Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Strasburg Eerily Absent From Recent Ginter Box Breaks

Do you remember back a few weeks ago when Topps advised that every product will bring Strasmus tidings to all the good young collectors who bought the boxes and packs? I do, and I then remember when the people who usually buy a ton, bought that much more as a result. Well, as we are slowly finding out, promises of Strasburg in Allen and Ginter may have been quite highly exaggerated.

So far, there are a lot of early reports that cases have not only gone Strasburg-less - but also have been missing case hits themselves as well. This is even more evident when people who buy huge amounts of products are reporting box after box, case after case, filled with everything but a whiff of a Strasburg.

Considering that the price of this product has been driven very high by promises of the Nationals' Fireballer, there are going to be a lot of unhappy set collectors who are now left with boxes worth a lot less than they paid for them.

Im sure Topps will release an explanation through the usual channels, Ill post updates as soon as I have them.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Steven Strasburg: WTF?!?!? Edition

Am I missing something? No, seriously, am I really seeing what I think I am seeing? A card, available in regular packs at no real lack of distribution, is going for how much? I would understand if it were autographed, or if it were ridiculously SPed, but this is what seems to be a normal mini that you can probably get in retail packs for fuck's sake!

When you see that the autographed version of his 2010 Bowman card can be had for around $650, why in god's name would anyone in their right mind pay THIS much for a normal and not rare card? Most of the Allen & Ginter minis are rar-ER pulls than a base card, and I get that Stras wont have a base card, but this much? Cmon, we have reached a level beyond insanity.

I can only imagine what the first auto is going to go for, even though its a redemption. I would guess the first one will easily top 2K, and settle in around 1,000 for the first month. After that, I would guess that the Bowman auto and the rest of the autos should equal out to be around the same price when all is said and done. Its still beyond stupid though.

I do continue to think people should be committed for buying at these prices, as its obvious that Washington isnt going to be the next Philadelphia in the National League. Not to mention that Tim Lincecum, a 2 time, 2 time, cy young winner has autos that can be had for close to nothing compared to the ridiculous prices that Strasburg is going for.

Its actually rare that I am befuddled by something that happens in this hobby, I mean truly and utterly befuddled. Even though I dont think that anyone should ever pay any attention to anything with a Triple Threads logo on it, I at least get why some people (who must have vision problems, I guess) like to collect the cards. People who pay what they are paying for boxes of Bowman and anything with Stras' picture on the front is literally something I cannot understand.

UPDATE: Ebay has pulled these auctions.

Monday, June 28, 2010

A "Super" Great Superfractor Auction

Im confused. Why in god's name would anyone want to grade a superfractor? I just don’t understand the point, especially when the card is not available anywhere else. People often argue protection, but if that is the case, why even get it with a grade? When you factor in that the guy who graded the Stras superfractor needed a little "help" to get the 9.5, its really not worth the risk, when all you can do is damange the value of the card rather than help it, in most cases. That is all after the inherant risk of sending a card like that through the mail to begin with.

This auction is a great and hilarious example of that. The Jason Heyward superfractor 1/1 out of 2010 Bowman was one of the biggest pulls of the entire print run and this is the second time its been posted for sale. Despite the fact that its his THIRD chrome card and SECOND auto, people out there still want to pay thousands for it for some god forsaken reason. In the auction mentioned above, the buyer is also going to get a Strasburg Auto which looks to be graded a 9.5 legit instead of a "9.5," something that looks to be driving this auction even higher than it normally would. That isnt the funny part though.

The funny part is that the Heyward was stupidly submitted for grading and came back with a 9. That’s what you deserve when you try to use a system that shouldn’t be used. It was almost an 8.5 from what it looks like on the auction description, so maybe the seller got a little "lucky" with this card as well.

Guys, I seriously hate the grading system to begin with, as stated numerous times on this site, but I do think its even more ridiculous when someone thinks that a grade on a superfractor adds more to the card than just an ugly slab. That’s where line should be drawn.

Is Panini Threads The Start of a Rehash Downfall?

