Monday Morning Collector: Conference Championships
Jan 21 2008 9:51AM
Every Monday Morning throughout the NFL season we've made our selections for the key rookies, veterans and breakout players of the week that matter in your collecting endeavors. We've extended our analysis to include the top three players of each playoff round with this, the Conference Championship round, being the next to last installment of Monday Morning Collector for the year.
By Dan Hitt and David Lee
Eli Manning, QB, Giants
(21/40 passing, 254 passing yards, 0 INTs)
Outlook: If we had been told at the beginning of the year that a quarterback named Manning would lead his team to Super Bowl XLII, who would have been surprised? But the surprise is that his first name is Eli and not Peyton. The fact of the matter is that Eli out-Manninged Peyton in the playoffs by performing near flawlessly. Eli's zero interceptions can't even be matched by his Super Bowl opponent Tom Brady. The Giants and Eli are riding a playoff hot streak while the Patriots seem to be backing into the big game.
A few of Manning's best cards are riding the coattails of that hot streak. Once one of the hobby's hottest rookies, Manning and his cards have experienced a collectibles market downturn in recent years due to subpar playoff performances and regular season disappointment. That appears to be changing as recent sales of Eli's best 2004 Rookie Cards show that the LO book value is no longer valid. We could likely see a continuing uptrend in pricing as the week goes on, but don't expect a huge jump in HI book values unless the Giants defeat the Patriots. Success has been expected for so long, that current HI book prices have much of it factored into the valuations. But if you think Eli and company can pull off the upset then pick up a few 2004 signed Rookie Cards. He has a dozen to choose from and most of the Topps and Upper Deck cards feature on-card signatures.
Cards to Grab:
2004 Playoff Contenders #131 AU/372* RC ($250)
2004 Topps Signature #90 AU/299 RC ($120)
2000 Ultimate Collection #130 AU/150 RC ($400)
Laurence Maroney, RB, Patriots
(122 yards rushing, 40 receiving yards, 1 touchdown)
Outlook: So much attention has been given to Tom Brady, Randy Moss, and Wes Welker in the Patriots' incredible run of 18 straight wins this season that Laurence Maroney's contribution has been largely overlooked. But after his second playoff game of more than 100 yards rushing, another playoff touchdown, and an awe inspiring performance late in the fourth quarter to kill the clock, that should all change.
Maroney's 2006 Rookie Cards have been moderately priced compared to the top rookies in the class (Reggie Bush, Vince Young and Jay Cutler) so there is upside potential. On the other hand, he appeared in every product for the year and was a willing signer so there are plenty of cards for collectors to choose from. Don't expect huge increases in value. There are several undervalued signed rookie-year cards, but you'll have to look past the usual top brands into the second tier.
Cards to Grab:
2006 Leaf Rookies and Stars #274 JSY AU/99 RC ($100)
2006 Bowman Chrome Rookie Autographs #270 ($100)
2006 Sweet Spot #212 AU/499 RC ($80)
Plaxico Burress, WR, Giants
(11 catches, 154 yards receiving)
Outlook: Plaxico Burress' 11 receptions on Sunday set a Giants postseason record but, more importantly, it signaled to the football world that Burress is indeed big time. Many of us doubted that idea when Burress failed to show up in most key games for the Giants. You might call it the Eli Manning story all over again, but at wide receiver. He'll still need to carry his performance over to the Super Bowl to sustain the hobby excitement, but Giants collectors are fired up right now.
A great deal of the collectibles attention is going towards Burress' 2000 Playoff Contenders signed Rookie Card – the default "go to" in situations like this. While the $50 HI book value seems secure this week, the $20 LO value is in severe jeopardy. Possibly the best buy of any Burress cards is the 2000 SPx that is serial numbered to just 500 copies. Autographs in general are not easy to come by since Burress has signed for just seven other products since 2000.
Cards to Grab:
2000 Playoff Contenders #108 AU RC ($50)
2000 SPx #162 JSY AU/500 RC ($100)
2000 UD Graded #160 AU/250 RC ($80)
Also check the Donruss Rookie Leaderboard for the statistical leaders from this year's exciting rookie class and those competing for Rookie of the Year honors.