The Fantasy Football Scoutcast
Let Mark and Granville sniff out your clean sheets and assist your fantasy football season with a regular serving of stuff and nonsense from the English Premiership. News and analysis is mixed with lively banter between the two bitter mini-league rivals as the pair laugh off a life of mid-table mediocrity.

Not so merry, certainly not so high – my rank took a tumble and my co-host rival has taken advantage: in an extraordinary Gameweek, Granville is now breathing down my neck with just two points between us. It’s a nightmare before Christmas.

 

Not surprisingly, much of this festive ScoutCast is given up to Granville’s ascent, his six million dollar man - Charlie Austin - and the failings of my faith in Diego Costa. 

 

Around all that, we preview the Boxing Day schedule, cast an eye over the Scout leagues and assess the merits of the current transfers bandwagons. I even have time to throw in another Jose Mourinho conspiracy theory. Hey, let me have my fun - I needed cheering up. 

 

 

 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP147_DingDong.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:37pm UTC

 

Granville and I get cosy on a two-seater sofa – within touching distance – just how he likes it.

 In truth, my-host is getting too close for comfort: the mini-league gap is down to just 42 points, with Granville relentlessly chiping away at my previously unassailable lead.

 

We review Gameweek 16’s events, including my oh-so bitter Dzeko pill, before discussing De Gea’s uncanny form, the demise of Leighton Baines and my latest set-to with Jonty: are there better options than Diego Costa up top?

 

The regulars wrap themselves around that lot, while Granville, thankfully, keeps his hands to himself.

 

 

 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP146_Closer.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:46pm UTC

This week’s ScoutCast is a throwback – a return to the days when Granville moaned about his team of red flags and names like Robin van Persie and Yaya Toure dominated our thinking.

 

Granville and I slip into such subject matter like they’re a pair of old slippers, whilst assessing the Aguero fall-out, the Dzeko option, Ivanovic versus “Dave” Azpi and how I base my Fantasy Football management style on Roy Hodgson.

 

We roll out the regulars and lament the demise of the ScoutCast team – eliminated in the opening round of our own cup competition. Some things never change.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP145_Retro.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:46pm UTC

It’s “squeaky bum time” in the ScoutCast studio as Granville continues to chip away at my previously “unassailable” mini-league lead. My co-host stumbled through an injury-strewn Gameweek 12 with the honours, leaving me trailing and worrying that he’ll have clawed it all back by Christmas.

 

Pressing on, we flog the Hazard vs Fabregas debate once again and run the rule over a cast of budget strikers, desperately searching for the optimum way to spend the two transfers burning holes in our pockets.  

 

We asses the week’s transfer bandwagons, look ahead to Gameweek 13 and take time out to tease Jonty on his Di Maria u-turn. We then combine “powers” to terrifying effect and prepare the ScoutCast XI for their Fantasy Football Scout Cup qualifying round, having flexed its muscles to the tune of a 59-point Gameweek 12. Intimidating stuff.

 

 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP144_Squeaky.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:43pm UTC

Far from a tribute to Chris Martin’s middle of the road act, this week’s ScoutCast reflects on the sea of yellow flags that have flooded our Fantasy Premier League squads over the past week. You’re nobody unless you’ve collected at least four by Saturday morning. 

 

The uncertainty caused by phantom international break injuries dominates proceedings as Granville and I mark a return to the studio. Whilst I start praying for Georgie Boyd to step up, my co-host begins his campaign to hypnotise me into getting rid of Branislav Ivanovic before he starts putting further daylight between our teams. I’m refusing to gaze into Granville’s eyes.

 

Elsewhere this week, we catch "Cup Fever" and resurrect the ScoutCast team. You could soon have the pleasure of knocking Granville and I out of our own cup competition. Providing we qualify of course – that’s far from a given.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP143_Yellow.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:34pm UTC

There was just a wafer-thin point separating myself and Granville in Gameweek 11, despite Granville’s decision to ignore the force of nature that is Alexis Sanchez.

 

In a svelte but packed episode, my co-host and I discuss the Chilean’s “essential” charms, pile praise on the reborn Stewart Downing and the new, reliable Leighton Baines v2.

 

Around the usual regulars, we drop in on some old favourites, as Aleks Kolarov discovers new methods of running Granville’s Gameweeks and I manufacture a way of snuggling under the Van Persie duvet. We also carry on nudging the Harry Kane-wagon, run our teams through the Gargatron computer and go on “Warnock Watch” to discover his latest gripes.