I thought things were a changin', I thought that Panini had finally made a push in the right directions by starting to avoid some of the major design problems that the last 2-3 years of their cards have had. Then I saw the preview for threads yesterday, and all of that promise and hope deflated like the soccer excitement in this country after Saturday.

On top of the fact that these cards look terrible to begin with, they have changed VERY little since 2009's offerings. We still have the same design for the main rookie hits, and most of the subsets are so boring that I had to drink a red bull to stay awake while looking at them. That's not the scary thing though, it gets much, much scarier.

Last year, National Treasures was a 400 dollar box of Threads to begin with, featuring the worst looking product since its inception in 2006. What used to look like aged relic of the past, instead looked like half the shit out of Threads, minus the foilboard. That will not ever fly with me, and if this set is any indication of things to come, we are looking at ANOTHER down year of National Treasures. I was hoping that Panini would learn that you cant just rehash every single part of previous sets and not expect people to notice, but I assume as soon as we get the Absolute Preview, its going to be more of the same ole shit.

This is where the consumers really need to speak up, but with a lack of licensed product from the company known for producing the best looking cards, they may not be able to have that luxury. Then when you consider that so far, Chrome and Flagship are the only products out of Topps' lineup worth being excited for, it may be a full year's worth of boredom on the horizon.

For shame Panini, for shame.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ufjumper7 Has Continued His Assault On SPA Redemptions

I have been talking about Ufjumper7 for a long time now. The guy has single-handedly destroyed a portion of 2009 SPA like no other seller has done in a long time. Because of Upper Deck's troubles, as well as rumors of athletes not signing for redemptions, he was able to pick up tons of Kenny Britt, Percy Harvin and Beanie Wells for chump change, all with the intentions of exploiting people. The funny part is how stupid some people are for believing his stuff is real.

Here are his recent auctions to avoid:

Percy Harvin Viking Head Logo /25 - Not only did he destroy a Harvin card with a ridiculous fake logo, but he ruined a gold version that usually sells for around 200. This is his second logo that he has sold, and no one seems to notice. What a douche.

Percy Harvin 3 Color - Harvin didnt get a lot of three colors in SPA, but Ufjumper has gotten them time after time, right? Sure, if you like patches off the replithentic jerseys he bought for 3 bucks.

Percy Harvin 3 Color - See above, these are terrible.

Kenny Britt 3 Color - Kenny Britt also has a 3 color shortage, and when they are three colors, I dont think this is the jersey he wore at the premiere even. Not that this ass hat would even care, but just saying. Stay away.

Here are two others from before, there will defintely be more, he bought a ton of these.

Percy Harvin Vikings Chest Logo - Not even a question this isnt real. I still cannot believe people dont see who this guy really is. Im wondering how long it will be before he changes his name.

Percy Harvin 3 Color - Funny how many of these 3 colors he was "lucky" enough to get. These hit so early after release that no one knew to question him. Again with replithentic patches.

Ufjumper7 needs to be on everyone's list, even you hockey collectors. Most of the time, his fakes are easy to recognize, but every once in a while, he pulls one over on a few unsuspecting people. Ill keep you posted if he pulls any other shit.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Based On These Sales, Could Topps Set Records?

Its been a long time since a player like Strasburg has come on the scene. Some of his cards are even outselling Albert Pujols, and that says to me that people arent really paying attention to the cap of the card values but really just that Strasburg is on them. With recent sales topping ridiculous amounts, how high is the ceiling for the rest of Topps Calendar?

Allen and Ginter has already sold out at Blowout, and Bowman Chrome will not be far behind. Plus, with the supply of 2010 Bowman jumbo boxes drying up, things are starting to get so insane on prices that I cant even explain it to people not in the hobby.

Check these out:

Strasburg Orange Auto /25 - Wait what? Who in their right mind would drop that kind of cash on a card like this. I can only imagine what is going to happen when the Chrome version comes out. Its going to be even more insane.

Base Strasburg Auto BGS 10 - Ok, this may deserve to be on the top of this list because I am in utter shock. With the recent grading "scandal" I think its becoming more understood what really makes up a BGS grade. Then when you factor in that this bidder paid a premium of multiple THOUSANDS of dollars and you just have to scratch your head. Plus, im not even going to go into my difference between 9.5 and 10 argument again. Holy shit.

