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Takeaways make Steelers' day


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(1:09 pm ET) The Steelers didn't have a tremendous defensive performance Week 7 against Houston, falling into an early 13-0 hole and ultimately giving up 23 points on 393 yards. But they did a fine job taking the ball away from the Texans, allowing their offense to come from behind for the victory.

They got an interception from Brett Keisel and two fumble recoveries, one by Troy Polamalu and one by Sean Spence. The three takeaways were the most they've had in a game this season.

The Steelers did have one sack but remain a poor source of those this year, tying with the Bengals for 23rd with 10. Because their DST has thrived only in games in which it's gotten a touchdown, it remains a risky start in Fantasy.

With the Steelers facing the Colts, the league's No. 1 offense, in Week 8, you should avoid the Steelers DST in Fantasy.


Texans allow 30 points again


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(12:55 pm ET) After allowing 33 points Week 6 against Indianapolis, the Texans allowed 30 Week 7 at Pittsburgh. But while their struggles were to be expected against a Colts offense that ranks No. 1 in the NFL, at least in terms of yardage, the same can't be said for their matchup against the Steelers, who scored 10 points against the Browns in Week 6 and 17 against the Jaguars in Week 5.

Because turnovers kept putting the Steelers in good field position, the Texans allowed 328 yards, only 12 away from their season low. They recorded three sacks, equaling a season high met twice previously, but their only takeaway was a fumble recovery in the first quarter.

The Texans haven't had a favorable schedule of late, but their DST has mostly held its own. Again, the 30 points given up in this one was as much the fault of the offense. With an appealing matchup Week 8 at Tennessee, the Texans DST is an advisable play in Fantasy.


Report: Raiders safety Usama Young suffers torn ACL, MCL


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10/20/2014) Raiders safety Usama Young is out for the remainder of the season after suffering a torn ACL and MCL Sunday against the Cardinals, a source told ESPN. Young has totaled 23 tackles (21 solo), two pass defenses and one sack through six games.

Titans LBs Shaun Phillips, Quentin Groves dealing with injuries


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10/20/2014) Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt said Monday linebacker Shaun Phillips suffered a hip injury and linebacker Quentin Groves suffered an ankle injury Sunday against the Redskins. Phillips is headed for an MRI and Whisenhunt added he didn't know the status of either player for Week 8 vs. Houston.

Giants LB Jon Beason to visit foot specialist again


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10/20/2014) Giants linebacker Jon Beason is expected to make another visit to the foot specialist this week, coach Tom Coughlin told reporters during his Monday news conference, according to the New York Daily News. Beason had only 17 defensive snaps before his toe gave out again in a Week 7 defeat to the Cowboys.

The Giants have a bye week before returning to action Week 9 against Indianapolis.


Titans DE Ropati Pitoitua seeking a cast for broken finger


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10/20/2014) Titans defensive end Ropati Pitoitua, who underwent surgery to repair a broken finger earlier in the month, will visit a specialist on Tuesday about creating a cast for his finger. Pitoitua suffered the injury Week 6 and was inactive against Washington Week 7.

The Titans will host the Texans Week 8.


Colts LB Jerrell Freeman set for MRI due to hip injury


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10/20/2014) Colts linebacker Jerrell Freeman will undergo an MRI after suffering a hip pointer Sunday against the Bengals. Freeman had six tackles (four solo) and one pass defense during a 27-0 win Week 7.

Bengals' Marvin Lewis: LB Vontaze Burfict is 'fine'


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10/20/2014) Bengals coach Marvin Lewis told the media during his Monday news conference that linebacker Vontaze Burfict is "fine" after leaving Sunday's game against the Indianapolis with a cervical strain, per ESPN. Burfict suffered the injury in the first half after hitting Colts quarterback Andrew Luck with his helmet. His status remains up in the air for Week 8 at home against Baltimore.

Cardinals DL Calais Campbell could practice later in the week


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10/20/2014) Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said he is hoping defensive end Calais Campbell, who has missed the last two games due to a knee injury, will return to practice later in the week.

