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.

Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.

Mohamed Salah certainly provided a timely reminder that he is already one of Fantasy Football all time greats on Saturday, with a hat-trick at the Vitality Stadium against Bournemouth.

But even that impressive display is seemingly not enough to convince all of the ScoutCast crew that the Liverpool attacker should be an essential part of their festive line ups.

Joining Joe, David and Luke in this week’s episode is Adam Hopcroft, who has featured on our Meet the Manager series and is among those still looking to ditch the Egyptian.

During a Salexit discussion in our community questions section Adam reveals that there may well be better premium priced assets who are more deserving of attention.

In contrast, Joe and David are still backing the Reds marksman following his recent goal glut, which also includes a midweek strike against Napoli in the Champions League. Meanwhile Luke is resolutely continuing his no-Salah policy, even though it cost him dear last time out.

Salah unsurprisingly dominates the crew’s look back at Gameweek 16, including a special instalment of Rough with the Smooth, dedicated to those who jettisoned the Liverpool man before his weekend heroics.

The crew also provide an update on the latest whipping boys and the potential captain candidates who look set to exploit their frailties over Christmas.

Elsewhere, our community questions section takes in the emerging battle between Fantasy Premier League’s old guard of veterans and the new, social-media and price prediction site savvy managers on the scene.

The crew round off with a look at the best differentials and clean sheet prospects in Gameweek 17, as well as reveal their transfer and captaincy plans.

Direct download: FFScoutcast_EP278_Greatness.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:12am UTC

Two Gameweeks in the space of just a few days meant there were plenty of team sheet surprises for Fantasy managers this week.

Despite the likes of Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah missing out on a starting berth for one match, the ScoutCast crew just about survived Gameweeks 14 and 15.

Harry Kane was the hero for Az, Luke and Joe, who handed the Spurs man the armband for a 24-point haul against Southampton on Wednesday.

But it was a mixed set of fixtures for Andy. He captained Sterling for an 18-point return against Bournemouth but was left heartbroken when the winger failed to take to the pitch against Watford on Tuesday.

The crew take stock of this week's line-ups when weighing up their Gameweek 16 transfer and captaincy plans.

They also find time to consider an overhaul of their forward line ups, after it emerged that well-owned West Ham striker Marko Arnautovic is set for a spell on the sidelines through injury.

Bargain hunting among the ranks of Fulham, who have strong fixtures on the horizon, is also on the bill.

In addition, the crew ponder the lessons they’ve learned this season. A failure to invest more heavily in Manchester City’s potent attack  haunts Joe, who had his own survival mission this edition as he battled through a cold.

Direct download: FFScoutcast_EP277_Surviving.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:37am UTC

With scores all in the thirties, Gameweek 13 was one to forget for the ScoutCast crew.

After forcing themselves to relive this dire set of points, Az, David, Luke and Joe dust themselves off and look ahead to better times.

Manchester City’s wealth of midfield options come under particular scrutiny during the community questions segment. A 44-points total from David Silva, Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling against West Ham last weekend, makes this is a group of players that demand attention.

Tottenham’s emerging assets in the centre of the park have also caught the community’s collective eye.

Heung-Min Son, Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen all impressed in the North London side's victory over Chelsea at the weekend. However, the ScoutCast crew are more interested in their premium priced team mate Harry Kane to help them take advantage of Spurs' kind set of festive fixtures.

Elsewhere, David reveals some notable team frailties and the players who are set to exploit them over December. Gylfi Sigurdsson is looking such a strong option in this regard that Joe wishes there could be two of the Everton set-piece specialist to draft into his squad.

Differentials, clean sheets, captaincy and transfer plans are also discussed. With the festive fixture list stepping up a gear, this covers both Gameweeks 14 and 15 as both take place during a frantic six-day block of Premier League matches starting this Friday.

Direct download: FFScoutcast_EP276_Thirties.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:16am UTC

Points ceilings and floors dominate proceedings on our latest ScoutCast as Joe, Az, Luke and Neale look over the key issues facing managers ahead of Gameweek 13.

A chief concern is who replaces red-flagged Benjamin Mendy who underwent surgery last week. The enticing secure floor of clean sheet returns offered by the full-back’s Manchester City team mates, John Stones and Aymeric Laporte, appeals to Luke.

