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.

'Twas the night before Christmas when three bearded men, wallowing in mid-table mediocrity, collided via the magic of the internet to relay tales of Fantasy Football.

Settle down – the festive ScoutCast is upon us.

Like the “Three Ronnies”, Jonty, Andy and myself roll out the same old tried and trusted formula in the guise of an extended Christmas special.

We relive the painfully ordinary Gameweek 17, before girding our loins for another bout of community questions as the three us make woeful excuses for avoiding Ighalo, before debating whether the Dullards really have slain the Maverick Fantasy managers for good

 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP178_Humbug.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:18pm UTC

Granville was expected to miss this week’s Scoutcast. Flagged as a 25% doubt, we drafted in Andy off the bench in preparation for our resident Mancunian to go AWOL as he wallowed in the misery of his 30-point Gameweek.

To his great credit, he proved us wrong.

Granville crashes in from the off to join Andy, Jonty and myself in another episode that he describes as “cathartic”, as he rolls out the full directors cut of his woeful tale from Gameweek 15.

Spouting such gems as “someone has to be unlucky and it has to be me”, Granville adds an essential ingredient to a packed and lively session.

It’s helped along by Jonty’s endorsement of “playing the percentages”, roughly translated as the “Dullard’s 101”, which has the four of us at loggerheads.

Once the dust settles on that debate, we tackle further questions from the community, featuring Jonty’s latest love letter to Aaron Ramsey, before rounding off with our preview of Gameweek 16.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP177_Cathartic.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:45pm UTC

Having spent the season clutching to the coat-tails of both Granville and Jonty, finally, like a magnificent phoenix rising from the flames, I’ve caught and surpassed them both.

In truth, my season is anything but “magnificent” and the recent struggles of my ScoutCast co-hosts, as they slip down to my level, is the main reason behind the recent mini-league maneuverings.

With a level playing field established, the three of us skim through another set of “Rough with the Smooth” tales from the community, before bracing ourselves for another batch of topics served steered by your good selves.

You have us talking Sanchez exit plans, discussing the “desperate” route back to Hazard and contemplating Christmas rearguards. Plus we’ve a couple of old ScoutCast favourites who, like my season, rise up from the ashes to discover a new lease of life.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP176_Phoenix.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:13pm UTC

It’s time to turn up the heat on Granville. After Harry Kane obliged with a 26 point return, I’ve clawed back the gap on my Mancunian rival, who now sits just three points ahead in our "very personal" battle.

 

With the flame lit one our age-old rivalry, the ScoutCast is revived to resemble the days gone by, with Granville wriggling uncomfortably as we spar throughout. Jonty is on hand to mediate, taking a few blows of his own, with Granville lashing out blindly.

 

Around the melee, we take in another round of "rough with the smooth" and digest a slew of community questions. We chat Aguero Vs Kane, consider the merits of showing Sanchez and De Bruyne the door, and make our Christmas Fantasy Football wishlist.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP175_Rivals.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:32pm UTC

Sneaking in late like John Terry in a triumphant team photo, Granville gatecrashes this week’s ScoutCast after we drafted in Andy85SWM as his able replacement.

 

Andy tag teams with Jonty and Mark as they look back ten days at the long forgotten Gameweek 12, before grappling with another round of posers from the community.

 

They cast tentative votes on the Aguero debate, assess Lukaku’s armband credentials, check that we can all write off Chelsea and question whether time is up for Sanchez in the light of Oil’s streak of assists.

 

After all that, Granville parachutes in and they get a few minutes to gloat over his injury-ravaged squad. A worthy cameo contribution.

Direct download: FFScoutCAst_EP174_Cameo.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:01pm UTC

Following on from Halloween, it’s time to revisit a horror show Gameweek from Granville.

Having gathered an array of green arrows in recent weeks, my ScoutCast co-host produced a pair of transfer howlers, watching on from behind the sofa as both Philippe Coutinho and Riyad Mahrez banged nails into his Gameweek coffin.

Jonty and I do our best to dwell on Granville’s misery for as long as possible, before attempting to cheer him up with similarly scary tales from the community in “Rough with the Smooth”.

We then take on your questions, debating Leicester’s legs, United’s decline and whether we can actually tame the Fantasy Football troll that is Romelu Lukaku.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP173_Howler.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:17pm UTC

We take Fantasy Football seriously. So much so, myself, Granville and Jonty find time each week to join up online and natter semi-aimlessly about it. Some of you even go so far to watch and listen. We all take Fantasy Football seriously.

