When it comes to banner years, 2012 is about as close to amazing as you can get. Not only were there a number of impact rookies that established themselves as future superstars in the league, but they did so in ways that made them extremely valuable across the hobby. Now that we are halfway through their sophomore season, who is slumping and who is winning?
I mentioned earlier that Luck is becoming a player that can be considered for hobby MVP. Not only are his autographs selling like mad, but his team is playing out of their mind. I love what Luck brings to the table, and I really believe he is in as good a position as any of the 2012 Rookies to be a true superstar. If I am buying any of the 2012 players for a future consideration, Luck may be past the point where he is a reasonable buy, but there is still room for value appreciation if they go deep in the playoffs.
Robert Griffin III
I was not excited for RGIII’s potential coming into 2013, if not only because of the knee issue he had back at the end of the year. When leg injuries plague a running QB, its never a good thing for their future value, especially if that player has had previous injuries in the past. Michael Vick has struggled with this for his entire career, and as a result has never had the success he could have had when healthy. RGIII will likely play well next year, but this year is not quite the best he could have had based on his play as the 2012 rookie of the year. Not saying he is ever going to be worthless as long as he is on the field, just that it could have been MUUUCH better.
When he was traded from the Browns, everyone was excited that he would get to play on a much better team. Although he has had a few TDs, he has yet to really make a splash in Indianapolis. His yards per carry and overall production continue to be a big question mark, which may or may not be related to the quality of the Colts’ offensive line. He has had a lot of reason to have value as one of the last true featured backs in Cleveland, but with his transition to the Colts, that status has brought his future into question. Im not sold that Richardson is out of luck, but he definitely needs to step it up.
I thought that Wilson was in prime position to put together a great 2013 coming into the year, and so far, his Seahawks have played very well in the first 8 weeks. They are on their way to battling San Fran for the NFC west title, and Wilson has played quite well along the way. Its not up to where he was last year, at least in terms of stats, but he isn’t in a place where I would question what he is putting up on the board each week. With Percy Harvin coming back soon, I think he will be in a very good position for the playoffs.
I was actually pretty surprised by how much the Bucs got out of Martin last year, as it was not expected that he would end up being the second best back of the rookie class. The issue is that Tampa Bay has turned into one of the worst teams in the league, and will likely finish with a top pick in the 2014 draft. Martin also suffered a shoulder injury that has limited his production, and his hobby value has definitely felt that impact. He could be back this season, but either way, I don’t think it really matters.
Its rare that late round picks have the success that Alfred Morris had, and I was wondering how much of that production was related to the system he was playing in. Shannahan always does well with backs like Morris, and it should be no surprise that he was a top candidate for ROY. Even though the Skins haven’t been great, he is averaging over 5 yards a carry and has 4 TDs so far. He is well on his way to a 1000 yard season, but RBs rarely have value anymore unless you are Adrian Peterson or a HOF retired guy. That hurts for a player like Morris who deserves that consideration.
There is still a lot of football left to be played in 2013, and I think there are opportunities to turn around the slumping seasons for a lot of these players. We also see that playoffs have huge effects on value, so that will always be a factor. I think 2014 will have potential to put us on a similar course with a ton of offensive weapons coming out in the draft, so we will have to see what happens with 2012 players as a benchmark to value the new class for next year. I love this part of the hobby and cant wait to see what happens.