Best Lamar Jackson Rookie Card Guide 2023

Best Lamar Jackson Cards
Table of Contents

Lamar Jackson is in an interesting spot. He entered the league with a boom, practically redefining the QB position and opening up an entire new playbook of scramble-pass option plays for the Baltimore Ravens. 

The Heisman Trophy winner from the University of Louisville became the second ever unanimous MVP. He’s taken the Ravens to the playoffs almost every year, and he broke records at the time when he signed his $260 million contract.

This year, the Ravens are once again sitting atop the division with a playoff spot clinched. 

The issue for me is that Lamar Jackson and the Ravens are on a loop where they reach the playoffs as expected, yet cannot win championships. Someone put some ice in these Baltimore glasses!

For Jackson’s football card market to move significantly, he needs to beat expectations. The questions then becomes, is 2023 the year they can do it?

Reasons To Buy

  • Lamar consistently delivers results and takes Baltimore to the playoffs.
  • He’s carved out a niche as the best rushing quarterback, which makes him iconic.
  • The Baltimore Ravens are looking mighty this season and could win a championship.

Concerns

  • As a rush-heavy QB, Lamar is always at risk of injury. 
  • Baltimore has a record of not being able to make it to the Super Bowl.
  • How many years will fans accept not winning championships?

Lamar Jackson Stats For 2022

In the 2022 Regular Season, Lamar Jackson passed for 186.8 yards per game with a 62.3% completion percentage.

Out of 61 Quarterbacks, ESPN ranked Lamar Jackson 20th by QBR and 16th by Passer Rating. 

According to Pro-Football-Reference, Lamar Jackson’s 2022 Fantasy Rank as a QB was 14 out of 84.

Lamar Jackson Social Metrics

While social metrics have little to do with a player’s on-field performance, they are an indicator as to the popularity of a player within the wider world. As you would expect, cards for popular players often have increased demand versus less marketed players.

Lamar Jackson Instagram – @new_era8: 3.2M Followers

BAL Ravens Instagram – @ravens: 1.8M Followers

Top Lamar Jackson Plays and Highlights 2022

Lamar Jackson Rookie Card

Lamar Jackson Odds

  • NFL MVP: +450 – 4.5/1 – Implied Probability: 18.2%
  • NFL Player/Rookie of the Year: +10000 – 100/1 – Implied Probability: 1%
  • Winning the NFL Super Bowl: +550 – 5.5/1 – Implied Probability: 15.4%
  • Making the NFL Playoff: -20000 – 0.01/1 – Implied Probability: 99%

Updated: December 2023

The Best Lamar Jackson Cards

The term “best” is subjective. What’s best for me may not be best for you. Instead, I prefer to use data and trends to map out the landscape. Rather than just tell you the cards I think are best for me, this allows you to see what I see and determine the best plays for you.

How Many Lamar Jackson Cards Are There?

According to Trading Card Database, Lamar Jackson has 8,830 cards, of which 1,710 are rookie cards from 2018. Of these cards, TCDB only lists 42 cards as having the RC moniker.

When is the best time to buy Lamar Jackson Cards?

As with any player, you want to buy cards when supply is plentiful and potential demand is foreseeable.

Let’s break that down further.

For supply to be plentiful, the player needs to be flying under the radar. You’re looking for times when people are not thinking about them; for example: it’s out of season for the sport, or because the player is underperforming against expectations, or they’re injured, or they’re currently on the bench, or any other reason that would detract from the player being hyped up.

The second part of the equation is buying a player whose future demand has the potential to increase significantly, which would form your planned sell window. Good examples of potential demand spikes are players performing above expectations, winning notable awards, making deep playoff runs, moving from the bench to a starting position, being drafted or called up, being traded, or any other reason that would make people look at and get excited for a player.

Lamar Jackson had a few good windows to buy in, especially when he was out injured. Though, while the Ravens are favorites to be in the Super Bowl this year, Lamar Jackson’s rookie cards haven’t adjusted significantly yet. 

