It’s that time of the year again: NFL teams have their rosters set, Fantasy lineups have been drafted, and card values are starting to rise in anticipation. To prepare, we give you the Sports Card Investing NFL 2021 season preview.
The new season brings exciting potential, opportunity galore, and plenty of developing trends to anticipate.
Recently, we’ve written about the rise in the value of the skill players thanks to a new influx of collectors who are crossing into sports cards from fantasy football. In other words, running back, wide receivers, and tight ends are all seeing a spike in value thanks to fantasy football players. This trend is likely to continue, and if that is the case, the following storylines might be of investing interest, too.
Most experts pick either the Chiefs or the Buccaneers to win the Super Bowl. Therefore, there is no reason to assume either team can’t repeat a deep playoff run. After all, the Chiefs are still stacked, and the Bucs brought everybody back.
If these two teams face again, there are two possible outcomes: 1) Brady adds another ring and increases his card value even more, or 2) Mahomes shows he’s learned from his mistakes and topples the Bucs. If that happens, it’s officially his league.
Buffalo and Cleveland are both poised to have 13- or 14-win seasons while still flying under the radar, as so much attention will be on the two teams mentioned above. Josh Allen is a solid bet for MVP this year. And if he reaches those heights, there’s a great chance the Bills win at least a dozen games.
The Browns, meanwhile, are dominant on both sides of the ball. Additionally, they have the best running back duo in the league. If either of these teams catches a couple of breaks, they could take down the Chiefs in the post-season. Of course, that would also shake up the card market.
While collectors are eyeing the 2021 rookie class, several quarterbacks could have breakout seasons from the last three years.
If Joe Burrow can stay on his feet, he could lead the NFL in passing yards with his solid core of receivers and the Bengals needing to throw the ball a lot to stay in games. Additionally, Tua Tagovailoa could also shine in an offense built for him instead of Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Meanwhile, fellow 2020 classmate Justin Herbert might find it exceptionally hard to match his 4,300-yard output from fifteen games in his rookie season. So don’t be surprised if the card value swings back toward Tua and Burrow to even out among the three QBs.
Josh Allen and Kyler Murray could both work their way into the MVP conversation for leading their respective teams to stellar seasons this year, too. And don’t forget about former MVP Lamar Jackson, who might break his own rushing record thanks to recent injury problems the Ravens have had in their backfield.
While no official release dates are set in stone yet, the 2021 Football season will be marked with some major releases and smaller releases along the way.
The main staple, of course, will be a Prizm release in December. Other optic-chrome releases to round out the Big 3 (or 4) will be Optic toward the end of the football season and Mosaic and Select (most likely) sometime shortly after the season wraps up.
Other releases to keep your eye peeled for include Contenders, iconic rookie ticket autographs, and National Treasures for high-end pulls.
While the hype swirls around Trevor Lawrence and the rest of the rookie class, some veterans deserve investment consideration.
Ryan Tannehill had an efficient and effective 2020: 3,819 yards, 33 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions.
Of course, some of that stems from opposing defenses stacking the box to stop Derrick Henry, but Tannehill still looked great under center regardless. Add Julio Jones to a mix of pass-catchers, including A.J. Brown, and it’s not far-fetched to consider Tannehill a pro-bowler.
The Washington Football Team was a surprise last year, winning the NFC East—which, to be fair, was disappointing across the board.
Antonio Gibson was a large part of that success. The rookie running back only tallied 795 rushing yards on the year. However, the majority of them came in the back half of the season.
If that momentum carries forward to 2021, Gibson will eclipse 1,000 yards and keep the team formerly known as the Redskins in contention. Recent beat reports also suggest that Gibson will become more involved in the passing game, which could further improve his stats.
Bradon Aiyuk turned a lot of heads during his 2020 rookie campaign. He’s an explosive threat that could find the endzone on any snap, and his playmaking earned the respect of defenses all year long.
He only played 12 games last season but still had 748 yards receiving and 5 touchdowns despite a shaky quarterback situation. If he develops a strong report with Trey Lance, this could be a dangerous duo for many years to come.
The last time we saw Burrow in pads, he was carted off the field during his rookie season. He hopes to return even more vital in 2021. This year, he’ll have help from a familiar face: JaMarr Chase, a college teammate from LSU’s championship season. Now, with Chase joining Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd, Burrow will have no shortage of players to throw to.
Remember, Burrow threw the ball 404 times in just ten games in 2020. Therefore, he could realistically be flirting with 5,000 passing yards if he improves on his 2020 performance.
The one caution is that Cincinnati didn’t fortify their offensive line as much as many fans hoped. As a result, Burrow led the league in the number of sacks taken per game last year. If that does not change, Burrow could have another injury-plagued season.
Prescott has been in the league since 2016, and the Cowboys have never made too much of a post-season splash. However, this year could change that (yes, I know—Cowboys fans say that every year). In 2020, Prescott thew for an incredible 1,856 and 9 touchdowns in a mere 5 games.
Of course, that 6,000-yard pace is not sustainable throughout a season. But Prescott has some lethal weapons around him on what could be the most dynamic offense in football.
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.
You might consider this cheating, but oh well. I could make a case for every single one of the big five quarterbacks this year, so let’s just make it all together. Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, Justin Fields, and Mac Jones all have shown flashes that they have what it takes to elevate their franchise to a new level for years to come.
Historically, first-round quarterbacks pan out about fifty percent of the time, but this class could be an exception to the rule. Last year, most collectors wouldn’t have guessed Herbert would have the highest valued cards after one year, and this year’s class is similarly hard to predict. That said, investing in any of these quarterbacks makes sense—just figure out which one is your favorite.
Trey Sermon is currently the second running back of a San Francisco committee lead by Raheem Mostert. However, his backup status might only help him as an investment.
The 49ers very well could break the NFL record for rushing attempts this season—especially with the easiest schedule in football. As a result, Sermon will become more and more involved in the ground game as the year progresses.
Hopefully, Mostert can stay healthy, but he’s had injury problems in the past. If Mostert misses some time this year, Sermon will be running in an even brighter spotlight.
Elijah Moore is a rookie receiver looking to make noise for the Jets. After a successful campaign at Ole Miss, Moore was selected as the Jets second-round pick.
If Zach Wilson and Moore can start cooking early, they could be a dominant pair. Perhaps the biggest obstacle standing in the way of Moore’s path to stardom is teammate Corey Davis. Whichever wideout receives the larger target share will be a great investment, as neither is priced high right now.
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 investment articles. They will provide you with all the latest tips and tricks needed to generate big returns.