Base Strasburg Auto PSA 10 - Im literally floored by this sale. PSA 10s are generally believed to be at the level of a BGS 9.5 with a few 10 subgrades, and yet this thing sold for how much? Strasmus in june indeed.

Base Strasburg Auto BGS 9.5 - When comparing the base raw to the base 9.5 and seeing that the price doubles is completely fucking ridiculous. I dont have anything else to say about that. Show me another card where that happens. Plus, who is seriously paying 600+ for these non-chrome cards anyways?

Strasburg Million Card Giveaway Base - For this price you are already 5/6ths of the way to a base auto, so why even try? I still cant believe how much these are going for, and it is even more crazy how much the codes are going for now that there is a chance to unlock one of these. Unbelievable.

Overall, its pretty much understood that Strasburg's cards are going to mean gold for a Topps brand that needed to prove that having the exclusive was worth everyone's time. I would expect HUGE jumps in everything they release for the rest of the year, and for those of you who bought in to cases early, welcome to big money.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Updates on the Fake Babe Ruth Cut From 2009 Triple Threads

Fake cut signature cards have been a huge issue for everyone involved since the time card companies started using deceased players as a chase for their higher end products. In 2008, Upper Deck received a ton of criticism and negative press for releasing a quad cut signature card with fake cuts in the card. It was featured on HBO and eventually the owner received some cards as a repayment that many collectors would kill for, including a replacement for the actual cuts themselves.

More recently, Topps has had a very similar problem with a card out of my all time favorite set, Triple Threads. In the 2009 product, a dual cut of Babe Ruth and Lou Gherig made the rounds as a card that was featured as THE chase for the product. It was pulled by a collector and immediately posted on eBay, as expected. Within a few days, rumors were running rampant that not only was the Ruth cut featured in the card not real, but that Topps knew ahead of time and still released the card. The auction was pulled and the card was submitted to a number of grading services to determine authenticity of both cuts, with mostly negative results. Although the Gherig was determined to be likely genuine, the Ruth received "no comment" or "not likely genuine" across the board.

After all of this took place, the collector placed the card on eBay AGAIN with wording that commented on the authenticity of the card according to Topps, not any of the services that had returned their opinions. It was pulled again, and the collector was left with a pretty large problem. Keep the card knowing it contained a fake signature, or sell the card under false or truthful pretenses. From the explanation given by the collector, Topps eventually produced the original COAs, and forced the collector to send in the card for further investigation. After a number of days, they have made good on their promise to replace the fraudulent signature, and the collector has a new card.

Personally, the way this was handled by both the collector and the company was terrible. The collector should not have relisted the card after getting bad news from all those services, and Topps should have made good immediately instead of dragging out the process.

When it comes down to it, cut signatures will always be a venture into trust. You have to trust the company that made the card, you have to trust the service that originally authenticated it, and you have to trust that the opinions of those people are correct. I do not have that trust under most circumstances, especially those of services like PSA, JSA, and company. I get that they cant always be perfect, but people treat them as such. PSA seems to have just as many problems as JSA, and a lot of collectors have sworn off authenticated autographs simply because of their past experiences. I only own one piece authenticated by either service, and I still question it to this day. It seems to me that PSA and JSA (especially JSA due to their partnership with Beckett) are only out to make money rather than performing a needed service for collectors. In the end, it will always come down your eye versus theirs, your level of expertise versus theirs and both your and their abilities to outsmart the douchebags out there that live off of selling fakes.

Watch your ass.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Good Chuckle Courtesy of Freedom Card Board

Oh man, this is good, looks real!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

BGS "Discusses" The Strasburg Grade - FAIL

Its rare that a card like the Strasburg superfractor comes around. I have no idea why anyone would even think of grading this card to begin with, but the seller fell for Beckett's black magic and submitted it. As I predicted ahead of time, despite obvious problems, the card received a 9.5. People who know grading, rightfully so, went ape shit because of the fact that the card was so obviously bumped because of its stature. As always, Beckett's arrogance moved them to post this video on youtube for everyone to see. They actually thought they could prove the card was legitimately the grade it received, when really all it did was solidify everything that angry graded card collectors were saying. Basically, the Strasburg was not a 9.5, and probably wasnt even a 9. However, for a company that exemplifies everything that is bad about the hobby, it wasnt about anything more about making money and making themselves look good. Epic Fail all around.

