We’re finally at the point where we’re starting to feel the excitement: NFL teams have their rosters set, Fantasy lineups have been drafted, and card values are starting to rise in anticipation.
The NFL Season is almost here!
To prepare, we give you the 2022 NFL cards season preview.
The new season brings exciting potential, opportunities galore, and plenty of developing trends to anticipate.
In this article, we’ll project some storylines for 2022, look at breakout veterans to watch, rookies poised for a big year, and more.
One of the best ways to make money in sports card investing is by being a big enough sports junkie to follow the game and predict potential storylines for the upcoming season.
If you’re right about which teams to buy (or fade), then you build your investment portfolio around those projections. You won’t always be right about them all — even the best sports analyst miss the mark often — but if you’re right more than you’re wrong, it will pay off.
Here are some of our bold predictions for the upcoming NFL season.
Crazy, right? After an improbable Super Bowl run, how could the Bengals fall short of the playoffs this year? This is how: based on the way NFL scheduling treats division winners from previous seasons, the Bengals are going to have a significantly harder regular season.
On top of that, last year they played the easiest schedule against pass defenses. This year it’s the toughest, and they’re playing in a very competitive division.
Dallas took care of business in the division last year, stomping through the weak NFC East, but the Eagles have made improvements to their team and have a Super Bowl-worthy roster… except, perhaps, their quarterback.
This is the make-or-break year for Jalen Hurts, and by the end of the year, we’ll know about his future in Philly.
Last year, expectations were sky-high for 5 first-round quarterbacks. After this year, Trevor Lawrence will be the only one worth believing in. Wilson will continue to struggle, Fields will be a victim of a bad system, Mac Jones will make no strides as the Patriots offense struggles, and Trey Lance will be good… in fantasy football.
Don’t be surprised if Lawrence looks like the clear-cut best rookie in the 2021 class by the end of this season.
After a heartbreaking loss to the Chiefs in last year’s playoffs, this year’s the year for the Bills to make a Super Bowl run. They had one of the most statistically unlucky seasons in the NFL last year, and if that swings back toward average, they’ll be in a very good position.
It was either this or “Chargers make the Super Bowl,” and there’s definitely a world where both happen. The Chargers have the deepest roster they’ve had in a long time this season, and Herbert has shown he’s ready to do what it takes to carry the team.
Last season was probably the most pedestrian of Patrick Mahomes’s legendary (but young) career. He made mistakes, turned the ball over, and sportscasters were claiming he’s finally been “exposed.”
Don’t get it twisted. Mahomes is still one of the best, if not the best, quarterback in the NFL. But he wasn’t the clear-cut best last season, and this year he comes into the season with the most dynamic, unique field-stretching talent in the NFL: Tyreek Hill. Don’t be surprised if Mahomes looks more like 2021 Mahomes than 2019 Mahomes.
The NFL Card Schedule has been terribly behind schedule throughout all of 2022, largely thanks to Panini’s insistence on introducing new brands that nobody really wanted.
With that in mind, here’s a cautionary warning: don’t invest in any draft picks cards or any new brands in 2022. There are rumors that Fanatics is about to buy Panini America, and once that happens, nobody knows what the release schedule will look like moving forward, especially in regards to products. The safest move you can make is investing in the major brands.
The main staple, of course, will be the big-3 of Opti-chrome (Prizm, Optic, and Select), but if the timing is anything like it was in 2021, all of those brands will be coming out after the 2022 season.
The other cards worth considering are the high-end brands such as National Treasures and Flawless. Contenders is a great set for rookie autographs.
In addition to that, when it comes to buying singles, don’t go for unnumbered cards (even the Prizm silver, I’d advise). Instead, chase only numbered cards, rookie autographs, and nice RPAs. These are the cards that will withstand the test against overprinting, which I think we’ll all realize was an issue in the early 2020s some ten years down the road.
While the hype swirls usually swirl around the rookie class, some veterans deserve investment consideration. When you’re investing in a veteran, especially one who hasn’t “broken out” yet, you get in on the high-upside potential without paying as much as you would for a standout rookie.
The Giants are in as good of a place as they’ve been in quite a while (which isn’t saying much). Many are calling for Daniel Jones or Saquon Barkley to have a standout year, but we’re going with Kadarius Toney here thinking he’s a bit less obvious but equally likely.
When he was on the field last season as a rookie, Toney was electric — including a 10-catch, 189-yard outing against the Cowboys. But with his health rocky and no trips to the end zone, Toney’s rookie season was nowhere near what it could have been. If he can stay healthy, and that seems like a big “if,” he could be one of the best receivers in football.
Trey Lance makes this list because, more than any of the second-year quarterbacks, he has the most boom or bust potential. There’s a world where he ends up in the MVP conversation and there’s a world where the 49ers are looking for a new starter next year.
We’ll just have to see. The Washington Football Team was a surprise last year, winning the NFC East—which, to be fair, was disappointing across the board.
With Russell Wilson in town as the new QB, Jerry Jeudy is getting a lot of attention as a breakout candidate. We also want to throw Courtland Sutton’s name in the hat. Sutton is big, athletic, and will probably be playing on the outside while Jeudy man’s the slot.
He could become a big play guy, and we know how Wilson loves those big plays. With Tim Patrick, unfortunately, going down with an injury (we were high on him, too!), Sutton is poised for even more targets.
DJ Moore has shown glimpses that he has Top-10 WR ability, but he’s never had the quarterback to get him there. Thankfully, now he has Baker Mayfield so he’s definitely good to go. Just kidding.
But Mayfield should at least (maybe?) be an upgrade above what Moore’s had in the past, so this could be his year to finish a Top 10 WR.
This is probably the biggest swing for the fences of them all since Pollard isn’t even the starting running back, but many Cowboys fans will tell you that he looks much better than Zeke and deserves more playing time. If, for whatever reason, Pollard ends up in that roll, look out.
This year’s rookie class is one of the most exciting in a while. Here’s a look at some of the most promising investments.
Hall put up scary numbers at the combine, measuring even better than Jonathan Taylor, point to the Jets positioning him to be successful for the next several seasons. If you’re investing in an RB, Hall is the obvious choice. Here are some Breece Hall autographs to consider.
Treylon Burks is not a good route runner but he’s big, fast, and incredibly dangerous. He was drafted as an heir-apparent to AJ Brown after a surprising trade that sent the Titans star to the Eagles, and in many ways, he fits the mold.
Perhaps the best thing Burks has going for him compared to the other first-round receivers is his quarterback situation. Tannehill is not a 5,000-yards kind of player, but he’s consistent and better than many alternatives. Here are some Burks autographs to consider.
If you’re asked to guess which receiver from this class is the next Ja’Marr Chase or Justin Jefferson, Williams should be the most obvious pick.
He comes with two red flags, though: he’s coming back off an ACL injury, and his quarterback is Jared Golf. That shouldn’t scare you away from investing — just consider it before you do. Here are some Williamson cards to consider.
Drake London is in the best position to succeed early in his NFL career. Ironically, that means he’s playing on probably the worst NFL team. He’s the clear-cut #1 WR on the Falcons’ depth chart.
At Cardlines, we’re trying to help you make money with sports card investing. So as the NFL season gets into full swing, be sure to check out our 2022 NFL card investment articles. They will provide you with all the latest tips and tricks needed to generate big returns.