There are a few nuances to bear in mind when looking at how the Defense and Special Teams units are awarded points for defensive scoring in fantasy.
Interceptions Returned for TDs (Picks 6's) NOT Counted Against D/ST
ESPN has changed the way interceptions returned for touchdowns (pick 6's) affect your D/ST score. Beginning with the 2017/19 season, offensive points gained by pick 6's or fumble recoveries for TD's will NOT have any effect on your D/ST score. However, Special Team's points still count against your D/ST score (i.e. a punt return for a TD against your D/ST).
Why Do D/STs Show Points At The Start of the Game?
- Your D/ST begins each game with 10 points (in standard scoring). At the time, they've given up 0 points (worth 5 points) and they've allowed 0 offensive yards to their opponent (worth 5 points)
- Your D/ST gains points by registering sacks, turnovers and scoring points
- Your D/ST score will drop if they give up yards to the opponent's offense in any way
Point After Touchdown D/ST Scoring
- D/ST earns a Safety during a PAT to receive 1 point
- D/ST returns the ball to their own end zone during a PAT to receive 2 points
These scoring changes apply to all ESPN Fantasy Football League types, both Defense, Special Teams (D/ST) and IDP scoring models. League Managers can modify, enable and/or disable as desired in League Manager Leagues.