The Fantasy Football Scoutcast (podcasts)
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.

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