That’s why we dedicate this episode of the ScoutCast to Fuzzy Warbles, whose passion for Fantasy Football drove him to scribe a long letter to the Premier League. In doing so, he raised his head above the parapet to gain the <a href="https://uk.sports.yahoo.com/news/fantasy-football-manager-written-letter-premier-league-just-084914996--spt.html?cmp=ukfb">attention from the mainstream press</a> and various Twitterati.

Predictably, that attention was somewhat confused as to why someone would care so much about a few points to muster an 800-word email.

We know why.

Granville, Jonty and I are more than happy to waste more words discussing <a href="http://www.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk/2015/10/20/the-big-numbers-gameweek-9-4/?hc_page=2#hc_comment_11596012">“CedricGate”</a>, the catalyst for Fuzzy’s irritation.

Before that, we analyse Gameweek 9, discuss the contrasting fortunes of Jamie Vardy, Anthony Martial and Eden Hazard, plus assess the Gameweek 11 fixture swing. We may have a few chuckles along the way, but we’re taking it very seriously.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP172_Fuzzy.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:33pm UTC

Just ten days after celebrating three-figure hauls, many Fantasy managers are now left counting the flags as the international break casualties mount.

Sergio Aguero’s twanging hamstring has taken the shine off his incredible 25-point haul and it’s his demise from hero to zero that dominates the chatter in this latest ScoutCast episode.

With Granville struck down by sniffles, Luke aka “D1sable” steps into the breach to join Jonty and Mark to take up the challenge of weighing up the Aguero stand-ins.

The trio also take time to assess two contrasting managerial appointments, greeting Jurgen Klopp’s thrilling heavy metal football, whilst mustering a nod to Big Sam’s bid to produce a Black Cats escape routine.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP171_Flagging.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:43pm UTC

Forget two fat ladies, in ScoutCast Bingo it’s all about three men with paunches chatting Fantasy Football fortunes, rattling out a few familiar clichés along the way.

Thanks to Numb’s <a href="http://www.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk/comment/11410234">witty community contribution</a>, this week’s episode finds us gripping our dabbers in preparation for mispronunciations, dropped connections and a regular helping of “blimeys”.

Around those fun and games, we tackle the serious matters – assessing the merits of Sergio Aguero, Callum Wilson’s replacements and Mark's range of Christmas jumpers.

All those hard-hitting issues are addressed via another round of community questions, following on from our review of Gameweek 7 as Granville fights the urge to gloat having opened up a 40 point lead. 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP170_Bingo.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:11pm UTC

The time comes when every Fantasy Football manager has to react quickly to douse some fires in their squad. The problem is, Mark's team is currently a blazing inferno, without a disco in sight.

At least that’s Granville’s opinion. Buoyed from seeing his canny capture of Anthony Martial deliver a brace at St Mary’s, the cocky co-host is quick to dish out a whipping to Mark's ailing lineup.

The pair discuss the merits of United’s new teenage sensation as part of another round of community questions, served up once again by Jonty. The three of them also ponder the Chelsea revival, David Silva’s fragile ankles and just how their Fantasy Football managerial styles translate to the dog world: a crunch question that’s been brewing unanswered for many episodes.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP169_Inferno2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:25pm UTC

What makes a “casual” ScoutCast host? Perhaps one who takes to his bed even after a table topping 60-point return?

 

Despite bringing in his biggest haul of the season, leaving both Jonty and Mark in his wake, Granville’s man-flu gets the better of him. Not to worry, Luke, aka “D1sable”, drops in to fill his evening slippers, helping steading the ScoutCast ship in prepartion to cross the choppy waters of another community fueled episode. 

Luke and Mark look on enviously while Jonty gets dewy eyed about Dimiti Payet’s Monday night returns, before they switch attention to the fortunes of the Fantasy Football Scout crowd, scanning their fortunes in another bout of “Rough with the Smooth”, which this week includes a precautionary tail of a Fantasy Football rage injury. 

 

They round off, as always, with another bout of community questions, assessing the lure of the five-man midfield, strikers and their desperate quest for bonus points and even entertain the idea of making Kolarov our captain. The season could hardly get more bizarre. 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP168_Casual.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:13pm UTC

An extraordinary ode/death threat to Granville provided the inspiration and backdrop for this week’s Scoutcast.

