Thu, 1 March 2018
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.
Thu, 22 February 2018
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.
Thu, 15 February 2018
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.
Thu, 8 February 2018
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.
Fri, 2 February 2018
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.
Thu, 25 January 2018
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.
Thu, 18 January 2018
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.
Thu, 11 January 2018
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.
Thu, 21 December 2017
Is now the time to give up on the premium strikers – we’re looking at you Harry – and throw our cash at a “power five” midfield?
It’s a big question that requires a crack team to answer.
Unfortunately, we only have the ScoutCast crew available, but we did manage to pull off a big loan signing to help us out.
Jay Eggersdorf – the current “live” Hall of Fame number one joins Jonty, Andy and Az as we take on the big topic of the day.
In the middle of another stunning season – Jay reveals his strategy behind his recent move to shed Kane on the back of another impressive points tally.
Then on 44 minutes, Jay’s phone is almost drained of life. Tickled by the on-camera events that follow, Jonty and Az struggle to hold it together to discuss the recruitment of Paul Pogba and the merits of West Ham investment before we look ahead to Gameweek 19.
It’s an intense 90-minutes, with the frivolity of this “festive” ScoutCast limited to silly jumpers and hats. Though we do get the opportunity to reveal our Christmas wishes.
Just one wafer-thin hat-trick please Harry.
Fri, 15 December 2017
The ScoutCast takes on the role of support group ahead of Gameweek 18, as the four-strong collective attempt to give advice on how to find motivation when the season begins to slide into the abyss.
I go AWOL, though Peter Kouwenberg comes in for a timely debut. The former Hall of Fame number one is one of those suffering an abject season, after an extraordinary run of three successive top 300 finishes. No, really.
For once, Jonty, Andy and Az are in the presence of Fantasy Premier League greatness, then, as the quartet give counsel on those struggling to soldier on after a season of “unnecessary roughness”.
Elsewhere they talk Harry Kane for once, as exit plans are abandoned, while questioning whether Eden Hazard can justify his selection in light of David Silva’s sudden goal spree.
Thu, 7 December 2017
The Scoutcast team are reduced to a three-man line-up as Andy’s Azpilicueta-like run of appearances comes to end. Shifting to a new rural setting, he goes AWOL having been hamstrung by his “new” medieval internet connection.
That leaves Mark, Jonty and Az to hold the fort, as they struggle to find our own bandwidth to meet the demands of an unexpected double Gameweek now landing during the frantic festive spell.
That topic – and the strategy involving ScoutCast favourite Harry Kane – dominates your community questions and this 90-minute episode.
Elsewhere, the team try to justify shunning Arsenal assets, choose the optimum routes into Watford’s fixtures and the Allardyce’s Everton revolution, before deciding if it’s time to bail on Manchester City’s attack.
Thu, 30 November 2017
In our continued quest to mirror the Fantasy Football season, this latest ScoutCast episode is missing a key player, but shuffles the pack and brings on stars from the bench.
Quivering from the midweek rotation, Jonty and Az begin proceedings before Granville is introduced to add his experience to the line-up. Then, late on, Andy arrives to shore things up and see the team through the final testing period. Me? I’m ruled out and left to watch from the stands.
The ever-changing line-up does a fine job contending with another round of community questions, as they assess the midfield template and consider goalkeeper recruits in the light of Rafa’s tinkerings. Then Granville rolls back to a classic ScoutCast question, lambasting United fan Andy for celebrating a City goal to ask which comes first, your football team or your Fantasy team?
Thu, 23 November 2017
The crucial captaincy comes under focus in this latest ScoutCast episode. We’re five strong as Jonty, Andy, Granville and Az join me to put our skippering habits under scrutiny.
And when it comes to depriving us of captaincy returns, there’s no bigger “Armbandit” than Harry Kane. We’re all forced to give our updated opinions on the Spurs striker, as another “home banker” at Wembley looms for Fantasy Football’s most expensive and frustrating asset.
