Thu, 22 December 2016
Low on baubles but big on Christmas hats, the array of headgear in this festive ScoutCast is impressive, at least until you get to Jonty’s flimsy paper effort.
The final episode of 2016 is upon us and it’s a big one as Andy, Granville and the aforementioned Jonty join me to charge headfirst into the final three Gameweeks of the year.
We start by bowing to Andy’s wise man act as he reaps the reward of faith in Ibrahimovic: a gift that we hope will go on giving, as we all belatedly jump on board.
Then we batten down the hatches ahead of Christmas rotation, analyse the 2016 Dream Team and attempt to provide the Fantasy Football’s “secrets of success”. Like we’d know.
Wed, 14 December 2016
Dare you go 4-4-2 when the crowd go 3-4-3? Perhaps you fancy “going maverick” with a 3-5-2 or even a 4-5-1?
The third option is to “go Granville” and take your hands off the wheel altogether, hoping for the best.
It seems that the latest tactic from my ScoutCast co-host is to induce a bout of amnesia and miss the Gameweek deadline. In doing so, he’s left his captain on Eden Hazard who, as it transpires, is set to miss tonight’s Sunderland trip.
Roberto Firmino, a player widely sold by all ahead of Gameweek 16, is now set to sport Granville’s armband. Surely this ill-fated chain of events can only end one way?
Granville takes time out to talk through his “Ghostship” strategy/tragedy while laying into my 4-5-1 and unshakable faith in John Stones.
Andy and Jonty then chip in as we take on a round of community questions that ask whether we should be selling Liverpool, buying Manchester United and, in a rather exasperated tone, how any of us can justify overlooking Diego Costa.
I respond with a half-hearted argument, which sounds more like a confession of a fatal error. Make your own mind up on that one.
Thu, 8 December 2016
Regrets come hand-in-hand with Fantasy Football – if you get through the season without one, you’re either extremely fortunate or you just don’t care enough. Either way, you’re unlikely to be reading this.
Most of us of come to terms with them, have learnt to ride them out and plough on unscathed but, even I’ve got to admit, Alexis Sanchez’ Gameweek 14 stung a bit.
Thankfully, with Sergio Aguero harbouring his own regrets, the path to sheepishly welcome Sanchez back into the fold is signposted rather clearly.
The Sanchez wounds and the Aguero fall-out dominate this week’s ScoutCast, which also marks a debut for moderator and long-time community member AZ. He steps in with Granville tangled in political red tape to join Jonty, Andy and myself for a lengthy and lively episode.
We gripe about the volatile market, quiver in fear at the idea of the “Titan teams” and, of course, preview the weekend with a scattering of statistics, speculation and pure guesswork.
Thu, 1 December 2016
“All this taking hits, it gets a bit moreish.”
One of my favourite all-time quotes from the ScoutCast arrives in this week’s episode, as Jonty does his best to explain another abject Gamework return.
Struggling with misfortune and misfiring moves, our former resident “dullard” is now resigned to chasing memories from his season – those maverick move successes he can store and take with him for future campaigns.
There’s nothing maverick about my season right now, as I furiously back-peddle on my exit plans and watch Andy and Jonty jump and fall into the no-Aguero abyss without me. Granville tries to talk me over the edge, but I’m not budging.
Elsewhere in this week’s episode, we tackle the Philippe Coutinho injury fall-out head-on, chase our tails on “essential” assets and attempt to settle the Walcott vs Sanchez and Hazard vs Pedro arguments.
Thu, 24 November 2016
Turn down the lights and join hands. If we’re actually going to sell a fit Sergio Aguero, we’re doing this together. If we go down, we go down as one.
With 31 goals in 33 Premier League starts, the fear attached to shedding the Manchester City is so great, we all need support before we can commit to packing his bags.
And so, a pact is drawn up in this week’s ScoutCast, as Granville, Jonty, Andy and myself swear to approach the current dilemma unified and as one.
Let’s see if we can actually go through with it.
Aguero and the Harry Kane alternative dominate much of this week’s discussion.
However, we still find time to sample your Gameweeks in “Rough with the Smooth” and tackle some of your other topics raised, including Gylfi Sigurdsson’s rising star, looming rotation risks, while also offering our views on how struggling managers can find motivation for the rest of the season.
The four of us can certainly offer a wealth of experience on that particular subject.