The poor soul wasn’t sure whether to feel flattered or mildly panicked by a community post like no other.

 

Recovering from the menacing tribute, Granville joined forces with Jonty and Mark to assess the merits of the deadline day arrivals, before grappling with another round of community questions.

They rinse through the De Bruyne debate, the heavy-hitter slump, briefly consider buying Jonny Evans, before tentatively giving out dating advice – again inspired by the imaginations of you, the community.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP167_Stanville.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:02pm UTC

It’s Jonty’s time to curry sympathy this week and he’s on the receiving end of a barrage of cyber-bullying from co-host Granville. 

 

Determined to the belittle Jonty’s Wildcard performance following Callum Wilson’s hat-trick, Granville takes to Twitter before roasting him live on air on the ScoutCast. He seems to have totally missed the fact that I too sold on Wilson as part of my own Wildcard; I’m quite happy for Jonty to play Patsy on this one. 

 

Jonty rolls with the virtual punches to join us as we look back on the Gameweek that saw all three of us refresh our squads. We score our Wildcards out of ten, before scanning for community Gameweek tales in “Rough with the Smooth”. 

 

We then take on your questions, as we assess Pedro’s pedigree, the lure of Aleks Kolarov and the merits of a well-rounded squad in the light of the FPL chips. 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP166_Patsy.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:38pm UTC

Tempted into dealing our Wildcards by yet another “mediocre” Gameweek, Granville and Mark go through almost the entire episode before Jonty reveals he’s weakened and gone “active”. It’s a revelation that almost has the pair logging off and reaching for their own panic buttons. 

 

Before that dramatic finale, the trio find salvation via another bout of “rough the smooth”, cheering themselves up with tales of Gameweek totals which dip below even their miserable tallies. 

 

They also take a further round of community questions, forcing Mark to “fess up” on Theo Walcott, while Granville laments Wayne Rooney’s form and the three of them tackle the merits of Mahrez, Ozil and loading up on City assets. 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP165_Wildboys.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:10pm UTC

Limping out of the blocks like three flabby Dads at their kids’ Sports Day, Granville, Jonty and myself are in a sheepish mood for the first ScoutCast of the season. 

 

We do our upmost to rouse some enthusiasm for the events of Gameweek 1, buoyed by tales from you, the community and your latest round of finely honed questions, drilling down into the current big dilemmas. 

 

Chelsea and Arsenal’s stuttering start, the strategy surrounding Aguero and Sanchez, plus the top targets ahead of Friday’s 6.45 deadline provide plenty to distract me from the fact that I’d been robbed of a David Silva goal just minutes before coming on air. 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP164_Sheepish.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:22pm UTC

On Saturday afternoon, an unsuspecting couple moved into their new Singapore flat next door to a gentleman named Simon March. Twenty-four hours later, after being kept awake by solitary screams of frustration and joy, they were left wondering if they’d made a terrible error.

 

They needn’t have worried. What they were enduring was simply the extraordinary trials of the Fantasy Premier League’s leader, being tortured by the twists of the final day of the season, as Theo Walcott threatened to trample on his dreams.

 

As it happened, Walcott’s best efforts were to prove futile - Simon March claimed the FPL crown after spending 14 Gameweeks at the summit. However, it was far from plain sailing.

 

In tonight’s ScoutCast, Jonty and I talk to Simon and relieve last Sunday’s events and learn how Paul McShane and Sergio Aguero formed an unlikely alliance to steer him to victory.

 

If you’ve never listened to a ScoutCast before, I recommend you break that trend on this one occasion. It really is worthwhile listening to Simon’s tale to share just how it feels to claim the title on the very final day, whilst taking in his thoughts on they key strategies that helped him along the way. 

 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP163_Champion.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:25pm UTC

I can’t deny it – right now my luck is in. Following on from Sadio Mane’s three-minute explosion of points I’m finding it hard to mask my “Smugface” in this week’s ScoutCast episode. You’re advised to stick to the audio version rather than suffer it in full effect via the Google Hangout recording.

 

Whilst resisting the temptation to revel in my Gameweek 37 glory, I do my best to invite both Granville and Jonty into the conversation to cycle through the ScoutCast regulars. We also tackle another batch of community questions, as you quiz us on final day punts, our Fantasy Football Scout moment of the season and on the state of the Fantasy Premier League game we know and love.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP162_Smugface.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:28pm UTC

This week’s ScoutCast episode certainly doesn’t lack “Kahunas” but it does go without my nasal tones.