Meanwhile, Joe prefers the higher ceiling of riches offered by the likes of Everton left-back Lucas Digne, who has been posting some impressive underlying statistics lately to suggest attacking returns are on the way.

Our community questions section also covers the wider value offered by Toffees assets across the pitch, and whether 12.4m priced Harry Kane is worth the outlay when Spurs fixtures improve.

Whether Anthony Martial’s six goals in his last five matches is a sign the Manchester United attacker is 'in form', or merely 'over-performing', is another issue discussed.

We also find time to look back at the previous set of matches and ahead in detail to Gameweek 13, including the best differentials, strongest clean sheet prospects and our transfer plans.

Captaincy options are also considered, with the maverick selections of Az, Luke and Neale leaving dullard Joe stunned.

Direct download: FFScoutcast_EP275_Floored.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:22am UTC

The latest international break gives us the opportunity to take stock of the key underlying statistics being posted by teams and players over the first 12 Gameweeks of the season.

In this extra to our usual ScoutCast format, David and Joe sift through a raft of statistics to uncover who have been the most attacking players in terms of both goal threat and creativity.

They also find out who has been over and under performing and delve deep into the team statistics.  Most threatening sides, best defences and those vying for whipping boy status are among issues looked at.

Meanwhile, our ScoutCast duo find out which defenders are set to produce points at both ends of the pitch and they also name the best bonus magnets to consider.

Key talisman, who are integral to their side’s chances of scoring, are another group of players looked at.

Joe and David also reveal how this autumnal stat-attack has affected their future transfer plans.

Direct download: FFScoutcast_Extra_Big_Numbers.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:04am UTC

Medium term planning takes centre stage in our latest ScoutCast as Joe, David, Luke and Az look ahead to a major swing in the fixtures next month.

With the season ticker turning in favour of the likes of Tottenham and Arsenal, and away from Liverpool, the ScoutCast crew are already hatching plans to get one step ahead of the template.

Our community questions section considers which heavy hitters to ditch and which to bring in over the coming weeks. This includes a discussion on whether Manchester City's Raheem Sterling has become essential following his 21 point Fantasy Premier League haul against Southampton at the weekend.

The season ticker comes under further scrutiny as we tackle the community’s questions about West Ham. With only one bad fixture from now until mid January it is no wonder the Hammers are attracting interest.

Our review of Gameweek 11 sees Luke’s maverick tendencies prevail, while Az, David and Joe continue to tread water with an unremarkable set of scores.

A manager who featured prominently on the wrong side of our regular ‘rough with the smooth’ round up last month is back again, this time with a sensationally smooth points haul.

Elsewhere, Gameweek 12’s top differential and clean sheet predictions section features a cheeky chat about two Spurs midfielders.

The crew then finish off this packed one hour and 20 minute show by revealing their transfer and captaincy plans this weekend, with Liverpool’s enticing home clash with Fulham firmly on their minds.

Direct download: FFScoutcast_EP274_Swinging.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:47am UTC

After gaining an unwelcome set of red arrows in Gameweek 10 the ScoutCast crew are in need of a lift.

The perfect man for the job could well be Watford’s bargain basement priced striker, the aptly named Isaac Success Ajayi.

Joe, David and Az discuss the merits of bringing in the Nigerian, who could enable a formation shake up with a greater focus in defence and midfield.

Among the midfield success stories recently has been Ross Barkley, who has averaged 13 Fantasy Premier League points a match over his last three run outs. His potential to liven up a Fantasy squad in the doldrums is also discussed, as the crew answer the community’s questions.

The rotation threat facing such potentially potent Fantasy forces as Barkley is considered in further detail, as is whether stronger benches may be needed to cope with unexpected no-shows from well owned stars.

Bournemouth’s chances of ensuring their stellar form can trump a tricky fixture run also get an airing, as does the best differential picks and clean sheet prospects for Gameweek 11. This also features the selections of Luke, who due to internet issues was sadly unable to attend this week’s show. He’ll be back next week though to see how his picks performed.

Direct download: FFScoutcast_EP273_Success.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:10am UTC

With fresh rotation risks and plummeting form to deal with the ScoutCast crew’s Fantasy Premier League teams are in danger of becoming out of date.