Elsewhere in this 90-minute marathon, your community questions steer us to assess the midfield heavy-hitters wrestling for our attention, explore the methods of dealing with festive rotation and the theory that we’re all playing down the impact of bonus points when weighing up transfer targets.
Thu, 16 November 2017
Declared fit and available for selection, I make a return to the ScoutCast after a recent hiatus. I’m also chuffed to be welcomed back into the bosom of my own home, as the winter draws in, driving me from the Scout Hut at the end of the garden.
Warming my cockles alongside Jonty and Az, the three of us are treated to another ScoutCast Wildcard, as Andy joins us and throws his selection to the cynical lions.
We use that as inspiration to answer your community questions, as we ponder Andy’s all-powerful front three and wonder if overlooking a budget third striker is the optimum set-up.
Staying with strikers, Romelu Lukaku’s worrisome form comes under analysis ahead of his anticipated revival and, once again, we give Harry Kane oxygen to vent further frustration following his very latest Wembley Stadium stutter.
Manchester City’s weapon(s) of choice get revised before we embark on the weekend preview to banish the international break and lay the groundwork for a Christmas schedule of epic proportions.
Thu, 2 November 2017
Whether it’s Pep’s rotation, Jonty’s runaway facial hair or a rogue horse in Andy’s front garden, the ScoutCast crew are decidedly spooked in this week’s Halloween episode.
Downed by a bout of Labyrinthitis – which is as nasty as it sounds – I’m forced to duck out as Jonty, Andy, Granville and Az run riot.
Your community questions help to keep them in check, forcing the quartet to once again assess City rotation, while giving views on Chelsea’s big-hitters, a Foxes revival and a slew of budget defenders.
Jonty rolls out his "ghouls imminent" table, while Andy unknowingly mocks my affliction from afar with back-to-back ear puns; in between they preview the weekend's action to reveal their captain and transfer picks.
Thu, 26 October 2017
Pep sunk his teeth into our Gameweeks, while an old moggy took a chunk out of my partner's arm, depriving me of my appearance on this week's ScoutCast. I'm not sure which was more painful.
At the mercy of the local A&E, Jonty, Andy and Az became my other emergency service as they stepped up on this latest episode.
Inevitably, Guardiola's Man City teamsheet dominates your questions and the ensuing chatter. Elsewhere the boys re-appraise Kane after his Wembley haul, revisit Liverpool with their fixtures about to swing and consider whether the heavy-hitting midfielders are poised for a renaissance ahead of Gameweek 10.
As far as I know, I've edited out all the "pussy" jokes.
Thu, 19 October 2017
Restored to a five-strong squad, this week's ScoutCast is still resonating from the shock of Man City's seven-slice goal pie, served up by Pep at the expense of Stoke City.
That avalanche of goals and points fell into the laps of two of the ScoutCast crew, as Jonty and Andy bask in their post-Pep Wildcard success.
Others weren't so fortunate, as we tell the tale of an unfortunate 11-point refresh and Az's 32-point Gameweek misery that has since sparked his own Wildcard activity.
City dominate the community questions driving this 90-minute episode, while we also revisit the Harry Kane debate, fuelled by his latest Wembley misfire.
Thu, 12 October 2017
Careering out of the international break at speed, the ScoutCast returns in anticipation of a turning point in our seasons.
We’ve been chattering for several weeks on the much anticipated “fixture swing”, and now we’re all set to put ourselves at its mercy.
What does it mean for our Fantasy line-ups?
In truth, with multiple transfers and Wildcards at our disposal, Jonty, Andy, Luke and myself started this latest episode still seeking our own answers. Over almost 90 minutes and with your community questions providing the steer, we do our best to reach some conclusions.
We weigh up Manchester United exit plans, Liverpool’s blunted attack and Jamie Vardy’s recuperation techniques, before previewing Gameweek 8 in the usual hap-hazard style.
