Christian McCaffrey Rookie Card Rankings and Guide
The Christian McCaffrey Rookie Card list is a sizable one. And that shouldn’t come as a surprise given how he came into the league as one of the NFL’s top prospects in 2017. The running back made an immediate impact for the Carolina Panthers and it continues.
With such a large slate of RCs comes a lot of variety that should fit every collector’s preference and budget. Some are basic and traditional. Some offer something with a massive patch and an autograph. Most are somewhere in between.
Curious about the most valuable Christian McCaffrey Rookie Cards are? Let’s count them down.
Most Valuable Christian McCaffrey Rookie Card Rankings
Rankings are determined primarily by the Beckett Football Card Database and Price Guide. Only cards with the RC tag have been included, not inserts, parallels, promos and cards from prospect sets.
37. 2017 Score Christian McCaffrey RC #373
Score is one of those perennial brands football fans can count on year after year. A simple Christian McCaffrey Rookie Card, it was also the first in an NFL set (a couple of college uniform-only came out before it). Because the release of 2017 Score Football coincided with the draft, McCaffrey is still in his Stanford gear and only his school is mentioned.
Parallels: Black, Gold, Green, Red, Scorecard, Showcase (/99), Gold Zone (/50), Artist’s Proof (/35), Red Zone (/20), First Down (/10), End Zone (/6), Gem Masters (1/1)
36. 2017 Prestige Christian McCaffrey RC #215
Another early Christian McCaffery Rookie Card, 2017 Prestige isn’t so much about frills as it is a good action photo. The design elements are minimal, helping the visuals stand out. The card has plenty of parallels, although about half of them are autographs. As far as the cheaper Christian McCaffery Rookie Cards go, this one looks among the best.
Parallels: Xtra Points Blue, Xtra Points Red, Xtra Points Green (/150), Xtra Points Purple (/100), Xtra Points Gold (/50), Xtra Points Platinum (/25), Xtra Points Bronze (/10), Xtra Points Black (1/1)
35. 2017 Classics Christian McCaffrey RC #217
2017 Classics aims for a retro vibe. The design isn’t based on anything, but it imagines itself to be a modern spin on something that could have been created some 50 years earlier. Like a lot of McCaffery’s earliest cards, this is another one that showcases him as a Stanford Cardinal.
Parallels: Glossy, Red Back (/299), Blue Back (/175), Timeless Tributes Gold (/99), Blank Back (/50), Timeless Tributes Orange (/25), No Name (/10), Timeless Tributes Blue (/10), Full Name (/5), Significant Signatures Blue (/5), Timeless Tributes Black (1/1)
34. 2017 Select Christian McCaffrey RC #74
The running back has a few different Rookies done with chromium. 2017 Select offers up the most affordable. Along with the base version, there are several color-based parallels including some that aren’t used in other products.
Parallels: Prizm Silver, Prizm Tri Color (/199), Prizm Blue (/149), Prizm Maroon (/99), Prizm Orange (/49), Prizm Tie Dye (/25), Prizm Gold (/10), Prizm Pink (/10), Prizm Green (/5), Prizm Black (1/1)
33. 2017 Donruss Christian McCaffrey RC #318
Part of the Rated Rookies subset, this Christian McCaffrey Rookie Card is a slight short print versus the regular 2017 Donruss base cards, but not much. From a visual perspective, what makes it stand out is the photo choice. Rather than going with a traditional action shot, there’s a posed studio shot. The running back isn’t showing a lot of emotion, but it’s different.
Parallels: Aqueous Test, Press Proofs Blue, Press Proofs Green, Press Proofs Red, Press Proofs Silver (/100), Press Proofs Silver Die Cut (/75), Season Stat Line (/63), Press Proofs Gold (/50), Press Proofs Gold Die Cut (/25), Jersey Number (/22), Press Proofs Black (/10), Press Proofs Black Die Cut (1/1)
32. 2017 Rookies & Stars Christian McCaffrey RC #271
2017 Rookies & Stars had a hobby version, but it was primarily aimed at Target. The product has a lot happening on its checklist, but its Rookie Cards, like this Christian McCaffrey, take a simple approach. The result keeps prices on the low side compared to a lot of McCaffrey’s other RCs.
Parallels: Green, Purple, Red, Longevity (/70), True Blue (/49), Red and Blue (/25), Gold (/10), Black and Blue (/5), Platinum (1/1)
31. 2017 Panini Christian McCaffrey RC #111
2017 Panini Football was a retail-only product. While there’s no shortage on the market, it did add a small wrinkle for those who depend on their local card shops. The design is reminiscent of armor and medieval themes, something that continues through some of the parallel names and other parts of the product’s checklist.
