The Fantasy Football Scoutcast (general)
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.

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 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

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

Two Gameweeks down and already the dilemmas are building; the sirens song of the Wildcard button calling.

Failing big hitters are the major bone of contention as Jonty, Andy and Luke join me for the second ScoutCast of the season.

We give our verdicts on the Spurs talisman, while also assessing the fall-out from Manchester City and, in particular, the shot-shy Kevin De Bruyne.

Driven by another round of community questions, we also chew over The Pogba vs Mkhitaryan debate and the big Bournemouth bail out, before previewing Gameweek 3.

Oh, and after his ten point return on the Aaron Mooy investment, we wrestle to prevent Jonty dropping his name into the conversation. I think I counted two. That’s a win for everyone involved.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP230_Harried.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:49pm 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

Not often acclaimed for his sage -like wisdom, Granville is enjoying his season in the sun and is firing advice, sympathy and jibes my way, in equal measure. With little to lose, I’ve even resorted to taking his guidance on board. After spending points on transfers on the Mancunian’s recommendation, I’m looking on my squad with optimistic eyes, although Granville is far from convinced that I made the “greatest hits”.

After raining on my revival parade, Granville joins me to talk Suarez, Oscar vs Hazard and Jim Bowen before we roll out the podcast regulars – “All Aboard”, the weekend preview and the usual dalliance with the ScoutCast team. 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP117_Hits.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:40pm UTC

And so it goes on. With Granville bemoaning a “reasonable” 58-point Gameweek, I slip further into the mire as my team of differentials, mis-placed punts and failed opportunities continue on their relentless decline.

 

Slowly but surely the roles are being reversed in our weekly chat – as I recall my latest errant transfer and Granville struggles to curb his smugness: he even talks about himself in the third person.

 

As I desperately clutch at straws and roll out some positive thinking, my co-host halts his stream of advice to analyse the week’s rolling bandwagons and preview the weekend fixtures, whilst discussing the crunchy topics.

 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP114_plunge.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:18pm UTC

We return from the international break to find Granville totally smitten by Ravel Morrison. While that particular bro-mance takes me by surprise, the shock of my co-host agreeing with me twice on one ScoutCast is perhaps even more jarring. 

I guess Granville can afford to be generous. With a 41-point gap between us, the Mancunian may still be laid up by an untimely knee-op but he’s sitting comfortably when it comes to our Fantasy rivalry. 

In between sonnets dedicated West Ham’s troubled talent and jibes aimed at my struggling season, Granville joins me in rinsing through the current bandwagons, previewing the weekend and discussing topics such as Suarez’s lost bonus points. He also helps with the mispronunciation of Adnan Januzaj’s name on 72 occasions. We’re now praying he slips back into the reserves. 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP113_Ravelations.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:23pm UTC

Back after a five-week break, Granville and I have squeezed in two holidays, two wildcards, an engagement (certainly not to each other), a dose of man flu and a near-on leg amputation. Packed, I tell thee. 

The other highlight has been the steady and consistent decline of my Fantasy season, giving my co-host Granville plenty of ammunition. Reclined in his armchair, leg braced like James Stewart, the stricken Mancunian leaves his Rear Window to investigate the murder of my fantasy team.

Once the taunting dies down, we manage to tackle the old regulars: bandwagons are assessed, the weekend is previewed and the ScoutCast team gets some love on its way to outscoring my lineup for a fifth week running. Oh the joy. 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP112_Crutch.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:44pm UTC

There are no brown envelopes in sight, this “bung” is firmly placed in my nasal passages as I clamber from my man-flu grief pit to sit alongside Granville and take my Gameweek medicine. After seeing me off by 21 points, it’s only fair I gave my co-host his moment of glory, regardless of being short of match fitness.

Somehow we end up arguing about Robin van Persie once again, before taking a gander at the bandwagons rolling and preview the weekend’s action the only way we know how: by rambling and singling out some dubious player picks. 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP111_Bung.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:06pm UTC

He’s well travelled. He’s multi-lingual. He’s just 19 points behind me. Despite my best start to a Fanatsy Football season in living memory, Granville is right on my tail. In this latest episode of the ScoutCast, Granville takes delight in taunting me by wrapping his tongue around every “Pochettino” with ease, leaving me to struggle like Paul Merson with a mouth ulcer. 

In between the mispronunciations, myself and the “cosmopolitan manc” get heated about Robin Van Persie, rinse through the Gameweek 1 bandwagons, preview the weekend’s action and welcome the flying start made by this season’s ScoutCast team. It’s breathless stuff, squeezed into a low fat 40 minutes. 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP110_Cosmo.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:56pm UTC

Ryan Giggs, Tom Jones, Terry Griffiths, the guy in the Apprentice with the eyebrows. These are the legends that Wales has brought us in recent years but, come the weekend, we might just find that Fantasy football unearths another. Tonight’s final episode of the campaign is a very special one as Jonty crashes the party with a special guest – a Welshman that most of us have been looking up to all season.

