Rank's 11 Offseason Sleepers: All-in on Andre Ellington

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I'll be honest; there are at least one or two guys who I absolutely love each year and never talk about because, look, I'm a fantasy enthusiast, too. And I have leagues I would like to win. So if that makes me a tad unscrupulous, so be it. I mean, I'm not giving out misinformation; I'm just going to keep a couple of hole cards that belong only to me.

Although, one minor confession. I did tell my friend Charles Teed last year Le'Veon Bell wasn't going to overcome his injuries to be very productive. About 16 seconds after Chuck passed on Bell, I drafted him. But for those of you who believe in karma or whatever, Chucky T. went on to win my league of record* and I failed to make the playoffs.

The one upshot was Charlie was a replacement for the dreaded Jimmy, the crepuscular waiver-wire hawk who would scoop up players while the rest of the league slept. So it was one of those instances where you were just glad it was anybody but Jimmy who won the league. Kind of like when you root against Duke in the NCAA tournament. (I'm a UNLV fan, not an ACC guy. Plus, I'm an American. And yes, Mercer!)

Although it's probably time for me to get to the point and talk about the guy I was going to try to hide from you, Arizona Cardinals running back Andre Ellington.

Dre ranked 24th in fantasy scoring last season among running backs, but if you watched the Birds play enough last season, you saw some flashes that lead you to believe he could be really special this year. So I decided I was going to play ignorance with Ellington, maybe talk up a few other guys and maybe sneak him on my team a bit later.

And then (expletive) got crazy.

First, Bruce Arians got all blabby about Ellington, as he talked about how he could be a star in the making down there in the desert. Like seriously, Arians, I thought we were bros. Remember the time I complimented you on your bowler hat? (Wait, what he's wearing is called a bowler, right?) But here's what the coach had to say.

"We want to build our offense around him," Arians said of Ellington.

(Expletive) perfect.

If that's true, that means he's totally going to be on everybody's radar. And if it's coach-speak, it means the team will draft a running back, sign an MJD-type, or Stepfan Taylor is going to have a monster year.

So again, (expletive) perfect.

And then Rashad Mendenhall went and retired. Which again pushed Ellington's name right dab-smack on everybody's radar. That's just perfect.

So now the true crisis of conscious is if Ellington will still count as a sleeper. Or if he's going to be the victim of the David Wilson Hype Machine. You might be inclined to note it should be named the C.J. Spiller Hype Machine. Because Ellington went to Clemson like Spiller. And you have a solid point there.

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However, the C.J. Spiller Hype Machine is for those guys who sneak into the first-round, maybe even the second pick of the draft, even though they might not deserve it. Like Spiller did last year. Seriously, I was at Fantasy Draft Week in New York last year, and some dude drafted Spiller with the second-overall pick. All because he was supposed to "run until he pukes." Only fantasy rosters with Spiller on it were violently regurgitated in 2013.

DeMarco Murray is somebody who could fall into this category, this year. I'm not saying he will, just saying he can. Seriously, you don't have a Cowboys honk in your fantasy league who is going to do something crazy like drafting Murray ahead of LeSean McCoy because Darren Sproles has been added to the mix? He'll also clearly ignore the injury history of Murray. And don't be a smart (donkey) and tweet me to say Murray did play 14 games last year. Yeah, he totally did. But guess what, slick? Darren McFadden played in 13 games during his third season (last year was Murray's third season) and everybody was convinced he had licked his injury problems and was primed for a huge year! And we know how that ended.

I suppose what I'm saying is Ellington is more in line with Wilson who became a second-round darling last year. I even remember some drafts where Wilson went ahead of Matt Forte for (expletive) sake. (Don't make me call out the person it was.) It was nuts. So he's on the David Wilson Hype Alert radar.

Still, I do like him as a sleeper. Our resident Hall of Famer Michael Fabiano has him going in the fifth round. That would be a great spot for him. Even if the Birds draft a running back, or sign a veteran. But who am I trying to kid here? Ellington is going to be seen as a third-round pick by the time the summer comes around. But we'll still have those idyllic times when Ellington was a sleeper and we'll reminisce about it. Kind of like how you will sit around and say, "You know what; Glengarry Glen Ross was an epic movie." And then you'll go watch it again. At that point you'll realize that if you take away Alec Baldwin from this movie and it kind of sucks. Even then, if you've heard Baldwin's voice mails on TMZ or something, you realize he's not acting. At all.

But you know what, Ed Harris kicked (butt). He always does.

*I wanted to explain the phrase "league of record" quick as you've probably heard me go on and on about it. Basically, we all play in multiple leagues but there is always one you care about the most. Hence, your league of record. You might ask what my league of record is. Well, it's not the 'experts' league on Fantasy Live. Rather, it's my league with my childhood chums out in Corona, California. The I.E., baby

Meet the rest of Rank's 11:

» Montee Ball

» Latavius Murray

Follow Adam Rank on Twitter @adamrank

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