Dont believe what I am saying? Think I have a bias because I hate everything Beckett stands for? Fine. You dont have to listen to me, but this supersized scan from the guy who pulled it originally speaks for itself:


No matter that the card is drastically off center, the edges are visibly frayed, and the corners are less than stellar, nothing on this card received less than a 9. Give me a fucking break. I have craps that could have gotten a better grade than this should have. Bottom line. Thanks for proving your irrelevancy to everyone all over again, Beckett. Love your work.

GAI Should Automaticall Raise Red Flags

Im sure that many of you are also autograph collectors as well as card collectors. File me under that heading too, as my allegiance has always been more to the autograph collectors than the card collectors. Its rare that I buy a non-autographed card, and that leaves me in quite a predicament when I want to buy a certified auto on eBay.

Lately I have noticed a lot of autographs popping up that not only arent real, but have a GAI certificate with the item. GAI used to be a company that at least had some loose standards in authenticating autographs, but that has changed recently according to a number of connected people in the hobby. Therefore, like me, you may start to see a lot of GAI certified autos that arent at all close to being legit. Although some GAI certs may actually be for real autos, Im not sure if I would risk my hard earned money if I didn’t know the autograph as well as I know some. The company just has way too many red flags and it is the reason that people like Kevin Burge use them almost exclusively. Due to company revenues issues they have been known to issue a cert on any order that is submitted, and that leaves a lot of fake autographs out there that look real to the average collector.

Again, im not saying that you should disregard buying an auto just because it has a GAI cert, but I would exhaust all options before you head in that direction. If there is another option, why risk it, right? Use your head and think, if a company is out there that can generate revenue any way they can, this seems like it would be the first course of action to get more people to utilize your service.

We already know that non-money starved companies like PSA are just as willing to authenticate fake topps rookie premiere autos, so who is to say that they don’t employ the same practice here. Autograph authentication has always been a third party opinion, not a third party FACT, and that leads to a lot of stuff happening that normally wouldn’t be an issue. Its tough to say that most of the autos they certify are fake, but it isnt out of the realm of possibility to think that it is just another tool to generate revenue through the normal conflict of interest it presents. Let's not forget the video of Beckett partner JSA certifying a baseball signed in the parking lot of a show.

A lot of people may criticize my site for being overly negative when it comes to the tendencies of people operating in the hobby, yet time after time, issues like this come up. When they do come up, everyone has such a peachy keen outlook on things that they refuse to think they could be on the wrong side of a scammer transaction. Watch your ass people, as this hobby tends to eat people alive when they don’t think anything bad can happen to them. Any time money is involved in anything, people will find ways to exploit other people to get ahead. Don’t think for a moment that respected hobby sources may be on the take as well. I have never forgotten that, and I attribute a lot of my own success as a result of that personal mantra.

Move Over Manny Ramirez's Grill, Here Comes Strasburg!

In case you guys havent been following, the Strasburg Red Auto 1/1 is over 100K now for the auction, which says a lot about the legitimacy of the 100+ bids. Obviously, no one is actually going to pay that much for a card that isnt Michael Jordan related or has Honus Wagner related to it, so I don’t think we can count on a sale. For that price, you might as well invest in a house rather than a piece of cardboard for an uproven and unseasoned pitcher.

When eBay would offer a process for pre-approving bidders, this guy should have taken advantage of that, and he could have saved himself a lot of time and a lot of getting his hopes up and having them shot down. This card will still easily sell for an absolutely ridiculous price, but now it has entered into the same territory as Manny Ramirez's infamous "holy grail" of bar-b-que grills.

Maybe he should send it to Beckett before the next auction comes up, looks like a 10 to me, right?


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Panini Rookies And Stars Shows A Good Direction For Once?

