Super Bowl quarterback Tom Brady and Dallas Cowboys rookie Dak Prescott top the latest edition of the NFLPA Trading Card Index, a quarterly report ranking the top-performing football players in the licensed trading card industry.
Once a quarter, the NFLPA Panini Trading Card Index ranks the top 15 rookies and top 15 veterans based on several key factors, including secondary-market transactions, overall trading volume and collectability based on on-field performance and expectations (e.g., rookie hype and collector speculation).
The fourth edition of the index includes updated rankings for both rookies and veterans based on late regular-season and early postseason performances. The newest rankings are based on secondary-market transactions and trading volume that took place during the fourth quarter of 2016.
The Cowboys dominate the rookie rankings this quarter thanks to the popularity of Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott, who rank No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. Tyreek Hill of the Kansas City Chiefs made his first appearance on the list at No. 3, a testament to his meteoric rise in popularity. Hill is one of five rookies making their Index debuts, joining Jordan Howard (Chicago Bears), Robert Kelley (Washington Redskins), Malcolm Mitchell (New England Patriots) and Paul Perkins (New York Giants).
On the veteran side, New England Patriots quarterback Brady tops the rankings for the third consecutive time and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is ranked No. 2 once again this quarter. Players who made the list despite now appearing in quarter three include Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell (No. 3), Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (No. 5), Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (No. 6), Packers receiver Jordy Nelson (No. 9) and Patriots receiver Julian Edelman (No. 10).
“In the world of football-card collecting, late-season surges and playoff successes have a huge impact on a player’s overall popularity in the collectibles arena – and you’re seeing that play out,” said Jason Howarth, Panini America’s Vice President of Marketing. “Regardless of whether you’re a veteran or a rookie, if you perform when the spotlight is the biggest and as the games become more important, your trading cards will be dramatically impacted.”
Notable fourth-quarter sales driving rookie rankings include a Prescott 2016 Prizm Football Rookie Autograph Black 1/1 redemption that sold for $3,200 and a Prescott 2016 Donruss Optic Football Rated Rookie Gold out of 10 that sold for $2,950. On the veteran side, a Brady 2000 Contenders Football Rookie Ticket Autograph sold for $10,201 and a Rodgers 2005 Contenders Football Rookie Ticket Autograph that sold for $2,043.
The next NFLPA Panini Trading Card Index will be the first to incorporate 2017 rookies and will be published in April (capturing early pre-Draft speculation and a complete recap of Super Bowl LI).
The 2016 NFLPA Panini Trading Card Index: Rookies (4Q); previous ranking in parentheses
- Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (Previous Rank: 2)
- Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys (Previous Rank: 3)
- Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs (Previous Rank: NA)
- Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles (Previous Rank: 1)
- Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears (Previous Rank: NA)
- Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (Previous Rank: 5)
- Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints (Previous Rank: 8)
- Joey Bosa, San Diego Chargers (Previous Rank: NA)
- Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans (Previous Rank: 6)
- Kenneth Dixon, Baltimore Ravens (Previous Rank 14)
- Robert Kelley, Washington Redskins (Previous Rank NA)
- Malcolm Mitchell, New England Patriots (Previous Rank: NA)
- Paul Perkins, New York Giants (Previous Rank: NA)
- Will Fuller V, Houston Texans (Previous Rank: 4)
- Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams (Previous Rank: 12)
The 2016 NFLPA Panini Trading Card Index: Veterans (4Q); previous ranking in parentheses
- Tom Brady, New England Patriots (Previous Rank: 1)
- Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (Previous Rank: 2)
- Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers (Previous Rank: NA)
- Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons (Previous Rank: 12)
- Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (Previous Rank: NA)
- David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals (Previous Rank: NA)
- Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers (Previous Rank: 4)
- Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (Previous Rank: 7)
- Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers (Previous Rank: NA)
- Julian Edelman, New England Patriots (Previous Rank: NA)
- Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (Previous Rank: 11)
- Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants (Previous Rank: 10)
- Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Previous Rank: NA)
- Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (Previous Rank: NA)
- Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins (Previous Rank: NA)