I saw Spectre this week, and, before you accuse me of bragging that I had the time to see a movie in its first month of release, or worse, being in the pockets of Big Cinema, know that Hollywood types will not be pleased to read my review. Oh yes. It's time to go in.
Here's the facts, Jack: the latest Bond is a wet fuckin' fart. I don't mean Daniel Craig, to be clear; the man need only to smoulder at me in a particular way and my wife would be signing a ream of papers before you could say "irreconcilable." That is to say, I'm over a barrel for the guy, and I say that having seen what he does to barrels.
Like Craig, though, Bond 24 feels about two decades too old for me, and also for Léa Seydoux, who plays our hero's main interest, as well. Rightly so, I think, virtually every reviewer has pointed out that Spectre is at best a tonal throwback and, at worst, a joyless regurgitation—either of which certainly qualifies it as a bitter coda to a series that seemed to be crescendoing after 2012's Skyfall. If it isn't a hangover for Director Sam Mendes, it is at least his Hangover III.
If Daniel Craig has unbuttoned Bond's blazer for the last time, then it's a sad end, but so be it. Mendes and Co. have evidently run out of things for him to do on behalf of MI6, and for us, and if the ending of Spectre didn't totally write him out of the series, then the rest of the film surely did. It damn near wrote me out of the theater, to tell you the truth, which is really something given how much I love to sit.
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I write all that because I'm damn mad that one of my favorite all-time series has been left half-done with little apparent care, like an in-laws' turkey or all the art your kid brings home from school. 007 deserves better; hell, his dipshit exploding watches and poorly-labeled automotive weapons systems deserve better! At the same time, the bitter disappointment of the entire quadrilogy is the 500 pound gorilla in the room, and it must be addressed. There was so much to celebrate early on, and each successive home run—or ground rule double, in the case of Quantum of Solace—seemed to promise an even bigger payoff. It was a promise that, ultimately, Mendes was unable to fulfill.
Speaking of which:
Last Weeks' Fistpumps and Faceplants
Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Vikings - 17th QB, 11.9pts --
Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks - 9th QB, 17.8pts +
Derek Carr, QB, Raiders - 7th QB, 22.28pts +
Charcandrick West, RB, Chiefs - 3rd RB, 21.10pts +++
Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seahawks - T-19th RB, 12.0pts -
Randall Cobb, WR, Packers - 25th WR, 10.0pts -
Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys - 27th WR, 9.5pts --
Rishard Matthews, WR, Dolphins - 13th WR, 14.7pts +
Jimmy Graham, TE, Seahawks - T-21st TE, 7.10pts --
Sometimes I delete the middling performers from this section—not in an effort to save face because, eh—but based on the theory that between the superlative and the shitty is a morass of uninteresting, indigestible mediocrity that's hardly worth compiling, much less analyzing. So, most of the time, when Russell Wilson turns in the 9th best performance among QBs and that is more or less what we would have expected him to do, I'll just leave it alone. If I can't use a player's performance to build myself up or punch myself in the face repeatedly, then what is the use in pointing it out?
Today I have ignored that rule of thumb. Above, you'll see the full complement of our DFS picks from Week 10 (save for Eddie Lacy, who did not play, I was on vacation and please cut me some slack), in all their shame and glory. Glean from it what you will, but here is what I take away: I sorta stunk out the joint!
Sure, Charcandrick West put it down, but despite his 1.9 percent ownership, that might not have been the deepest cut; Wilson and Carr were among the 10 best at their position, granted, but if you end up rostering the 11th best quarterback for your DFS squad, your Millionaire Maker ticket is probably a birdcage liner. I've got no interest in grading on a curve here, so let's tell it like it is: in Week 10, I pretty much crapped the bed. No, no … shed no tears for me. I earned that A-.
It hurts to see that written out, but I begrudgingly accept it. Here's my 10-step improvement plan:
Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons - $7,100
Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers - $6,900
I know we're on the last week of the BYEs, but damn did it throw me for a loop seeing these two guys priced so high. They're more costly to own than Cam Newton, Carson Palmer, and Derek Carr, to name a few, and although some of that can be chalked up to a staid price formula, surely there was time to adjust just a teensy bit, no?
Whatever their individual accomplishments this season, both of these men have the unfortunate distinction of helming teams with all the forward progress of a hamster and his wheel. Well, it seems to me that the hamster is getting tired. I, for one, would like to help him.
Tyrod Taylor, QB, Bills - $5,200
Andre Ellington, RB, Cardinals - $3,700
Chris Johnson, RB, Cardinals - $4,700
That's right, both Cardinals! And if I could name any of the other ones, I'd put them on here, too. Just kidding—of course I can name them, and I will probably do so any minute now.
I'm a recovering Titans fan—as I write this, Tennessee is making a valiant effort to crawl back into the Thursday Night game, for reasons which are anyone's guess—and so CJ2k will always have a place in my heart. His jersey hangs in my closet, and in frames everywhere across this great state's slow-to-redecorate Buffalo Wild Wings'. He was a damn good player, and apparently still is, with fewer 2015 rushing yards than only the one problematic guy who was out of the league last year. If that makes sense to you, you're a damn liar.