In this week’s episode Joe, David and Az are joined by new regular Luke, who has stepped in for Andy, to cast their collective eye over the current Fantasy Football trends.

Joe is in search of the latest backline look as he seeks to dump his decidedly unfashionable defence.

Az’s midfield is looking more like mutton dressed as lamb these days and is in urgent need of a make-over.

Meanwhile, grey is the new black for David as he reveals his extra special overall rank following the last set of games.

Elsewhere, Luke’s success in Gameweek 9 shows he is ahead of the curve on the transfer catwalk, in particular with his Red or Dead defence.

Amid all the sartorial chat the crew find time to answer the key questions from the community as they window shop for bargain enablers and admire the top price options at Manchester City.

Az’s rough with the smooth run down features a disastrous set of hits for one former ScoutCaster.

The show is then rounded off with a close look at Gameweek 10, including the best differentials, clean sheet prospects and our transfer and captaincy plans.

Direct download: FFScoutcast_EP272_Fashion.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:38am UTC

Battling through traffic, illness and technical glitches, the Scoutcast crew emerge triumphant to discuss the key issues affecting Fantasy Football managers in Gameweek 9 and beyond.

After being stuck in motorway congestion a cold-ridden Az dropped by to join Joe, David and Andy just in time to answer the community’s questions about why none of us own assets from Arsenal. This is particularly head-scratching given the Gunners have scored more goals than any other side over the last four Gameweeks.

We also shake our heads in disbelief at why so many Fantasy managers are ignoring Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling, who is proving to be well worth his premium price tag this term.

Liverpool’s injury list, and patchy form of some of their top players, ahead of a fine run of games also comes under scrutiny.

Elsewhere, David invents ‘the courteous brag’ as he details how he was the only member of the crew not to be bewitched by Tottenham's misfiring striker Harry Kane in Gameweek 8.

Gameweek 9 differentials and clean sheet prospects also get an airing and we finish off with Andy revealing his latest audacious transfer plan.

Direct download: FFScoutcast_EP271_Traffic.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:56pm UTC

The ScoutCast crew take up dancing this week in a desperate bid to figure out which of the many strong performing heavy-hitters they can squeeze into their teams.

Joe and Andy are looking to adapt the hokey-cokey, with the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sergio Aguero dropping out, then back into, their teams to briefly accommodate Harry Kane.

Az has gone one step further from merely putting the Spurs striker in and Liverpool winger out and has decided to wiggle his whole team about with a Wildcard.

Meanwhile, David is less ambitious on the dancefloor and is looking to instead dad-dance to a low-key goalkeeper cha-cha-cha.

Each of these moves, including a close look at Az’s wildcard, are detailed via the community’s questions as we tackle this week’s key talking point, player and teams.

The crew also find time to quick-step through the community’s roughest and smoothest recent transfers and foxtrot across Gameweek 8’s best differentials and likeliest clean sheets.

Direct download: FFScoutcast_EP270_Dancing.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:30am UTC

Investing heavily in Chelsea and Liverpool has proved a successful strategy for many this season.

But with these two title contenders going head to head in Gameweek 7 is this ‘eggs in one basket’ tactic about to come unstuck?

Joe, David, Andy and Az discuss the best strategy to dealing with these tricky ties when so many highly owned players are squaring up against each other.

They also consider the merits of bringing in the likes of Everton talisman Richarlison and Arsenal’s newly sure-starting striker Alexandre Lacazette, as they answer the community’s questions.

Tapping into Spurs fine fixture run, and in particular the improving form of Harry Kane, is also on the bill. But will Andy’s ambitious plan to swoop for the Tottenham forward leave him with egg on his face?

Elsewhere, the ScoutCast crew consider Gameweek 7’s likeliest clean sheets and best low owned gems, reveal their plans for the next set of matches and laugh and cry at some of the community’s roughest and smoothest recent transfers.

Direct download: FFScoutcast_EP269.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01pm UTC

Eden Hazard’s 20 point Fantasy Premier League haul in Gameweek 5 has left the ScoutCast team in shock.