Campbell has totaled 16 tackles, one sack and one interception in four games. The Cardinals play the Eagles in Week 8.


Cardinals safety Rashad Johnson being evaluated for knee injury


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10/20/2014) Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said Monday safety Rashad Johnson is being evaluated for a possible patellar tendon injury. However, he could be dealing with severe tendinitis.

Johnson has totaled 36 tackles (32 solo), two interceptions and one sack through six games. He also has one touchdown and two pass defenses.


Redskins' Orakpo to miss rest of season due to pectoral injury


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10/20/2014) Redskins coach Jay Gruden announced Monday linebacker Brian Orakpo will miss the remainder of the season due to a pectoral injury suffered Sunday against the Titans. Rookie Trent Murphy will replace Orakpo in the starting lineup.

Gruden added Orakpo didn't suffer a fully torn pectoral muscle, but it was torn enough to require surgery. Orakpo finishes the season with 24 tackles (14 solo), one pass defense and 1/2 sack.


Bears CB Kyle Fuller 'day to day' after suffering hand injury


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10/20/2014) Bears coach Marc Trestman said Monday cornerback Kyle Fuller is "day to day" after leaving Sunday's game against the Dolphins due to a hip injury and broken hand. Trestman added Fuller does not need surgery and could play with a broken hand.

Dolphins will slowly work Dion Jordan back into game shape


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10/20/2014) Dolphins defensive end Dion Jordan has served his six-game suspension and is eligible to return to practice as early as Monday, though a roster move won't be announced until later in the week, ESPN reports. The Dolphins are already deep in defensive line depth and will likely work Jordan slowly back into game shape, according to coach Joe Philbin.

"We're going to have to get him on the field and start working him and see where he's at," Philbin said. "It will be great to have him back. But we have to take it one day at a time."


Dashon Goldson, Johnthan Banks back at Bucs practice


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10/20/2014) Buccaneers safety Dashon Goldson (ankle) and cornerback Johnthan Banks (neck) were back at practice Monday, according to The Tampa Tribune. Banks sat out Week 6 vs. Baltimore, while Goldson has missed the last two games.

The Bucs were on a bye Week 7. They are back in action Week 8 vs. Minnesota.


Panthers' Bene Benwikere expected to get starting nickel job back


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10/20/2014) Panthers cornerback Bene Benwikere is expected to get his starting job back at the nickel once he's fully recovered from an ankle injury, the Associated Press reports. Benwikere was inactive Sunday against the Packers and has not played since Week 5 against the Bears.

Jaguars reconfigure LB depth chart after losing MLB for season


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10/20/2014) Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said Monday linebacker J.T. Thomas will take over at middle linebacker in the wake of Paul Posluszny suffering a season-ending pectoral injury. Bradley added LaRoy Reynolds and Dekoda Watson will take over at outside linebacker, where Thomas had been starting.

Jaguars CB Alan Ball not expected to practice Wednesday


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10/20/2014) Jaguars cornerback Alan Ball is not expected to practice on Wednesday because of a bicep injury, coach Gus Bradley told reporters on Monday, per ESPN. Ball has 22 combined tackles and one interception on the year. His status remains uncertain for Week 8 at home against Miami.

Jaguars LB Paul Posluszny done for season due to torn pectoral


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10/20/2014) The Jaguars announced Monday linebacker Paul Posluszny will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a torn pectoral Sunday against the Browns. He will have surgery this week.

Posluszny leads the Jaguars in tackles (69). He also has two sacks and one pass defense through seven games. Posluszny had recorded 100-plus tackles in his previous six seasons. J.T. Thomas will replace Posluszny at middle linebacker for Jacksonville.


Jaguars' Andre Branch expected to miss six weeks with torn groin


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10/20/2014) Jaguars defensive lineman Andre Branch is expected to be sidelined for approximately six weeks because of a torn groin muscle, according to the team's official website on Monday. Branch suffered the injury on Sunday against the Browns. He had two forced fumbles along with 13 combined tackles before the injury.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera disagrees with Luke Kuechly's ejection


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10/20/2014) Panthers coach Ron Rivera told reporters he didn't agree with the explanation given to him regarding linebacker Luke Kuechly's ejection on Sunday, per the team's official website. Kuechly was tossed for contacting an official after posting a team-high eight tackles in a Week 8 defeat.