Thu, 28 September 2017
No more no less. Three is the magic number.
In a week where we ponder shifting to a “power three” in our line-ups, the ScoutCast is reduced to its own Tri-force, as Jonty and Andy join me as part of a skeleton crew for this latest episode.
Don’t worry, somehow we still manage to string things out for 80 minutes. After all, there is much to discuss, not least the current emphasis on the big strikers and the demise of Bobby Firmino - the driving force behind my apparently ill-time Wildcard.
Talking of which, with Jonty’s own Wildcard booked in for the international break, he eagerly assesses the forthcoming “fixture swing” that promotes investment in Man City and Chelsea, among others.
Elsewhere your community questions guide us to examine the latest optimum formation and to check in with “piggy bank” Marcos Alonso’s after his cruel 58th-minute withdrawal in the Potteries.
Thu, 21 September 2017
It seems that every Fantasy Football manager in the land is seeking counsel.
Sergio Aguero’s 20-points has caused joy and consternation - mainly the latter - and we’re all in need of reassurance and solutions.
The ScoutCast crew are no different.
Granville, Jonty, Andy and Az join me in searching for answers, thankful for the opportunity to bounce ideas and opinion.
Contrary to popular thinking, among the noise and chatter, we do arrive at a tentative conclusion.
All but one of us are willing to bend to Sergio’s surge in points and popularity or fall for Pep’s potential plot. We’re abstaining on the Aguero option for now and, over this 90 minutes, we’ll tell you just why.
Aguero dominates, but we have ample time to entertain other community questions, discussing Harry Kane’s latest failings, the premium defenders that warrant our trust and our cash, while Jonty is itching to take us through his handpicked bonus magnet XI.
Thu, 14 September 2017
“This is how the ScoutCast was meant to be” exclaimed Granville.
He’s not wrong. If you’ve successfully avoided this brand of nonsense to this point, episode 232 provides a less than gentle introduction.
Just don’t expect me to take a beating every week.
That’s certainly what pans out over this lengthy landmark episode which finds me rolling the punches after my “ill-timed” Wildcard.
Granville and Jonty take turns to dish out the blows, while Andy and Az make uncomfortable spectators.
Once the scuffle dies down, we do our best to address the latest community questions, assessing strikers, mid-price midfielders and the latest wing-backs demanding our attention.
But, for once, that forms the undercard for the "big fight".
Thu, 7 September 2017
This is one helluva a strange experience.
Denied the opportunity to host this week’s ScoutCast by BT’s shortcomings and with the Wildcard active, I am forced to join you and eavesdrop while my decision-making is torn apart by Andy, Jonty, Az and Luke.
I have to admit, it’s pretty tortuous.
It’s like my hands are firmly fastened to the couch while the quartet lapdance* their critique around me. How I want to get involved.
Aside from appraising my “ill-timed” Wildcard, the boys tackle your other community questions.
They consider the Liverpool double-up, ponder whether midfield coverage can replace either Kane and Lukaku, debate if Alonso is essential and then look at how fixtures can shape cheap defensive acquisitions.
I’m pretty sure they answer them all exactly as I would. In fact, listening back, they appear to justify my Wildcard for me. I can hardly wait for next week.
*writer cannot call on any personal experience, here.
Thu, 24 August 2017
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.
Thu, 17 August 2017
Can you call it a comeback? Avid listeners – and there are some, honest – will certainly hope that Granville’s return to ScoutCast action will be repeated.
For now, we just have to savour him gatecrashing our early season party, armed with a very reasonable Gameweek 1 tally.
Granville joins myself, Jonty, Andy and Az in a five-aside episode for the post-mortem of the opening weekend.
Once again we embrace your community questions, going in studs showing on all the key issues, as we assess the Zaha replacements and strap our knees to the desk to discuss De Bruyne and Kane.
Thu, 10 August 2017
The final countdown has begun with the new season kick-off now less than 24-hours away.