For David and Joe the the Chelsea man’s fine early season form has seen them fire up their Wildcards as they look to rip up their teams to accommodate him.

Az is still without the Belgian, but is more than a little concerned he will miss out on another monster score.

While Andy has been left reeling from a fine score of his own, having already swooped for the winger prior to his hat-trick against Cardiff.

In this gimmick-free ScoutCast the team go back to basics as they ponder the ‘essential’ status of Hazard as well as the other key Fantasy Football issues of the week posed by the community.

This includes a look at the array of talent in the Wolves defence, the exceptional value offered by Bournemouth’s midfield sensation Ryan Fraser and pinpointing teams’ vulnerabilities.

Elsewhere, benching issues take centre stage in our rough with smooth round up and the team also find time to consider the best differentials and the likeliest clean sheets in Gameweek 6.

Direct download: FFScoutcast_EP268_Hazardous.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:45am UTC

Do we make our own luck in Fantasy Football? Or are there unforeseen events that can conspire to ruin even the best managers’ season?

In this week’s ScoutCast Joe, David, Andy and Az discuss the role of fortune in the game and look to introduce a ‘luck league’.

This league is one of a number of new and revamped features we trialed in this episode.

This saw the return of old favourites including rough with the smooth and clean sheet predictions as well as a new version of Fantasy island risk that focuses purely on low-owned gems.

Our community section has undergone a late spring clean too, focusing on the week’s key teams, players and talking point to allow us to have more in-depth discussions.

But as with all trials, some things don’t quite go as planned.

The introduction of forfeits for the ScoutCaster with the lowest monthly score and an unexpectedly controversial quiz proved to be more works in progress, which will be put back on the shelf for the time being.

Among all the upheaval we also find time to ponder going without Mohamed Salah and frisk the fixtures to analyse the teams with the best upcoming run of games.

Direct download: FFScoutcast_EP267_Lucky.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:17am UTC

Patience is proving a virtue for the ScoutCast’s latest guest, FPL General.

With top 500 finishes in all but one of his last four Fantasy Premier League seasons his track record of giving players time to perform has certainly paid off.

Undaunted by a poor start this season he is sticking resolutely to the game plan, with Christian Eriksen and Josh King already rewarding him with attacking returns during a week when many thousands of others were jettisoning them.

He joins Joe, Andy and David to mull over a tricky last set of matches and look ahead to Gameweek 4.

Replacements for Everton’s red card villain Richarlison kick off our community question session, which also takes in Chelsea stars, the seemingly unstoppable rise of premium defenders and Wildcard timing.

Direct download: FFScoutcast_EP266_Patience.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:43am UTC

This week the ScoutCast crew are determined to bust the myth that they share identical strategies.

Long-term maverick Luke returns to reveal his freshly Wildcarded team which bravely went into Gameweek 2 without Manchester City’s hat-trick hero Sergio Aguero and last season's points scoring sensation Mohamed Salah.

In stark contrast, Az is continuing his march up the rankings thanks to his faith in this premium pair, and his resolve in resisting broadsheet tittle-tattle hinting that the Argentinian would be dropped.

David is also beating a different drum and keen to explain the reasons behind his chequered FPL history and how his fortunes already look better this time around.

That leaves Joe as the only dullard representative, armed with a bunch of ownership statistics, a goals imminent table and a dubious ‘camping’ excuse to explain his recent poor captaincy decision.

Their differing views across a range of key issues facing Fantasy Premier League manages ahead of Gameweek 3 are aired.

An assessment of Chelsea and Arsenal assets ahead of their favourable fixtures is top of the list. And they also ponder whether Spurs’ players can compete as assets this season and indulge in some bargain hunting up front. 

Direct download: FFScoutcast_EP265_Difference.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:40pm UTC

Buoyed by some impressive scores from the opening day, the ScoutCast crew are in optimistic mood as they tackle the key issues facing Fantasy managers ahead of Gameweek 2.

Joe is joined by Andy, Az and new face Neale (aka Skonto Rigga) to separate the wheat from the chaff in the Fantasy Premier League’s transfer market.

They ponder whether reports of the demise of forwards have been greatly exaggerated and list the under-performing players from Gameweek 1 who may well punish their sellers.

Our rough with the smooth round-up features a tale of two benches.