Lamar Jackson Card Trading Card Market Overview

To gauge the overall performance of a player’s card market, I use two indicators as an index. The first is the strength of the player’s Silver Prizm. As this is a staple card for every player, it gives a reliable indication of the health of the player’s market.

The second factor I look at is the highest sale price of the player’s True Rookie Patch Auto, as again, almost every player has one of these, which allows it to act as a top-end marker for the market.

Lamar Jackson Silver Prizm Overview

Prizm is undoubtedly one of the most popular sets for sports card investors and the Silver parallel is often one of the most transacted versions of the cards. This level of demand and transaction volume provides a firm foundation for assessing the player’s market, which typically guides the player’s other cards from a macro perspective.

Lamar Jackson National Treasures True RPA Value

The National Treasures True RPA is a stunning NFL card for any player. A numbered rookie out of 99, the true rookie patch auto card comes in a horizontal orientation, sports a team jersey color-match scheme and is adorned with a foiled RC stamp. The card includes an on-card autograph and large jersey patch, where more colors typically equate to a higher value. 

Best Lamar Jackson Rookie Cards – Raw (Rookie Year 2018)

This section will look at the data surrounding the player’s raw card market to help you understand which cards could be right for you.

We’ll examine the best Lamar Jackson rookie cards based on:

  • Most Graded in terms of submission quantity
  • Most Liquid in terms of sales volume
  • Highest Value with moderate sales volume
  • Most Expensive with any sales history

Most Graded Raw Lamar Jackson Cards

According to Gemrate, the following cards are the most graded:

YearSetCard #NameParallelGemsTotalGem Rate
2018Panini Donruss317Lamar JacksonBase5,59011,26150%
2018Panini Prizm212Lamar JacksonBase6905,78012%
2018Panini Donruss Optic167Lamar JacksonBase2,3173,93059%
2018Panini Score352Lamar JacksonBase1,5202,14371%
2018Panini Select70Lamar JacksonBase5011,39036%

Most Liquid Lamar Jackson Rookie Cards – Raw

The number of cards printed nowadays is overwhelming and most of them are binder fillers. Make sure you understand this because it is paramount. For investors specifically, a card’s liquidity is extremely important to allow moving in and out of investments at will.

The last thing you want to do is make a perfect prediction on a player’s future, invest in a vast number of their cards, only to find out when you go to sell them, that the cards you purchased are not the ones people chase and collect.

We’ve all done it before, but hopefully, this section will help you avoid this pitfall.

According to Market Movers, which references eBay and other auction house data, the most liquid Lamar Jackson cards in terms of sales volume over a 12-month period are: 

2018 Panini Donruss Lamar Jackson Rated Rookie #317 

The following is a breakdown of the parallels for the 2018 Panini Donruss Lamar Jackson Rated Rookie #317:

  • Most expensive (with sales history): Press Proof Gold /50
  • Most sales volume: Press Proof Blue
  • Highest monetary sales volume: Press Proof Blue

2018 Panini Score RC #352

The 2018 Panini Score RC #352 has no parallels with raw sales recorded yet.

2018 Panini Prizm Lamar Jackson Rookie Card #212

The following is a breakdown of the parallels for the 2018 Panini Prizm Lamar Jackson Rookie Card #212:

  • Most expensive (with sales history): Camo /25
  • Most sales volume: Red White Blue
  • Highest monetary sales volume: Silver

2018 Panini Donruss Optic Base #167

The following is a breakdown of the parallels for the 2018 Panini Donruss Optic Base #167:

  • Most expensive (with sales history): Green /5
  • Most sales volume: Pink
  • Highest monetary sales volume: Green /5

Highest Value Lamar Jackson Rookie Cards – Raw

At the highest end, Lamar Jackson has some incredible cards, which have sold for enormous amounts. Pulling one of these is akin to a lottery ticket. However, as these cards are unobtainable for most investors, I will not focus on those in this section. Instead, this section will focus on cards that have at least 50 sales over the past 12 months. This makes them high end, yet still liquid.