 

Another bout of man-flu got the better of me this week but, rather than can the episode, I allowed the lunatics to take over the asylum and run this nonsense without me. 

 

Granville and Jonty rise to the occasion, ably abetted by this week’s star guest, Jack Wain – previously number two in the world and still part of the pack giving chase to former guest, Simon March. 

 

Jack makes his appearance just as his gutsy gamble to ignore the sure-fire Sergio Aguero captaincy backfires. Granville and Jonty analyse that brave fall from grace, while quizzing our FPL luminary on the Gameweek 37 double and the great Eden Hazard dilemma, all courtesy of another round of questions from you, the community. 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP161_Kahunas.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:34pm UTC

Our latest ScoutCast episode is dedicated to the memory of long-time community member <a href="http://www.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk/2015/05/01/a-tribute-to-simon-humber/">Simon Humber</a>, aka "Absinthe", who sadly passed away last week.

 

Granville, Jonty and myself pay our respects by going about our business - just as Absinthe would have wanted.

 

We overcome Granville's late arrival to analyse Gameweek 36, while deflecting the latest bout of community posers that have us assess the likelihood of Chelsea rotation, run the rule over Arsenal assets and lament the demise of Sir Leighton Baines. We also take time out to reflect on our season's biggest errors, while Granville is given the unenviable task of selecting the best Fantasy manager from Jonty and myself - like a sultry temptress choosing between a pair of doting admirers. 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP160_Absinthe.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:55pm UTC

Only one FPL manager could withstand a 52-point hit and walk away with a smile on their face. In this week’s ScoutCast episode we tell the extraordinary tale of the FPL champion's “inactive” Wildcard, whilst looking back on Granville’s own, rather more successful squad refresh. 

 

We tackle all the usual regulars, as Jonty arrives armed with another array of quizzical requests from you, the community.  We look forward to the Gameweek 37 double Gameweek, assess the role of end of season motivation and recall the moment that Jamie Vardy’s girlfriend turned our world upside down. No really. 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP159_Inactive.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:47pm UTC

It’s not often that we get to spend a portion of the ScoutCast discussing Leicester City’s rich array of Fantasy talent.

 

That’s how this week’s episode pans out, as Luke aka “D1sable” does his George Boyd act to come off the bench and join myself, Granville and Jonty to discuss the impending double Gameweek.

 

We tackle the usual ScoutCast regulars, whilst deflecting the latest round of questions from the community, assessing the great Foxes hunt, the Hazard versus Sterling gamble and even how we can possibly eek out a valid target amongst the Hull City squad. Meanwhile, Granville is dreaming of a three-digit bonanza as he joins the world’s number one in activating his belated FPL Wildcard.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP158_Foxy.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:33pm UTC

Three middle-aged beards collide to talk Fantasy Football. Hipsters? Sadly, as Jonty so rightly points out, we bear a closer resemblance to a trio of David Brents.

 A clean-shaven Ryan joins us to complete the quartet and boost the credibility: the Kiwi contributor wakes fresh and ready for action to mull over the Gameweek gone, the week’s transfer bandwagons and to look forward to the weekend’s action.

 Around those regulars, we take on the latest bout of quizzing from you, the community. We tackle the potential of the Palace form guys and the unlikely contribution from Hull and Leicester, as we cast an early eye on the looming double Gameweek.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP157_Hipster.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:34pm UTC

Mark, Granville and Jonty welcomed Fantasy Premier League royalty for this week’s episode, as reigning champion, Tom Fenley, made his belated ScoutCast debut.

 

Tom joined the trio to talk through his difficult post-championship season, whilst lending his informed view the situation facing the current Fantasy Football Scout league leader, and FPL number one, Simon March, aka “Dufflinks”.

 

Of course, the boys were also glad to have Tom’s expertise on board to help grapple with the latest round of topics fed to us by the community. Amongst the many issues tackled, they attempt to explain the withering form of Sergio Aguero, discussing the merits or otherwise of an Argentine exit strategy.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP156_Champ.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:05pm UTC

When Kevin Anderson’s workmates convinced him to put together a Fantasy Football squad the day before the season kick-off, little did they know that they’d unleashed a monster.

 

Eight months later, Kevin sits just three points off the top, £30,000 prize, in the Sky Sports game, having never played Fantasy Football. Regardless of the outcome, that’s a debut season to remember.