While later in the show I come under attack from my colleagues, and even a moth, as we search for this season’s budget midfield gem.

We end by revealing our Captain choices when Neale unleashes one of the most surprising armband selections the Scoutcast has ever seen. It caps an impressive debut to remember for both him and the moth.

Direct download: FFScoutcast_EP264_Mothballed.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:45pm UTC

The start of the new season is just days away and the Scoutcast crew are still full of doubts about their 15-man Fantasy Premier League squads.

Andy, Az, David and Mark join Joe to mull over likely strategies for the start of the 2018/19 campaign as well as reveal their current line-ups.

Across our 82-minute chat, a consensus emerges on backing Manchester City and Liverpool premium assets. But that could all change depending on transfer deadline day deals.

Meanwhile, Wolverhampton, Crystal Palace and Bournemouth look set to supply our teams with a supporting cast of bargain enablers due to favourable fixtures. Well, for now at least.

But the groupthink soon breaks down when we discuss forward options, with Mark looking exclusively for value up top, while the rest of us are more keen to splash our cash.

The hive-mind soon returns at the end as we reveal our top choice for the Gameweek 1 armband, so to help those daring to shun a certain Egyptian we also offer up a host of alternative captaincy options.

Direct download: FFScoutcast_EP263_Beginnings.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:52pm UTC

Launch day is here and ScoutCast duo Joe and David have gone over the Fantasy Premier League player prices to gauge their initial thoughts on the game for 2018/19.

We couldn't really stop ourselves from asking the question: 'Should we have Mohamed Salah in our teams when he costs £13.0m?' You'll have to listen in to find out what we thought.

The changes in positional classification have altered our strategies for the season a little bit and we discuss that in detail in this episode.

Elsewhere we've had a look at which assets we think are over-priced and which we think are potential bargains ready and waiting.

Finally we've both made the gutsy call of declaring which three premium players will be in our squads in Gameweek 1.

Direct download: ScoutCast_FPLLaunch_Reaction.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:10pm UTC

The latest ScoutCast brings the curtain down on another Fantasy season as we take the opportunity to navel-gaze and conduct a full retrospective.

New signing David makes his debut, while Granville is a late arrival to join myself, Jonty, Andy and Az to form a six-strong crew.

We start by appraising Gameweek 38 to report back on a dramatic final day at the top of the Fantasy Premier League. Then we take the lead from your final round of community questions.

Our best and worst decisions, our most disappointing and inspiring signings and early targets for next season are all revealed. We even consider the lessons learned to offer advice on cracking the top ranks – for what it’s worth.

Then, after another season of ScoutCasts, we pick out our personal on-air highlights.

We thank you in advance for sticking through this, our longest ever episode, and for listening in over the last nine months.

Next season we edge towards 300 and finally reach the Last of the Summer Wine target. Granville has the bathtub at the ready.

 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP262_Retrospective.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:41pm UTC

The ScoutCast crew are desperate to lift themselves after falling victim to one of the most underwhelming Double Gameweeks in memory, though with five matches still to come, there remains a tinge of optimism.

Granville, Jonty, Andy and Az join me for a full strength line-up as we begin the post-mortem on Triple Captain failure and unrewarded points hits.

The five of us collectively kick ourselves for ignoring Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, as the foresight of one leading Fantasy Premier League manager sparks debate on how and why the masses overlooked the Gunners’ striker.

Mohamad Salah’s untimely slump is also assessed as we’re guided by your community questions, before we look ahead to Gameweek 38 via our handpicked selection of differentials designed to lift our spirits come Sunday.

And, while we’re in a reflective mood, we also take time out to consider our early lessons learned from the campaign, with much more to follow in next week’s final episode of the season.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP261_downbeat.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:48pm UTC

The ScoutCast crew are joined by the current Fantasy Premier League pacesetter in this latest episode, as world number one Bharat Dhody drops by.

With ice flowing through his veins, Bharat risks the curse that has seen us dent the title tilt for previous top-ranked managers to join myself, Jonty, Andy and Az for a ScoutCast season highlight.

Inevitably, the four of us are a little star-struck, but in between our desperate attempts to convince Bharat to keep his cards close to his chest, we put his season and current mindset under scrutiny.

