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Rank's 11 sleepers: Sterling Shepard a draft-day steal

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Hold on to your hats everybody, because I have a huge sleeper for you. But here's the thing; you can't go telling everybody. I need all of you to agree to keep cool, and not spread this around. No Tomfoolery. No chicanery. Nothing! So here it is. My top sleeper for this season is (wait for it) ... Ezekiel Elliott.

Mind blowing, right?

All right. The secret is out about Elliott. Kind of like when Robert Logia (RIP) tells President Whitmore that the secret is out about Area 51 in "Independence Day." Which I mean, come on. The aliens know so much about us, but don't know about Area 51? That's really the only unrealistic plot-point of that movie.

Speaking of unrealistic, how about those expectations for Elliott, amirite? Seriously. (Expletive) is starting to get a little out of hand, right? Just think about this tweet I blasted the moment Elliott was drafted by the Cowboys.

And now he's being talked about as a first-rounder. Maybe even the first running back off the board. Speaking of which, to see where I have him ranked for the coming season, you're going to need to check out my Rank's 111 -- my top 111 fantasy players headed into 2016. Spoiler alert, he's in the top 100.

So there is no sense burning a sleeper spot for Elliott. He's in the mix. Heavily. All right, I can't contain myself. He's going to be the top running back off the board. If you don't think so, think of where Todd Gurley placed last year. Gurley was on a worse team, with a coach who doesn't really know what he's doing and there was little to no real NFL talent around him. Well, it was real NFL talent. Just not real good NFL talent. Like Tavon Austin would own if he showed up at UCLA and played intramurals. But he's not super great compared to NFL players.

Still read Rank's 111. Plus Alex Gelhar and Marcas Grant provided their top 100s as well. You might want to get a consensus of what they think and see how it jives with how you feel. Really, what we all do is read the guy who thinks a lot like you and ranks plays like you do. Which is why I love Brad Evans and Jake Ciely.

But let's get down to business with Rank's 11. It's not going to be 11. These are my top rookie sleepers; but I've got to keep the Rank's 11 brand going. We're all about brand building here. By the way, be sure to purchase your "That Helps No One" T-shirt!

All right, here are my guys.

Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants

Shepard is like adding bacon to your sundae. You never knew that you needed it; but once you have it, you can't live without it. The Giants already have a pretty prolific offense. Eli Manning is a solid fantasy option. (I have him as the No. 6 fantasy quarterback headed into the season and he will likely be the guy I end up taking to be my quarterback for the year because I'm going to wait. I'm also going to take Stephen Gostkowski in the fifth-round, because I always blow my fifth-round picks.)

Malcolm Mitchell, WR, New England Patriots

Figures the Patriots would end up with this guy. Now, Bill Belichick has whiffed pretty hard on receivers in the past. But here he's got a guy who was in a legitimate pro-style offense at Georgia and excelled. His route running is amazing and he has great hands. His production at Georgia isn't eye-popping, but when you play on a team with Todd Gurley and Nick Chubb, well, your production is going to take a hit. He's going to be a sneaky good role player towards the end of the season, especially when Tom Brady returns from his vacation.

D.J. Foster, WR, New England Patriots

He's an undrafted free-agent. He might not even make the main roster this season. But the dude is the real prototypical Bill Belichick type of guy who can be asked to do a lot of different things. Foster played running back at Arizona State before he converted to wide receiver. Foster is somebody to keep in mind in your dynasty drafts. Probably deep dynasty drafts, but I do want you folks to watch him during camps to see how he progresses. I'm excited already to see him in preseason games.

Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints

Maybe I'm a touch biased because I remember Thomas having the game of his life against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl (which will be his home for the next few years). I like that he's going into a situation where he has a great quarterback. He's got Brandin Cooks to play with too, so that should free him up a little bit. He's got the size to make an impact in the red zone. Brees likes to look at his tight ends, but Thomas could body-up to make some plays. He's the kind of guy who could score five to six touchdowns. But given Brees' knack to cluster his receiver's production, you need to know which three weeks those touchdowns will come from.

Paul Perkins, RB, New York Giants

I already feel like he's the Giants' best running back on the roster. Man, he really never got credit for what he did for the Bruins. Freshman quarterback Josh Rosen got all of the media attention out here in Los Angeles, but I always thought Perkins was a pretty great back. I really feel UCLA lacks imagination offensively, and even though it has a former NFL head coach at the top of the program, it has underachieved greatly. Seriously, Jim Mora is always rumored to be headed back to the NFL, and I'm like, shouldn't he have done something with the Bruins first? The talent is there. The wins, not so much.

Going back to Perkins, he's going to be a huge surprise for a lot of folks this season. He's going to be one of my last picks, but I'm already planning to stash him and laugh at everybody later. Seriously, thank you all for not staying up late to watch UCLA games. I'm going to appreciate that this year.

Roberto Aguayo, K, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

This was such an amazing pick. Hahaha. Man, I'm just kidding. What the (expletive) Bucs? I'm the guy who will take Gostkowski in the fifth round, but this is way too much. Shoot, I'm a huge Seabass fan and even I think this might be a little crazy. Mostly the trading up part.

Hunter Henry, TE, San Diego Chargers

First of all, tell me his middle name starts with an H. I will be happy to call him Double H this season. I can't wait to cut Triple H promos in the Danger Zone, too. But let me tell you something, this dude can straight-up ball. Antonio Gates is going to fall off huge this year. Henry is going to get busy for your fantasy team. Look, if you don't want to take Austin Hooper because rookie tight ends rarely produce, that's cool. Henry is going to be a monster. Rob Gronkowski had 10 touchdowns during his rookie season. I feel like Double H can post similar returns.

I think we'll call it right now before I start talking about Daniel Lasco or something.

Why wait? CLICK HERE to get your 2016 NFL Fantasy season started.

-- Follow Adam on Twitter @adamrank

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