For his part, Ellington has steadily crept back onto the field after an early season swoon, taking snaps away from the other players at his position not named Chris Johnson and just generally looking dynamic as all hell. I don't see why they can't both score this week, and for a pittance at that!
Alfred Morris, RB, Washington - $3,900
Those little ESPN-y anecdotes about players and their off-field lives never, ever stick with me, and why would they? Who cares? There was one video segment though, that I will never forget. It was about Alfred Morris driving around his shitty little car, which was, I assure you, very shitty. The whole thing was shot at the height of his powers, which served, of course, to make his frugality appear all the more ridiculous. Maybe now that he's come back down to Earth, he has a really nice car, for irony's sake? No, I hope not. I hope his ride is as busted as ever. In an odd way, it gives me hope. Keep deferring that paint job, Alfred.
Jonathan Stewart, RB, Panthers - $4,400
Eric Decker, WR, Jets - $5,800
Vincent Jackson, WR, Bucs - $4,700
Crockett Gillmore, TE, Ravens - $3,300
One of the chief issues I have with Spectre is its sense of entitlement. I mean, yes, famous writer that I am, I can afford to part with $6 for a matinee, and it's not even that big of a deal for me (as long as we don't go Dutch on lunch; I will be having the steak). If you're MGM, you have to know that you got me to sit down for 148 minutes based on a pretty good track record and a hell of a trailer … so why is it so hard to live up to?
Regular, ol' not-under-investigation fantasy football, I would suggest, suffers from this same problem. After all, what in the wide world of sports is more pleasurable than sitting down to draft a team with six of your closest friends and three guys you sort of know, but maybe not well enough to have invited into your home now that you think about it, but they're already there and are wearing Drew Bledsoe Patriots jerseys?
Nothing, I would submit, is significantly more pleasurable than that. Definitely not a fantasy auction, which, while well-meaning, is four times as long as the interminable Spectre and somehow features twice as many villains. Not the NFL games themselves, certainly, which, again, villains. Fantasy drafting is the reason we wake up every September, and the immediately ensuing fantasy season is about as fun as scraping dog crap off a Play-Doh cleat.
Shouldn't there be a more entertaining way to spend the season? Or are we doomed to drag, drop, sit, and start our way to fifth place forever, trapped in a faux-sports purgatory, like a player who never comes off waivers? I think I know the answer.
Matt Hasselbeck, QB, Colts
Brock Osweiler, QB, Broncos
Osweiler looked competent, if not quite compelling, in relief of the Week 10 2015 version of Peyton Manning, which is a damn sight better than the newly-crowned passing leader looked himself. (It probably isn't the bitter end for Manning, but it has been plenty bitter—he figures to end up somewhere in 2016, for better or worse.) The Chiefs are pretty good, though, and plainly didn't care for being a doormat on the night Peyton would gain entree to Football Valhalla, and Osweiler has a much better match-up this week.
It's not nearly as good as Matt Hasselbeck's, though. The Falcons would be right there with the Saints for the weakest pass defense in football, if New Orleans would just take a break from being godawful for long enough to be merely crappy. I'm not saying Hasselbeck is the eventual successor to anything but some dude's lower-tier pre-game show spot, but he's the current quarterback in Indianapolis, and what's he going to do? Throw eight picks?
Tony Romo, QB, Cowboys
The only vested interest that I, personally, have in Tony Romo coming back and playing well again is that I will be attending the Cowboys' Thanksgiving game against the Panthers, and all things being equal, I would prefer that it not be a farcical drubbing from the very outset. Professionally, it would behoove me if Romo came out looking like even twice the quarterback that Matt Cassel has been, given his inclusion in this very space, but hell. No matter what, these guys are fun, and they put on a good show. They're like U2, with worse running backs.
James Starks, RB, Packers
There comes a time in every fantasy player's life when he or she must stand up, straighten out his or her back, and pledge unwaveringly: "I believe that Eddie Lacy is not good." This weekend, Lacy looks to bounce back from what has been, essentially, a three-year stumble out of the gates. Green Bay is prepared for him to fall, as James Starks will apparently receive the first crack at the Vikings.
LeSean McCoy, RB, Bills
112 rush yards in two consecutive games, and 112th in ESPN's running back rankings (okay, okay, he's 14th).
Ronnie Hillman, RB, Broncos
Brandon LaFell, WR, Patriots
John Brown, WR, Cardinals
Hey, what happened to this guy? It's as if he's been hurt for a long time and everyone forgot about him. Hmph.
Stefon Diggs, WR, Vikings
I have never, ever seen Stefon Diggs play the game of football, and it's not because I'm super-busy or anything. So know that, when I am recommending you spend some fractional portion of your cold, hard, fiat currency on him this weekend, it will not be because I've seen something on the tape that blew me away. I don't even have a tape machine. I have an XBox.