The Playoffs and Card Values

Everyone knows that when a player does well in the playoffs, regardless of sport, the card values immediately respond. When Tom Brady won his first Super Bowl, his cards went nuts. When Peyton Manning won his first playoff game, the same thing happened. The card values may already be high in most of the cases, but a national stage only perpetuates more value. At this point, when you are holding a card for a player you have no attachment to, this is your chance to sell and for a lot more money than normal. The playoff bump doesnt last forever, and its always wise to cash in while you can.

Here is a list of players that should get some nice bumps come December and January:
The No Doubters

Adrian Peterson – Peterson has only played in one game, and did reasonably well. If he pulls off a big game, it could be a fire sale on his cards for the people holding them. However, he is already the most expensive non-retired player, so who knows.
Brett Favre – Favre’s values have been rising ever since he put on the purple, but it could get crazy if the Vikings go deep into the playoffs. Look for a ridiculous spike on all his Vikings cards and a generous bump on the Packers ones if he wins or has a big game. SPA and Exquisite should be the first place for on card Vikings autos.
Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice – Harvin is already at or near the top of the class in rookie value, but the Playoffs could do some crazy things for his numbers. Rice’s value has been climbing just the same, so a big 10 reception game with a few TDs could do wonders for his undervalued cards.
Peyton Manning – I dont think there is a ceiling for his cards, but a huge playoff game could give some big bumps to his already high cards. He has so many cards that its tough to predict where they would end up, but it could go very nicely for those of you who have them.
Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon – Two guys that are ridiculously undervalued as receivers and one with barely any cards. If you have the chance to pick up cards for either one do so now, because a Colts playoff run will make you lots of money.
Joseph Addai – Everyone loved Reggie Bush, but Addai got very little love. Its too bad, because he definitely deserves it. Addai is primed for a great game and that will help your Addai cards tremendously.
Drew Brees – I cant say anything that hasnt already been said for Brees. His rookie cards are at peak value right now, but his other cards arent quite there – YET. If he does well again this year in the playoffs, its game on.
The Probably Players
Carson Palmer – I think Palmer is a player that hasnt gotten enough of the credit for the Bengals success. The guy has played like an elite QB all year, and his cards havent really adjusted from previous follies quite yet. I think Palmer is a great pickup.
Kyle Orton – I have seen odd things happen with Orton’s cards over the last few years, but this one is definitely his best. If he does well, the cards should hit peak value for the first time.
Brandon Marshall – Marshall has had a great season, but generally collectors are weary of latching on to a guy labeled as a troublemaker. Marshall could break out, and really suprise people.
Knowshon Moreno – Moreno is another top value guy and he should get better as the Broncos gear up for the playoffs. If he has a huge game, his values will spike more than you can imagine due to the Peterson effect. Collectors love running backs that they see have amazing games, and the playoffs will do that ten fold.

Tom Brady – Cards are already high for him, but lack of sigs have made recent values higher than normal. He had a few stickers in 2008 and 2009, but nothing on card for a long time. This could be the year where he gets some of that 2007 value back.
Laurence Maroney – Maroney’s value hit rock bottom last year, and I see him earning that back a little with a potentially big game in the first round. He has had the best year of his career so far, and with all the injuries, he should get the majority of the touches.
Randy Moss – Moss has had little to nothing in the last few years, predictably, and I see even better things this year for those early cards if he continues to be awesome.
The Maybe Guys

Aaron Rodgers – Rodgers deserves more credit than he gets in a lot of cases, and the 2009 playoffs could be the stage to do it. His cards have been going up dramatically, and this year will be it if he can get the Packers to the post season. Its going to be tough with Baltimore next week, but maybe they can pull it off. If they make it, he is going to be incredible.
Chris Johnson – I hate Chris Johnson because his sig sucks, but his cards will skyrocket if the Titans can pull off a miracle comeback. He will never have top value as long as his sig stays the way it is, but cards will respond to a game like the ones he has had this year.
Maurice Jones Drew – Like Addai, MJD doesnt have the following that he deserves. I expect him to do great things in years to come, and the playoffs may be the stage to bring collectors on board. Hopefully he will be able to have a good game and get those cards up to where they should be.
Jeremy Maclin – Maclin has put together a good year, but is not the top guy as a WR and due to his lack of consistent production. He will be great in the long run due to the Eagles lack of options, so this may be a good time to pick up some of his stuff beforehand.
Rashard Mendenhall – Mendenhall was hurt all last year, so his value was crap, but this year, it has all come back around. Again with a shitty sig (what is with 2008 RBs?), but he is a Steeler, so that will help. They still have to get there, but his playoff run should bring his cards to peak value.
Mike Wallace – I dont have the same feelings on Wallace that others do, but he has had a good season. He is the Steelers’ only position rookie, so his value could spike if he gets involved in a big game. He has become an all or nothing guy in 2009, with some great games and others where he has gotten junk.
Ben Roethlisberger – Ben’s cards have always been high as the savior of the Pittsburgh regime, but who knows what will happen if he enters Brady territory with his third ring.