In my opinion, Rookies and Stars was one of the worst looking products of the entire calendar last year. They used weird fonts, splatter paint designs and overall crap concepts to put out a product that a lot of people were very fond of. This year looks a lot better on paper, but I have yet to get truly excited over a Panini design yet this year. Like Elite and Classics, R&S is a million times better than the previous year's offering, meaning that Panini is FINALLY on the road to better design elements in their products. However, I don’t quite think they have truly invested enough time to get to a nice point we can ALL appreciate. I guess we will have to wait for the final product to come out.

One thing I will say is that the signed manupatches are terribly lame and played out, and should be scrapped completely from every product. I get that they are ridiculously cheap to produce and prevent another stickered subset from infesting their overladen products, but they are so goddamn boring now that I cant put it into words.

Here are some pics from Blowout:

Discussing the Grading BUSINESS Again


I think its time to revisit the grading discussion, because this Strasburg card is about to get a lot of publicity for BGS, and I have a feeling they knew what the card's grade was before it was even submitted. I have always been a person who has rallied against the grading of cards by organizations like Beckett and PSA, because so many people don’t see the obvious conflict of interests that are inherantly present in running things the way they are run. Grading is a business, and from what I have been told, it is the most profitable part of each of the companies that do it. The problem is, so many people refuse to question anything that is set in slab, and that is the main reason why I feel it is necessary for me to comment on this for the hundredth time.

Grading was started back in the 1990s to help combat fraud for people who were just starting to buy and sell on the dark ages of the internet and eBay, but has turned into something completely different. Because the service offers ABOVE mint grades for some reason, people have started to use it as a way to bolster value on a card that would normally sell for lower prices. Its rarely used for modern cards in a way that echoes the original intent of the service, but that can be expected from the end user. Its kind of odd that BGS has actually started to cater to that crowd in recent years, and that is the reason why things are getting so out of hand. It has everything to do with the fact that BGS is a subsidiary of a magazine that has no relevancy in the hobby anymore, and the grading BUSINESS is the one thing that can do for circulation numbers what a slab would do to a raw card.

Based on this fact, I want you to start to think about the conflicts of interest that creates. You need to create repeat customers, and how do you do that under most normal business circumstances? Without a doubt, you do everything in your power make the customer happy. How do you make the customer happy in this sense? Well if you have a customer that repeatedly sends in huge orders, why not give him a little bump, right? He has a bunch of cards bordering that elusive 9.5? Well, get him that 9.5 so that he keeps coming back. I remember a while ago someone actually did an experiment with PSA and found that larger orders averaged better grades on the same cards than a smaller or individual order. Its common sense that this would happen, so why doesn’t anyone consider it to be a problem?

The reason is because when you think of the perceived legitimacy of the slab itself, there is no reason to question a result, unless it is unfavorable. If you are lucky enough to get a 10 on any scale for your card, no person in their right mind would ever resubmit it just to check and see if it could be duplicated, right? So, if a company wanted to bump a few orders for a VIP, no one would ever come back to them and say what they think is actually going on. Where is the need?

I still havent gotten to the meat of the conflict of interest though, and here it is. Because there is no governing regulatory industry that offers inspections on the different services, companies have no responsibility to their customers to provide accurate services. Because the service is run and performed by humans in the first place, bias is unavoidable, and therefore puts doubt into the whole process. Ill give you an example. Look at the BGS 10 Montana that was the talk of the town last time the National Card Show rolled around. It sold for $19,900 more than a raw one and tens of thousands more than a 9.5. Its funny how that type of occurrance hits the news during the biggest card show of the year. Not only that, but who is to say that it wasn’t manufactured publicity? Its pretty easy to make a Montana 9.5 a 10, mainly because Beckett has singlehandedly created an above mint culture in the hobby. Can any normal casual buyer make a case why a 9.5 is a 9.5 and a 10 is a 10? No. In fact, there probably isnt a person that can make a case like that in most instances.

Then when you see the publicity it got for a company that desperately needed it, the conflict of interest that grading presents becomes much more clear. There is no agency that will come and knock down Beckett's door if they grade the card "incorrectly," so why not give yourself some free advertising?

