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Fantasy football: Late-season pickups could boost your championship run

Jimmy Garoppolo is worth stashing on the bench in case he catches fire late in the season. / Getty Images / Lachlan Cunningham

By the time December rolls around, most fantasy football teams are more or less set for the remainder of the season. For most, the trade deadline has passed and game-changing waiver wire pickups are rare.

On the bright side for playoff-bound owners, fewer teams will be pursuing additions than earlier in the season. Plenty of useful players can be found, and it’s always worth snagging a sleeper or two who might pay off in the championship rounds.

Here’s a look at a few players, owned in less than half of ESPN leagues, worth considering for the season’s final month.

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Quarterback

Case Keenum (Vikings) should be hot commodity after a stellar Thanksgiving effort, and he might already be over 50 percent owned by Wednesday morning.

For those looking to gamble a bit, think about stashing Jimmy Garoppolo (49ers), Jameis Winston (Buccaneers) or even injured star Aaron Rodgers (Packers) — on the off chance he returns this year.

Running back

Rex Burkhead (Patriots) may finally be a weekly impact player for New England, but be always wary of any Pats RB. Rod Smith (Cowboys) should hold some value through Week 15, after which Ezekiel Elliott returns from suspension.

Consider Devontae Booker (Broncos) as well, but Denver’s offense looks like a mess.

Wide receiver

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Josh Doctson (Redskins) and Corey Davis (Titans), first-round picks in the last two NFL drafts, may be finding their groove. Be sure they help you, not someone else.

Don’t forget about Josh Gordon (Browns). The 26-year-old hasn’t played a down in three years, but he’s finally ready to play again and is too talented to not stash for later.

Tight end

Outside of the top three or so, TE is a constant source of frustration. Those looking for a change should roll the dice on rookie Ricky Seals-Jones (Cardinals), even if it’s just as a backup for now.