NFL Halfway: Players On The Rise / Players On The Decline

This season, there has been a lot of drama. A lot. Breakout performances, career ending slumps, and all of the stuff in between. I have spent the last 8 mondays covering the rookie side of things, but havent really focused on the veterans. Here is my take on the midway point of the NFL season.

Players On The Rise:
Aaron Rodgers – He lives in the shadow of greybeard, but he has had an absolutely phenomenal season. He has been sacked 31 times due to a banged up O-Line and his lack of quick release, but he still has one of the best QB ratings in the league. He also has more rushing yards than any of the others at the top, and has led Green Bay through their injury bugs to a second place record. His cards should be going nuts right now, but they arent. If you have the chance, this guy could be at the top soon, buy now.
Chris Johnson – Two games over 200 yards, and a multitude of TDs on a shitty team. The guy will be great for years to come, despite what may be happening with his Titans. I see this year as more of a fluke in their record, but his stats have been solid since the beginning. When you play on a team like the Titans, to put up these stats is uncanny.
Drew Brees - The Saints are undefeated so far, and he is mostly the reason. I say that he is probably the best QB to have on your team right now, especially due to his ability to rally a locker room. The guy has amazing accuracy, can throw the deep ball, and is in contention again to measure up to Dan Marino. Pretty amazing. The funny thing is, he doesnt bring in the big bucks like Manning or Brady, and his rookie autos are still at pretty affordable prices considering what he has and will accomplish.
Andre Johnson – I cant say enough good things about Johnson, as he is just a freak of nature whenever he plays. There are maybe one or two corners in the league that could come close to covering him 1 on 1, but even then, he still has a huge advantage with size and speed. He doesnt sign much, so many of the card companies havent been able to get him in their sets. If you can find a rookie auto of his, drop the hammer on any reasonable price.
Reggie Wayne - Wayne plays his game a little differently than Johnson, but is still one of the most ridiculous players around. Every game he gets 12 catches, and could probably manage 5 catches playing one handed. Of course, it helps to have Manning throw you the ball, but still. Like most WRs, his cards are relatively cheap, and thats more of the tragedy of the position in this hobby. Not sure why. He has a good number of cards out there, and most can be had for cheap.
Maurice Jones-Drew – The human bowling ball never disappoints, especially when I go up against him in fantasy. He has put up two 3 TD games already, and has a ginormous YPC avg. Again, the Jags arent too good, but he sure is. His Exquisites go for absolutely nothing compared to what they should, and I think it is one of the better buys out there.
Miles Austin – If you want a poster child for unknowns making it big, here he is. He was undrafted coming out of school, and has been a 3 guy on Dallas’ roster for the last few years. Now that TO is gone, he has had the chance to shine, even playing behind Roy Williams. I think his cards have come up considerably lately, but should settle down. Im not sold quite yet, but Im getting there.
DeAngelo Williams – When it was him and DeShaun Foster, he showed nothing more than potential. Now that he is focus, its all production, all the time. He runs with such brute force coupled with speed and finesse, that its not hard to see why he is doing as well as he is. His cards were overshadowed by Bush and company before, and still havent reached the top. He deserves to be worth more than is right now.
Players on the Decline
Larry Johnson – LJ is a fucking idiot in every single way. The guy just doesnt know what’s good for him, and I fault his attitude. He was sent home for the second consecutive season this year, and has yet to make anything worth while in terms of a contribution this year. If you are still collecting him, I feel sorry for you.
Ladanian Tomlinson – Tomlinson is definitely coming up on the end of his career, and its pretty disappointing to watch. For someone that used to be as dominating as he was, to watch him struggle for 50 yards is unfortunate. This seems to be the norm with backs as of late, maybe its 8 years and out for everyone now.
Terrell Owens – I hate Terrell Owens as much as I hate Derek Jeter, but for completely different reason. While I think Jeter is a pretty admirable guy who has been overhyped by every reporter for the last 15 years, Owens is a legitimate asshole. He deserves to be a piece of shit, and I laugh every time I see him struggle.
LenDale White – Backs like White and Barber have a tough role in the NFL. Because they are only good at pounding it in for scores, they have to stay good at it to be considered a viable option. Barber is still very good, White isnt. Plus when Chris Johnson is the other guy in front of you, its tough to look good.