Earlier the week the ScoutCast grew gathered as the clock ticked down, with Jonty, Andy and Luke joining myself to tackle a raft of perfectly targeted questions from you – the community.
Each of us take turns to reveal our current line-ups, while the collection of queries allowed us to put each of the four positions under the microscope. On occasions, we even broke from the ScoutCast tradition to provide some definitive answers.
Pre-season gremlins struck as I dropped out in full flow on Paul Pogba, but I managed to return to steer the ship towards its final destination – the first weekend preview of the new campaign.
It’s good to be back
Wed, 12 July 2017
An unprecedented summer podcast arrives following the Fantasy Premier League launch, as Jonty, Andy and Luke join me in the afterglow of a joyous day.
Technically “on the beach” and fighting back to full fitness, we nonetheless brave the airwaves to chime in on the price list, reclassified players and some early formation dancing.
We glory in the potential bargains, lament the overpriced and make bold claims on our lineups that will doubtless be reversed come August 11. If Andy has Chris Brunt in his Gameweek 1 squad, I’ll eat my Free Hit chip.
The FPL Draft game gets a rinsing, and we end the show with our proud declaration of our team ID’s. A conclusion that leaves me feeling rather inadequate even before a ball has been kicked.
Thu, 18 May 2017
Excess baggage checked in, deckchairs reserved and sun block applied – the Scoutcast team are all ready to hit the “beach”.
Smack in the middle of Gameweek 37, with points flowing from all angles, not even Hal Robson Kanu’s late goal can upset the pre-vacation mood.
Stringing five men across the midfield, Luke and Az join Jonty, Andy and myself for a bumper end of season episode as we tackle another volley of questions from you, the community.
We conduct a post-mortem on the flurry of chips, weigh up the Gameweek 38 punts, put together our final day Wildcard XI and take a look back on our own personal highs and lows of a topsy-turvy season.
After 128 minutes of that lot and sunstroke already setting in, we even forget to chat captains and transfers come the end, only to make amends later.
Thu, 11 May 2017
"Brutal" can be the only way to describe the way the ScoutCast collective round on the mis-fortune of a fellow FFS team member.
I say "misfortune", in truth, Jonty, Andy and Az join me in showing little sympathy for Spencer's predicament as we circle his catastrophic 40-point hit and take turns jabbing at the corpse of his Gameweek 36 line-up. When you end up with Victor Anichebe as your captain, it's difficult to show a degree of mercy.
Spencer's plight provides some light relief before we delve into our own insecurities following Spurs' "impossible" defeat to West Ham, as Chelsea prepare to wrap up the title race and ruin our run-in.
Your community questions quiz us on the impact of the inevitable, and, in the light of doubts surrounding Eden Hazard's prospects, we discuss merits of a swoop for his compatriot Kevin De Bruyne.
Elsewhere, we scrape the barrel for Manolo Gabbiadini alternatives up front and pull up the sofa cushions to hunt for some value in midfield.
Thu, 4 May 2017
You get your Wildcard active, and we’ll do the maths. Or rather Jonty will.
This week’s ScoutCast gets highly technical as my aforementioned co-host goes all Rachel Riley on us (wishful thinking) and attempts to bewilder with a cheeky little algorithm he’s just happened to have rustled up.
Attempting to cut through the noise of the forthcoming double Gameweeks, Andy and Luke join me while Jonty gives his numbers an airing via another round of your targeted queries.
We chew over Gabbiadini’s demise, assess the Gameweek 37 potential offered by Spurs and Chelsea and, yet again, make another assessment of a slumbering Sanchez.
The end result all leads to the ScoutCast Wildcard template squad, as Big Vic crashes in and Luke stands alone in shunning Arsenal’s Chilean timebomb.
Thu, 27 April 2017
Gradually weaned off our double fixture helping and returned to normality, the ScoutCast team take time out to pick through the wreckage of Gameweek 34, before we set our sights firmly on what lies ahead.