According to Market Movers, the highest value Lamar Jackson cards with over 50 sales in a 12-month period are:

2018 Panini Optic #167

Parallel statistics for the 2018 Panini Optic #167 are similar to the above.

2018 Panini Prizm #212

Parallel statistics for the 2018 Panini Prizm #212 are similar to the above.

2018 Donruss #317

Parallel statistics for the 2018 Donruss #317 are similar to the above.

2018 Panini Select Concourse #70

The following is a breakdown of the parallels for the 2018 Panini Select Concourse #70:

  • Most expensive (with sales history): Orange /49
  • Most sales volume: Silver
  • Highest monetary sales volume: Silver

Most Expensive Lamar Jackson Football Cards – Raw

Below are the four most expensive cards sold in the last 12 months, according to Market Movers. 

The Top Lamar Jackson Rookie Card For Me – Raw

Jackson’s raw card market is logical with his Prizm and Rated Rookie base cards dominating, though as a veteran quarterback, I’m surprised to see so many raw copies of these rookie cards transacting. I would have imagined the vast majority of pristine copies would have been graded by now.

What stands out to me from the data is the overall volume of sales, which are particularly low for a QB of this caliber. It’s astounding how much playoffs and championship affect a player’s market in the hobby, as opposed to only putting up consistently dominating stats. However, if the Ravens win a ring and that combines with Lamar’s history of great stats, I wonder how much the market may move.

Best Lamar Jackson Rookie Football Cards – Graded PSA 10

Raw cards have the upside of being gradable, which is a play a lot of investors are interested in making. Finding raw gems and grading them can add a tremendous level of profit to a play. However, with that upside comes additional risk, as cards that grade below a 10 rarely command a profit.

For many investors, grading cards is a risk they are not willing to take. For them, their preference is to purchase slabs and make plays based on the value of the card without having to account for the grading variable.

Personally, I like to make grading plays for newer cards, though for older rookies, I generally stick to graded slabs as finding a perfect raw copy gets exceedingly more difficult as time goes by.

PSA, Beckett, SGC and CGC are the most reputable grading companies and are the only ones trusted by most investors. Smaller grading companies with different specialities are appearing, though they have yet to make a significant impact. For now, the PSA 10 is by far the most desired grade for a card, except for the incredibly rare BGS Black Label.

The debate over the best grading company is highly contentious, but while PSA commands the largest premium, investors will be most interested in PSA 10 slabs. 

Most Liquid Lamar Jackson Rookie Cards – PSA 10

According to Market Movers, which references eBay and other auction house data, the most liquid PSA 10 Lamar Jackson cards in terms of sales volume over a 12-month period are: 

2018 Panini Donruss Base #317

The following is a breakdown of the parallels for the 2018 Panini Donruss Base #317:

  • Most expensive (with sales history): Press Proof Black /10
  • Most sales volume: Press Proof Blue
  • Highest monetary sales volume: Press Proof Black /10

2018 Donruss Optic Base #167

The following is a breakdown of the parallels for the 2018 Donruss Optic Base #167:

  • Most expensive (with sales history): White Sparkle SSP
  • Most sales volume: Red and Yellow
  • Highest monetary sales volume: Holo

2018 Panini Score #352

The 2018 Panini Score #352 has no parallels with raw sales recorded yet.

2018 Panini Prizm #212

The following is a breakdown of the parallels for the 2018 Panini Prizm #212:

  • Most expensive (with sales history): Gold /10
  • Most sales volume: Blue Scope /99
  • Highest monetary sales volume: Silver

Highest Value Lamar Jackson Rookie Cards – PSA 10

To account for the lower population of PSA 10 cards compared to raw cards, I have reduced the criteria for this section to 20 sales from 50.