We chat to the FPL title challenger in the “Full Jonty” after we discuss the perils of the final day fixtures, check in on a much improved Professor, question the transfer trading in “All Aboard” and preview Sunday’s season farewell.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP108_Rarebit.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:39pm UTC

This week’s ScoutCast episode reminds us that there really is life outside of Fantasy Football. 

Like the pursuit of the “most consecutive hours spent in one building” for instance, or perhaps the “most impressive eating feat”. Both are key events, alongside Fantasy Premier League ranking, in an annual set of “Bloke Olympics” revealed courtesy of this week’s rather different “Full Jonty”.  Our friend in the community brings with an extraordinary tale of a top Fantasy manager who runs his life like an achievement list – not to be missed.

Around that, we find time to pop in on an off-colour Professor, welcome Mr Moyes to Old Trafford and discuss the options presented by the Michu fallout. 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP107_Olympian.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:48pm UTC

With the ScoutCast survey results still resonating, we make minor tweaks to the trusted formula and still manage to clock up our longest episode yet. To be honest, with a double Gameweek looming and “Balegate” to pick through, this one could have run and run, particularly once I’d got “Significant Touch” by Phil Collins trapped in my head.

 

There’s plenty of discussion, another cameo from the Professor and his suffering Fantasy fortunes, the weekend preview and another Full Jonty which, this week, focuses on one Fantasy managers mysterious message from the “other side”. An event that inspires Jonty to go on the hunt for superstitious Fantasy managers.


Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP106_Significant.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:20pm UTC

Peaks and troughs – every Fantasy season has them and, this week, we revel in the Professor’s major trough in a futile attempt to break the man. After Robin Van Persie issues the boffin a spanking, the Professor shows his mettle by taking it on the chin. Admirable stuff. 

While we’d have gladly devoted this entire episode to such gloating, we do manage to squeeze in the regulars, whilst Jonty turns up with more community gold: the tale of a globe trotting Fantasy manager who takes his advice off Frankfurt clubbers and QPR fans, whilst trying to figure out the Russian phrase for “please, wireless, I’m desperate – I have Djibril Cisse up front!”.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP105_Troughs.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:46pm UTC

Wednesday’s midweek matches push the ScoutCast back 24-hours, offering you a Crackerjack style Friday afternoon “treat”. Granville and I could certainly “crush a grape” after reaping the rewards from the Robin Van Persie captaincy and we can’t help allowing our smugness to seep through on several occasions, as we take the opportunity to mock both the Professor and Jonty on the recent failings of Wayne Rooney. Small victories.

Those two characters crash the party to bring us the latest forecast from the Rate My Team computer as part of our weekend preview, while Jonty brings us another “fortunate” member of the community to suffer the usual brand of “Full Jonty” analysis. The familiar smattering of regulars glue it all together, as we keep the momentum going with the finishing line now in sight.

 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP104_smug.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am UTC

The double Gameweek dominates episode 103 of the ScoutCast, providing a timely antidote a pitiful weekend of points scoring that saw even the great and good struggle. While your hosts hardly fit into that category, Granville and I dust ourselves down to rinse through the double Gameweek options, popping in on the Professor to get the “Rate My Team” viewpoint, before Jonty crashes the party to serve up another community themed conclusion.

 

This time around, Jonty brings a tale of armband woe: a Fantasy manager who misses the captain target with frustrating regularity. Whilst that manager’s luck should offer cheer, Jonty is also armed with a plethora of captain statistics that come courtesy of a former “Full Jonty” victim. Those particular revelations have me staring into the eyes of a certain Dutchman and wondering where it all went wrong.

 

 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP102_armband.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:49pm UTC

Sometimes, when in the presence of greatness, you can’t help feeling introspective. With Jonty rolling up with a very special “Full Jonty”, featuring none other than the current top ranked Fantasy Premier League manager, I cast my eye around my virtual dressing room with a feeling of disdain. What choice did I have but to gatecrash “Granny’s miffed”, reeling off my tale of woe as my once promising Fantasy season slips into oblivion. 

As for our Full Jonty candidate, his story is quite extraordinary. Managing from down under, using reports, highlights and stats to steer his team, this guy sleeps while we fidget and flinch at every clean sheet lost. Get your ears around this valuable insight into a top manager, whilst listening to some rather average ones reel off another round of ScoutCast regulars.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP102_First.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:46pm UTC

Wake up and smell the coffee. The ScoutCast returns to jolt us back into life and get us prepped for another Gameweek. After another dullard international break, we come back to life over 100 minutes, delivering the usual mix of chatter, banter, debate and community spirit.