Parallels: Chainmail Armor, Templar Foil, Bravery (/199), Chivalry (/199), Blue (/99), Gold (/10), Black (1/1)
30. 2017 Donruss Optic Christian McCaffrey RC #168
2017 Donruss Optic Football offers up a chromium turn on the Rated Rookie McCaffrey card found in 2017 Donruss Football. This makes it a little more upscale, but not by a lot.
Parallels: Bronze, Holo, Lime, Pink, Red and Yellow, White Sparkle, Aqua (/299), Orange (/199), Blue (/149), Red (/99), Black (/25), Gold (/10), Green (/5), Gold Vinyl (1/1)
29. 2017 Playoff Christian McCaffrey RC #211
2017 Playoff Football has a very traditional base set. Rookie Cards like this one are moderate short prints, landing one per pack. That doesn’t translate into big values, though.
Parallels: Goal Line, Red Zone, Kickoff (/199), 1st Down (/99), 2nd Down (/49), 3rd Down (/25), 4th Down (/10), Touchdown (1/1)
28. 2017 Crown Royale Christian McCaffrey RC #88
Although 2017 Crown Royale Football skipped hobby and arrived as a retail-exclusive release, that doesn’t make this card particularly rare or pricey. Unlike a lot of past years for the brand, dating back to the 1990s when Pacific introduced it, 2017 skipped the die-cut crown base design, opting for some much more the norm. In doing so, the set also removes a lot of its once distinct nature.
Parallels: Bronze (/299), Pink (/249), Holo Gold (/175), Light Blue (/99), Platinum (/49)
27. 2017 Elite Draft Picks Christian McCaffrey RC #118
2017 Elite Draft Picks is a college-only release from before players knew their NFL homes. Current veterans are mixed in with the product as well, but that doesn’t mean much when you’re looking for a Christian McCaffrey Rookie Card. Done on foil, it continues with Panini’s recent shift for the brand to bring in more color. That’s definitely apparent in the many parallels.
Parallels: Aspirations Orange, Status Die Cut Orange, Aspirations Purple (/99), Status Die Cut Purple (/99), Aspirations Red (/49), Status Die Cut Red (/49), Aspirations Blue (/25), Status Die Cut Blue (/25), Aspirations Gold (/10), Status Die Cut Gold (/10), Aspirations Emerald (/5), Status Die Cut Emerald (/5), Aspirations Teal (1/1), Status Die Cut Teal (1/1)
26. 2017 Elite Christian McCaffrey RC #161 /499
Arriving three months after Elite Draft Picks, the 2017 Elite Christian McCaffrey Rookie Card sees him in his Panthers gear. The design changes are subtle as far as layout goes. Perhaps a bigger difference is in the smaller assortment of parallels. This set takes a more streamlined approach in that regard. The base version is numbered to 499 copies. That might not make it extremely rare when compared to some of the high-end options out there, but it does add some desirability to the card.
Parallels: Green, Red (/149), Purple (/99), Aspirations (/78), Orange (/25), Aspirations Die Cut (/24), Status Die Cut (/24), Status (/22), Blue (/15), Gold (1/1)
25. 2017 Panini Phoenix Christian McCaffrey RC #111
The 2017 Panini Phoenix Christian McCaffrey brings with it some bold lines and pop. With autographs and memorabilia cards arriving with the product’s inserts, this card is somewhat straightforward. The end result is definitely on the affordable side, but a little more that a lot of the running back’s other more basic RCs.
Parallels: Color Burst, Red (/299), Pink (/199), Purple (/149), Orange (/99), Yellow (/75), Green (/25), Black (/10), Blue (1/1), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1)
24. 2017 Panini Prizm Christian McCaffrey RC #249
In an increasingly crowded chrome landscape, Prizm stands at the top in football now, at least when it comes to readily available lines. It’s one of those products collectors can look for at both the hobby and retail levels and chase a variety of colors. Like 2016, the Rookie Cards in 2017 Panini Prizm Football are all done with a Prizms finish, giving them an added shine to the surface. But they’re not parallels like they are for veterans.