Wildcards and Bench Boost chips lodged up their end of season sleeves, Jonty, Andy and Luke join me to embrace another round of community questions.
With the rebuilding programme imminent, we take a look at those shot-term punts who can do a job in Gameweek 35, before weighing up single fixture assets who can possibly hold their own amid the forthcoming circus of Gameweek 37.
And, of course, we carry out our weekly appraisal of Alexis Sanchez, as the Chilean hints at a return form just as an irresistable Eden Hazard closes in.
Thu, 20 April 2017
There’s no other word for it, this week’s ScoutCast is certainly an “intense” affair, gripped by the troublesome uncertainty served up by the most testing double Gameweek in memory.
Jonty, Andy and Az once again join me as we quickly review our Gameweek 33’s, before indulging in the main course – chewing through your queries that dissect the dilemma’s served up by the forthcoming fixtures.
The merits of Zlatan, the head-to-head between Negredo and Benteke and a full risk assessment of shedding Sanchez and Sigurdsson – these are all topics to furrow the brow as we indulge in the most passionate of ScoutCasts for some weeks.
Thu, 13 April 2017
Despite reeling from shedding Son Heung-min prior to his 19-point haul, I can’t avoid acknowledging that Spurs are currently the go-to source for Fantasy talent – particularly now that Harry Kane is back in our lives.
Jonty, Andy and Az join me for this week’s ScoutCast, which transforms into a tribute to Kane’s Gameweek 33 potential, with the striker enjoying a far different appraisal to his rival across north London – Alexis Sanchez.
With three successive blanks, the Chilean is burning many a Fantasy manager, and, once again we use the airwaves to vent our frustration.
Elsewhere, on the eve of the double Gameweek announcement, we chew over the offerings on show at Palace and Southampton, before rinsing through the weekend preview, with GreenWindmill keeping score.
Tue, 4 April 2017
With the international breaks behind us and the fixture list bulging, the pace to the end of the season promises to be relentless; it’s even enough to force us into the indignity of a "manic" Monday night ScoutCast.
Having endured the most mediocre of Gameweeks, it’s a blessing in disguise that the next is already upon us. Despite that, we still take time to cast an eye back at the weekend, including a revival of “Rough with the Smooth”, recounting your own contrasting fortunes.
Elsewhere, your community questions have us conducting the now weekly Stock Check of Manchester United’s double Gameweek wannabes, while Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez's mood swings also come under scrutiny once more, as we chew over the likely replacements for the stricken Sadio Mane.
Palace get some love, those teams without a double Gameweek get appraised, and we even take time to explore a new phenomenon: the raiding right-back and new bonus point darling that is Jesus Navas.
Oh and, much as we tried to shut down Jonty’s attempts to gloat about the latest spectacular success of his goals imminent table, Wilfred Ndidi still gets a mention.
Thu, 30 March 2017
Expelled and evicted from the Scout Hut, the show must go on as I host this week’s Cast from the in-laws, their best china providing the backdrop to our Fantasy Football chatterings.
While building work gets underway back home, we consider the reconstruction required on our line-ups ahead of Gameweek 30 following the cruel injury to Seamus Coleman.
Assessment of the likely replacements dominates the opening section, before we embark on another round of community questions, as we scan Manchester United’s packed schedule, flirt with Leicester City assets and vote on when to move for Alexis Sanchez.
Transfer hits also bookend this episode, as we begin the show with a conservative approach to the weekend, only to end with talk of eight points aplenty.
Thu, 16 March 2017
A trio of Josh Kings saved the Gameweek for the ScoutCast regulars, steering Jonty, Andy and myself to respectability, despite a scattering of ill-advised transfer hits. Meanwhile, AZ drops in with his own unique solution to the curtailed Gameweek 28, as he deals a controversial early Wildcard to help navigate the choppy waters.
