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NFL Trading Card Buyer’s Guide 2022-23

As usual, quarterbacks are king in the NFL trading card market. Who is worth the investment? How can you minimize your risk? Boardroom takes a look.

With the 2023 NFL season almost upon us, Boardroom is here to help you navigate 17-plus weeks from a hobby perspective. We’ll take a look at players that’ll be in high demand as the season progresses and dark horse candidates that could bolster your trading card collection or portfolio.

It’s All About Quarterbacks (Again)

If you’re an investor looking to make the big bucks, then you should only focus on the quarterbacks. Only one, Kenny Pickett, was selected in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, making it easier to narrow down the signal callers to focus on. We’ll separate the following based on risk.

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High-risk QBs

For this group of quarterbacks, the clock is ticking and there isn’t much time left to appreciate the value of their cards, either due to pending retirement or the team moving on from said quarterback.

Patrick Mahomes

The NFL’s golden boy has already restructured his extension, putting the Chiefs into quite the predicament. The good: Mahomes has two Super Bowl appearances, one Super Bowl victory, and was one game away from a third appearance. The bad: the Chiefs lost Tyreek Hill, one of Mahomes’ favorite weapons, in the offseason. This, combined with a loaded AFC West, will make it difficult for Mahomes to lead the Chiefs to a postseason run. Expect Mahomes’ value to continue to drop, following a similar trajectory to Russell Wilson, if the Chiefs don’t make it to the Super Bowl.

Josh Allen

The Buffalo Bills are one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl, especially after the show they put on against Kansas City in the playoffs and adding Von Miller on defense in the offseason. For Allen, the risk lies in expectation. Fans now expect the Bills to win it all, and Allen’s value has exploded in turn.

Tua Tagovailoa

It’s win or bust for Tua this season. The Miami Dolphins hired an offensive-minded head coach and added weapons like Hill in the offseason. If the Dolphins don’t perform up to expectations this season, it could be curtains for Tua as a starter in the NFL, which would make his cards plummet in value.

Medium-risk QBs

Quarterbacks that are considered a medium risk are the ones that already have exaggerated values but have the opportunity to either win an MVP or a Super Bowl this season.

Lamar Jackson

The Baltimore Ravens quarterback is looking to get paid as he enters a contract year. Jackson has been electric since he entered the league, already earning an MVP. If the Ravens don’t extend him for whatever reason, there will be plenty of other teams salivating to offer him a long term deal. Jackson has proven to be a top-five QB and his cards are quite affordable for someone who has an MVP and is only 25 years old.

Justin Herbert

Herbert’s values are really high, but he’s playing in the toughest division, the AFC West. Thankfully for Herbert collectors, he’s the Chargers’ franchise QB for the foreseeable future. While his values may have perceived risk, the team has confidence they’ll be one of the best teams in the NFL because of him. Of the high-value QBs, Herbert is arguably the safest bet.

Joe Burrow

The other safe bet of the high-value QBs is the Bengals’ Burrow. He led Cincinnati to a Super Bowl appearance but fell short, and while history hasn’t been kind to Super Bowl losers, the Bengals are poised to make another run.

Russell Wilson

The clock is ticking for Wilson, but he is now in a perfect situation. The Denver Broncos were arguably one QB away from being a playoff-team. With Wilson, the Broncos are Super Bowl contenders. The last time Denver made a play like this, it signed Peyton Manning, made two Super Bowl appearances, and won a title. Let’s see if history repeats itself for the future HOFer. 

Low-risk QBs

The low-risk quarterbacks have either already cemented their legacies and have a good opportunity to add to it, or they’ve shown promise on a good team that could make some noise for the coming season.

Trey Lance

The 49ers are moving on from the Jimmy G era. Lance inherits a solid team that fell short of making the Super Bowl last season, but he seems to have a much higher ceiling than the Niners’ previous quarterback, and will show off what he can do this season. There are high expectations for the North Dakota State product even though he hasn’t played a meaningful season in multiple years.

via PSA
Matthew Stafford

Stafford showed the world last season that with the right team, he can win a Super Bowl. The Rams bring back their core for another run, but the NFC West has other Super Bowl hopefuls in the 49ers and Cardinals. It’s tough to repeat in the NFL, and no one has done it since the Patriots in the early 2000s.

Jameis Winston

Winston suffered a season-ending injury last season but had the Saints at 5-2 before going down, with one of those wins against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. As the injuries pile up for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the NFC South is wide open for the Saints to take control and possibly make a playoff run. Winston’s cards are really cheap and could explode.

Mac Jones

Jones may not have a flashy game but he’s under the tutelage of arguably the greatest head coach of all-time in Bill Belichick. When the Patriots may seem like an inferior team, they always find a way to stay relevant by beating the best teams and making playoff runs. Jones is the Patriots’ franchise quarterback for now, and if he somehow has the Patriots in better position than the Bills, you can expect his values to climb.

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Who’s the Next Cooper Kupp?

Usually when it comes to NFL cards, quarterbacks have all the value. After Kupp’s stellar 2022 season, some position players like Deebo Samuel and Justin Jeffreson have earned more respect from the hobby. Here are some others that could get an increase in hobby love.

Ja’marr Chase

Chase had a stellar season last year, reaching the Super Bowl. Being with his LSU-teammate Burrow at QB. Chase could add more to an amazing start to his career if the Bengals are able to make another Super Bowl appearance.

Nick Bosa

Can defensive players finally get love? Aaron Donald got a little bump after the Rams’ Super Bowl victory, but nowhere near what he should have. Bosa is on a stacked Niners squad and was rated in the top-quarter of the top-100 NFL players. Bosa had 15.5 sacks last season, increasing from nine his rookie year. If he can continue this trajectory and help the Niners to their first Super Bowl win since the 1994 season, you can expect a lot of buzz for the Ohio State product.

Hunter Renfrow

Okay, okay, hear me out. The Las Vegas Raiders’ Renfrow is one of the best route-runners in the game and is well-respected by opposing defenses. The Raiders getting Davante Adams only opens up Renfrow in the passing game. A lot of eyes will be on the stacked AFC West and you can expect a lot of hobby interest in Renfrow.

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