Parallels: Blue Prizms, Bronze Stars Prizms, Disco Prizms, Green Prizms, Pink Prizms, Red Prizms, Red/White/Blue Prizms, White Sparkle Prizms, Orange Prizms (/275), Light Blue Prizms (/199), Blue Wave Prizms (/149), Green Scope Prizms (/99), Purple Crystals Prizms (/75), Red Power Prizms (/49), Camo Prizms (/25), Gold Prizms (/10), Gold Vinyl Prizms (/5), Black Finite Prizms (1/1)
23. 2017 Panini Illusions Christian McCaffrey RC Auto Jersey #105
2017 Panini Illusions Football offers one of several Christian McCaffrey Rookie Cards that have an autograph and basic jersey swatch. It might not be serial numbered, but the base version that carries the RC tag is actually quite tough to track down.
Parallels: Blue (/100), Red (/50), Green (/25), Purple (1/1)
22. 2017 Panini Preferred Christian McCaffrey RC Auto Jersey #63 /99
Silhouettes return for the 2017 Panini Preferred Christian McCaffrey Rookie Card. It means a die-cut window (holding an on-card signature) layered over top of a massive jersey swatch. While the base version has a single-color swatch, the tough Prime and Super Prime parallels make for some particularly eye-catching combinations.
Parallels: Prime (/25), Super Prime (/5), NFL Shield (1/1), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1)
21. 2017 Panini Xr Christian McCaffrey RC Auto Triple Memorabilia #171 /25
With just 25 copies, the 2017 Panini Xr Christian McCaffrey is one of his rarest RCs. And while it has an autograph and three pieces of memorabilia, the swatches are noticeably smaller than most other sets have.
Parallels: Red (/15), Blue (/10), Orange (/5), Gold (/3), Green (/2), Laundry Tag Glove (1/1), Laundry Tag Hat (1/1), Laundry Tag Jacket (1/1), Laundry Tag NFL Shield (1/1), Laundry Tag NFLPA (1/1), Laundry Tag Nike Swoosh (1/1), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1), Prime Football (1/1), Super Prime (1/1)
20. 2017 Limited Christian McCaffrey RC Auto Patch #107 /225
Collectors looking for an autographed patch Rookie Card of Christian McCaffrey but are on a budget may want to look to 2017 Limited Football. For starters, it has a clean design. The patch isn’t the biggest but it’s not tiny, either. The autograph is on-card versus a sticker like a lot of other cards in this price range. The print run of 225 copies helps keep values from going too crazy as it’s higher than a lot of the running back’s other premium Rookies.
Parallels: Silver Spotlight (/75), Gold Spotlight (/50), Ruby Spotlight (/10), Emerald Spotlight (/5), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1), Sapphire Spotlight (1/1)
19. 2017 Certified Christian McCaffrey RC #205 Auto Patch /149
If you’re into monster-sized patches along with autographs at a relatively reasonable price, enter 2017 Certified. Part of the Freshman Fabric subset, a staple for the brand, the patch window is big enough that many cards have some nice color combinations. At 149 copies, it’s rare but still more plentiful than several other Christian McCaffrey Rookie Cards. Having a sticker for the signature may bring it down for collectors who prefer on-card, but there’s still quite a bit happening here.
Parallels: Mirror Orange (/99), Mirror Red (/75), Mirror Blue (/50), Mirror Gold (/25), Mirror Purple (/10), Mirror Green (/5), Mirror Black (1/1),
18. 2017 Absolute Christian McCaffrey RC #209 Auto Triple Relic /149
2017 Absolute sticks with its distinct take on Rookie Cards — mixing in different pieces of memorabilia beyond just jerseys. The base version of this Christian McCaffrey Rookie Card, which has 149 copies, has a pair of swatches plus a football piece. It also has an autograph.
Parallels: Premiere Materials Autographs Spectrum (/99)
17. 2017 Panini Unparalleled Christian McCaffrey RC #310 Auto Jersey /99
The 2017 Panini Unparalleled Christian McCaffrey Rookie Card takes the autographed memorabilia theme that’s common in a lot of higher-end products and gives it a bold look. Lots of lines going in different directions, the “wind chime” pattern in the background and choice color coordination make it stand out in a lot of regards. In a hobby where choice is big, this is something that some collectors seek out. The fact that it has less than 100 copies is a draw as well.
Parallels: Purple (/25), Orange (/15), Teal (/10), Red (/5), Blue (1/1), Gold (1/1), Green (1/1)
16. 2017 Panini Origins Christian McCaffrey RC #111 Auto Patch
Panini’s take on Origins has a modern vibe to it. But things are switched up a little for its second season. Regular Rookie Autographs are inserts in 2017 Panini Origins. Christian McCaffrey and other rookies get the autographed patch treatment.