Brady Quinn, Jamarcus Russell and the other 2007 QBs - there isnt a more sorry group of NFL players than these guys. Quinn started, was benched, and then started again, and is now playing behind Derek Anderson who should be retired due to lack of ability. I think its just as much the team as the guy, but damn, when you cant even perfom to a minimal standard, its sad. Russell is a little different, as he is just terrible as people have come to see. Supposed to be a better Daunte Culpepper with more accuracy and better legs, he has instead turned into a guy that looks worse than Culpepper is now. Interception after interception, fumble prone, and the reason for his team’s shitty play, Russell is proof as to why its risky to draft a QB with a top pick.
Eli Manning – Not only did he not deserve the money he got, but he has never put up numbers to be considered among the elite QBs in the league. His SB win was definitely a team effort, and his last 3 losses in a row have shown how little he can do without a supporting cast. I have disliked him ever since he refused to play on the Chargers during the 2004 draft, forcing a trade for Phillip Rivers, but now he is more than that. He represents everything I hate about New York football. Overpaid players who cant do shit. He has a career passer rating of 77, and this year he has 8 interceptions, 3 lost fumbles and 13 TDs. Thats almost as many turnovers as scores for him. He isnt at the same place as some of the other guys on this list, but being paid what he is, he deserves to be here.
Kurt Warner - Im surprised he was able to do what he did last year, as most people thought he was done. This year he just looks old and out of place, and has thrown as many interceptions as TDs. Of course, his team is still doing okay, but his age is starting to be more than just a number. I dont think the Cardinals have many more options, but he is on his way out, again.
Reggie Bush – Im not sure how long before you can call someone a bust, but Bush is right on the cusp. He has had production, but not at the level he should have. Its obviously a size issue as well as a vision issue, as he has never shown that he has the presence of mind to be a top back in the league. Im sure there are a lot of people out there who are smacking themselves for investing as much as they had in
him.
Surprise of the First Half:
Five letters: F-A-V-R-E.
Rookie of the First Half:
I think Harvin has meant a ton to his team, but Sanchez probably still takes it.
Offensive MVP(s) of the first half:
Peyton Manning and Drew Brees (tie) – ridiculous numbers and undefeated records.
Defensive MVP of the first half:
Jared Allen – and thats not even a homer pick. Elvis Dumervil takes second.
Super Bowl Prediction time:
Eagles vs Colts, I can see the Eagles being the team to beat if they continue to play as well as they have, but the Colts are just too good. The Saints or Vikings could easily sneak in if they get lucky.
Its going to be a whirlwind second half, lets hope the second eight games are as good as the first eight.

NFL Rookie Battle Royale: Week 1

Thank the fucking lord its football time again. That’s all I gotta say. Yesterday was almost an out of body experience, as it was awesome just to take in all the action. I spent the entire morning gearing up for the Vikings game, and when it came time, my excitement was at critical mass. Now that Sunday is over, the Vikings are huge winners, and we have some idea as to a few rookie roles, I want to go over the weekly rookie recap for all you prospectors out there. Each week, in place of last year’s value bumps, ill run down some of the top rookie performances and go over what it should mean for their cards. Hopefully this can help a few of you out. It has only been one game, small sample size rule in effect, so take this as you will.

Mark Sanchez

From the beginning of it all, Sanchez was pretty highly touted as the one NFL ready QB in the draft. He gave a lot of credibility to that sentiment as he led his team to a big victory over the Texans. His TD was a wide open throw to Chansi Stuckey, but the rest of his performance wasn’t as easy. You can bet dollars to donuts that his cards are going to spike this week due to his good game, but im sure there will be just as many bad weeks as there are good ones. Be wary of holding his stuff too long, however, Sanchez did look like the real deal.