Elsewhere, your community questions lead us by the hand as we assess Harry Kane’s updated application for the Triple Captain role, review the merits of a Mohamed Salah exit plan and scratch around for Double Gameweek differentials.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP260_Pacesetter.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:24pm UTC

Just as we witnessed in Gameweek 31, the Free Hit chip does its thing, granting the ScoutCast crew and many in the Fantasy Football Scout community the smoothest of landings as we begin preparations for another Double Gameweek take-off.

Jonty, Andy and Az join me for the Gameweek 35 post-mortem, as, driven by your questions, we ponder whether this season’s debut chip has rendered the blanks as the best opportunity for a rank hike.

However, this is no time to rest on our laurels, with another double-header looming. That fuels discussion on Manchester City, Spurs and even Swansea City’s players; assets at opposite ends of the Fantasy spectrum, united by the potential of two fixtures in Gameweek 37.

To invest in those spoils, we need to make sacrifices, so we assess the midfield makeweights and ponder if Marcos Alonso can finally shake Jonty’s curse, or whether we should all cash in on the Blues banned wing-back.

Direct download: FFSCcoutCast_EP259_Smooth.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:58pm UTC

Arriving in the midst of a lukewarm Double Gameweek, the latest episode of the ScoutCast is more intent on looking ahead as the entire five-man crew press the button on the Free Hit chip. We’re back to full strength, as Granville, Jonty, Andy and Az join me to discuss our approach to Gameweek 35's slimline schedule, inspired by another round of your community questions. That attacking riches on offer from Manchester City and Liverpool dominate the early chatter, as we give our take on the run-in targets least likely to suffer from rotation to feature for Free Hitters and the “chipless” this weekend. We then pan for Gameweek 35 gold in less familiar territory, as we re-open the Coleman vs Baines debate ahead of their meeting with a Newcastle outfit perhaps already in flip-flops after four straight wins. End of season template busters help round things off before we career into the regular weekend preview to offer early thoughts on the Gameweek armband.
Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP258_Freebie.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:01pm UTC

The ScoutCast crew are always quick to jump on the shoulders of giants, so when a veteran of the Fantasy Football Scout community starts to threaten a Fantasy Premier League title tilt, we just have to get them on the show.

Matt Kearney aka “Bowstring the Cap” has been about on our pages for seven seasons but never has he experienced one like this. Currently ranked twenty-third in the world, he drops by in this latest episode to give his take on his campaign and, in particular, the strategy for the run-in.

In truth, Matt was better placed before Gameweek 33 and, along with Jonty, Andy and Az, he joins me to look back at the lowest scoring weekend of the campaign when even the leading managers faltered.

But those gripes are soon drowned by a wave of enthusiasm on the eve of Double Gameweek 34.

That’s the focus for your latest set of community questions, sparking our thoughts on the optimum heavy-hitters, the rotation fears and our confidence in Chelsea to produce over the extra fixtures.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP257_Carping.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:32pm UTC

Recorded prior to Mohamed Salah’s injury scare, the ScoutCast crew already had one curveball to contend with in this latest episode as we mulled over Harry Kane solutions.

Fit-again and primed to skittle the Stoke City defence, Granville, Jonty, Andy and Az join me to discuss how we go about making plans for Harry ahead of two tempting Double Gameweeks.

Elsewhere in this episode, your community questions steer us to consider the optimum front three, assess Chelsea’s indifferent form and weigh up the fixtures versus form conundrum that is Marko Arnautovic.

The regular weekend preview is followed by an extraordinary bout of mind games from Jonty who appears to have tap into the dark arts to prophesise Salah’s injury two days early. That would explain his rank this season; there’s been voodoo at work.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP256_Voodoo.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:09pm UTC

Wildcards are very much active among the ScoutCast crew, and while only three of us make this latest episode, all five are in play ahead of the Double Gameweeks.

Not surprisingly, our rebuilding programme dominates the discussion as Jonty and Andy join me to reveal our current squads and our chosen strategy leading into the remaining seven Gameweeks.

In an exhaustive and in-depth episode, the three of us also look back on the success of the Free Hit in Gameweek 31. Then we attempt to offer a balanced view on the variety of chip tactics from this point on, with a team-by-team analysis of the player targets to consider.