 

Kevin was our guest on this week’s live ScoutCast Hangout, joining Granville who made a return from his brief sulk hiatus, and Jonty to complete Tuesday night’s quartet.

 

We discover how Kevin’s relentless planning and stalking of opponents has helped him scale the ranks to within touching distance of the glittering prize. We also take time to digest the double Gameweek options, previewing the weekend with all the usual haphazard panache.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP_155_Debut.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:17pm UTC

With Granville sulking on sabbatical, it was left to myself and Jonty and his flourishing facial hair to hold the fort, ably supported by this week’s guest, Luke aka D1sable.

 

Racking up one of the longest episodes for months, the three of us talk evening footwear, banish seven teams to the Championship and mention Jeffrey Schlupp as much as humanly possible. Despite missing Granville’s secret sauce, we also do our best to serve up the regulars, whilst addressing the quizzing and probing from the Fantasy Football Scout community. 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP154_Beard.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:57pm UTC

Simon March, aka Dufflinks, has been hanging around these pages since August 2011. A veteran of six Fantasy Premier League seasons, this campaign started more casual than ever, with Simon resigned to snatching the occasional live match from the other side of the world. 

 

By Boxing Day he was fourth in the world and, six week’s ago, he reached the summit. Tonight he sits on top of the FPL world by 30 points with his Wildcard still tucked away in his pocket and the whole Fantasy Football Scout community behind him. No pressure.

 

With Granville nursing the hangover from a mid-life stag do and another United disappointment, this week’s ScoutCast is dedicated to Simon’s story, as he wakes in the early hours to join Jonty and myself for a special edition.

 

We overcome countless gremlins to discuss how Simon gets by on rations of four live matches a season, how he can recall every point hit he’s ever taken and how one lucky cat may just hold the secret to his success over the remaining ten Gameweeks. 

 

 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP153_March.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:30pm UTC

Visuals returned to the ScoutCast this week, as Granville and I cuddled up in a Google Hangout, with Jonty crashing in to form a menage a tois.

 

 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP152_Threesome.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:53pm UTC

These are difficult times for Granville. Sadly for him, his prediction that Diego Costa’s studs played into my hands along with Emre Can’s ankle proved correct – the Chelsea villain pushed me into a Gameweek 23 Wildcard and I cashed in. 

 

It left Granville spitting feathers and 92-points behind but he remains defiant. Even with the millions draining from his squad via his active Wildcard, my resolute co-host is not giving up on keeping the season alive and the rivalry as bitter as ever. 

 

We weigh up Granville’s latest options in his quest to close the gap: analysing the contest between Sturridge and Aguero for our place in our forward lines, check in on the fallout from the Sanchez injury, whilst wading through the usual regulars ahead of another Gameweek. 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP151_Arrears.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:01pm UTC

Granville and I raise out bats to the grandstand as the 150 comes up for the ScoutCast. Fittingly, we choose to spend the milestone episode moaning about Diego Costa, for very different reasons.

 

Chelsea’s  “agro magnet” dominates discussion on the eve of an expected three-match ban that will end my love affair with the grizzled goal-getter. Meanwhile, Granville is left smarting from Costa’s 16-point Gameweek 22 haul, as he does his best to make light of the 59-point chasm that now separates our teams.

 

We glide through the ScoutCast regulars, whilst taking time out to lament Kevin Mirallas and his latest bout of Baines-bullying that robbed us both of returns.

 

 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP150_Costly.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:41pm UTC

With gremlins in the machine, the clock was ticking on this week’s ScoutCast as Granville and I are hurried into service.

 

Displaying all the urgency and determination of Ade Akinfenwa at the end of season buffet, we waste no time in driving through the ScoutCast regulars, whilst weighing the merits of when to swoop for a certain “essential” Argentine.

 

While this week’s low fat episode may come as a treat for some, we’re working towards a return to the full fat, high cholesterol live Hangout from next week. Keep ‘em peeled for news on that.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP149_Rushed.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:48pm UTC

Granville and I make a New Year return to the ScoutCast studio, battered and bruised by the events of Gameweek 20 which saw us both inexplicably bench Harry Kane and his 18-point haul.

 

Having wasted our big differential and haunted by constant reminders, my co-host and I struggle to make a recovery. Spitting the pips from our sour grapes, we do our best to justify our doomed decision-making, before attempting to salve the wounds with talk of the Winter Wildcard refresh around the usual batch of regulars.

 

 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP148_Harried.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:21pm UTC

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