Some NFL Hobby Appreciation for the Under Appreciated Players

Football is a weird sport in this hobby, mainly because of the way collectors value certain positions. I think its weird that a player can be absolutely dominant at a skill position, and be worth less than a mediocre quarterback. I understand why QBs are valuable, as they are obviously the most important position on the team. To think that no other position has that type of value, however, is laughable. Here are some of the players that I would take a look at, as they are awfully cheap thanks to the position they play.

Jamaal Charles

Its easy to write this article after a five TD performance on Sunday, yet this has been the standard of play throughout his whole career. His brutal knee injury aside, Charles is arguably one of the best RBs in the game. I have talked endlessly about collectors letting RBs fall by the wayside, but I just cant see why that is the case. When a RB can put up the kind of consistent numbers that Charles has put up, he should have more value than he does.

2008 National Treasures Jamaal Charles Auto Patch RC /99 BGS 9.5

2008 Exquisite Jamaal Charles Auto Patch Gold RC /75

2011 Topps Five Star Jamaal Charles Auto Gold /25

Calvin Johnson

I am a huge fan of Calvin Johnson, who could eventually end up as the most statistically accomplished WRs in history. He wont be considered the best ever because its likely he will never win a Super Bowl, but the guy is easily the best in the league. He has set almost every single game record in the book, and will break some of the other career numbers before its all over. Card companies don’t really chase him because there is no value in WRs, and the lack of options out there has not done much to boost value. I think he should be worth a lot more than he is – and that is coming from a Vikings fan .

2008 Absolute Calvin Johnson Dual Patch Auto /10

2011 Panini Limited Calvin Johnson Auto Patch /10

Lesean McCoy

Like Jamaal Charles, McCoy is a dominant back who rarely gets the hobby love he deserves due to position. I think he has earned the respect of collectors over the years, but has yet to really get the value that a top guy deserves. He is well on his way to a rushing title this year, after being in the top few backs over the last couple seasons. He even plays for a highly collected team, which makes his lack of value even more confusing.

2010 Exquisite LeSean McCoy Auto Patch Gold RC /99

2011 Topps Five Star LeSean McCoy Auto Patch

2009 SP Authentic LeSean McCoy Auto Patch RC /999

AJ Green

When it comes to listing off the best receivers in the game, Green should easily be at number 2 below Calvin Johnson. The issue is that he plays in Cincinnati, which always presents an challenge with the size of the market, but it shouldn’t be as big a problem as it is. The fact that Green has almost single handedly made Andy Dalton’s numbers look much better than they are, should give him some extra credit, but his lack of personality doesn’t help the case. Like Calvin Johnson, he will struggle to maintain consistent prices because of his position and team, but that is absolutely crazy to me.

2011 Topps Five Star AJ Green Auto Inscription /25

2012 Topps Prime AJ Green Quad Patch Auto

2012 Contenders AJ Green NFL Ink Auto

Jason Witten

If you play for the Dallas Cowboys, your value should automatically be the highest if you are one of the best players at the positions. Witten is a first ballot HOFer, and has put up absolutely crazy numbers over his career for the league’s most popular team. I think that Witten deserves a bigger following because of his production at a very hard position to be successful at, and its sad that he doesn’t. TEs are some of the most underappreciated players in the hobby, and Witten is a prime example of how serious of an error that is.

2012 Panini Black Jason Witten Auto Relic /20

2010 Panini Plates and Patches Jason Witten NFL Logo Auto 1/1

Marshawn Lynch

Lynch is in a different group than McCoy and Charles, as he has made as big a name for himself through his personality as he has from his play on the field. The fact that he hasn’t played with the same team his whole career is a problem, but he is definitely one of the best backs in the league for the best team in the league. He has put up a mammoth amount of TDs since 2007, and his powerhouse running style is something to watch. Again, because he isn’t Adrian Peterson, he has no value to any collector out there.

2010 Topps Magic Marshawn Lynch SSP Auto

2013 Topps Chrome Marshawn Lynch 1000 yard club Auto /25

Bottom line, these guys are all drastically underpriced considering what they have accomplished in their careers and for 2013. I think it speaks to the ever dwindling number of collectors, as fewer and fewer player/team collectors are out there buying up stock from rippers and flippers. Without collectors to buy up the cards, there will never be enough demand to meet supply, so this is something that we should all be concerned about. I have said hundreds of times that the hobby will never die, as there will ALWAYS be collectors. On the other hand, those collectors are not as strong of a group any longer, so the cards are no longer worth as much. To see that the companies are on a repetitive streak of rehashed products that rarely bring the wow factor, only serves to hurt things too. This is just as much on them as it is on us. We need new blood with some money to spend – something that can NOT be solved with kids. This hobby needs a shot in the arm today, and I hope that some great seasons from top players like this will serve to bring that about. As collectors, we all should appreciate what they bring.

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