Hobby QBs – Is It Time to Start Playing it Safe?

Remember how white hot Derek Carr was during the offseason? What about Jameis Winston? Both were so popular among the prospecting crowd that I got in the mix too. At the national convention, you literally couldnt find their cards. Now, with the season almost 60% done, things have changed. Although Carr hasnt hit rock bottom or even close, he has clearly been overtaken by two names who look to have an inside track to the playoffs. One is Carson Wentz, and the other is Jared Goff.

Check out these insane prices:

2016 Contenders Carson Wentz Sepia Ticket Auto BGS 9.5

2016 Optic Carson Wentz Auto RC /99

2016 Contenders Jared Goff Auto Variation /25

2016 National Treasures Jared Goff RC Auto Patch Green /16

Right now, the Eagles look to be one of the best teams in the league. A crazy good defense with Wentz leading a high powered offense and scoring consistently. The Rams are on a good pace too, and like the Eagles are playing in a two horse race for the division title. Both Wentz and Goff have performed on an MVP pace, and its looking like they have a lot more room before they hit the ceiling.

Problem is, look back over the last few years. The hot hand gets so hot in the hobby that people start throwing money around like they are surefire hall of famers. Last year Prescott looked destined to be the next rookie to win a Super Bowl, and the year before that it was Matt Ryan. All in all, the league has enough parity that it is close to impossible to do what Brady, Manning, and Rodgers have done. Be consistently good on a consistently good team. Not only that, but drive immense value in your cards along the way. I might put Roethlisberger in that group too, but off the field issues and general distaste for him havent exactly put him in the top value tier despite his accomplishments.

My whole point is this – should we continue to dive in head first the second a QB gets a hot hand? Historical evidence says that is probably the worst possible thing a collector could do. There arent many guys who get to the point where Brady is in the hobby, and he is the only one in league history to have the resume he does. If that is the case, why treat other guys like they are on that level? We sure spend money like that, and its taken money away from players who are among the best ever at their position. Because those players arent QBs, they get half the attention, if not less.

I commented recently that out of the last 10-20 years, there have been only a small handful of players that have achieved upper tier sustained value in the hobby. When 40 rookies a year go to the premiere in LA, you can see the huge discrepancy that exists in comparative value. The chance that any rookie makes it to their second contract, let alone their fourth, is a shrinking percentage of success. With the rookie wage scale, having all that success with one team is even less common.

With no real progress to discovering what will be the next jersey card or booklet card innovation in the hobby, and with such little progress towards a heavily creative and compelling football calendar, Ive lost a lot of faith in the hobby’s potential to support an unsustainable industry. Football is more diluted than ever, thanks to Panini’s insane decision to guarantee 31 NFL products a year (plus more for NCAA). Regardless of said fact, no one seems to understand that dropping a mortgage payment on Derek Carr’s potential or Carson Wentz’s super bowl odds is not a good idea.

Ive become so disillusioned with the populace’s inability to process comparative value across rookie classes, that I just dont get why anyone is surprised that things can go south so quickly. Look at Deshaun Watson. On pace for a record year, and it ends on a non-contact injury in practice. No guarantee he will ever be able to recapture that greatness. Why do we continually fall for the biggest lie in sports?

What is that lie, you might ask?

That this one rookie card or this one player will be the next Brady, and that investing in that potential is worth the risk.

Spoiler alert – every single part of every single stat will show that 99% of the time, its the dumbest possible thing you can do.

7 thoughts on “Hobby QBs – Is It Time to Start Playing it Safe?

  1. On the Wentz Contenders Ticket, look at the # of bid retractions the top three bidders have over the past 6 months. LOL

    Good lord, that is worst than most PWCC auctions.

    Fishy bid retraction history means fishy bidding in general.

  2. Further down there is a bidder with 17 bid retractions. The shadiness of bidding on ebay is at epic levels.

  3. Yikes, that Optic Wentz sure is an ugly card… Was lucky to score a Cracked Ice /24 Goff in an $8 Contenders pack last year (probably should sell it while it’s hot). But, yeah, chasing nearly any rookie (including QB’s) is probably a losing proposition on the secondary market. Part of it, though, is just impulse buying (“I have to have it now!”) versus any sort of logical financial strategy. Over time, though, the market evens out, so those with patience can track down most of these cards at a reasonable price if they’re willing to wait (i.e. let someone else eat the cost of chasing “hot” rookies).

  4. This article is exactly why I am going back buying Vintage Chicago Bears !!

  5. I guess the site isn’t really “uncensored” given the comments are censored and sometimes kept from being posted.

  6. Im just not on approving comments as much anymore. Not that im not posting them, just dont have a lot of time to dedicate to the nuts and bolts of the site like I used to.

  7. I just found this site and am really impressed. I started collecting as a kid from 1986 (picture Jerry rice rookie) through 1994 (Marshall Faulk) and started up with football again in 2011 (Sam Bradford). Everything I’ve been reading on here is confirming my recent thoughts. I have disposable income now and actually want to buy packs but all I have to do is look at my stack of undrafted free agent autos to get a reality check. So I instead put my money into very established players (like blue chip stocks). Even when I’ve gotten a good hit I’m yet to even be able to flip for the cost of the box. Now I’m not in this to make money but rather to flip and add more to my PC. Since my comeback I’ve only focused on football. Are baseball and basketball similar? I really want to open packs and understand the gamble but want a chance that would beat slots at a casino now and again. I may have read this hear but all I can figure out is panini is the only one doing well which won’t last much longer like as you can only skin the cat so many times. As far as suggestions…lower pack prices which hurts in short term but provides long term sustainability particularly with kids and stop in with 6 or whatever guaranteed auto when 5 are undrafted free agents and 1 is a first or 2nd round offensive lineman.

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