I also think its worth mentioning that both services do offer crossover grading, which is basically a way for collectors to beef up their grade gotten from another service. Funny how that is. There has also been a surge in slab crackers, or people that take poor results and resubmit multiple times for better grades, in recent years. Because there is so much subjectivity and arbitrary situations that are part of the service, people like this can get the result they want if they try enough times. If grading was the service it advertised, that type of problem wouldn’t happen.

Although there is a standard of grading, or so Beckett and PSA say, there is no doubt in my mind that this Strasburg 1/1 will be graded at least a 9.5 for the exact reasons I just mentioned. No magazine without customer responsibility would invite that kind of negativity about a card that is so important to their success. However, due to the off centered print of the card, they may be asking for a lot of people to start shouting my concerns from the rooftops.

Is there a place for grading in this hobby? Sure. Beckett has created that on their own. People value graded cards. But those cards have holes, and its important that some people realize that before dropping thousands on a "pristine" copy of a card they love, because that pristine card may be pristine for a reason other than its condition.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Buyer's Remorse? Strasburg Superfractor BACK on eBay

I said before that it was ridiculous that anyone would pay as much as that guy did for the Strasburg superfractor. Who would've guessed that it would take a whole 6 weeks for the Strasburg superfractor to be relisted? Not only is it already climbing fast, but it ends on the same day as the Red Auto 1/1. Obviously the guy who bought it A) is trying to captialize on the publicity, and B) doesnt understand that he is going to get shredded by the red auto.

Oh but wait, it gets better.

Not only is this card for sale at the moment, but IT IS BEING GRADED. Yes, because a card that sold for $16,000 is really going to be bumped THAT much by a subjective process done by a publicity starved company looking to make a buck. I guarantee it gets at least a 9.5 even though it probably is an 8, but that's besides the point. Either way, this reaks of stupid all the way around, and I cant wait to see how it turns out.

On second thought, maybe I should go grade my kid. I think it may accomplish just as much as grading this card. At least that way, if I ever find out he was a twin, I can find out which is in better condition.

Its stuff like this that makes me laugh. Seriously, why buy if you are just going to up and re-sell? Someone doesnt know chocolate cake from Entemann's. Cmon.

Here we are, Penthouse floor. Anyone? No? Going down then.

Insanity on the Strasburg Doesnt Even Begin To Say How I Feel

I thought the final price of the Strasburg superfractor was absolutely ridiculous. Now, I use the word ridiculous pretty often, but that word means more in that type of situation because there is no way that anyone from the outside wouldn’t think the exact same way. When you think about $16,000 for a modern non-autographed 1/1 of a prospect who has less than a month under his belt, maybe ridiculous doesn’t even begin to describe the real feelings that 99.9% of america would think. Hell, even his base 1/1 with no discernable redeeming value other than the numbering went for close to 5K.

Then you see the price this card is currently at. With over a week left in the auction, the card is already above 20K. Its no longer the cost of a used honda, its more in the range of a new Lexus, bording on a new Mercedes. Granted, the bids on this card may be problem people muckraking the coverage of it, but some of them are probably legit. Yes, this card IS autographed this time, on card at that, but there is no reason why this card should be even close to the price its at with the recent Bowman Chrome previews that were just released. Just wait until the 1/1 autographed Superfractor hits eBay, that will be truly ridiculous in every sense of the word.

Without discussing the careers of Mark Prior and other fireballers who had similar but not equal hype to Strasburg, its not insane to think that this card would reach or surpass the modern card ceiling. In fact, im kind of surprised that Beckett didn’t chase the card, grade it a 9.5 and sell it for the seller under their account like they have so many times before. But to think that this Strasburg card is worth more than any modern card with a modern player on it sold in the last decade or so, makes me kind of queasy. Kobe/Jordan dual auto logoman? Not at this level. Lebron Exquisite rookie with a three color patch? Not even close. Peyton Manning contenders auto? Peanuts compared to Stras. Adrian Peterson Exquisite 1/1? Even Beckett couldn’t help it get to the Strasburg quotient. Joba Chamberlain superfractor? Laughably close, but no cigar.