We fail miserably of course, with our own bias no doubt shining through, though the conclusion is an uplifting one: whatever your chosen route with the chips to Gameweek 38, we will all win out in the end.

Unless you don’t have your Wildcard and Free Hit, in which case you hate us all, and you’re now consigned to spending the next two months behind that sofa.

Direct download: FFScoutCastEP255_Wilder.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:53pm UTC

Gameweek 31 might be diminished but, despite the curtailed fixture list, we’re giving it the full-fat ScoutCast treatment.

In fact, guided by your community questions, Jonty, Az, Andy and Granville join me as we dissect each of the four matches that make up Saturday’s offering – analysing the player targets from each as we seek to cater for the Free Hit managers and the chipless alike.

Looking further ahead, we also indulge in some wistful Wildcard discussions as we offer views on when to activate the refresh ahead of the looming double Gameweeks.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP254_Diminished.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:33pm UTC

Rivalries are up and running in the ScoutCast as my old adversary Granville moves 16 points ahead, while Az closes the gap in his chase of Jonty.

Inevitably, Gameweek 31 will likely have a say in these contests, with opinions on that reduced set of fixtures divided in this week’s episode.

Against the backdrop of Ragabolly’s brilliant and extensive research, we investigate the real cost of Gameweek 31 hits and the benefit on offer for Free Hit managers.

Elsewhere it’s the Fantasy Premier League rules that get a grilling thanks to your community questions. We wonder whether the Norwegians have stolen a march with their Fantasy Eliteserien inventions as we assess the merits of the current chips.

Then the controversial bonus decisions of Gameweek 29 spark another appraisal of the Bonus Points System, as Granville takes his turn to be nostalgic as he pines for the mysterious “man in the stand” of yesteryear.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP253_Rivals.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:18pm UTC

Mohamed Salah’s remarkable debut season just keeps on rolling and, while the ScoutCast crew have been fervent in their support for the Egyptian from Gameweek 1, we’ve been a lot more reluctant to hand him the captaincy.

Salah’s numbers and, in particular, his head-to-head with Golden Boot and armband rival Harry Kane, come under scrutiny in this latest episode. Jonty, Andy, Granville and Az join me as we reveal the true tale of our lack of faith and the damage done. The evidence is conclusive and nobody has more regrets than yours truly.

Elsewhere, your community questions have us revisit some of the Gameweek 31 casualties that had their credibility knocked by a weekend littered with eye-opening disappointment and we assess the allure of Arsenal’s favourable run-in. That's also conclusive.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP252_Conclusive.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:26pm UTC

Distracted and torn by domestic duties, my appearance on this latest ScoutCast episode is curtailed to a 30-minute introduction, followed by closing cameo.

That’s just enough time to join Jonty, Andy and Az in revisiting the Gameweek 31 scenario and chip strategies that dominate your community questions.

While I’m away, the boys also consider the Gameweek 31 traps to consider whether we’re in danger of being distracted by the mediocrity on offer. The fate of premium-priced defenders is also discussed before they preview Gameweek 28, as I crash back in to make my late contribution.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP251_Domestic.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:40pm UTC

With our end of season plans now at the mercy of the FA Cup fifth round, we slot in an extra show to absorb all the post Gameweek 27 chatter, in anticipation of another bumper episode to come.

Given Sergio Aguero’s 21-point impact – and the fact that the ScoutCast crew all missed out - we just couldn’t neglect the opportunity to front up and give our verdict on the Kanexit#2.

Jonty, Andy and Az join me in attempting to justify our actions and dismiss our disappointment before we debate whether the Argentinian should be now ruthlessly ejected from squads.

Meanwhile, your questions steer us to assess Mohamed Salah’s relentless consistency and captaincy credentials, while I make excuses for my own armband misdemeanours by blaming my reckless awards on a lack of season heroes.

We dabble in some early Gameweek 31 musings, while Jonty has 31 attempts at pronouncing Luka Milivojevic.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP250_Cupset.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:29pm UTC

Granville is the latest of the ScoutCast crew to be struck down by man-flu, and while Az manfully continued last time out, like myself the week before, my erstwhile rival is forced to bow out.

