Buzz Break: 2017 Panini Contenders football cards (blaster box)

From time to time, Buzz will break a box of something and break down the results here. Like this and want to see more — or maybe there’s a box you’d want to see busted? Send Buzz an email at

The box: 2017 Panini Contenders NFL (blaster box)
Where to buy: (all formats)

Packs per box: 5
Cards per pack: 8
Cards in this box: 40
Base set completion: 
34 of 100 (34 percent)
Duplicates: 0

Notable names pulled on base cards: Larry Fitzgerald, Ezekiel Elliott, Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, Carson Wentz, Amari Cooper, Aaron Rodgers, Dez Bryant, Le’Veon Bell

Insert cards: 5 (all in gallery below with some base)

Legendary Contenders (2) – Calvin Johnson, Michael Vick
Rookie of the Year Contenders (2) – Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffrey
Round Numbers (1) – Kareem Hunt & D’Onta Foreman

Autographs/Memorabilia: 1*
Panini Rewards (1) – 150 points

What’s Buzz-worthy: You get a ton of base cards from the 100-card set and then have a shot at autographs or memorabilia cards with one or the other per blaster — or, in this case, Panini Rewards points that I’ll turn into some ink from somebody in any sport soon. Memorabilia cards, when found here, are blaster-exclusives. As said previously in a break of this, the base card fronts are a rendition of the ticket routine but backs were shockingly devoid of a basic stats pack and bio info, though those haven’t been in play here fully since 2012 and it was still basic even then. (I still don’t like that.) With the base set presence being so heavy in a box here, it just feels like those cards need to carry more info — and a 100-card set (with SPs atop that) feels small, too. Granted, thinking big-picture here, Contenders really is a brand where people are shredding for their autos and potential short-printed ink. Although this is a favorite, it feels like it needs shaken up a little — either moved more toward just hit packs or to a model similar to Panini’s other brands with a collector emphasis with a full array of inserts and a larger set that you can expect to find cards from all parts of it in every box. That, along with all that ink, might make this one even more popular than it is now (it is popular) and has been in the past. For me, there were other brands that felt like more-impressive blaster breaks.

Product Grade: B+
Box Grade:
Fun Grade: B (blasters just aren’t as flashy)

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