Thu, 17 November 2016
Frustrated by the international hiatus and with Granville tied up in political red tape, Jonty and Andy tag along as we go hunting to rediscover our Fantasy Football mojo.
Andy dons his Zlatan mask in celebration of a belated brace, as we talk flags - for far too long - tackling the lively break "Hazard controversy" head on.
Premium strikers, price drop bargains, Christmas shopping and the baby imminent table all earn oxygen, as we desperately attempt to brush away the ring-rust and look ahead to Gameweek 12.
Thu, 3 November 2016
We can't quite call it a comeback but it's progress.
Jonty's radical solution to help solve his nosediving season was to throw off the shackles of his traditional dullard ways and start taking transfer hits.
It's working, a 74-point Gameweek is enough to get him back and track and edging towards unlikely respectability. Like a phoenix, dusting himself down and now pondering a rise from the ashes.
Personally, I'm not sure what's more puzzling, Jonty's struggles this season or Andy's determination to cling to Zlatan Ibrahimovic like some muscular, ponytailed comfort blanket. At least Granville was wise enough to get rid after the Swede failed him yet again.
In this latest ScoutCast, we tackle Jonty's reversal of fortune and Andy and Granville's Zltatan woes, before embarking on another round of questions from you, the community.
The Gundoganwagon, Valencia replacements and looming doubts over the Arsenal teamsheet dominate the chatter.
Thu, 27 October 2016
Hands up, this ScoutCast is a bit chaotic.
Thu, 20 October 2016
The cruel mistress that is Fantasy Premier League.
Jonty has fallen a victim: paying the penalty for a few ill-judged decisions, compounded by a huge slice of bad luck as both Christian Benteke and his captain Sergio Aguero missed spot-kicks in a single Gameweek.
He just can’t buy a break right now, which makes it all the more impressive that Jonty should brave another ScoutCast and risk a bruising hour in my company, along with Andy and Granville.
We’re sure to conduct a full post-mortem on Jonty’s miserable plight, before delving into similar tales from the community in “Rough with the Smooth”.
Then it’s on to your questions as we consign Hull City to whipping boy status, pry into Pep’s potentially failing relationship with Aguero and dare to cast doubt on the Joe Allen bandwagon.
Thu, 13 October 2016
So we made it to the double century.
It’s hard to believe that we’ve managed to get this far. It’s even more difficult to believe that folk are still listening.
Episode 200, is, quite fittingly, a rather memorable event.
It’s marked by two extraordinary stories, as Jason Puncheon takes residence in my home and an award-winning legend of British comedy respectfully puts me in my place.
Hearing is believing.
Around that brand of nonsense, we do our best to focus on the job at hand, as we address another bout of your community questions.
Once again we revisit the subject of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, with Jonty and Andy still clinging to the fading Swede.
Spurs and Arsenal assets, Payet vs Antonio and the stat to rule them all also get discussed, before we indulge ourselves with a trip down memory lane, recalling our favourite ScoutCast moments.
Thu, 29 September 2016
Jonty knows just what buttons to press.
When he slyly accuses me of adopting the template midfield, I'm visibly rattled. Leaping to defend myself, Jonty claims victory in this bout of mind games and may have forced me into a hasty transfer I will come to regret.
Andy and Luke watch on, but it's not long before they earn our attention, having pressed significant buttons of their own - both are post-Wildcard.
We analyse their Gameweeks, move to recite tales from the community and then take on another round of your questions, which finds us looking into yet another player relationship theory that will have Roberto Firmino owners rather concerned.
Thu, 22 September 2016
Just three weeks ago we dedicated a ScoutCast to Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
We collectively toasted his impact Manchester United and swore that he was set to be a mainstay in our squads and seasons.
Just 21-days later, three of the ScoutCast team have sold him on and another teeters on the edge - Jonty is only really hesitating because a four-point hit is involved.
To be fair, Zlatan's likely biggest fan is missing for this week's episode. With Granville nursing man-flu, it's left to Luke to make a return and step in to join Jonty, Andy and myself as we gang up to round on the big Swede.
We're clearly not the only one's guilty of this foolishly fickle approach.
This week's community questions were dominated by talk of a Zlatan exit, whilst also quizzing us on the rise and potential fall of Etienne Capoue, the potential offered by a switch to 3-5-2 and the merits of Theo Walcott as a Fantasy asset. No, really.
