Throwdown Primer 10/30 – Your Sneak Peak at Tonight’s Boosts!

Another big divisional game this week with the Saints and the Panthers. Also a few new additions to Huddle taking center stage.

Here is an exclusive sneak peak at tonight’s game boosts and how they might factor in. Check back every week as the Huddle team has worked with the site to give you the goods on the Throwdowns before anyone else!

Kelvin Benjamin – 5x Carolina

I am still kind of surprised by how well he is doing. As a rookie, he outplayed Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas on a few plays against Seattle and has become one of the better possession receivers in the league. I think that Keenan Lewis will be on him all night, but if he can do well against the Legion of Boom, he should have a good game here too. Although he just was included in the Series 3 base, this is still a great pickup for tonight.

Verdict: Vital Piece

Cam Newton – 5x Carolina

The Saints have given up some big numbers in QB rushing yards this year, which means that the Saints could struggle against Newton’s dual threat of throwing and running. I think that with all of the Panthers’ running backs banged up, he is going to have to take some of the burden himself.

Verdict: Vital Piece

Mark Ingram – 5x New Orleans

Brees tends to play much more average on the road, which means things might be a struggle for Ingram. However, he had no issue against the Packers, and definitely perked my ears up as someone to consider with Jimmy Graham’s shoulder being a question mark. If he doesnt play well, the Saints will have a very uphill battle.

Verdict: Worth Picking Up

Brandin Cooks – 5x New Orleans

Im taking a flyer on Cooks here, but he has shown a number of reasons why he is a huge threat. The Panthers corners are not playing well, and they will have a lot on their plate with Graham, Colston, Stills. Cooks is going to have some looks with all the focus being put on the other players, and he could break out. The Saints have also used him on some of the Jet Sweep type plays, which he scored on last week vs. the Packers. Currently he has no cards in the game, which means this will be a chase for the Saints fans.

Verdict: Worth Picking up

Honorable Mentions:

Drew Brees – Its a tale of two cities sometimes with Brees, as he always plays better at home than on the road. We were all probably expecting him to be included, but I like the direction they went with Cooks and Ingram who are a bit more scarce in the game.

Kenny Stills – Still has been a deep threat for the Saints all year, but has cards now, so Cooks is definitely a better choice with the dual threat in the rushing attack.

Whoever the Panthers Use in the Running Game – Jonathan Stewart, DeAngelo Williams? Guy wearing an old Steve Smith jersey in the front row?

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Best of Huddle – 2014 Mid Season Awards

Its crazy how things can change so much over such a short time in the NFL, and now that we are about to embark on week 9, its time to walk through some of the best of the best from the first half of the season.

Huddle MVP – Demarco Murray

Yes, this should not come as any surprise, but Murray is a beast this year. I said in 2012 to my friends that the running back position would never again win the MVP, and I might be wrong. The NFL is a passing league, and rule changes are taking it to a new level. For whatever reason, the Cowboys are content with running Murray until his legs fall off, and that isnt a bad idea when you see their offensive line. His point totals each week are insane, and its all because of his massive yardage. Now if only he could pair it will some comparable TDs, and we would be golden.

Huddle Defensive MVP – JJ Watt

This man has 3 TDs on the year to match his 7 sacks. Yes, one of the TDs was a pass from Fitzpatrick, but holy crap regardless. Watt is slowly becoming one of the most dynamic players in the league, which is saying a lot considering that he is on a Houston team which has only managed 4 wins so far. Huddle doesnt lend itself as well to defense, mainly because Red Zone channel runs on offensive scoring. If you are a Texans fan who watches every game, you have played Watt all day.

Huddle Card You Must Play Every Drive He Has – Peyton Manning

Again, no surprise, as somehow Manning continues to turn back the clock on a weekly basis and throw 300 more yards with 3 more TDs. You just cannot deny that he is likely going to end up as one of the greatest QBs to ever play the game. The title would have already been put on his shoulders had he won two more rings, but that doesnt mean this isnt his year. His point totals have been amazing, and being in the afternoon games makes him the guy you must have.

Huddle Single Game Performance of the First Half – Ben Roethlisberger

I am not a Big Ben fan. I dont like him on the field or off the field, but that doesnt take away from his 500 yard, 5 TD performance last week. To put up those kind of numbers happens once in a career, and he has figured out how to do it twice. Bravo.

