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.

I am a Fantasy Football manager, and I’m addicted to double Gameweeks. It’s a confession that the ScoutCast team are all too eager to admit in this latest ScoutCast episode.

Recorded prior to the confirmation of the first double Gameweek of the season, we were nonetheless correctly counting our chickens and allowing your multitude of community questions on Manchester City assets to steer the chatter.

Granville rejoined Jonty, Andy and myself to reinforce our investigation in Pep’s charges and to add his views to the heated Triple Captain debate surrounding Sergio Aguero. Yes, him again.

Direct download: FFSCcoutCast_EP216_Confessional.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:34pm UTC

A minor disclaimer: this episode of the ScoutCast we recorded prior to the earth-shattering revelation that Manchester City could enjoy two fixtures in Gameweek 27. This therefore renders the full 70 minutes as totally irrelevant, with the content and advice offered within both useless and ill-informed. However, as this hasn’t stopped folk listening in the past, we’re putting it out there anyway.

Before the intervention of the fixture computer, I was joined by Jonty, Andy and Az as, oblivious to what was to come, we stepped blindly into the breach to wrestle another round of community questions.

That ensured that the impending blanks dominated the discussion, gifting Jonty the opportunity to flaunt his enviable Gameweek 28 line-up, while discussing the merits of Chelsea, Liverpool and West Ham. Somewhat inevitably, pastry based goods also make an appearance.

 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP215_Disclaimer.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:03pm UTC

Four middle aged Fantasy Football managers (just go with it, Andy) and four Romelu Lukaku owners. Four very smug faces.

We try to hide it, we really do, but Romelu’s haul was so sweet, the odd gloat may have sneaked into this latest 120-minute episode.

You have been warned.

Our Gameweek’s were even good enough to nudge Granville into making a welcome return, although he was sure to stress that his 81 points had very little to do with the re-appearance.

He joined Jonty, a youthful Andy and myself for the usual grappling session with your community questions.

We contemplate the big hitters to sell and the cheap options to buy, while lamenting Sergio Aguero’s demise and giving Claudio Ranieri our own vote of shaky confidence.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP214_Smugface.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:27pm UTC

Overthinking? It’s what we do – don’t dare ask us to stop.

Particularly now that our heads are swimming with thoughts of blank and double Gameweeks. All those variables, all that planning and strategising: we’re in our element.

Once again, thanks to another bout of community questions, Jonty and Andy join me for another ScoutCast dominated by chatter surrounding our tactics and transfers approaching the missing fixtures.

We break off to nominate the new Premier League whipping boys, while we also ponder whether to proclaim Sigurdsson as “essential”, revisit Coleman vs Baines and assess whether the blanks are reason enough to be rid of Alexis Sanchez.

For my money, that’s one decision that requires very little thinking.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP213_Overthinking.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:53pm UTC

And so it begins. This is our time – the period of the season where the hours of planning and strategising lay the foundations for big hauls to come.

Blanks and double Gameweeks are looming, and we’re clearing our heads in preparation to embrace the variables and manoeuvrings they present. We’re not sure if we’re going to be able to fully exploit them, but we’re certain that, should we fail, it won’t be for a lack of planning.

Guided by your questions, it all starts here, in this latest episode of the ScoutCast, where Jonty and Andy join me to pick through the early “known unknowns” and lay down the groundwork.

Elsewhere in the episode, we overcome Jonty's "cow on the line" incident to embark on some formation dancing; considering the shift back to 3-4-3 and, once again, entertaining the idea of a big spend in defence.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP212_Forearmed.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:01pm UTC

It’s quite ironic that, in an episode that focuses on our experience and strategies of mini-league management, my long-term rival on that score goes awol.

Granville is waylaid by “homework” and misses out, but Luke crashes in mid-cast to join Jonty, Andy and myself as we deliver an 80-minute episode which includes our dubious insights on navigating a team to mini-league glory - mind games and all.

Once again guided by your community questions, we take on the Diego Costa fall-out, the rising stock of Spurs on form, and Everton on fixtures, while finding time to wade in on the demise of darling Sergio Aguero under the stewardship of Pep Guardiola.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP_211_Beleaguered.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:44pm UTC

Back for 2017, partially refreshed and braced for the season run-in, the ScoutCast returns to herald a new leader in the Fantasy Football Scout Hall of Fame.

With the legend that is Vile Ronka toppled, Granville, Jonty, Andy and myself start by doffing our cloth caps to the brand new leader Jay Egersdorff.

An advocate of the 3-5-2, Jay provides the springboard for the episode’s big discussion, as we revisit the merits of a formation change to a “power five” midfield, while considering a big spend on a four-man defence.

Your community questions supply the rest of the ammunition, as we chew over rising stars Alli, Giroud and the fading stock of Hazard and Aguero and, against better judgment, we even touch on Nyomgate until Jonty pulls the plug.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP210_refresh.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:19pm UTC

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.

Direct download: FFScoutcast_EP209_Baubles.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:31pm UTC

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.

 

Direct download: FFScoutcast_EP208_Shapeshifting.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:50pm UTC

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.

 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP207_Regrets.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:57pm UTC