 

 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP142_Tight.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:39pm UTC

Flabbergasted by my reluctance to tinker and the decision to throw away my Gameweek 9 transfer, Granville can’t wait to get stuck into me in the ScoutCast studio.

 

My co-host roughs me up over my cowardice, then slaps me around for the fact that I appeared to hoodwink the entire world over Diego Costa’s fitness. We go on to appraise the merits of Ed Sheeran, check in on Neil Warnock’s latest gripes and weigh up the Sterling vs Sanchez vs Hazard debate. Meanwhile, Kieran Trippier’s cross count without an assist for Granville hits 66 and counting. Who’s dithering now, eh Granville?

 

 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP141_Dither.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:17pm UTC

After the best Gameweek tally in living memory, I reserve the right for a bit of a gloat. Having risked the Wildcard back in Gameweek 7, the stars aligned and everything fell into place last weekend, leaving my ScoutCast co-host, grumpy Granville, grabbing at straws and  smashing TV sets in frustration.

 

After last season’s defeat, I revel in my moment of glory but still find time to lock horns with Granville over the great Costa debate. Is Jose playing with our minds? I certainly think so but, as Granville points out, I reckon the Lunar landings were fake. I love a good conspiracy, me.

 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP140_Gloaty.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:48pm UTC

Don’t get us wrong – we’re not labelling this latest droning session as “essential” listening. However, there’s no getting away from the fact that the concept of essential players has dominated the airwaves at Scout towers over the past week. 

 

In this latest episode, Granville and I take on this meaty subject, whilst chewing over the importance of ownership and spit out the semblance of an opinion on both. Around that main course, we take on the usual bevvy of regulars with the usual haphazard panache. 

 

Essential? Not quite, not even on a rainy Thursday night. 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP139_Essential.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:31pm UTC

Granville’s lackadaisical approach to the new campaign might just explain why he’s treading water. Missing deadlines and price rises, my ScoutCast co-host badly needs to introduce some organisation into his season if he’s to keep pace – the man needs a PA - get your applications in.

 

With Granville floundering, I’ve decided to lay down my Wildcard to potential rub further salt into his wounds. Is it a chronic case of “jerky knee”? Granville certainly thinks (hopes) so.

 

We chat over my Wildcard revolution, analyse how the heavy-hitting midfielders are failing to pull their weight and rinse through the usual regulars in the same disorganised fashion. 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP138_Secretary.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:02pm UTC

Every little point counts. With the mini-league gap between myself and co-host Granville widening by the week, my Mancunian friend can ill-afford to throw points aside in his bid to follow up last season’s victorious campaign.

 

In and around the usual ScoutCast regulars, Granville recalls the dilemma that saw him get away with benching Cesc Fabregas to the tune of just a single point. Will that prove costly?

 

We then join forces to run the rule over the accelerating Di Maria bandwagon, assess Rooney’s re-positioning and decide whether those steering away from Ramsey Street need to re-programme their sat navs. 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP137_Precious.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:07pm UTC

Fond of sand dunes and salty air, Granville returns from “avin’ it large” in Ibiza, to join me once again in the ScoutCast studio.

 

The ageing hedonist and I rinse through the regulars – giving our views on the week’s transfer bandwagons, whilst previewing the weekend and giving a shout-out to those managers blazing trails atop the various Fantasy Football Scout leagues.

 

Inevitably, we also moan about our Gameweek mishaps, discuss the latest development in the United revolution and touch on waves being generate by the Fantasy Premier League price tweaks.

 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP136_Bangin.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:37pm UTC

With cheque books fluttering on the eve of the transfer window slamming shut, our Fantasy seasons could be transformed by new arrivals. In this week’s ScoutCast episode, Granville and I chew over the latest new faces to crash the player list – United’s “Angel” Di Maria and Liverpool’s “Devil” Balotelli. 

 

With just a single point between us and the comfort of top 100k placings, my co-host and I are more than just a little content as we the rule over the current bandwagons and preview another weekend’s action. It won’t last.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP135_Arrivals.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:07pm UTC

Gently does it. Granville and I ease ourselves into the season with another thirty-minute bite-size podcast, gradually building up our fitness before we go full tilt next month.

 

Yes, it’s just the pair of us again, cuddling up in our intimate studio to discuss the events of Gameweek one, whilst casting one eye on the fixtures and events to come this weekend. 

 

We get through the usual array of regulars, with Granville explaining how a wedding and a bout of childcare threatened to ruin his campaign, just as it gets out of the blocks. We reach out to all those Siggy benchers, whilst picking the bones out United’s limp corpse following their opening day defeat. We chat Fabregas vs Hazard, Ivanovic vs the rest (they're going to run and run) and sing Ultimate’s praises for helping the previously unloved play their part in our Fantasy seasons. 