Thu, 15 September 2016
Romelu Lukaku saved my Gameweek and put a new spring in my step.
More importantly, it denied Granville the opportunity to indulge in one of his most favourite hobbies – picking holes in my “wasted” Wildcards.
Silenced by the Everton striker and early technical issues, Granville nonetheless returns to join myself, Jonty and Andy as we pick the bones out of Gameweek 4 and look ahead to the next.
With Lukaku and Diego Costa firing, this week’s raft of community questions are dominated by talk of going without Sergio Aguero or Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
I’m more than happy to add further fuel to that fire by testing an anti-Zlatan maverick theory, only to be shot down by my co-hosts.
Does Etienne Capoue present another route to packing cash in our forward lines?
Can Jonty really find a good reason to justify having Jason Puncheon?
Will Granville’s cat make an appearance?
You can get the answers to all this and more by tuning in.
This episode of the ScoutCast was first beamed live via our YouTube channel on Tuesday night. Be sure to subscribe to get notice of future live episodes.
You can view the full Google Hangout verison on the second player below, or opt for the old fashioned audio via this link or the first player.
Thu, 8 September 2016
He’s gone. Aguero has been shown the door, at least by myself, Jonty and Andy.
But Granville had to be different.
The revitalised ScoutCast shock-jockey simply had to go against the grain and choose to bench the Argentine.
He’s also refusing to play his Wildcard, challenging us to persuade him over the course of this episode.
Do we succeed in tipping him over the edge? You’ll have to listen in and find out.
In doing so, you’ll hear the four of us address a barrage of Wildcard fuelled questions from you, the Community, as we tackle subjects such as the Arsenal midfield conundrum, Payet vs Antonio and survey the options when it comes to cheap enablers.
Thu, 25 August 2016
Inevitably, Zlatan Ibrahimovic stalks Episode 195 of the ScoutCast. Lauding over us like a Eric Cantona wannabe, the big Swede has wasted know time in getting Granville, Jonty, Andy and myself all in a tizzy.
Do you dare go without the Zlatan/Aguero double act? How do you adapt your midfield to accommodate the pricey pair? Will a wolf enter the Scout hut and interrupt the broadcast?
These questions and more are all answered over the course of another 70 minutes, as Jonty serves up our first "Rough with the Smooth" Gameweek tales from the community, before throwing us the best of your questions gathered throughout the week.
In other news, we're still 100 episodes short of Last of the Summer Wine. Stick with us guys, we're nearly almost there. Coincidentally, we also stopped being funny back in episode three.
Fri, 19 August 2016
Better late than never, the second ScoutCast of the season is with us.
Recorded earlier in the week and available on our YouTube channel since Tuesday, you can now grab the audio goodness via iTunes or the players below.
After painfully average Gameweek 1’s all round, Granville Jonty, Andy and myself throw out the “marathon not a sprint” clichés before taking on another bumper collection of community questions.
We contemplate Harry Kane’s fading star, bow before the alter of Zlatan and attempt to untangle the great Liverpool midfield puzzle.
Jonty gives Goals Imminent stats an inevitable airing as we preview Gameweek 2, as I stumble over the finish line, delirious with man-flu and paracetamol.
Fri, 12 August 2016
We were dressed for success, but success it never comes.
Suited and booted, we crown the new season riding a wave of giddy optimism. The positivity flows on the eve of a new campaign which, on paper, looks destined to be one of the best in memory.
Granville makes a belated return to ScoutCast action to join Jonty, Andy and myself as we start to sift the seemingly endless array of options open to us on the new season player list.
Bewildering stuff but, guided by you, the community, we attempt to navigate all your pre-season questions before laying our own cards on the table.
It’s amazing to be back amongst it again. Let’s just hope the smiles stay as wide for the next episode.
Thu, 12 May 2016
There’s emotion in the air as we prepare to bid goodbye to another season in tonight’s ScoutCast.
I’m joined by Jonty, Andy and Luke as we take the opportunity to look back on our campaigns, dwelling on our successes and regrets and recalling our favourite moments from a most testing Fantasy season.
We also take time to identify out lessons learned and appraise the Fantasy Premier League season, carrying out a “Chips Post Mortem”, whilst discussing the impact of next season’s Friday night kick-offs.
Finally, for one last time this term, we look forward to the weekend and attempt to identify the final day heroes who could yet make an impact on ranks and mini-leagues.