Biggest Surprise of the First Half – TY Hilton

I think TY Hilton has always had potential, but I dont think anyone expected him to lead the league in receiving. The Colts have played out of their mind, mostly thanks to Luck – but he wouldnt be there without having a guy like Hilton to throw to.

Biggest Disappointment of the First Half – Jay Cutler

This is the topic du jour on every NFL talking head show, and no one can figure out what is going on with the Bears. What people dont get is that their defense isnt all that great, and it puts too much pressure on the offense to perform. That being said, when you have Marshall, Jeffrey, Forte and Cutler, you shouldnt have an issue. Well, they are not doing well, and its clear that Cutler is the goat.

Chris Johnson Memorial Huddle Ghost Award – Johnny Manziel

If you are trying to find Johnny Manziel on the field so far, good luck. He has been a ghost on the field, despite huge hype – not anything that is really his fault. Hoyer is playing well, and its clear that Johnny’s time on the bench may extend into the start of next year. Hoyer isnt going to come back, but that doesnt mean much for his cards this year. Really unfortunate, because a lot of people are wondering if he can play or not. If the Browns drop off, he may get a shot, but its looking more and more unlikely by the day.

Im interested to see if I am way off on some of these awards, who are your Best of Huddle so far?

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A Final Farewell: Putting a Bow on the 2014 Bunt Season

I didnt play Bunt all that much in 2013 or 2012, but I regret that now. 2014 Bunt reinvigorated my love for Baseball, and that is no joke. I became personally invested in the game again, something that was lost over the last few years. I watched more baseball this year than in the previous five, and I have this app to thank. Saying it was a fun ride is like saying its only slightly surprising that the Royals have made it this far.

Similarly, this site was born back in April as a fun way to stay engaged with the app and community, and I never imagined I would still be going at the end. Not only that, but also now in the trenches with Huddle for the second year in a row. I have Bunt to thank for that journey as well.

In all honesty, with the hours and hours of work that I have put into Bunt and this site over the last 8 months, it has all been worth it. New friends, new relationships, and a ton of great experiences – both good and bad.

Even though the app has had its issues, whether it was pack errors or customer interaction, I would do it all over again if I had the chance. The response from the community has made this all worth it, and I have definitely come to appreciate all the work that the developer team puts into this.

I remember back to April when I started writing on here. I wanted to provide a resource that many of the people were hungry for, and it was a great way to stay much more engaged. The community latched on, and here we are. I couldnt have done it without that support. I think we got really deep into the nuance of the app over the last few months, but I hope the rookie users who were still stopping in could find value in what I was writing. Either way, I encourage you all to continue making your own voice heard, as it is obvious that we make a difference. I dont want to be the only loud one in the crowd, haha!

A few people I want to thank:

  • Readers and Commenters- THANK YOU. Thank you so much. Love and hate, you guys have been the backbone of this site, and I would not have kept going if it werent for the wonderful letters and notes you guys have all taken so seriously. You guys are awesome, and I hope that this Bunt season was a tad bit easier with the articles many of you inspired with questions and feedback.
  • Twitter Crew – You guys made this year fun. I wouldnt have stuck around as long as I did without you guys. I want to name names, but I fear that I might forget someone. You guys were great.
  • Lee and Gary – thank you for your guidance and feedback, and the help too. You are some of the more selfless users I have come into contact with and it was a blast.
  • TOPPSCHRIS – Thank you for putting up with my constant badgering about the Twins cards that I thought would be awesome. Your willingness to lend your time for interviews and thoughts was greatly appreciated.
  • TOPPSIAN – I really have you to thank for the popularity I was able to attain, as your retweets got the word out to many more users than I ever could have reached on my own. Also, thank you for hearing us out on many of the large issues that came up in the app, I know its a 24/7 job, and though we can be feisty, its only because we care so much. Haters aside, you have really been great all things considered.
  • TOPPSMIKE – Thank you for the constant humor and definitely putting up with some colorful remarks when things went south. I know you likely still have some bridges that need repair, but I also know the difficulty it must take to take a community of thousands on your shoulders.
  • The Entire Topps Crew – Your support and encouragement for this site is something that means a lot to me. Even though we had a few rough patches, you all definitely deserve a lot more credit than you get.

I will continue to post Bunt content as it is warranted, so dont stop coming by if you arent interested in huddle. In fact, get on Huddle and Kick for that matter, as both are running some great features this year that you will love if you love Bunt.

Thank you again everyone, good luck tonight and lets finish strong!

