There have been three surprise players this year, guys that have come on strong and blown out their respective numbers above the normal expectations that we have seen. Cam Newton had a record setting rookie year, but failed to recapture that magic in his second year. Nick Foles had limited playing time in his rookie year, but has literally exploded with amazing stats in his sophomore campaign. Both are now on their way to hobby dominance, and both may be considered for the MVP come the end of the year. Josh Gordon is a guy that no one suspected to dominate the way he has, especially on a team like the Browns were expected to be.
Back in 2011, Newton set the hobby world on fire during a season in which he set multiple rookie records. His cards were regularly selling for huge numbers, only to see that value die off as he struggled in 2012. In 2013, the Panthers have come on as one of the teams to beat, thanks in part to Newton’s resurgence as a top NFL QB. His hobby value has come back to match, as the fickle collecting base has seen what he is capable of. To match, his primadonna attitude has done a 180 as well, which could be a reflection of the teams success.
To think that Foles hadnt thrown an interception until this last game was crazy. His 7 TD game was similarly nuts, as I dont think many people expected him to perform the way he has. The Eagles are in control of their division, and unless the Cowboys defense decides to show up, he will likely be in the driver’s seat as they head into the playoffs. Like Newton, his cards took a bit of a hit at the end of last year, but he has bounced back with some big numbers as of late. I am not all the way sold on Foles as an elite QB until he can show replication of his numbers over the course a few seasons, but the guy looks really fucking good. I hope that he continues to be a great player, as that is always nice when a middle of the road rookie eventually comes on as a top guy in the class.
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I started writing this article about Newton and Foles, but I cant leave out the ridiculous season Josh Gordon is putting together. Even though he was suspended to start the year, his performance leads the league overall. The guy has just destroyed the competition, and collectors are loving what he brings to the table. As a WR, he wont have the same value, but he is quickly turning into a top guy at the position.
With both the Panthers and the Eagles likely playing in January, this might be the time to take a look at picking up cards while they are still cheap. Once the playoffs start, values get nuts, even more so if they win.