According to Market Movers, the highest value PSA 10 Lamar Jackson cards with over 20 sales in a 12-month period are:

2018 Panini Rewards Kaboom! #K-LJ

The 2018 Panini Rewards Kaboom! #K-LJ has no parallels with PSA 10 sales recorded yet.

2018 Panini Prizm Lamar Jackson Stained Glass #SG-10

The following is a breakdown of the parallels for the 2018 Panini Prizm Lamar Jackson Stained Glass #SG-10:

  • Most expensive (with sales history): Gold Mojo /10
  • Most sales volume: Gold Mojo /10
  • Highest monetary sales volume: Gold Mojo /10

2018 Panini Select Field Level Silver #205

The following is a breakdown of the parallels for the 2018 Panini Select Field Level Silver #205:

  • Most expensive (with sales history): Field Level Gold /10
  • Most sales volume: Field Level Silver
  • Highest monetary sales volume: Field Level Silver

2018 Optic Rated Rookie #167 Holo

Parallel statistics for the 2018 Optic Rated Rookie #167 Holo are similar to the above.

Most Expensive Lamar Jackson Football Cards – PSA 10

Below are the four most expensive PSA 10 cards sold in the last 12 months, according to Market Movers. 

My Thoughts On The Top Lamar Jackson Rookie Cards – PSA 10

Lamar’s PSA 10 market has matured as expected, with his Rated Rookie and Prizm rookie at the lower end and the most desirable inserts, the Kaboom! and Stained Glass, at the top end. Interestingly, LJ’s Optic Downtown rookie card isn’t on these lists, which I would expect to have been more desirable than the Stained Glass at least. 

If I was going to invest in Lamar Jackson trading cards now, and wanted the ability to sell at a moment’s notice during the playoffs, I would go for the most liquid cards. However, on the longer term, the big variable here is that if Lamar wins the SB, he’ll transform from being a great QB who cannot win big games into a dominant QB with a ring. That’s a big difference that I imagine would drastically influence his higher end card market – though none of us can say for sure. Based on their track record, having to rely on both the Ravens winning the Super Bowl and the hobby altering their opinion on Lamar Jackson is too much risk for me, but the payoff could be magnificent.

Best Lamar Jackson Non-Rookie Cards 

For many NFL sports card investors, all that matters are the RCs and this is typically what I stick to as well. NFL rookie cards are often the most popular cards for a player and act as a baseline for collectors and investors in the ever-expanding world of cards. However, for some investors, the price of a Lamar Jackson RC may not be workable.

Personally, if I’m going to invest in a non-rookie card for a player, I look for either, the first card where they are in a new team’s jersey after a transfer, or I lean towards popular inserts like the Kaboom!, Color Blast, Stained Glass or some of the newer released inserts. Other options include the rarer SSPs like Genesis or Sparkles.

The following is a list of the top four non-rookie cards in terms of monetary sales volume within the last 12-months according to Market Movers.

The Top 10 Lamar Jackson Cards

The following list is a breakdown of the top 10 Lamar Jackson cards, in terms of monetary sales volume within the last 12-months.

  1. 2018 Panini National Treasures Rookie Patch Auto /99 #165
  2. 2018 Donruss #317 Base
  3. 2018 Panini Rewards #K-LJ Kaboom!
  4. 2018 Optic #167 Base
  5. 2021 Optic Downtown #DT-9 
  6. 2018 Prizm #SG-10 Stained Glass
  7. 2018 Prizm #212 Base
  8. 2018 Prizm #212 Silver
  9. 2018 Prizm Gold /10 #212
  10. 2018 National Treasures Rookie Patch Auto – Holo Gold /10 #165 

Honorable Mentions

The data shows that the above listed cards are the best in the eyes of investors. However, for Lamar Jackson collectors, there are a few other dazzling cards worth looking at. 

