Every week, for these first few games, there will be a player you have never heard of that has an incredible performance, leading to a lot of speculation. When this player is part of a widely collected team, their cards are set on fire, almost instantaneously. Week 1, Kevin Ogletree played on national television and had a ridiculous performance. Since then, absolutely nothing. Yesterday, Andre Brown lit it up in the absence of Ahmad Bradshaw, and from what I am seeing, collectors DID NOT learn their lesson the first five million times this has happened.
If you remember back in 2009, Brown was part of a New York Giants draft class that were ALL invited to the rookie premiere. This class also included fellow no-namer with a big game – Ramses Barden, both of whom have gained a significant amount of collector attention. Due to an injury, Brown didn’t get much playing time during the last few years, and as a result, I doubt even made it into the discount box. In fact, I vividly remember pulling both Barden and Brown in subsequent boxes of SP Authentic. I could have not been more upset.
Barden is seeing some action too:
To think that collectors are buying into a running back, on a team that has been recognized for its passing attack, while there is an established veteran that will be back, makes my head spin. Bradshaw is the guy, and the Giants just spent a first rounder on David Wilson, which shows that Brown will be part of a committee, regardless of how well he performs. THAT is not worth spending 50 bucks on an auto rookie for.
Oh, but people want to buy Ramses Barden too? Sure! Buy cards of a guy who is behind Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, and hasn’t caught more balls than you can count on one hand. I get that the Giants have a lot of collectors out there, but this is crazy how much people are paying. With only 16 games in each season, this is showcasing the fact that there are many small samples to chase. Rarely do guys like this become frequent contributors after their big games.
The running game in the NFL is a lost art. In fact, the feature back may never be what it was. Concussions, injuries, a cavalcade of new talent all contribute to the replaceable nature of these guys. If they are high first round picks with a lot invested, its one thing. If they are chip ins from late rounds, they are expendable. I don’t think many people get this. You know how many Toby Gerhart cards I have in my collection? One. Its signed to me personally when I met him in California a few years ago. That’s it. Because even if Peterson goes down again with some horrific injury, and he has a ridiculous game, Im STILL not buying in. There will be a parade of guys after him that can do it better for cheaper.
Guys like Barden and Ogletree are very similar, but they already play a less valuable position. With Brown, its like they expect him to be the next full time workhorse by the values people are paying right now. Guess what? Those don’t exist anymore. Its time to figure out what it really means to be smart with your money – even if you are a Giants fan.