Parallels: Red (/99), Blue (/49), Turquoise (/25), Gold (/10), Green (/5), Black (1/1)
15. 2017 Panini Pantheon Christian McCaffrey RC #110 Auto Jersey /49
2017 Panini Pantheon is the first year for the brand in football. This autographed Christian McCaffrey Rookie Card forgoes the patch for a regular jersey swatch. But then there’s the print run. At 49 copies this card is tough. And with only three parallels totaling 31 copies combined, there’s some legitimate scarcity involved with this card.
Parallels: Gold (/25), Bronze (/5), Holo Silver (1/1)
14. 2017 Panini Plates & Patches Christian McCaffrey RC Auto Patch #203 /50
A big patch, small print run and autograph highlight the 2017 Plates & Patches Christian McCaffrey RC. It has just 50 copies so landing one now may require some patience. The swatch window is sizable and fits in nicely with the vertical design. One thing that keeps the price from jumping a lot higher is likely the fact that the autograph uses a sticker.
Parallels: Blue (/25), Green (/10), Red (/5), Gold (1/1), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1)
13. 2017 Certified Cuts Christian McCaffrey RC Auto Patch #211 /49
The autograph on the 2017 Certified Cuts Christian McCaffrey isn’t on-card but it’s not a sticker, either. Rather, Panini opted for more of a cut signature approach for the design. It makes for a larger signing window that contains autographs better. And while there’s a patch piece to go with it, it’s extremely small to the point where it might be a detraction for some collectors.
Parallels: Red Ink (25 copies), Red (/15), Blue Ink (10 copies), Blue (/5), Green (/2), Green Ink (1 copy)
12. 2017 Panini Vertex Christian McCaffrey RC Auto Quad Memorabilia #110 /99
As a brand, 2017 Panini Vertex Football was a one-and-done, not returning the following year. However, the Capstones subset that the Christian McCaffrey Rookie Card is part of lives on. The distinct autograph memorabilia cards have a hard signature as well as a four-corners approach to memorabilia.
Parallels: Quartz (/49), Granite (/25), Marble (/10), Onyx (1/1)
11. 2017 Panini Gold Standard Christian McCaffrey RC #205 Auto Jersey /49
2017 Panini Gold Standard includes key rookies several times in the main set. All are autographed and have memorabilia attached. Some are basic autographed jersey cards while others go to two, three and jumbo swatches. The main Christian McCaffrey Rookie Card in this set has just 49 copies. But so do his other three cards. So while that’s four different cards that are individually tough, all of them combined have almost 200 copies. Many collectors would likely be happy with any one of them so this way of spreading things out helps keep prices in line. At the same time, there’s still a premium sensibility to the card.
Parallels: Prime (/25), Prime Tag (1/1)
10. 2017 Immaculate Collection Collegiate Christian McCaffrey RC #118 Auto Patch /49
2017 Immaculate Collegiate is definitely leaning towards the super premium side of things, particularly when it comes to NCAA cards. Whether it’s college or pro, rookie patch autographs are one of the cornerstones for the brand. That’s no different here. The base version has 49 copies but that number balloons somewhat once parallels are factored in.
Parallels: Gold (/25), Premium Rookie Patch Autographs (/25), Premium Rookie Patch Autographs Bowl Logo (/10), Premium Rookie Patch Autographs Gold (/10), Rookie Patch Autographs Bowl Logo (/10), Premium Rookie Patch Autographs Brand Logo (/5), Rookie Patch Autographs Brand Logo (/5), Platinum (1/1), Premium Rookie Patch Autographs Conference Logo (1/1), Premim Rookie Patch Autographs Platinum (1/1), Rookie Patch Autographs Conference Logo (1/1), Rookie Patch Autographs Team Logo Shield (1/1)
9. 2017 Panini Contenders Draft Picks Christian McCaffrey RC #107 Autograph
It doesn’t matter what the sport is or whether it’s pro or college, Contenders has pull. Part of that’s history, something that comes with being around for decades. There’s also the running ticket theme. And then there’s the autographs. Put it all together and you’ve got one of the most valuable Christian McCaffrey Rookie Cards.
In addition to the regular version (pictured below), the 2017 Panini Contenders Draft Picks McCaffrey card has three different variations. Each of these also has an assortment of parallels.
Parallels: Blue Foil, Red Foil, Bowl Ticket (/25), Cracked Ice (/23), Playoff Ticket (/15), Championship Ticket (1/1), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1)
8. 2017 Immaculate Collection Christian McCaffrey RC Auto Patch #111 /99
Since its debut, Immaculate has been consistent with its Rookie Cards. The 2017 Immaculate Collection Christian McCaffrey stays true with a print run of 99 copies, on-card signature and patch. It’s a combination that works with the clean design and growing sense of continuity.