 

 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP134_Starter.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:49pm UTC

A new beginning. On the eve of a new campaign, two grumpy middle-aged has-beens gather in a studio to recall the summer’s feast of football and look ahead to another Fantasy season, full of hope.

 

There’s no frills. No live video cast. No special guests. Just Granville and I, stripped back and almost unplugged.

 

Don’t let that put you off, though. Even with our limited powers we at least attempt to cut through the issues currently rattling around in the minds of Fantasy managers.

 

We assess the Old Trafford revolution, the world without Suarez and the merits of the three-man strike force. We slice through the current transfer trends and weigh up matters such as the Sigurdsson/Bojan rotation, Fagregas vs Hazard and the Chelsea back four conundrum. We also manage to warm up with a nice little argument about the Alexis Sanchez bandwagon – the traditional pre-season barney.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP133_Beginnings.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:35pm UTC

The final ScoutCast of the season found Granville and I take on the might of Hall of Fame legend, Evs, top 300 ranked Applebonkers and our very own high flyer – Jonty. We certainly know how to make ourselves feel inadequate.

 

In a mix of retrospective naval gazing and forward thinking speculation, my co-host and I tackle the usual ScoutCast regulars, before we’re joined by our guests to take on another raft of community questions. We talk Gameweek 38 punts, the deadball divas that are Steven Gerrard and Yaya Toure and consider the lessons learned from the past nine months.

 

 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_Ep132_Climax.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:23pm UTC

Thirty-one points back on my co-host Granville, alas he still seems out of range as my comeback bid is too little, too late. It might be a similar story for this week’s guest, as Luke Williams, aka d1salbe, remains just over thirty points shy of top spot in the Sky Sports game, with a glittering prize of £30k within tantalising reach. 

 

Jonty joins us to put Luke through his paces with community questions, after Granville and I tackle the ScoutCast regulars, talk over the Moyes ejection, next season’s targets and absent feline friends. 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP131_out_of_reach.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:55pm UTC

The ScoutCast revolution is here. Not content with having to ensure our voices are up to scratch, Granville and myself decide to risk ridicule and stream our first live Google Hangout version, putting our hairlines and choice of décor on the line.

 

Having embarked on this brave new world, it also made sense to shake up the content so we welcome back Jonty to fire us a whole host of questions from the community and introduce some special guests along the way. We start this week with none other than the world’s top Fantasy Premier League manager – Luke Weston is in the house to rub shoulders with mediocrity and field our inquisition.  

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP130_hangout.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:31pm UTC

There’s no getting away from it, Granville and I are nothing short of bitter middle aged, middle of the table Fantasy managers. This week’s ScoutCast is a vitriol-filled slab of double Gameweek failure, inspired by Yaya Toure’s relentless point scoring and our stubborn reluctance to recruit his talents.

 

Of course, in between skinning our sour grapes, we dabble with the podcast regulars, whilst responding to another round of community posers including a lookey-likey query that smiles kindly on my co-host and has me recounting the tale of my very own office doppleganger.

 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP129_Bitter.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:10pm UTC

Is there really room for emotion and sentiment in Fantasy Football management? This week’s episode questions whether the detached, cold and almost robotic approach is the way to go. Of course, Granville and I already know the answer leaving us cursing our sensitive sides. Ironically, this realisation comes after a weekend when, not for the first time, Aleks Kolarov almost reduced me to tears.

 

The pair of us manage to restore a stiff upper lip long enough to rinse through further double Gameweek debate, chew the fat over the belated Suarez assist and take on another selection of posers from you, the listener. There’s “all aboard” the weekend preview and the latest in my battle with the ScoutCast XI.

 

It’s beating me again. Without a player from the top four. Is it any wonder I’m an emotional wreck?

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP128_Robotic.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:22pm UTC

Granville calls it a logic-defying season and this 300k ranked Fantasy manager isn’t going to argue with him. There’s plenty to tussle about in this week’s ScoutCast, however, as we lock virtual horns over Rooney vs van Persie, Baines vs Coleman and Aguero vs his hamstring.

 

In and around the regulars, it’s the incoming double Gameweeks that occupy our thoughts once more, with the community questions quizzing us on United’s Gameweek 31 potential, the Chelsea dilemma and the best player we’ve witnessed in the flesh. Granville puts forward a true talent: a three time FIFA World Player of the Year, no less. I nominated a floppy haired Geordie with a top 40 single. Truly logic-defying.  