 

Resigned to mini-league defeat, Granville enjoys pointing out how I’m oh so wrong on the price rise tax, James McClean and Maynor Figueroa’s Gameweek potential. Jonty crashes in having leaped above me in the contributors league for a quick Rooney-themed gloat, followed by another “Full Jonty”, which this week puts focus on a “no hits please, I’m cautious” Fantasy manager from the Scout community. All the regulars squeeze in amongst that lot to deliver a lengthy wake-up call. 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP101_Sleepy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:09pm UTC

One hundred up. Some achievement for two miserable so-and-so’s, confined in a room or hours on end, griping and gloating about Fantasy football.

 

I daren’t calculate the hours spent gazing into the beardy face of my Mancunian counterpart, or the minutes wasted while he moans about points on the bench. Equally, I doubt he’s recalling the hours he’s listened to me talk about Aleks Kolarov, Victor Moses or how my latest points hit will steer me to glory. Instead, we’ll look back fondly and remember the many, many good times.

 

Tonight’s special podcast includes a clip from the very first pilot show, Granville’s first, and some would say, last, attempt at ScoutCast humour. That’s followed by a flood of reminiscing, as Granville pinpoints some of his favourite episodes, while I see through my fixation with beating Last of the Summer Wine by checking out how they celebrated their own century of episodes, with depressingly predictable results.

 

Of course the regulars play their part, including the Professor and his Rate My Team computer and another stellar showing from the “Full Jonty”, this week featuring one of our very top managers in the community. Depressing stuff for a host just coming off the back of a red arrow.

 

Like Granville says, however, this is a time for celebrating. Here’s to the 100 and the next century to come. 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP100_Century.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:12pm UTC

One man’s personal battle to mastermind his beloved Fantasy Football team through extreme adversity steals the show in this week’s episode of the ScoutCast – and we’re not talking about Granville struggling with his BAFTA award-winning hangover. 

Episode 99 has all the usual ingredients as we look back on Gamweek 28, rinse through the Gameweek 29 options, pop in to disturb the Professor and his Rate My Team computer, analyse the transfer ins and outs and, of course, give another community member the “Fully Jonty” treatment. 

Jonty delivers a heart-warming and rather humbling account this week, emphasising just how far the dedicated Fantasy manager will go to steer his ship. Postponing your bedbath to play your Wildcard? You better believe it.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP9_Convalescence.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:13pm UTC

The ScoutCast emerges from under the duvet, Lemsip soaked and coughing and spluttering its way towards a century of episodes. After a two-week break, the full crew are assembled as Granville joins me to celebrate his Gameweek victory, Professor Chris Atkinson returns from the slopes to charge up his “Rate My Team” computer and Jonty chips in with another community-powered “Full Jonty”.<!--more-->

Around this we discuss the unlikely scenario of selling on Robin, give our Scout League leaders a shout-out, analyse the transfer ins and outs in “All Aboard” and look ahead to the weekend’s programme. 

The “Full Jonty” rounds things off as “Ginkapo” gets the treatment, prompting a love-in with a certain Serbian left-back. 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP98_Splutter.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:36pm UTC

As we close on a century of episodes it was time to freshen things up and bring new voices to accompany my drone and that of grumpy Granville. In this weeks’ episode, we draft in both “Professor” Chris Atkinson and his “Rate My Team” computer, plus long-time community member and contributor, Jonty, for a new ScoutCast regular.

Don’t worry, the usual format remains intact although, having recorded this just minutes after last night’s whistles, Granville escapes the usual mini-league grilling. Not surprisingly, there’s plenty of “Granny’s miffed” to endure, plus all aboard and the weekend preview. That’s’ rounded off by the “Full Jonty” a brand new feature that will bring you, the community, into our weekly ramblings. 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP96_Changes.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:02pm UTC

Rush. The best form of goalkeepers for the playground. A long-haired Canadian prog-rock outfit. A mustachioed goal sniffer and, sadly, a description of how Granville and myself had to approach this latest episode of the podcast.

 

With our studio slot limited, we had to skinny things up and turn this one out double-time. Nonetheless, in 25-minutes, we touched on all the regulars, whilst scattering the silence in between with the usual sniping between the pair of us. It makes you wonder what we waste the other twenty minutes on every week.

 

Not to worry. Enjoy what you can of this little taster and look ahead to next week’s full-length return, when we’re planning a new feature and a new voice.

 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP95_Rush.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:55pm UTC

Back for 2013, fully refreshed, slightly rusty and balancing the same chips on our shoulders, Granville are I make a return to the podcast studio.

 

The New Year presents my beleaguered co-host with a 51-point gap to bridge as I spent Christmas “ho-ho-ing” about three midfield hat-tricks, leaving Granville to roll out one mighty miffed in this week’s episode.

 

Elsewhere we pick at the double Gameweek buffet, eagerly scoffing on the Chelsea canapés whilst wondering if Rafa has put something nasty in the vol-a-vents. We rinse through the latest transfers in and out in “all aboard”, preview all the weekend fixtures and carry out the latest emergency surgery on the ailing ScoutCast team.

 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP94_Resumption.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:34pm UTC

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