Here we are a couple days from the kick-off of the 2018 NFL Season. Like any season there is a good amount of anticipation and excitement for the young players. We approach every training camp to Week 4 of the preseason with a pen + notebook…because it’s an opportunity to figure out potential investments for the next 17 weeks.
The NFL is unique in that ONE big performance at any given week can drastically impact the prices of a particular player. If they string together a few solid weeks in a row…watch out! As a fan (or fantasy player) it’s obviously a blast seeing your players and teams put together drool-worthy stats…but as a collector it can be financially rewarding.
The reason we started BreakerCulture in late 2015 was because of the need for more insight/analytics into products/pricing/players/etc… Being an educated collector can make turn this hobby into an absolute thrill and help you add some life into your collecting budget. There is a reason our Pricing Ladders (NFL, NBA, MLB) are one of the more visited pieces of our site!
This season we’re adding another level of transparency around specific players. We want to help give you some insight into some of the players we see with the most upside.
THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
This is by NO means meant to be the holy grail of pricing lists…it’s just another resource for you to consider as you track players and values across the season. Here is how we are factoring in our top players + values.
- #1: We are choosing our Top 10 based on the amount of $$ upside we see in the player.
We’ve tried to factor in a lot of different variables from; supporting pricing data, team market, “eye test”, and actual performance.
- #2: We are focusing on players who’ve been drafted in the last 3 years.
This is NOT to say that there isn’t a player who might emerge from the 2013 draft… but in the NFL this is absolutely the exception to the rule. We’d rather work on identifying those repeatable patterns versus the anomaly.
- #3: For Pricing Data…
Because we don’t have the 2018 de facto RC Auto’s on the market yet….we are pulling an AVERAGE non-graded Auto price across all products. This helps us address the lack of supply and also gives us a fair barometer across all rookies.
For any 2nd or 3rd year player we are using their CONTENDERS AUTO as the baseline investment price. We will track the average BGS 9.5 auto price for that player and demonstrate price movements.
THE TOP 10 PLAYERS TO INVEST IN…
Here you go…. our Top 10 Players as of Week 1 of the 2018 NFL SEASON!
#10 MIKE GESICKI
Average Auto through 9/1/18: $41
Expected Upside: 30-35%
How often do we get to get excited about an ELITE tight-end prospect? Not often. Because as much as we want to get excited…there just isn’t a ton of upside. Well… this all changes with Gesicki. He might be the most athletic TE we’ve ever seen come out of the draft. He’s a 6’6’’, 250lbs, and runs a 4.54. I don’t see how Miami doesn’t get this guy the ball…and often.
Being a tight end will likely limit his price potential to a certain extent…but if there is truly generational type ability then you might want to start scooping up some of his RC’s now.
#9 RASHAAD PENNY
Average Auto through 9/1/18: $59
Expected Upside: 25-50%
This dude can flat out move. He generated the MOST MISSED TACKLES in all of college football last year… runs a 4.46…and is in a system that has desperately been waiting for this type of RB. There will be a little bit of injury concern heading into the system, but if he gets past this in the early weeks… watch out above. Rashaad Penny needs to be on your radar.
#8 DJ MOORE
Average Auto through 9/1/18 :$55
Expected Upside: 20-25%
This is a WR that I’ve liked since the draft. Carolina is doubling down on weapons for Cam Newton and DJ Moore is about as good as you can get. He was a machine in college and put up insane #’s despite having 5 different QB’s. He is a workhorse and could be exactly what will help balance out the attack for Funchess, McCaffrey, and Newton. I look for DJ Moore to be the top WR in this years draft and for his Contender auto’s to be north of $100 by the time of release.
#7 SAQUON BARKLEY
Average Auto through 9/1/18 :$238.86
Expected Upside: 15-20%
Oh come on… how can he NOT be on this list? He’s one of the more electric and complete RB’s to be drafted in the last decade. And…. he’s playing for the New York Giants. Every accolade and solid performance will be amplified with the New York market…which means you can expect to see an awesome secondary market and opportunities to invest every week. The only downside is that he is SOOO expensive and we haven’t even kicked-off Week 1!
#6 CALVIN RIDLEY
Average Auto through 9/1/18: $82
Expected Upside: 20%
This is a guy that surprised me when he slipped into the LATE 1st round. He was a monster at Alabama and has all the skills to be a top tier WR. I hesitated to put him on this list because he’s likely NOT going to get a ton of targets early on in the season. He’s #3 on the depth chart and likely needs an injury or garbage time to rack up the #’s… especially at his current prices. But I kept him on there because I believe in his talent…and I love the Falcon’s system for WR’s. Come week 6 or 7, I think we see Ridley starting and making a huge impact.
#5 DESHAUN WATSON
Average Auto through 9/1/18: $1,025
Expected Upside: 10-15%
Well…because was absolutely dominant as a Rookie QB. There are a billion reasons to like Watson. If he can show he’s fully recovered from his knee injury and back to his pre-injury self….there is nowhere to go but up for his RC prices.
#4 DALVIN COOK
Contenders Auto AVG last 3months: $130
Buy His RC AUTO’S HERE
Comparison: Leonard Fournette ($190)
Expected Upside Range by 12/31/2018: 30- 50%
He was ELECTRIC before he got hurt last season. The injury punished his prices (as expected)…but folks are raving about him in training camp/preseason games. He’s a great 3-down option because of his hands. I’d suspect we see a healthy dose of Dalvin as Cousins adjusts to the offense. With a few good weeks…he should easily sniff $200 on his Contenders auto.
#3 SAM DARNOLD
Average Auto through 9/1/18: $238
Expected Upside: 50%
The New York fanbase is like a tightening coil….they are absolutely dying for a franchise QB and will go banana’s if Darnold show’s even a glimpse of the future. He’s got the starting nod and we’ll get to see really quickly how things might pan out. As an investor this is the type of environment you love because prices can escalate really quickly….and you’ll likely get an influx of new hobby money. As a player he’ll be fun to invest in… but for the hobby he’s a much needed player.
#2 BAKER MAYFEILD
Average Auto through 9/1/18: $297
Expected Upside: 35%
Okay, I get it…he’s the #1 pick. Not a lot of risk in picking Baker as a potential investment target. But here is the deal… he has a TON of upside because he doesn’t have a lot of downside. I believe that Baker is one of the safer investments over the next few months because it’ll be really hard to underperform anyone’s expectations. He likely won’t start soon… but he’ll be building the Garoppolo-like anticipation because Cleveland isn’t going to win.
In addition, betting on Baker right now is essentially like betting against the field. I’m not a huge fan of Josh Allen or Josh Rosen… and realize there is a lot of risk around Darnold. The safe money rolls in to Mayfield…and can build some ‘anticipation equity’ over the coming weeks.
#1 PATRICK MAHOMES
Contenders Auto AVG last 3months: $475
AUTO’S FOR SALE: RIGHT HERE
Comparison: Deshaun Watson ($650)
Expected Upside Range by 12/31/2018: 30-50%
Generational arm talent. Weapons ALL around him. Andy Reids’ QB’s rarely fail. Still plenty of upside in his contenders auto pricing. All it will take is a solid September and I think you’ll see a 20% bump in his base auto’s.
I mean…come on.
Michael Thomas, JuJu Smith Schuster, Royce Freeman, Mike Gesiki, Christian Kirk
We’d love your comments below!