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Final Day of the Bunt Season – Prepping for the End!

This is the last day of the baseball season, and with it, the final day that all 2014 cards will likely be playable. Although there is a guarantee of more cards to be released during the offseason, for the most part this is the end. What does this mean for many of the people who have been invested since day one? Lets break it down.

Trading Today vs Later

If you havent seen a drop off already, as many users have already closed out their 2014, there will be a larger decrease as soon as the season is really over. Many of the gamers will be signing off for the winter come tomorrow, and that will mean less value in many of the cards they covet. If you have one of those cards that you were looking to pick up, now is the time, even if you have to overpay.

Although there are more users playing along this year, it is likely going to mirror last season where the app really died down in user participation come the off season. There are numbered days left, so make them count.

Card Releases

Over the next 3-4 weeks, we are still going to get new inserts, and definitely a lot of commemorative cards. As I posted before, there will be a champions set, plus MVPs, ROY, and all the other awards.

There will also be payouts on a few of the post season sets, and I would guess more fun cards like we saw with Rudd and Bo Jackson, so dont give up quite yet on that.

That being said, its likely that things will die down after that, with a focus on building up the new features for next year, taking some time off for the developers (well deserved I would guess), and making sure that the other apps get some attention too.

Saving Coins

If 2015 is anything like 2014, your coins should carry over to next year. Unless something drastic changes, I doubt that saving coins is going to be a bad idea, and you should still check in daily to get your bonus. They may up the coins to incentivize people to come back, so that will be awesome. I would say that there will be some cool cards to chase, so saving coins is definitely worth your time.

2014 Value

When the 2015 cards are released at the start of next year, they will automatically trump anything from 2014 that will probably no longer be playable. Keep that in mind as you start to clean up your card sheet in preparation for next year. Rare inserts will still be prized, but the dynamic will change. We will have to see how everything works out next year to really find out what the value will be like. If more legacy users come on board for 2015, then 2014 could still have some nice value come next year.

In all reality, Bunt has been great this year, and I have had a blast. Its hard to say goodbye to such a good time.

WINNING WORD: POINTS

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World Series Unwrapped – Bunt Gives Royals the Celebrity Treatment

Although they are down 3-2 in a very close series, the Royals are still getting the red carpet treatment they deserve across the app. Two cards have been released as of late that are going to get the royals fans cracking packs – both of which are really cool.

Bo Jackson Die Cut Sig 

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This is easily one of the coolest cards so far in Bunt, and I really like that both sides are made to be striking in the way they look. For me, the jury is still out on die cut cards in the app, but this one is one I definitely want.

You forget that Jackson played for the Royals during his career, as most remember him as a bruising yet speedy Running Back for the Oakland Raiders. Personally, I remember him as a lab created monster who’s massive hunger could only be satiated with epic quarter long runs on Tecmo Bowl.

Exhibit A:

Regardless, this card will be a huge chase for the rest of the year and could carry well into next year as a valuable card.

Paul Rudd Topps Anniversary Edition

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Its no secret that Rudd is a huge Royals fan, and he is also a guy who has been in some of the funniest movies over the last few years. He will still be Brian Fantana to many of the fans out there, as Anchorman was such an iconic role for him. Dont even get me started on the quotes.

I think this is a really cool addition to the game, as I know how tough it can be to get licensing done. Although it isnt directly related to the Royals players, Rudd is definitely one of their most visible supporters.

I cant wait to see what might happen when the Champions are eventually crowned!

WINNING WORD:  COINS

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Huddle Tip of the Day – How to Survive in Huddle Without Breaking the Bank

If you are a free to play user, who doesnt want to spend real money to play on huddle, I completely understand. However, that also means that there will be a lot of things on the game that you will likely not want to bother yourself with, like the Throwdown challenges, or some of the more rare inserts. I think its definitely possible to achieve a top score in the game, but its going to take a lot of work. As long as you are ready, here is how I would approach it.

Choose A Type of Player to Be

There are many tempting reasons to be both a gamer and a collector, but its really tough to be both without spending money. If your main goal is to be a top collector on the game, you should dedicate your time to making that happen. It will suck up most of your coins, and your spot on the rankings may suffer as a result. If you want to be a top gamer, your focus should shift entirely, which might mean your insert collection may suffer. I think its best to make your choice and really hone in on the different targets you have.