Thu, 5 May 2016
One more Gameweek. One more ScoutCast. The final whistle has almost blown on a remarkable season so we’re determined to exploit the final throws.
I’m joined by Jonty, Andy and Luke as we open a bumper 80-minute show with our dedication to Leicester City’s extraordinary title win. We then quickly shift to take on another raft of community questions as thoughts turn to Gameweek 37’s double fixtures.
We run the rule over the protagonists, assessing West Ham’s assets, Eden Hazard’s renaissance and even make an attempt to find a reason to make a late investment in Norwich City. Then necks are put on the block as we review the weekend fixtures, coming clean on our current double Gameweek transfer and captaincy plans.
Fri, 22 April 2016
After a turbulent six days which dragged us through a series of emotional highs and lows, it’s fair to say that the ScoutCast team came out of Gameweek 34 with smiles and spirits intact.
I’m joined by Jonty, Andy and Luke, just as the curtain fell on the most remarkable of Gameweeks. Having laid down Wildcards and hopeful Bench Boost chips, we emerged unanimous in our praise for what proved a thrilling season highlight, whilst also adamant that the chips have revived the campaign climax.
That’s not to say that there weren’t some lessons learned: via another bout of questions from you, the community, we dissect Gameweek 34 and assess the twists and turns and decide whether we would do things differently next time around.
We also take time to look ahead, not just to this weekend’s curtailed fixture programme but also to Gameweek 37’s double fixtures – another opportunity for chips to come into play.
Thu, 14 April 2016
Have we fallen hook, line and sinker? After taking a beating by a cast of talent sacrificed in our Gameweek 33 Wildcards, it certainly feels we’ve obliviously wandered over a trapdoor and slammed back down to earth.
We’re back up to full strength in the ScoutCast as Jonty, Andy and Luke join me to compare the bruises inflicted by our Gameweek 33 refresh. We endevour to remain optimistic, clinging to the hope that the Gameweek 34 bench boost chip will deliver and help us balm the damage from a disastrous weekend.
Judging by the line of questioning from the community, we’re not the only ones smarting. The four of us pick through your bout of queries, before looking ahead the weekend and the Gameweek that could yet revive our seasons.
Thu, 7 April 2016
Strap yourself in for another bumper, Wildcard-powered ScoutCast. On the cusp of double Gameweeks, with multiple chips on standby, we’re braced for the big turning point in our seasons.
The expectation and excitement is palpable as Jonty and Andy drop in to review Gameweek 32, before feasting on a smorgasbord of questions served up by you, the community.
We tackle the Leicester/Spurs exit plans, consider Sanchez vs Ozil, contemplate selling the imperious Payet and run the rule over double Gameweek strikers.
We pack that and more into 75-minutes, reserving energies for another double Gameweek cast to come.
Thu, 17 March 2016
We’ve been left hanging for weeks but finally, on 3pm on Tuesday, we were handed the Double Gameweek details and could begin our planning in earnest.
This week’s ScoutCast is dominated by double Gameweek chatter, as your community queries hone in on the variables, strategies and planning involved in exploiting the fixture pile-up to the full.
I’m joined by Jonty, Andy and Luke as we attempt to make sense of it all, turning to a virtual flipchart to digest and communicate some of the options on offer.
It’s hardcore stuff that takes into extra time in an exhaustive 80-minute episode.
Thu, 10 March 2016
Rarely has the ScoutCast witnessed the collision of such contrary forces. With the radical “Andy G” dropping in alongside the self-proclaimed “dullard” Fantasy Manager, Jonty, we were always going to be in for an entertaining ride.
Foxes fan Andy arrives to express his emotions with both Leicester and his Fantasy Premier League lineup riding high. We look back on Andy’s implausible captaincy of Riyad Mahrez back in Gameweek 1, whilst picking out the highlights of his rip-roaring “maverick” season.
Another round of questions from you, the community, has us attempting to unpick the looming double Gameweek scenarios, whilst “Andy M” takes time to dispel the template myth. The four of us then turn our attentions to Gameweek 30, with beatnik boss Andy G revealing his rebellious streak with some crazy transfer talk.
Thu, 3 March 2016
Recorded minutes after the whistle blew on a miserable midweek under lights, we had no choice but to fantasise about Chips and Double Gameweeks to get us through this latest ScoutCast episode.