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP127_Logic.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:06pm UTC

Bonus points delivered by the man in the stand. Golden Wonder crisps. Ian Woan. The 1982 World Cup. There’s more than a hint of nostalgia about this week’s episode Granville and I park the Zimmer frames to resume ScoutCast service.

 

My co-host is almost back to full-fitness, exercising his rehabilitated vocal chords and wrapping his recovered tonsils around more double Gameweek discussion, along with a further round of community posers. Aguero’s double Gameweek potential, Granville’s fading faith in Moyes and our preferred flavour of crisps-based snack are amongst the hard-hitting topics on the agenda, following on from the usual bout of regulars. 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP126_Nostalgia.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:12pm UTC

It’s the ScoutCast vs Adversity. Granville drags himself out of his sick bed and we scramble into a makeshift studio, determined to return to the airwaves after our absence last week.

 

Apologies in advance for the echo, the faint background hiss and Granville’s Bonnie Tyler-like tones. If you can see your way past that little lot then you might just find some worth in this week’s episode as we grill the Gameweek 29 blank, sauté the Gameweek 31 doubles, boil down the Suarez vs Sturridge debate and lament our joint decision to choose Edin Dzeko from the lavish striker buffet, ignoring the sumptuous Sturridge in the process.

 

In between that particular call to Captain Hindsight, we rinse through the regulars, although Granville’s poorly state has us clean forget to credit the Scout League leaders or offer our thoughts on our new Fantasy Football squeeze – Ultimate Fantasy Premier League. Please accept this note from our respective Mum’s and the promise that we’ll return to full fitness next week.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP125_Sicknote.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:01pm UTC

There’s very little fizzing away within Granville’s Fantasy lineup right now but, while the Mancunian can justifiable lament his stagnant squad, I’m having to console myself with the smallest of victories – namely a sniveling 9-point Gameweek victory. Get some perspective, Granville.

 

That’s not the reasoning behind this weeks moniker, however, as once again it’s the questions from the community that inspires the title of another ScoutCast episode. Rounding off with the usual interrogation from you, the listener, we start by dropping in on the regulars, whilst reviewing the ins and outs of the transfer window and touching on the Carroll’s flailing arm and Chelsea’s shackling of City. 

Direct download: FFS_ScoutCast_EP124_Fizz.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:39pm UTC

The title summons up imagery of Granville straddling me at the Potter's wheel, lovingly helping to craft a clay creation as we unite to sculpt out a Van Persie bust – in true Lionel Ritchie’s “Hello” style. 

That’s probably lost approximately half of our potential audience who are too young to recall the analogy. The other half are likely to be repelled by the image of Granville and I caught in a Swayze/Moore-like clinch.

If you’re part of the minority still sticking around, curious to hear how the above nonsense translates into a podcast, then listen up. You’ll catch the plenty of Wildcard ribbing, a tale of captain calamity exposed by this week’s community questions and the usual array of regulars. 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP123_Ghost.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:58pm UTC

Granville and I have tackled some hard-hitting issues on the ScoutCast but it was perhaps inevitable that, on handing the opportunity for you, the community, to provide queries, things would ratchet up a few notches and have us chew over the subjects that matter most.

Listen in to this week’s episode and find out how the pair of us answered the first round of questions from you folks – including a humdinger that stretched our limited mental capabilities to breaking point.

Minds blown, we still managed to take on the ScoutCast regulars, rinsing through the bandwagons in all aboard, whilst previewing the forthcoming midweek Gameweek with both our Wildcard’s active. Elsewhere, Granville puts another phantom Lukaku assist under the grill, while I ponder the merits of achieving an unlikely differential using Sergio Aguero and the armband. No really, I’m 12% sure it’s going to work.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP122_Animal.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:27pm UTC

A new year, a new opportunity. While the frantic festive spell saw me fail miserably in my attempt to take a bite out of Granville’s mini-league lead, January does at least hand myself and other stragglers a chink of light. The Winter Wildcard could well be a false dawn, however. Having got my squad back on an even keel, the freedom to scrap it and start over is almost a scary prospect.

 

On the plus side, the situation certainly seems to have Granville spooked. My Mancunian rival is looking on his Wildcard with suspicion, leaving me hoping that, during his own January surgery, he makes one or two vital slips with the scalpel.

 

Around the Wildcard chatter, Granville and I deliberate over how to fill the Walcott-sized hole in our teams, whilst giving the regulars their usual airing. We even reveal plans on how you, yes you, the listener, can play a part in future ScoutCasts.

 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP121_Opportunity.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00pm UTC

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