The 2018 Contenders Optic Lamar Jackson Rookie Ticket Auto is a card I’m surprised hasn’t popped up already in this price guide. This is the chromium card version of one of the most desired auto products around. It’s an on-card auto too. This is a chase card any Raven’s fan would love to own.

The big inserts are always the Downtown, Kaboom! and then the Color Blast. It’s the younger brother than often gets overshadowed, but the 2020 Prizm Color Blast still commands a high value and a strong trading volume.

The 2018 Prizm Instant Impact insert is one of the middle tier inserts, which finds itself in no-man’s-land. It’s not got the liquidity of the base cards and doesn’t have the value of the SSPs. As a result, these types of cards are often available under market price and are worth monitoring.

The 2022 Donruss Optic Blazers is a relatively new insert, which, while not garnering a tremendous value, has very strong liquidity. This makes it a great card for people unable to afford RCs or the high value inserts.

Finishing this list is the 2018 Panini Base, which doesn’t have the pull of the Prizm or Rated Rookie cards, but has enough volume to stand out. What I like about this card is that it’s rather pure. It’s simply Lamar Jackson on the field with a simple vignette. In a world of shimmers, waves and neon parallels, this card draws you in like the white space of a well-designed image.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much are the Lamar Jackson rookie cards worth?

Lamar Jackson cards are available on a spectrum of price points, though rookie cards are still attainable. Base cards go for around $20, while some cards have reached sales of over $25,000. 

What is Lamar Jackson’s true rookie card?

Determining a True Rookie Card is always a topic of spirited debate, though these data points may help. According to TCDB, the first RC was the 2018 Score #352. Meanwhile, the rookie card with the highest sales volume is the 2018 Donruss Rated Rookie #317.

What is the rarest Lamar Jackson card?

The rarest and most expensive Lamar Jackson rookie cards will be his one of ones. Some of these high-end cards include the 2018 Panini Flawless Lamar Jackson White Box RPA 1/1 and the 2018 Panini Encased Lamar Jackson RPA Dual NFL Shield Nike Patch AUTO 1/1.

Does Lamar Jackson have a downtown card?

This particular card is one of the most popular Lamar Jackson non-rookie cards. However, Lamar Jackson actually has 3 Downtown cards, which can be found in the 2018, 2020 and 2021 Panini Optic sets.

How many Lamar Jackson rookie cards are there?

Lamar Jackson has 1,710 cards from his 2018 rookie year on the market, 42 of which are labeled as rookie cards.

What packs are Lamar Jackson rookie cards in?

Lamar Jackson has rookie cards in many card sets, including: 2018 Panini Score, 2018 Panini Donruss and Optic, 2018 Panini Prizm, 2018 National Treasures, 2018 Panini Flawless, 2018 Panini Immaculate Collection, 2018 Panini Origins and many more.

What is the best Lamar Jackson rookie card?

From an extremely general perspective, many people believe the best place to start is with the 2018 Prizm Silver or the 2018 Panini National Treasures Lamar Jackson Rookie Patch Auto, depending on your price point. The NT RPA is limited to just 99 copies and includes a piece of sports memorabilia as the patch, making it high desirable. If you’re looking for a Lamar Jackson autograph, then a Panini Contenders Rookie Ticket Auto is a great place to start. However, while these cards are a sound starting point, there is a lot more to consider. It’s not a simple question to answer, though I hope the insights in this guide will help you. 

What is the most expensive Lamar Jackson card sold?

As of this writing, the most expensive card of Lamar sold is the 2018 Panini National Treasures True RPA /99 of Lamar Jackson, which sold for over $25,000. This is an extremely valuable collectible, though based on Jackson’s recent performance in 2023, I wonder if this is undervalued. For a full list of the most expensive cards, please see the section listed.

Does Lamar Jackson have a rookie card?

Lamar Jackson certainly has a rookie card and in this article we break down the best cards in terms of both demand and price.