I’m joined by Jonty, Andy and Luke as we lament sub 40-point tallies, moving on swiftly to lose ourselves in the exciting, Wonka-like nonsense that lies ahead thanks to the bizarre Bench Boost FPL chip.
We come back down to earth to answer another bout of community questions, assessing the merits of City’s assets through their fluctuating form, the Payet problem and even end by revealing our modest rank expectations for the rest of the season.
Thu, 25 February 2016
Foresight – that precious gift that that can bless any Fantasy Football manager.
We need it now more than ever. As Jonty, Andy and myself struggle with the countless permutations offered up by the looming double Gameweeks, we can only hope that our mutterings and musings come laced with just a little dash of foresight.
Steered by an array of community questions targeting the possibilities of the fixture pile-up to come, the three of us discuss the best-laid plans in attempt to jolt our squads out of the current rut.
Around the early double Gameweek discussion, we chew over the optimum blank-dodging strategies as Sigurdsson, Spurs and Stoke top the menu of options. Then, inevitably, we turn attentions to the immediate job at hand, as we preview the weekend and pinpoint potential clean sheets and “Fantasy Island Risks”.
Thu, 11 February 2016
So, as it transpires, my conversion to the “dullside” is almost complete. How else can I explain the fact that I appear to have formed a hive mind with Jonty.
Having recently caved in and recruited Sergio Aguero, this episode of the ScoutCast sees things take an even more alarming twist as I find myself replicating Jonty’s thinking – for so long the archetype of a dullard Fantasy Football manager.
Andy can only watch on, doing his best to quell my concerns as the three of us tackle another round of community queries. We talk around ways of breaking out of the template that constrains us, discuss the forthcoming fixture blanks, assess the prospect of doubling up on defences and even consider selling Aguero. Jonty dismisses the idea and, true to form, I agree with him. How did it come to this?
Thu, 4 February 2016
So I did it. After a couple of weeks attempting to resist Sergio Aguero and, despite meticulously constructing a convincing case to avoid him, I went back on my word.
Recovering from the dramatic climb-down, I felt rather hollow heading into the ScoutCast, with Jonty, Andy and Luke all too keen to watch on while I tucked into humble pie.
Not surprisingly, I spend a good part of this episode justifying the back tracking, before I join my co-hosts in offering views on another bout of community questions. We discuss the Lukaku exit plans, Ozil vs Sanchez and contemplate options between the sticks with Jack Butland losing his shine.
Then we move on to the Gameweek preview, as I desperately try to find some joy in pondering which mid-price defender to sign heading into Saturday’s deadline. Sigh.
Thu, 21 January 2016
Rarely during the 180-episode history of the ScoutCast have I felt so under fire; forced to curl up in a ball and defend myself by any means necessary.
Reeling from the first dramatic failing of my no-Aguero policy, I recruit Luke to join myself, Andy and Jonty, only to find that I’ve set up an unwanted 3 vs 1 scenario.
A ten-minute tirade, during which I desperately clutch at every tangible straw, has me desperately trying to justify my Aguero stance, while my trio of co-hosts listen on, jab and prod and allow me to tie myself in knots.
Eventually I manage to deflect the blows and switch attentions to another round of community questions. We review failing heavy-hitters, a blossoming Baines and a resurgent Rooney, before the traditional preview of the Gameweek to come.
Thu, 14 January 2016
Just minutes after the final whistle blew on Gameweek 21, Jonty, Andy and myself braved the airwaves to pick the bones out of our meagre tallies.
Brought back down to earth by a decidedly lacklustre floodlit affair, we rouse ourselves to debate the Aguero armband, the rapidly increasing speed of the Payet bandwagaon and the reasons behind the stuttering United backline.
We even make our dedication to the departed David Bowie, before quickly ushering out our disappointment of the Gameweek just past, by previewing the one that lies ahead.
Thu, 7 January 2016
New Year, new aspirations, same old voices.
The first ScoutCast of 2016 is brimming with determined talk of banishing old habits which, in all honesty, will likely evaporate in the weeks to come.
That’s particularly true of my no-Aguero policy, which feels even more flimsy after taking in the musings of Jonty and Andy in this episode.
Man City’s hitman and faltering away form comes under the microscope via another batch of community questions, along with an assessment of Dele Alli, Kane without Dembele and the allure of the French fancy that is Dimitri Payet.