But he makes sure he has his say, priming Jonty beforehand to push my buttons on the “honeytrap” that was Jordan Pickford. Jonty plays a blinder on his behalf as Granville pulls evil strings from his sickbed.

Elsewhere in this latest episode, your community questions steer us to assess whether we should call time on Marcos Alonso to consider cut-price alternatives. We appraise the Arsenal renaissance, get Az all riled up on “JLingz”, while Jonty has his say on “whipping boys”. That, of course, are those teams that are easy to beat and guarantee big returns.

I still believe that this topic was just another excuse to have a go at Pickford, with Granville sniggering over his Lemsip. Other cold remedies and goalkeepers are available.

Direct download: FFSCoutCast_EP249_Puppet_master.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:06pm UTC

Jonty may just have stumbled on the perfect strategy with his newfound flexibility. Reserving millions in the bank, his squad is set up to react to the seismic shifts taking place, as Fantasy managers consider new players and formations.

Andy and an angry old-filled Az join me in forming the ScoutCast quartet, as we bounce off another round of community questions inspired by the changing landscape.

An appraisal of the 3-4-3, a full review of the deadline day arrivals and discussion on defensive surgery provide the spine of the show, before we embark on a Gameweek preview featuring an all-star cast of new Fantasy Island risks.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP248_Yogic.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:44am UTC

 

Granville created the monster that is the template squad – only for it to turn on him.

That delicious analogy sums up the latest Gameweek for the ScoutCast team, as our mediocre scores were left dwarfed by those who dared to break from the norm and turn to the unlikely differential that was Sergio Aguero.

This latest episode conducts a full post-mortem, as the aforementioned Granville is joined by Jonty, Andy, and Az to contemplate another #Kanexit scenario with the clamour for Man City “nostalgia pick” intensifying.

I miss out with flu – the kind that creates bleary-eyed selfies in Swansea City centre Marriot hotels. But unlike Kane’s notorious Gameweek 22, I fail to make a 17-minute appearance, and instead listen in while the ScoutCast quartet tackle more community questions, creating their own motley crew of characters along the way.

In the midfield chat, Az spits bile in the direction of “JLings”, while Jonty fancies Shaqiri “Ironside” as a poor man’s Hazard. Lukasz “Lidl” Fabianksi turns up in the debate on goalkeepers, while the team are unanimous on the fate of Andreas “The Curse” Christensen.

NB: this ScoutCast was recorded prior to confirmation that Manchester City’s fixture with Arsenal is likely to remain in Gameweek 28. Oh, and Az was off the mark when he said that City play Basel after West Brom, that first leg tie follows the Gameweek 27. Don’t panic Aguero owners. Leave that to the rest of us.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP247__Frankenstein.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:49pm UTC

The ScoutCast quintet take on established Fantasy thinking in this latest episode, as we debate the quest to smash the current template squad.

What is the template? How can we break it? Should we even bother?

The discussion that unfolds is predictably sprawling and often heated, as once again the conflicting philosophies on Fantasy management in the ScoutCast crew are laid bare.

Elsewhere we let the rest of your community questions steer the conversation, as we contemplate Sanchez at United, battle Firmino vs Aguero and even find time to check in on Stoke.

Try as we might, even we struggle to argue about Stoke.

By the way, off the air we carried on the debate and, in the end, everyone agreed that I was right and also had the best beard.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP246_smashing.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:17pm UTC

The first ScoutCast of 2018 is sprinkled with a festive catch-up, an assessment of the latest transfer bandwagons and even some logic-defying magic.

YouTube viewers will need to pay close attention to Granville and Jonty about 90 seconds in to catch their conjuring trick; others will just have to use your imagination and be content with the rest of this 90-minute marathon episode.

We explore the lure of Aguero, the clamour for Lingard and the Fantasy freak of nature that is Marcos Alonso. Third striker options are assessed, we conduct a post-mortem on Liverpool following Coutinho’s exit and we start hatching plans for February’s forthcoming blank before the usual Gameweek preview ends proceedings.

Next week Granville saws Jonty in half and Az pulls a rabbit out of his hipster beard.

Direct download: ScoutCast_EP245_Conjury.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:38pm UTC

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