

With Jones back to full health, both Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Richard expect the Saints DST to struggle in this one, ranking it 21st at the position. Even if the Saints are able to slow the Falcons' passing attack, they're vulnerable against the run, having allowed the fifth-most yards per carry last season.


Junior Galette agrees to contract extension


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9/2/2014) Saints outside linebacker Junior Galette agreed to a multi-year contract extension, reports Yahoo Sports. Terms were not immediately available.

Galette, 26, had 12 sacks, 40 tackles and two fumble recoveries last year.


Wait another week on Broncos DST


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9/2/2014) The Broncos revamped their defense after ranking 22nd in points allowed (22.9) and 19th in total yards (356.0).

They added defensive end DeMarcus Ware, safety T.J. Ward and cornerback Aqib Talib. They drafted corner Bradley Roby in the first round. And they'll benefit from Von Miller being in better shape.

Last year's No. 13 Fantasy DST should finish as a Top-10 unit this year. But the group might not mesh right away. And Sunday night's game against the Colts, with a whopping over/under of 55, is going to be a shootout.

Indy gave up the 11th-fewest Fantasy points to DSTs last year (7.56 per game). Sit the Broncos DST in Week 1, if you can, then start the unit Week 2 in a much more attractive matchup against Kansas City.


Rolando McClain expected to start at MLB for Dallas


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(9/2/2014) The Cowboys appear to be leaning toward using twice-retired linebacker Rolando McClain as their starting middle linebacker in the absence of Sean Lee, who will miss the 2014 season with a torn ACL in his left knee.

The Cowboys are also moving Bruce Carter from weakside to strongside, and Justin Durant will take over as the starting weakside linebacker.

"I think he’s made a lot of progress," head coach Jason Garrett said of McClain, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "Whenever you’re a new player coming into a system, you need to just play in the system. You need to get reps. That’s particularly the case with a position like linebacker where there’s a lot to do in terms of communication and understanding what the whole defense is doing.

"He has a lot of those traits. Coming in, it was a matter of learning what we were asking him to do. He embraced that, and I think he’s going to be a part of that mix at linebacker. He’s demonstrated both in practice and in preseason games that he’s worthy of some kind of an opportunity."


Deone Bucannon settling in at safety for Cardinals


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(9/2/2014) Cardinals rookie safety Deone Bucannon is ready for the start of the season after missing a good portion of the offseason due to turf toe. The first-round pick led the team with 23 tackles during the preseason and totaled 15 over the final two preseason games.

"He knows his job," head coach Bruce Arians said, per the team's official website. "He plays fearless. He’s more than ready to go. I wanted to get him out of there as soon as I could."

Bucannon said he's getting more comfortable on defense with the more reps he receives.

"Each time I come to the sideline they just tell me little things to watch out for to get more comfortable," Bucannon said. "It really helps when I’m out there. Ty (Mathieu) is right next to me. Every time I come off the field, he asks what I’m seeing. It’s little things for me to get better, and that’s what’s really been helping me.

"I’m understanding the defense better, and what the coaches want out of me, what they expect out of me. That’s allowed me to go out there and play faster for the team."


J.J. Watt gets six-year, $100 million extension


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9/2/2014) Texans defensive end J.J. Watt agreed to a six-year, $100 million extension, including nearly $52 million guaranteed. The deal makes Watt the NFL's highest-paid defensive player.

Watt has 36.5 sacks in three seasons.


Antoine Bethea going through final stage of concussion protocol


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(8/30/2014) 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh told reporters that safety Antoine Bethea is going through the final concussion protocol on Saturday, per Comcast SportsNet bay Area. Bethea remains on track for Week 1 against Dallas.

Texans dump Brandon Harris Friday


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(8/29/2014) The Texans have waived cornerback Brandon Harris on Friday, according to Comcast SportsNet Houston. Harris was a 2011 second-round pick out of the University of Miami that never started a game in Houston.

Buster Skrine ditches hard cast for soft cast Thursday


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(8/29/2014) Browns cornerback Buster Skrine is no longer wearing a hard cast on his right arm and hand, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. Skrine is just 10 days removed from thumb surgery and is wearing a soft cast. He is listed as week to week, leaving his status up in the air for Week 1 against Pittsburgh.

Tyrann Mathieu won't play final exhibition game


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(8/28/2014) Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu will not play Thursday night against San Diego, the team's final preseason game, per the team's official website. Mathieu is working his way back from two torn knee ligaments which he suffered in December. His status remains uncertain for Week 1 against the Chargers.

Head injury knocks Johnny Patrick out of final exhibition game


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(8/28/2014) Jets cornerback Johnny Patrick suffered a head injury during Thursday's preseason finale against the Eagles in Philadelphia. He was ruled out for the remainder of the game, per Newsday.

Khyri Thornton knocked out of final preseason game with hamstring injury


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(8/28/2014) Packers defensive tackle Khyri Thornton was forced out of Thursday's exhibition finale against the Chiefs with a hamstring injury. He was ruled out for the remainder of the game, leaving his status uncertain for the season opener.

James Morris exits game with leg injury


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(8/28/2014) Patriots linebacker James Morris suffered an apparent right leg injury during Thursday's preseason finale against the Giants, the Boston Globe reports. Morris limped off the field with team trainers in the first half after sustaining the injury. 

Nick Bellore departs exhibition finale with calf injury


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(8/28/2014) Jets linebacker Nick Bellore was knocked out of Thursday's preseason game against the Eagles with a calf injury. He sustained the injury in the first half and was ruled out for the remainder of the contest.

Sean Porter suffers hamstring injury in final preseason game


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(8/28/2014) Bengals linebacker Sean Porter left Thursday's preseason game against the Colts with a hamstring injury, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Porter sustained the injury in the first quarter and will likely sit out the rest of the game. His status remains up in the air for Week 1.

Kyle Van Noy goes under the knife


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(8/28/2014) Lions rookie linebacker Kyle Van Noy underwent surgery on Thursday to repair a core muscle injury, according to the team's official website. The team has not released a timetable for his return, though it seems unlikely that he'll be ready for the first game of the regular season.

Jason Worilds won't play preseason finale


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(8/28/2014) Steelers outside linebacker Jason Worilds is not expected to play Thursday against the Panthers in a preseason finale. His status remains up in the air for Week 1 of the season on Sept. 7.

Dezmen Southward sits out finale with concussion


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(8/28/2014) Falcons rookie safety Dezmen Southward will not play Thursday against the Jaguars because of a concussion, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports. It remains to be seen if he'll be ready for Week 1 of the regular season.

Chris Conte works out with the team Thursday


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(8/28/2014) Bears safety Chris Conte worked out with the team prior to Thursday's preseason finale against the Browns. He is not expected to play because of post-concussion symptoms, according to ChicagoFootball.com. It remains to be seen if he'll be ready for the season opener.

Devon Still exits preseason game with hamstring injury


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(8/24/2014) Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still left Sunday's preseason game against the Cardinals with a hamstring injury. Still sustained the injury in the first half and was unable to return.

Dimitri Patterson no longer AWOL


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(8/24/2014) Jets cornerback Dimitri Patterson is no longer missing. Patterson met with head coach Rex Ryan and general manager John Idizk on Sunday, the team announced.

Patterson didn't show up for Friday's preseason game and was not in contact with the team for nearly 48 hours. The team declined to provide any additional info about the meeting.

Seahawks cut Terrell Thomas


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(8/24/2014) The Seahawks have cut cornerback Terrell Thomas, according to ESPN on Sunday. Thomas signed with Seattle late August after playing 16 games with the Giants last year.

 
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