Stars of the 2018 NFL Season and Their Hobby Impact – Beckett Pricing Insider


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The NFL regular season has come to an end. It was an exciting one, to say the least. 2018 was one of the highest scoring seasons in league history. There was plenty of excitement on the defensive side of the ball, too. For the stat leaders, there are some familiar names alongside some new stars.

Let’s dive into some of the key categories and how the leaders’ standing in the hobby.


The obvious place to start is with the quarterbacks. Ben Roethlisberger led the league in passing yards with 5,129 followed closely by Patrick Mahomes who had 5,097. Mahomes threw a staggering 50 touchdowns, which hasn’t been done since Peyton Manning set the record with 55 in 2013.

Big Ben’s collectability has always been strong and it stayed that way this season. The true MVP for collectors in 2018 was Patrick Mahomes. His autograph values were raised several times over the past few months. And with the Chiefs in the playoffs as the top seed, his values could go even higher.

2018 Panini Impeccable Football Indelible Ink Patrick Mahomes

Honorable mention needs to go to Drew Brees who led his team to the top seed in the NFC. His rookie and autograph values took off for the first time in a few seasons.

Rushing and Receiving

Ezekiel Elliott led the league in rushing yards with 1,434 while Todd Gurley scored the most touchdowns with 17. Still, it has been a quiet year for the running backs and collectors. Gurley had some cards raised earlier in the season. Collectors have softened a little on Elliott since his rookie season, but with the Cowboys in the playoffs again he might see increased interest.

Julio Jones‘ 1,677 receiving yards topped the NFL in 2018. Even so, he didn’t get his first touchdown until Week 9, kicking off a scoring hot streak and ending the season with eight scores.

The Steelers finished the season with two wide receivers over 1,000 yards. Antonio Brown had 1,297 and JuJu Smith-Schuster caught for 1,426. But their season is over so collectors won’t be giving them much attention for a while.

The best receiver for collectors this year was Adam Thielen. His values have always been strong but they really took off in 2018. One example would be his 2016 Panini Contenders card that went from $150 to $300 high book this season.


The only defensive player making any waves with collectors this season was Aaron Donald. He led the league in sacks with 20.5. J.J. Watt was next with 16. Donald’s National Treasures rookie card went from a $15 card to $80. He was definitely the Defensive MVP this year.

2014 Panini National Treasures Aaron Donald Autograph


Lastly, we get to the rookies. The season started out with a lot of potential.

Saquon Barkley came out of the gate as the strongest rookie and he stayed that way all season. He was second in the league in rushing with 1,307 yards and scored 11 touchdowns.

2018 Panini Contenders Draft Picks Saquon Barkley Autograph

Baker Mayfield started strong and only got stronger once he started playing. He led the Browns to their first win in what seemed like forever and so much more. The Browns were actually in playoff contention this year. He threw for 27 touchdowns, which sets a new rookie record. That beat Russell Wilson and Peyton Manning.

2018 Panini Obsidian Football Rookie Autos Baker Mayfield

The biggest surprise of the season came out of Denver with Phillip Lindsay. He was an undrafted free agent and became one of the best running backs in the league. There are only 60 cards for him in the database so far, but plenty of those are autographs.

My Rookie of the Year has to go to Mayfield, though.


Justin Grunert

Justin Grunert has been the football and racing analyst at Beckett since 2013. He has been collecting cards for 25 years and mainly collects baseball cards, football cards and movie memorabilia. Justin recently got a degree in Digital Video Production from Collin College in North Texas. His favorite sports teams are the Texas Rangers and the Green Bay Packers.

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