If you haven't been paying attention, Sports Cards have been gaining a lot of popularity again. A Mike Trout 2009 Bowman Chrome Superfractor just sold for $3.93 Million Dollars and 2 months ago a Lebron James Exquisite RC Patch Auto sold for $1.9 Million. We've come a long way from the days of buying a pack of cards for $.25 in the late 80's, early 90's.
The sports card hobby is growing in popularity daily. Influencers like Gary Vaynerchuk are constantly promoting the hobby. A lot of people in their 30's and 40's are coming back to the hobby they enjoyed as kids. Even current and former athletes are starting to show off their collections.
With all the new collectors coming in, the market is changing. The market is way more reactionary than it's ever been. In basketball, guys had a good practice or preseason game and prices instantly went up. If someone put up 40+ points in a game? Big gains. In baseball a guy hits a home run or 2 and his prices are instantly rising. There's no reason to believe the same won't happen for football.
If a player has a 100+ yard game and 2 TD's the market will react and that player will absolutely see gains after just one performance. If he's a top-5 player at the position at the end of the season? His prices will go even higher.
Whether you play season long fantasy, DFS, make weekly prop bets, or just bet on football games, I strongly urge you to at least consider cards. In some cases your gains would be better than any odds on a bet you'd get. If you bought Patrick Mahomes before the 2018 season or Lamar Jackson before the 2019 season you would have seen 20x+ ROI. The Prizm Rookie Card of either of them, graded PSA 10, are currently selling for $3,000+. The best part about buying cards vs. Betting is you're physically getting something, as opposed to bets, where if you don't win, you get nothing.
You're putting all this research in to find "sleepers" to benefit your team. If you like a player, pick up a card or 2 of him. It will add a little more excitement to watching those games on Sunday, now knowing you have more of a vested interest.
With cards you can take your betting farther. Maybe you think a guy like Carson Wentz is injury prone. Pick up some Jalen Hurts cards in case Wentz goes down. Maybe you think Dalvin Cook will inevitably get hurt again or maybe just won't sign with the Vikings next year. Scoop up some Alexander Mattison now while they're cheap.
If you're new to cards, I understand it can be intimidating. There are a ton of sets out there, and while finding the right cards to buy might seem difficult, I'm here to help.
In 2009 Upper Deck lost its NFL License. They still had NFLPA licensing and Collegiate licensing so they did continue to produce cards, only in their College Uniforms, until 2015. Topps lost their license with the NFL in 2015 and haven't produced football cards since. Panini is now the only company producing NFL trading cards.
If you're buying because you want to collect, buy anything you like. If you're buying as an "investment," it's best to stick to certain sets as they're the most "liquid."
When it comes to Non-Autographed Rookie Cards (RC), the 3 sets that are best to buy are Prizm>Optic>Select. If you want to buy an Autographed RC, you want to look into Contenders. And then if you're really into a player, the highest end cards are National Treasures and Flawless Rookie Patch Autographs.