I have said before that getting into Strasburg for a few hundred bucks is fine, especially if you one of the 10 previous fans of the Washington team. But when you start getting into the thousands or the tens of thousands, you need your head checked. At least the guy who bought the super wasn’t really a hardcore collector, so he really didn’t understand the dynamics. That is probably what is going to happen here too, but that is not an excuse. Getting in on the penthouse level, even for fans, makes absolutely no sense at this type of price, even if you have the money. Go remodel your movie theater or bowling alley in your house instead of throwing your money away. I even think Keith Olbermann has better things to do, and he makes a ton of money.

Bottom line, these bidders may laugh at us for not being in their tax bracket, but we will be the ones laughing when all is said and done.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

2010 Elite Auto Leaderboard

Now that Elite has been out for about a week, I always find it interesting to find out who has the top autos and what they are going for. I have a feeling that this is the way things will shake out until the season starts, which says a lot about who the collectors think will have the most success. As I have commented on before, a player's college may still have residual effects on value until they become more engrained with their current team, however, at this point, NFL team makes just as much difference.


1. Tim Tebow /199 - $120-$125: No matter how much I shout from the mountain tops that Tebow's college career means nothing in the NFL, people will still bank on him. I have never seen a middle of the first round QB outsell the QB picked number one before the season starts, but then again, "with Tebow anything is possible." Saw that on a bumper sticker today, in TEXAS, next to a jesus fish. NOT KIDDING.

2. Sam Bradford /199 - $90-$95: Bradford is the #1 pick and really has every right to command a top value of the class. However, once he gets behind the Rams TERRIBLE offensive line that is in complete shambles, value will drop considerably.

3. Dez Bryant /249 - $70-$75: Bryant has Cowboys on his side, and also a ridiculous amount of talent. He is in a place where there hasnt been a good receiver not named Austin or Owens, and that will help tremendously. Value should stay right where it is.

4. (Tie) CJ Spiller /199 - $65-$70: Spiller was drafted as the top RB and he is getting that value wise too. However, in Buffalo, he isnt playing for as good of a team as Mathews, and Mathews seems to be primed for a ROY season behind a good line. However, RBs are always a wild card when it comes to production.

4. (Tie) Ryan Mathews /199 - $65 - $70: Ryan Mathews is a target of mine because I think San Diego is a great place for a rookie running back to thrive. Right now, he is my prediction for ROY, unless Spiller or Bryant finds a way to be as awesome as they can be.

6. Jimmy Clausen /249 - $60-65: I think Clausen will turn out to be the best QB of the class because he plays on the best team. Matt Moore is not the answer, and Clausen looked to be most pro-ready heading into the draft.

7. Ndamukong Suh /399 - $45-$50: Suh is one of the best Defensive prospects of the last decade, and could possibly be a perennial powerhouse in Detroit. However, its still Detroit, and that is a problem until the team gets a lot better.

8. Jahvid Best /249 - $35 - $40: With Kevin Smith out and recovering from a debilitating knee injury, Best will be the starter. However, as with his previously mentioned teammate, the Lions are terrible enough to bring down his prospects of gain.

9. Golden Tate /249 - $30-$35: Tate was a great player in college, and he is looking to take over the number 2 spot in a barren wasteland of offense in Seattle. He is a great looking talent, but receivers can easily go the Harvin way or they can go the Limas Sweed way.

10. Toby Gerhart /299 - $25-$30: Gerhart is a Viking RB, and when you put those two words together, you get value attached to the player. He is going to be taking Chester Taylor's vacated 3rd Down role, and hopefully he excels for us. However, with the addition of Ryan Moats to the backfield, its a good chance he may get reduced carries and touches off the bat. That's bad for business.

Honorable mentions: Dexter McCluster, Armanti Edwards, Arrelious Benn, Gerald McCoy

With this class being more of a defense focused bunch, there is a good chance this is not a good year for buying a lot of wax, but with people like Tebow and Bradford, who knows. Tebow isnt going to play possibly at all the first season, and Bradford should have a terrible beginning to his career. That will be left up to players like Bryant, Spiller and Mathews to pick up the slack. I am hoping that at the very least, there will be good products to match the need for wax buyers, but with a lack of Ultimate, SPA, and Exquisite, there is definitely going to be issues on that front. Maybe Chrome and Limited will perform well enough that it wont matter.