- Eric Karabell, ESPN.com Senior Writer
During the regular season, one of the KaraBlogs you'll see each Monday discusses the key things I learned from the games that weekend. Why should the preseason be any different? Sure, the games don't matter much, and numerous key players either aren't dressed for action or play sparingly, but it's still football, and we can always learn something. Really, all the weekends are interesting to me from this point on. Sorry, family, I'll see you guys in February after the Super Bowl.
So away we go! From this busy weekend of preseason football, I learned that ...
... Brett Favre's rustiness is overrated: Yeah, so the old guy made some mistakes. He'll make more of them. Favre threw a pair of interceptions against the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday, lost a fingernail after getting his hand stepped on and certainly didn't move around as well as the Minnesota Vikings' coaches might have wanted ... but it's the preseason. If anyone in the NFL is going to be ready in Week 1, shouldn't it be this guy? I'm getting questions from many sources (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) asking whether Favre is done, whether he can be a fantasy starter, wondering about interception totals. Really, you ask these questions after one preseason tilt? Don't knock him down in your rankings because of one preseason game. He's still my No. 9 quarterback. If I move him, it would be one spot up, ahead of Jay Cutler, not back.
... Donnie Avery is replaceable: For those who like St. Louis Rams rookie quarterback Sam Bradford and think Avery will be a breakout performer, keep up with the news here. Avery is done for the season after tearing a knee ligament in Thursday's game. Danny Amendola already has been named the starter alongside sleeper Laurent Robinson. I like Robinson more than Amendola, probably as a fourth fantasy receiver option, but Amendola is someone to watch in leagues that count return yards. By the way, Bradford looked awfully good Thursday night even without Avery. I think in three years, we'll all have forgotten who his wide receivers were in his rookie season.
... The Raiders seem to be cursed: Jason Campbell managed to stay healthy the past two seasons despite a subpar Washington Redskins offensive line. In preseason game No. 3, a decent Oakland Raiders line got Campbell slaughtered. He left with neck and wrist injuries, and it's too early to tell whether he'll start in Week 1. I do have Campbell in my top 20, but as a clear fantasy backup. If he misses time, it doesn't matter until my starter has his bye week. Also, running back Michael Bush, touted by so many fantasy pundits as a sleeper that he'll likely end up being overdrafted, broke his left thumb Saturday and will need surgery. He supposedly will not miss any regular-season games, but let's just say I'm not giving up on Darren McFadden yet.
... Arian Foster is no secret anymore: No Houston Texans running back had rushed for 100 yards in a preseason game until Foster did it Saturday against the Dallas Cowboys. Well, there's no better way to let the proverbial cat out of the bag on a sleeper than have him do this in the third preseason week, is there? Foster is being taken, on average, with the 59th pick in ESPN live drafts, but I suspect you'll have to reach higher in future drafts. Foster turned his 18 carries into 110 yards and a touchdown, and even with Steve Slaton active -- he hurt a foot later in the game -- Foster caught four passes as well. This guy is seriously rising on draft lists.
... Big names do get cut: Well, Antonio Bryant was somewhat of a sleeper before we found out he still has serious knee troubles. Then the Cincinnati Bengals picked up Terrell Owens, and suddenly Bryant was relatively unownable. Now he's relatively unemployed. I say relatively because he's still going to make millions of bucks this season, just not as much as the four-year deal he signed in March. Bryant had little fantasy relevance once T.O. was added, so much that I dropped him outside my top 75 wide receivers. To see him get cut, despite quite a bit of guaranteed dough, is surprising. Fantasy owners who already drafted Bryant need not complain; he's easy to replace. But take a look at your teams for other veteran choices who might be cut. For instance, it's possible Willie Parker, Derrick Ward and other players being selected aren't long for their current teams.