Just seven weeks into the 2019 NFL season, Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey has emerged as an early MVP favorite. Despite the absence of QB Cam Newton, McCaffrey ranks third in the NFL with 618 yards, averaging 4.9 yards per carry, and seven touchdowns. Here are the top rookie cards to keep an eye out for of the former Stanford standout.
2017 Panini Donruss #318
McCaffrey’s first Carolina Panthers rookie card is found in 2017 Donruss. While a lower-end product, Donruss is a gold-mine for rookie cards and rookie year inserts. McCaffrey enters the league in a loaded year for rookies. Names like Mahomes, Watson, Cook, Fournette, and Trubisky are just a few of the other rookies found in this product. Sold listings of this card hover around $4-5, with PSA 10s getting about $20. While not the highest value rookie card, this is more of a long-term investment or a budget option.
2017 Panini Prizm #249
Considered THE non-auto McCaffrey RC, every copy of card #249 is a silver prizm parallel. The added shine of the silver prizm gives this card a special feel on top of the popularity of Prizm football. This card has been the one that has changed in value the most since McCaffrey’s breakout performances this season. Currently, raw versions go for $25-35, with PSA 10 versions fetching about $100. This card will never lose popularity, thanks to the Prizm brand and the popularity of silver Prizm rookie cards.
2017 Panini Contenders #311 Autograph
Continuing with highly-regarded cards, McCaffrey’s base Contenders rookie autograph is one of his most desired cards to own. Contenders Rookie Ticket Autographs consistently command high value every year, with 2017 being no different. The only recently-sold comparison of this hard to find card is about $165. Cracked ice variations of this card quite possibly are McCaffrey’s most desired card, and will be the card that collectors will forever associate with McCaffrey and the hobby.
2017 Panini National Treasures #181 RPA /99
Classified as McCaffrey’s true RPA, this card released shortly before his sophomore season. The classic National Treasures design and the on-card autograph is what makes this card so desired. One of the highest-end McCaffrey cards collectors can chase, this RPA brings in about $450. This card is a rare instance of a short-term and long-term investment. Short-term, it could gain in value to the peak of what it could be worth. Long-term, if McCaffrey stays at the pace he’s playing at, this card won’t drop in value by any means.
Collectors are able to find solid Christian McCaffrey rookie cards at any value. Whether a $5 Donruss Rated Rookie or a $450 National Treasures RPA, collectors can feel safe about investing in McCaffrey. His potential to win MVP this season helps his values, and for those looking to make a quick buck, if he does win MVP, his cards as a whole will go up in value.