Parallels: Gold (/25), NFL Shield (1/1), Platinum (1/1)
7. 2017 Panini Majestic Christian McCaffrey RC #114 Auto Jersey /25
At 25 copies, the thing driving the 2017 Panini Majestic Christian McCaffrey Rookie Card is its print run. Rather, it’s the lack of production. Between the base version and the three parallels, it has 41 copies. Total. Toss in the autograph and the swatch and you’ve got a recipe for something that many collectors could be searching for should McCaffrey hit it big like many are expecting. This is the debut year for Majestic, so there isn’t quite the same history as some other brands like Contenders, but the scarcity should make up for a lot of that.
Parallels: Gold (/10), Red (/5), Green (1/1)
6. 2017 Panini Contenders Optic Christian McCaffrey RC Autograph #111
Contenders seems to be popular no matter the set. Chromium products are equally hot. Put them together and it shouldn’t be surprising that the 2017 Panini Contenders Optic Christian McCaffrey Rookie Card ranks so highly. Like his main Contenders RC, the highlight is the on-card signature. It lacks a serial number, but that’s standard for the line as well and doesn’t make much of a difference, if any.
Parallels: Red (/75), Blue (/25), Gold (/10), Gold Vinyl (1/1), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1)
5. 2017 Panini Spectra Christian McCaffrey RC Auto Patch #211 /99
For fans of chromium, the 2017 Panini Spectra Christian McCaffrey Rookie Card takes things to the high-end. In addition to the trademark shine that comes with the stock, there’s a jumbo patch piece and an autograph. Most of the parallels are neon colors, adding another level of brightness.
Parallels: Neon Blue (/75), Neon Green (/50), Neon Pink (/15), Neon Black Light (/10), Neon Orange (/5), Gold (1/1), Gold Laundry Tag NFL Player’s Logo (1/1), Gold Laundry Tag NFL Shield (1/1), Gold Laundry Tag Nike Swoosh (1/1)
4. 2017 Panini Impeccable Christian McCaffrey RC Auto Helmet/Patch #105 /75
The 2017 Impeccable Christian McCaffrey does the autographed memorabilia card a little different. It has two swatches, one of which sticks with tradition and goes the patch route. The other one opts for a piece of player-worn helmet, something not seen a lot of relics. The card has a low print run of 75 copies, making it tough to find. The hard signature done directly on the card is another key piece to the card’s popularity.
Parallels: Helmet and Nameplate (/25), Helmet and Glove (/15), Dual NFL Logo (1/1)
3. 2017 Panini Contenders Christian McCaffrey RC Autograph #311
Contenders Football has a long history of being extremely popular with a variety of collectors. First, there are set builders who go deep, even with a large checklist and short prints. Rookie and autograph collectors also share a fondness for the line, which usually is one of the year’s more affordable signature-heavy products at the outset. The 2017 Panini Contenders Christian McCaffrey Rookie Card meets all of this criteria, resulting in one of his top cards.
Parallels: Red Zone, Cracked Ice (/25), Preview (/23), Playoff Ticket (/15), Championship Ticket (/10), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1), Super Bowl Ticket (1/1)
2. 2017 Panini Flawless Christian McCaffrey RC Autograph #138 /20
Flawless takes box prices to the extreme. But with that comes some extremely high-end cards that have low print runs. Case in point, the 2017 Panini Flawless Christian McCaffrey RC. It’s autographed and the base versions has just 20 copies. This makes it the running back’s rarest Rookie Card.
Parallels: Sapphire (/15), Diamond (/10), Emerald (/5), Chocolate Diamond (/4), Canary Yellow Diamond (/3), Platinum (1/1)
1. 2017 Panini National Treasures Christian McCaffrey RC Auto Patch #181 /99
2017 Panini National Treasures Football has the biggest Christian McCaffrey Rookie Card. Numbered to 99, it has an on-card autograph to go along with a massive patch swatch that usually makes for a very colorful piece. Carrying the NT name certainly helps the card as well as collectors associate as being the most coveted of modern high-end lines.
Parallels: Holo Silver (/25), Stars and Stripes (/13), Holo Gold (/10), Green Jersey Number (/22), Black (/5), Red Brand Logo (/2), Platinum (1/1), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1), Red (1/1), Red Laundry Tag (1/1)