Spend Your Coins WISELY

To be completely honest, there is really no reason to spend any coins on any other pack but the most loaded boost pack at any point. This goes for everyone, really. When I say loaded, I mean the boost pack that has the most active boosts, not the one with the most attractive boosts.

Right now, the top boost pack is the purple at 10k coins per rip. However, it also has about 35-40 active boosts that you can pull, and they are adding more by the day. What that means is that the odds you will pull a boost goes up exponentially. These boosts are so valuable that they can be traded for inserts if you are a collector, or more boosts if you are a gamer. It also shoots out ONLY silver and gold cards which can be traded for the lower level cards to complete team sets, or for other silver and gold cards.

I will say this – NOT EVERY PACK IS A WINNER. This is why I would say its a good idea to wait until you can buy at least two at a time before you dump your coins. Wait until the article is posted and buy your packs. If you pull nothing in the first pack, wait – DO NOT BUY ANOTHER. Come back in five minutes and buy your second. If you pull a boost, buy the second pack right away. I equate the pack pulls to a wheel that spins, and the boosts seem to come in bunches. If you are lucky, you might even end up with multiple per pack.

If you pull a bunch of lineman and defense in your pack, that’s okay! Trading is your friend which I will get to in a second. If you pull a boost and its not the best player, that is also okay! The boosts are in sets, which mean you can trade them for nicer players where the set award might not be active. There will be people who will do this, but you have to keep trying.

Trade Like Mad

If you dont spend your time on the app trading, you are missing out. Plain and simple. you will need to trade constantly, and trade wisely. The first target you should have is trading to get the white, green and red HS team sets for coins. Trade the silvers in your collection for multiple whites and so on and so forth. You can build up enough coins from about 7 or so awards to have enough for another boost pack. Then you can keep going.

I would find someone that has a ton of cards and trade for their doubles. Sort their sheet by cards you need, and do the same when you select the cards to give. If you have dupes that they need, you MIGHT be able to get them to overpay. DO NOT go nuts. That will get you ignored or 1 star rated.

You will also not likely be able to trade your Brandon Gibson boost for Peyton Manning, so dont try. However, you might be able to get two for one if someone needs that card for their set. You wont be able to do this if you are the one making the offer, however. If you are F2P, its best to field offers rather than make them. The person making the offer will likely have to overpay, which free players will not be able to afford.  Create a good hook and post on the feed. It will take at least 4 posts in a row, every 30 seconds to get offers, maybe longer if your collection isnt great. The best thing is to keep it general and not ask for specific cards. People will be more likely to look if you say “I have lots of stuff” vs “I have this specific card.” If they are looking for that specific card, they might bite, but you will attract more fish with a more broad hook.

Play for Points Regardless of Your Interests

The weekly helmet awards are easy pickings for a lot of them, and I have seen people get into the top 250 and below just playing regular cards from regular packs. You have to watch every game and Sundays get a bit packed. But, you will have more coins to spend, which means more cards, and better scores. From my count, at least 3 of the helmet awards should be attainable if you watch or follow along with all the games.

Do not play in the Throwdowns, as the coins will be wasted if you dont have a lot of boosts to play. If you are not in the top 30-40 players, its just not going to be worth your time. The tickets cost coins, which will be needed to buy other packs.

Dont Play the Victim

All of the apps require money to reach the top, and that is intentional. If you play the victim and say “woe is me, I will never be good, so why bother?” that is exactly what will happen. If you read back through some of my tweets, you can see that there are people who finished in the top 25 for the year on Bunt without spending a dime. They took it as a challenge to get to the top without money rather than just complaining that they are being left behind. It takes dedication, as does anything in life, and you would be surprised as to how far you can go without spending.

Bottom line, any app is ridiculously expensive to run and maintain, not to mention the salaries and benefits of the employees. This means they have to make money to keep it going and that means they will need as many people to buy in as possible. Dont fault them for it, just find the edge in your own way. People use the words “Money Grab” or “Greed” but its not that. Its marketing. They need the users to spend money, and as a for profit business, the more money the better. That’s not bad, that’s capitalism. If you want to exist outside of that mindset, you will need to work harder than the people who will spend.

Make Friends

There is no better opportunity for free players than making friends on the app. If you check in with this site, you will see a lot of people in the comments that are top players in the game. Similarly, if you join up with message boards like BuntHuddleKick.com, you can start building a name for yourself.

A friend you can trust will be more likely to help you out in your quests, lend you some support in your cards, and get you to the next level. Huddle is becoming a team sport more and more.

