Who Are the Undervalued Rookies of 2012?

Its easy to throw your weight behind players like Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III this year, if not only because of the hype machines that run them up with collectors all over the hobby. Even I cant help but falling in love with their potential. However, even though Luck has led his team to a 9-4 record, and Griffin is the highest rated passer of the class, there are MANY other under the radar guys I think deserve more attention than they are getting.

Russell Wilson

Right now, Russell Wilson is performing better than Andrew Luck is. He is almost performing as well as RGIII is. Yet, his value is NOWHERE near where the two big guys are selling. Obviously Luck has a much better pedigree, and RGIII is a prototypical type guy, but Wilson is having a rookie campaign the likes which should make him a VERY big pull in packs. Right now, that isnt the case.

2012 Topps Chrome Russell Wilson Patch Auto /50

2012 Topps Platinum Russell Wilson 2 Color Patch Auto Green Refractor /99

TY Hilton

I was skeptical when he was invited to the premiere and didnt show up. I was happy when that happened. Now that Andrew Luck has made him one of his favorite targets, I think that might have been a bad thing for collectors rather than a good thing. Each year, there are a handful of no-name guys that perform well, and many of them are one season and out. Hilton shouldnt be one of those guys, and his autos are ridiculously cheap considering what Justin Blackmon sells for, in Jacksonville no less.

2012 Topps Triple Threads TY Hilton Auto Triple Jersey /25

2012 Topps Finest TY HIlton Jumbo Jersey Auto /1368

Alfred Morris

As long as Mike Shannahan is the coach in DC, Morris should have some great seasons. The guy is a ridiculous force coming out of the backfield, especially when they run him out of the option style offense with RGIII attracting the attention he gets. As a sixth round guy, he wasnt at the premiere and didnt have many autos up until the second half of the year, so I have to believe he is worth a look.

2012 Panini Certified Alfred Morris Mirror Read Auto

2012 Panini Rookies and Stars Alfred Morris Auto

Doug Martin

You would think that everyone knows that the muscle hampster is a guy that warrants another look from collectors. Even though RBs have become expendable, guys like Peterson and Foster are representative of what Doug Martin’s cards could eventually sell for. The issue is that the flood of his autos will be never ending, especially now that we have products every week until February. That doesnt mean we should give up on Martin.

2012 Topps Finest Doug Martin Auto 3 Color Patch Gold Refractor /75

2012 Topps Chrome Doug Martin Pink Refractor Auto /75

Luke Kuechly / Harrison Smith

As a Vikings homer, its easy to see why I would say this stuff about a guy like Harrison Smith, but I think his resume and team affiliation speak for themselves. Fans in Minnesota are rabid, and Smith is a guy that could eventually be one of the top guys playing in the defensive secondary around the league. Because he is a defensive guy, he wont have many autos, and that plays right into my hand. As for Kuechly, his tackle counts are ridiculous, and he is another guy who can eventually be like Patrick Willis in this respect. Again, defensive players are rarely worth anything, but he is special. The problem is that the fan base in Carolina isnt exactly as faithful as the Vikings fans are.

2012 Certified Harrison Smith Mirror Red Auto

2012 Topps Chrome Luke Kuechly Auto RC

Not every rookie has the stats to be a collector favorite so far, but this is a different hobby than it used to be a few years ago. Just about every rookie has cards and autographs, including guys like Bryce Brown, but not everyone has the playing situation to be an impact player, year after year. Its easy to want to throw money at Kirk Cousins or even TJ Yates from last year, however, these guys have established and productive starters that will monopolize the playing time. No playing time = no value in the future, but this is a week to week hobby, and there is always a chance.

3 thoughts on “Who Are the Undervalued Rookies of 2012?

  1. The best hit I got out of Topps Chrome this year was a Doug Martin prism refractor rookie auto numbered to 50. Great looking card. I doubt I sell it. The guy has been having an awesome year and, amazingly, has only one fumble.

  2. I liked the title of your post but I was hoping you would go a little deeper than (for the most part) just listing off rookies who are selling well. I wanted some insight into rookies who had good stats but nobody realizes it. How about Josh Gordon, Chris Givens, or Rueben Randle. Just a few guys who have shown that they could be starters in a year or two.

    Obviously, it’s all about speculation but on the other hand, it’s easy to point to David Wilson right now and say he’s a rookie performing well. The challenge is finding next week’s David Wilson.

  3. I couldnt agree more with the above comment. I would also add that I am surprised that you of all people think that any of these guys are “undervalued”. Usually, you realize that most rookies are over valued and that the ceiling is set at its highest point during their rookie year. The guys mentioned above are going to be absolutely no different. I struggle to see ANY scenario where this years’ rookie crop is a prime target for speculation, and this is directly attributable to how many autos everyone is signing. With the ramped up production of both companies this year, there is no way in hell any of these guys are going to be worth more in 5 or 10 years than they are now. The only potential way to speculate is to buy the RPA’s out of Nat Treasures and potentially Five Star. Only those super high enders will bear any possibility of successful speculation.

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