Matthew Stafford

It was established early on that Stafford was going to have a very tough time doing well with such a poor team in front of him. Yesterday was definitely a testament to that as he threw three interceptions and no touchdowns in a Lions loss. Granted, the Saints are one of the better teams in the league, and a tough start to a career that is going to be rough at first, but Stafford did not perform very well. The Lions were kind of in it for some of the game, but no one doubted the success of Brees and company who rolled all over them in the fourth quarter. Stafford’s value shouldn’t drop too much, but it was never a wise idea to hold him in the first place.

Percy Harvin

When Sunday’s game ended, I was practically shaking from the excitement over what the combination of AD, Favre and Harvin could bring. Harvin was the only non-QB rookie to score a TD on Sunday, and had some KEY runs and catches near the goal line to help the Vikings. He was as good a decoy in addition, as I saw the Browns try to account for him every time he stepped onto the field. He also had a couple good kick returns that set up the team close to the 50, and should be a major contributor in the futrure for the Vikings. He isnt going to be 1998 Randy Moss this year, but he is worth a look either way. His values are already pretty high, so it may be better to wait until he cools off a little, but once he does, get on it.

Beanie Wells

For every OSU fan in the world, there are probably three OSU haters, all of who’s eyes were on Wells yesterday. He got as many carries as Hightower, but didn’t get much of a good look due to a good showing by the Niners’ defense. I would say that Wells should end up with one of the better seasons for the rookie RBs, but he will need to improve dramatically. There was one play where he just went the wrong direction and basically left a 38 year old Warner to fend for himself, something that will not fly in this league. Its mistakes like those that could hurt him, though I doubt it will happen again.

LeSean McCoy

Many of us were on board with McCoy before the Eagles even took him in the draft. When the Eagles did take him, a lot of collectors saw a lot of room for growth behind Westbrook, who was coming off an injury season. Its great to see that McCoy put up the best numbers of all the big rookie running backs, even though it was only 46 yards. He should have a good season, though the McNabb injury definitely hurts those chances. I would say that him and Donald Brown will fight it out for best rookie back after it is all said and done, even moreso if Westbrook goes down again.

Donald Brown

Brown got some carries yesterday, though he only averaged 3 yards per. Addai is going to be the focus until he cant run, so Brown will be delegated to off series. He should do pretty well, if only because the Colts will do well, and could put up a five or six TD season. I wouldn’t go running out to buy any of the rookie back cards, but Brown is cheap enough that it may not be a bad idea. His value didn’t go very high in the off season because he didn’t have throngs of college fans chasing his stuff, but he should be good enough for you to take a look at.

Knowshon Moreno

I don’t think yesterday’s game was a good measure of Moreno’s potential, mainly because NO ONE did well, but I think his eight carries for nothing bear some concern for the people that have him as a target. Peyton Hillis looked like he went down, meaning Moreno’s carries will go up, but he needs to perform even when he is back number three. I say that Moreno shouldn’t have a bad season, its just not going to be crazy. If you are holding his cards, be sure to prepare yourself for a longer wait than I once expected.

Mike Wallace

Before Thursday, I didn’t know who Mike Wallace was. Much to the chagrin of Titans fans, he became the pride of Steelers nation after the game, basically securing a win for them with a huge catch in OT. His cards are not going to be worth anything until he shows any consistency, but you can see why his values went from scrub to a little more than scrub after his catch.

Johnny Knox

Last, but not least, Johnny Knox was week 1’s top rookie receiver in terms of yardage, so far. He may have only caught 2 passes, but his 68 yarder was a step away from a TD. He caught another ball for more yards, making him a surprise for the Bears, also solidifying his place on the roster. Knox was not a premiere guy, so his autos are probably numbered pretty high, but that also means that you can easily pick a few of them up for a receiver who may make you a few dollars if he continues to play well.

Im still eager to see how Hey Bey and the other Monday night rookies perform tonight, but I am looking just as much towards next week with a few of the rookies with possible good games. I would look for Harvin against the Lions, Moreno against the Browns, and Brown against Miami.