This was a good kickoff weekend for a number of collectors, as there were some rookies that definitely showcased exactly why they were collector favorites for most of the offseason and preseason. Others looked like they needed a few more minutes in the oven. Here are some of the top rookies and how they fared.
Marcus Mariota – 209 yards, 4 TDs
The hobby will overvalue his performance in the blowout victory, and that makes me incredibly happy. Although he didnt really wasnt asked to do much in the way his passes were choreographed, his execution was nothing short of perfect. I say the hobby will overvalue because EVERYONE overreacts to week one, and that is what makes football so much fun. This type of a performance will set up WEEKS worth of product releases, even if he struggles against a team that wasnt the worst in football a year ago. People will chase his cards like they have been since the game started, and trust me, we need every last piece of that action in this hobby. Think back to what that catch did for Beckham, and this could do some similar things at a much more important hobby position.
His cards are legitimately on fire right now:
Ameer Abdullah – 50 yards RUSH, 1 TD, 44 yards REC
There was no other rookie who gained the most hype over the preseason than Ameer Abdullah, thanks to some flashy running during the early games. He was able to put up an impressive breakaway TD in the first quarter of the loss to SD, which is good to see that he has been able to get some results early on. Although he didnt rush for 100 yards, it was good to see him get his spotlight as the afternoon games started.
His cards were already selling well coming out of the preseason:
Jameis Winston – 210 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INT
Pro football focus ranked Winston’s performance just ahead of Matt McGloin, which isnt a good sign, but it wasnt the overall performance that will hurt his hobby value. In a world where the hot take reigns supreme, his opening throw getting picked for a score will haunt his value until he turns it around. Even if he plays mediocre for the next few games, that play will get as much air time as Mariota’s huge game. Scary. Tampa is truly terrible, again, and we knew that it would take Winston getting some offensive line help and a running game before he would be able to really put a stamp on his potential. Dont give up now.
Cards are on a downturn, but all it takes is one good week:
Amari Cooper – 5 catches, 44 yards
Its not good that Carr injured his hand before the game really got going. Matt McGloin is not Derek Carr, and Cooper’s day likely suffered as a result. They got blown out by the Bengals, and although he didnt exactly shit the bed, he didnt get the numbers that Im sure a lot of people would hope he could get against a defense that was pretty damn good last year. If he put up a big day, it would say a lot about his ability. Without Carr, its just not a good representation.
You can still get his cards pretty cheap either way, and I dont think its a bad idea:
Melvin Gordon – 55 yards RUSH, 0 TD, 16 yards REC
I hate when coaches give the red zone carries to someone other than the feature back. Woodhead in all his “gritty” and “lunchbox” glory got two TDs on the day, including a run from a yard out. It put quite the damper on Gordon’s numbers on paper, and that isnt good for the hobby. Lets hope he gets the looks next time San Diego is near the goal line.
Here is what his cards have done since then:
Its worth reinforcing that this is just week one, but this is what every collector has been waiting for since the first 2015 products hit the shelves. There were more rookies who played well, including Karlos Williams and Rashad Greene, who both had TDs in their games. I think that there will be much more action to judge in the coming weeks, and its not in anyone’s best interest to judge anyone – including Mariota – on one performance. There is thankfully a shit ton of football left to be played, and I cannot be more excited.