I will preface this article by saying this topic is definitely one that can be subjective. Based on my perception, I am going to be presenting what I feel are the top five licensed chase cards for rookies each season. Because there are so many different sets that are released, it can be tough to make a list like this, but in terms of the way it shakes out when all products are on the table, this is how I imagine the rankings to be.
1. Topps Chrome Superfractor Auto RC 1/1
When you see how much these cards sell for, it should make everyone question the place of event used jersey relics in cards. These cards achieve top billing from a box that has an MSRP of less than 80 bucks, does not have patch content to increase value, and have shown to be some of the most valuable modern cards in existence. They have to be the unquestioned master of the NFL collector base, as everyone wants a Superfractor for their player collection.
2013 Topps Chrome EJ Manuel Superfractor Auto 1/1
2011 Topps Chrome Colin Kaepernick Superfractor Auto 1/1
2011 Topps Chrome Jake Locker Superfractor Auto 1/1
2. National Treasures NFL Shield Auto RC 1/1
There are times when player quality can affect the way these cards are valued, but for the most part, they are usually number 2 on the list. National Treasures has taken Exquisite’s place as the highest valued set on the market, but I think that is only by default, not because it is earned. I think the base rookie patch autos have been pretty disappointing in their design over the last few years, but as we have seen, that matters very little to collectors. Sad state of affairs, but it is what it is.
2012 National Treasures Nick Foles Auto Shield 1/1
2011 National Treasures Andy Dalton Auto Shield 1/1
2011 National Treasures Demarco Murray Auto Shield 1/1
3. Topps Finest On Card Auto Superfractor 1/1
Prior to 2012, a case can be made that the Contenders Championship Ticket deserves the number 3 spot on this list, but I don’t think that has been the case. Even in 2011, the Cam Newton Superfractor sold for bat shit crazy money, and over the last two years, these cards have sold for remarkable prices. I don’t think they will be eclipsed by Championship Tickets on a regular basis, but it can vary year by year.
2012 Finest Andrew Luck Auto Superfractor 1/1
2013 Finest Geno Smith Auto Superfractor 1/1
4. Contenders Championship Ticket Auto 1/1
I absolutely loved the retro throwback for 2012, and I am a similar fan of the 2013 design. The problem is, before that many of the Contenders ticket designs were so hideous that I cant understand how they maintain a place within the hobby. Although Andrew Luck’s 1/1 was bid up to 40K last year, it didn’t change hands at that price, leading to a much more reasonable sale that finished below the Finest Superfractor. Condition is always an issue, and the Luck ticket had some major problems. These cards are pretty much a toss-up with the Finest cards, but I put them lower due to the way Finest has performed recently.
2012 Contenders Robert Griffin III Auto Championship Ticket 1/1
2010 Contenders Eric Decker Championship Ticket Auto 1/1
5. Topps Platinum Jumbo Patch Auto Superfractor 1/1
Its crazy that I am five cards into this and Five Star is nowhere to be found. Although Platinum is an early season release, the Superfractors sell better than Five Star does. This is despite having sticker autos and being pulled from a 100 dollar box. Although I think the Five Star cards SHOULD be on this list, collectors haven’t really caught on to their beauty yet. As a result, I think these cards are worthy of consideration.
2013 Platinum Justin Hunter Auto Jumbo Logo Patch Superfractor 1/1
2013 Platinum Montee Ball Auto Patch Superfractor 1/1
Panini Certified Mirror Black Auto Patch – A huge down year and reversion back to sticker autos hurt these cards.
Topps Platinum On Card Auto Superfractors – Although there are like 5,000 supers per player, they sell like hot cakes.
Topps Chrome Non-Auto Superfractor 1/1 – There are people out there that buy these up for crazy money.