Message boards also have alternative trade methods that are more permanent, so if you post, your words wont get buried in 5 seconds like they do on the feed. Most of the message board users are much more invested in the game, so they might have more to offer as well. Be friendly, offer your feedback, but dont abuse your right. Speak intelligently and showcase your value and people will latch on. If you post like you text your high school buddies, that wont get you as far.

Friends will make the game easier. Trust me on this one. Dont demand or ask for help, build a rep first. Dont start asking for things until the help can be provided in a mutual fashion. No one is just going to give you handouts unless you have some value as a colleague.

If you have any questions, let me know. Ill do my best to help you out.

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Gridiron Unwrapped – New Huddle Inserts 10/27

Wow, been a while since I have done one of these, but definitely necessary with the new inserts that were released over the last few weeks. We got our first few new boosts, plus a few other surprises I didnt expect coming.

Parallax Signature Ticket

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Collectability: Unattainable

Back in the beginning of Bunt, they released a create your own sig card to much fan fare. They repeated it a few times over the course of the season, and a lot of the results were pretty awesome. It wasnt without controversy, but I think its a really cool idea. The person who pulled it said they were going to choose Tre Mason, which I am eager to see how they do it with HS and a Parallax effect.

Calvin Johnson Signature Series

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Playability: football-helmet-psd42322football-helmet-psd42322football-helmet-psd42322
Collectability: Extreme

To think that the last few head shot sigs have all been 500, we were riding high. Now that they break out the big dogs, I like that it is shorter printed to preserve more of the value. Even though Megatron has been sidelined for the last few weeks, this should not impact the value much. Expect to give up a lot if you are looking to acquire one.

Coin Bundle Andrew Luck Blue 4x Boost

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Playability: football-helmet-psd42322football-helmet-psd42322football-helmet-psd42322football-helmet-psd42322football-helmet-psd42322
Collectability: Extreme

Luck is a beast, and is on pace to have quite the season. He is also the first in the new Blue boost series, and will be extremely rare at the cost of $99.99 worth of coins to get him. I expect that these blue boosts will eventually be more available as more are released, but Luck is a great way to start it off. Bundle Boost Reward cards have some good value as it is, and this one is no exception.

Coin Bundle Boosts – Foles, Bell, Brady, Floyd, Etc

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Playability: Varies
Collectability: Strong to Extreme

Here is the thing with these cards. For whatever reason, there are a lot of users who are not pleased with their existence, which means that the boosts have a polarizing effect on the way they are valued. Some of the users value them above and beyond because they are looking to collect the set or they are looking to get every boost. Others do not value them at all. Keep that in mind as you are going through the list.

Final BB Set – 100 copies

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Playability: Varies
Collectability: Extreme

I was pretty excited to see some of these crazy rare boosts back on the market for the first time since the original Calvin Johnson. These cards are some very valuable players too, with Rodgers, Nelson, Forte and others all getting one. I had to give up a lot to get them, but also pulled a few from packs during the final frenzy. Excited to see what the oranges come through as, because there may be less than 50 per.

Beat TOPPSIAN Jay Cutler Purple Boost

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Playability: football-helmet-psd42322football-helmet-psd42322football-helmet-psd42322
Collectability: Strong+

This is the first of many cards I would expect to come via this type of format, and it just so happens we are getting a very polarizing player in the league right now. Cutler doesnt exactly have the kind of popularity he used to, but Ian is a Chicago fan, which is why he was the pick. The card only has 53 copies which may make it one of the rarest boosts there are, but because it is not part of a set, and Cutler hasnt been lighting it up, makes it less appealing. The Bears can still turn it around, which will mean a lot for this card.

Set Chase – Captains

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I love this idea, as I think that the captain designation is still something that many of the teams really take pride in. Its not always the best guy on the team, but definitely one of the most influential voices in the locker room. That poses a problem, but I think that the checklist was pretty good. The look of the cards sure made up for any issues with players.

Verdict: BUY!

Set Chase – Topps Heritage

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They did this set in Bunt as well, and it was able to be executed much more appropriately because of full licensing. I think the cards with head shots were a bit boring without the logos to make the cards look good, and for some reason, the Topps Heritage logo is shown twice on the card for no apparent reason. The checklist was nice, but Harvin on Seattle was a bad idea. I think it should have been changed or not included.

Verdict: SELL!

WINNING WORD: TRADE

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