"The kid reacted to somebody grabbing him by the neck and pulling him out of the pile," Rivera said. "Then somebody grabbed him by the waist. Well, the guy who grabbed him by the waist just happened to be the ref. That's why he reacted; he thought another player was coming into grab him."


Eagles LB Mychal Kendricks expects to practice Tuesday


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10/20/2014) Eagles linebacker Mychal Kendricks posted on his website Monday that he will return to practice Tuesday. Kendricks has missed the last four games due to a calf injury.

"I’ll be in practice this week pushing forward," Kendricks wrote, according to the Eagles' official website.

The Eagles were on a bye Week 7. They return to action Week 8 against the Cardinals.


Late meltdown costs Saints in loss


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10/20/2014) The Saints defense mostly held up their end of the bargain Sunday, but fell apart late in a 24-23 loss to the Lions in Week 7.

The Lions had just 10 points with four minutes left in the fourth quarter, as the Saints looked to be on their way to an easy win. Unfortunately, they surrendered two quick touchdowns to cost them the game.

The Saints did limit the Lions to just 344 yards of total offense in the game, including a paltry 59 yards on the ground. They forced a pair of turnovers and sacked Matthew Stafford three times in the loss.

The Saints DST unit still managed to score 9 Fantasy points in Sunday's game, their second-highest total of the season. They will likely struggle to reach even that level in Week 8, with the Packers on the schedule. 


Lions defense falters in win over Saints


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10/20/2014) The Lions DST unit finally hit a bump in the road Sunday, in a 24-23 win over the Saints in Week 7.

The Lions streak of double digit Fantasy scoring games came to an end at four Sunday, though they still managed a respectable 7 points, thanks to two turnovers. They also sacked Drew Brees once, while allowing 408 yards of total offense in the win.

The Lions have still put up five double-digit Fantasy games in seven tries, and will look to do so in Week 8 against the Falcons.  


Broncos DST beginning to stand out


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10/20/2014) After back-to-back standout performances against the Cardinals (who didn't have their starting quarterback at the time) and the Jets (who haven't had a starting quarterback in ages), the Broncos defense kept the ball rolling in Week 7, only this time against a 49ers team that had just hung 31 on the Rams in Week 6.

The Broncos limited Colin Kaepernick and company to 17 points on 310 yards, recording one interception and a season-high six sacks, including three by DeMarcus Ware and two by Von Miller. They've now allowed an average of 18.0 points on 243.0 yards over their last three games, recording a total of 13 sacks.

Because the Broncos are so good offensively, you might expect them to play a soft defense that doesn't sweat yardage surrendered in garbage time, but that hasn't been the case. The Broncos haven't allowed 400 yards in a game since Week 1 against the Colts, and they have yet to allow more than 26 points in a game.

The Broncos DST is looking like the kind you can play in Fantasy even when the matchup is less than favorable. Week 8 against San Diego might be pushing it a bit, though. If you don't want to roster two DSTs, you shouldn't feel like you have to make a change, but the Broncos DST may not project as a top-12 unit for that matchup.


Bears DST struggles in loss to Dolphins


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10/20/2014) The Bears defense entered Week 7 against the Dolphins pretty banged up, and had trouble holding up in a 27-14 loss.

The Dolphins racked up 393 yards of total offense and dominated the time of possession in the game, leaving the Bears defense on the field for 37-plus minutes. The Bears' pass rush did a solid job of getting after Ryan Tannehill, racking up four sacks, but failed to register a single turnover, while getting no contributions from the special teams.

The Bears DST unit has had an up-and-down season so far, but Sunday's game was their third in four games without reaching double figures in Fantasy scoring. They could struggle yet again in Week 8, with the Patriots on the schedule. 


 
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