By Dan Hitt | Sports Data Publishing Manager
Every Monday morning throughout the NFL season, we’ll select our rookie, veteran and breakout players of the week and provide a run down on why collectors should take notice. Ben Roethlisberger, Jake Locker and Rob Gronkowski round out our selections for NFL Week 14. Here’s why…
Veteran of the Week: Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers
(280 yards passing, 2 touchdowns)
While it was a rather easy win for the Steelers over a bad Browns team, their victory on Sunday was important from the standpoint of keeping pace with the Ravens at the top of the AFC North standings. The Ravens do hold the tie breaker so it will not be easy for the Steelers to actually win the division. However, if they do, they could capture home field advantage throughout. They do appear to be headed to the playoffs, one way or another, barring a catastrophe down the stretch. This spells something interesting for Ben Roethlisberger cards should he catch fire in the postseason and take his team deep into the final rounds. The Patriots seem very vulnerable right now and the rest of the field should be made up of teams with little postseason experience. Again, this is a big advantage for Super Bowl veteran Ben Roethlisberger, so his cards may be bargain priced right now.
Cards to Grab:
2004 Bowman #114 RC ($15)
2004 Finest #108 AU RC/399 ($150)
2004 SP Game Used Edition #171 RC/425 ($60)
Rookie of the Week: Jake Locker, QB, Titans
(282 yards passing, 1 passing TD, 1 rushing TD)
Replacing a banged-up Matt Hasselbeck in the second quarter, Jake Locker brought the Titans to the brink of defeating the very difficult New Orleans Saints. He displayed the toughness, the leadership ability, and the passing skill the Titans had hoped he would after selecting the former Washington quarterback early in the first round of this season’s Draft. Locker’s card have been softening a bit in recent weeks, which now appears to have been a great time to buy them. This performance could thrust Locker into a starting role should Hasselbeck be unable to go this week. Since the Titans’ playoff hopes remain alive the veteran Hasselbeck is likely to remain the starter, but Jake Locker is the team’s future and showed on Sunday that they have a bright one in the waiting.
Cards to Grab:
2010 Exquisite Collection Draft Picks/99 #JL ($120)
2011 Panini Gold Standard #256 JSY AU/325 RC ($N/A)
2011 Topps Prime Rookie Autos/99 #82 ($60)
Breakout Player of the Week: Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots
(160 yards receiving, 2 touchdowns)
Rob Gronkowksi had a solid rookie season in 2010 that saw collectors take notice of his cards early in the year and continue to buy them throughout. However, they never jumped in value more than a small amount making them potentially buyable at current levels. With a career best 160 yards receiving on Sunday, Gronkowski surpassed the 1000+ yard mark for the year and scored a pair of touchdowns to reach fifteen on the season – an NFL record for tight ends. Don’t expect to be able to pick-up Gronkowski cards this week at the same levels of even a week ago. But the new, higher, price levels may also prove to be good buy points given his talent and status on the high profile Patriots.
Cards to Grab:
2010 Donruss Elite Turn of the Century Autos/299 #103 ($30)
2010 Topps Chrome Rookie Autos #C112 ($20)
2010 SP Authentic #128 JSY AU/499 RC ($60)