Over the years, the Select Draft Pick Signature inserts (or DPS as they are widely known) have become one of the most popular subsets in the footy card hobby. Not only are they a first-year card of the player, but an autographed version too. So, it’s no surprise they are now highly sought after.

Back in the early days, DPS cards had quite large print runs. First showcased in 1998 as part of the Select Signature release, the 20 DPS cards were limited to 750 each – not overly scarce in today’s standards. Which is why we see the DPS of a future legend such as Buddy Franklin, from 2005 Select Dynasty, only valued at $300-400. 600 of these cards were made.

Fast forward to recent times and we’ve seen a significant reduction in the print runs. The early 10s saw 400 DPS cards of each player, and in 2018, the number was cut to 180. 2019 and 2020 we saw Select product 175 Draft Pick Signature cards of each player.

Then in 2021, there was yet another game changer. In Select’s Optimum release, instead of just the highest drafted player from each team making up the set, every single player in the first round of the draft got a signature card.

On top of that, each player had multiple variants of their DPS – Platinum (limited to 40), Gold (limited to 85) and Copper (limited to 170). This is a huge transformation for the hobby, and it’s not known if this will become a regular feature of future DPS sets. But one thing’s for sure, the 2021 Optimum DPS will likely prove a highly collectable set for a long time.

Imagine picking up a platinum or gold DPS of a player from the 2020 Draft who turns out to be star – with less than 100 cards in existence, each one will be worth a mint!

Here are some of our choices of undervalued players in the 2021 Select Optimum DPS release who could carve out an amazing career in the AFL.

Tom Powell – North Melbourne (pick 13)

The Kangaroos second pick in the 2020 draft had a very impressive first year, averaging 17 disposals across 13 games. The future star midfielder was rested towards the end of the season to give his body time to recuperate and be ready for 2022 and beyond.

tom powell DPS optimum

Jake Bowey – Melbourne (pick 21)

Bowey made his AFL debut in round 20, and a handful of games later came away as a premiership player. Turning 19 during the finals, the “very” small forward from the Sandringham Dragons he showed maturity well beyond his age and played a pivotal role in the Demons success.

jake bowey DPS optimum

Errol Gulden – Sydney (pick 32)

The Swans got an absolute steal in the 2020 draft which was evident from the first game of the season. Gulden debuted with a 3 goal, 3 assist performance against Brisbane, kicking 14 total in 18 games and finished 3rd in the Rising Star award.

errol gulden DPS optimum

Tyler Brockman – Hawthorn (pick 46)

The Hawks small forward played 11 games in season 2021 and kicked 10 goals including 3 in the final round against Richmond. The club is expecting even bigger and better things from Brockman, who has just been given jumper number 33, previously worn by one of the best Hawthorn small forwards of all time, Cyril Rioli.

tyler brockman DPS optimum

If you’re keen on sports card investment, looking at buying the Platinum or Gold DPS cards of the above players could turn out to be a great strategy. Imagine if Dusty had a signed rookie card limited to just 40…what would that be worth today?