Playoffs? We're talking about playoffs? Yep, Week 14 has arrived, meaning it's that time of year again. Every roster tweak you make becomes that much more crucial, as one poor lineup decision could be the difference between whether you advance to the semifinals or are stuck watching the games at home -- like you always do -- but this time with no stud defensive lineman or sleeper free safety to root for. Here's a batch of names that can help you patch up any shortcomings in your lineup and advance over the next few weeks:
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Bobby McCray, DE, Saints -- McCray already has one double-digit sack season under his belt -- he logged 10 with the Jaguars in 2006 -- and he may reach that total for the second time in his career. McCray has been starting for the Saints over the past four games, ever since Charles Grant (triceps) was placed on the IR. McCray could play nearly every down after Will Smith received a four-game suspension. McCray is coming off a two-sack performance last week against Tampa Bay.
Tyjuan Hagler, OLB, Colts -- Poor Gary Brackett. He's sitting on 99 tackles this season but may not reach triple digits, as a cracked bone in his lower right leg will keep him out of Week 14 and possibly the rest of the regular season. Hagler will move into the Colts' starting lineup in Brackett's absence, gaining instant IDP relevance. The third-year player out of Cincinnati compiled nine tackles in his last start, which came in Week 9, and he should see plenty more chances to up his tackles tally.
Jermaine Phillips, SS, Buccaneers -- Phillips, who broke his arm in Week 8, made a speedy recovery and was back on the field for Tampa Bay last week. He returned to the starting lineup and did not miss a beat, finishing with eight tackles to go along with his second interception of the season. His other interception came against Carolina in Week 6, when the Buccaneers picked off Jake Delhomme three times, and they'll get another shot at Delhomme and the Panthers this week.
Wesley Woodyard, OLB, Broncos -- D.J. Williams has been out the past four weeks with an MCL injury and Woodyard has filled in admirably in his place. While Williams has returned to practicing on a limited basis, he doesn't appear to be too close to returning, and it'd be a bit shocking if the Broncos rushed him back in the next few weeks given their three-game lead in the AFC West. Woodyard has come up with two 10-tackle performances in his four-game starting stint and has 33 tackles over that period.
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Bryant McFadden, CB, Steelers -- McFadden has missed Pittsburgh's last six games with a broken forearm but has finally recovered and will return to action in Week 14, barring a setback, and will provide even more talent to the league's best defensive unit. McFadden was on pace to post the best numbers of his career before he got hurt, snatching two interceptions and a fumble recovery to go along with 30 tackles in six games.
Ryan Denney, DE, Bills -- Denney has filled in for Aaron Schobel (foot), starting every game since Week 7, and has made the most of his opportunity. Coming off a two-sack outing against San Francisco last week, Denney now has three in the past two weeks. He's also been among the league leaders in tackles among defensive linemen the past four weeks, having posted over five per game. While there's a possibility Schobel may attempt to play against Miami this week, it seems unlikely. He's probably at least another week away from returning. Even if Schobel does play, he'll be limited and won't handle a full workload. Denney will see plenty of time regardless.
Brandon Johnson, OLB, Bengals -- If you were paying attention back in Week 8, you may have already snatched Johnson out of the free-agency pool. He's been solid ever since Keith Rivers was placed on injured reserve after getting vaulted into a starting role. Johnson averaged nearly seven tackles from Weeks 7 through 12 and also added an interception in Week 11, yet still remained widely available in IDP leagues despite the production. That won't last long, as he blew up for 14 tackles and 1.5 sacks against Baltimore last week.