The Wildcard is a key focus of this week’s episode, as we extend our recent Hot Topic to the ScoutCast airwaves, arguing the optimum time to roll out the most precious of chips.
Elsewhere, we spare a moment to weigh up the “essential” status of the aforementioned Cherries midfielder, consider the recent unrest surrounding Sanchez and Lukaku and discuss the fall-out from Kane’s twanged ankle.
Thu, 9 March 2017
We’re left punctured and deflated like that old plastic ball you used to kick over the fence into the neighbour’s garden.
That neighbour is Pep Guardiola, who appears to take great pleasure in putting his big teamsheet tinkering garden fork through our bouncy double Gameweek dreams.
Recorded in the dying stages of Manchester City’s non-event clash against a stubborn Stoke, Jonty, Andy and myself are left rather flat during this episode of the ScoutCast.
Even the most imaginative accountant couldn't hide the fact that, after transfer hits aplenty and having witnessed Messrs Kane, Costa, Hazard and Lukaku grab hauls, all three of us depart Gameweek 27 in the red.
Gathering ourselves after that disappointment, and steered by your questions, we nonetheless press on to offer our latest musings on the minefield of blanks presented by Gameweek 28, while checking in on Sanchez’ fading star and third striker options.
Thu, 2 March 2017
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.
Thu, 23 February 2017
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.
Thu, 9 February 2017
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.
Thu, 2 February 2017
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.
Thu, 26 January 2017
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.
Thu, 19 January 2017
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.
Thu, 12 January 2017
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.
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.
Thu, 24 December 2015
'Twas the night before Christmas when three bearded men, wallowing in mid-table mediocrity, collided via the magic of the internet to relay tales of Fantasy Football.
Settle down – the festive ScoutCast is upon us.
Like the “Three Ronnies”, Jonty, Andy and myself roll out the same old tried and trusted formula in the guise of an extended Christmas special.
We relive the painfully ordinary Gameweek 17, before girding our loins for another bout of community questions as the three us make woeful excuses for avoiding Ighalo, before debating whether the Dullards really have slain the Maverick Fantasy managers for good
Thu, 10 December 2015
Granville was expected to miss this week’s Scoutcast. Flagged as a 25% doubt, we drafted in Andy off the bench in preparation for our resident Mancunian to go AWOL as he wallowed in the misery of his 30-point Gameweek.
To his great credit, he proved us wrong.
Granville crashes in from the off to join Andy, Jonty and myself in another episode that he describes as “cathartic”, as he rolls out the full directors cut of his woeful tale from Gameweek 15.
Spouting such gems as “someone has to be unlucky and it has to be me”, Granville adds an essential ingredient to a packed and lively session.
It’s helped along by Jonty’s endorsement of “playing the percentages”, roughly translated as the “Dullard’s 101”, which has the four of us at loggerheads.
Once the dust settles on that debate, we tackle further questions from the community, featuring Jonty’s latest love letter to Aaron Ramsey, before rounding off with our preview of Gameweek 16.
Thu, 3 December 2015
Having spent the season clutching to the coat-tails of both Granville and Jonty, finally, like a magnificent phoenix rising from the flames, I’ve caught and surpassed them both.
In truth, my season is anything but “magnificent” and the recent struggles of my ScoutCast co-hosts, as they slip down to my level, is the main reason behind the recent mini-league maneuverings.
With a level playing field established, the three of us skim through another set of “Rough with the Smooth” tales from the community, before bracing ourselves for another batch of topics served steered by your good selves.
You have us talking Sanchez exit plans, discussing the “desperate” route back to Hazard and contemplating Christmas rearguards. Plus we’ve a couple of old ScoutCast favourites who, like my season, rise up from the ashes to discover a new lease of life.
Thu, 26 November 2015
It’s time to turn up the heat on Granville. After Harry Kane obliged with a 26 point return, I’ve clawed back the gap on my Mancunian rival, who now sits just three points ahead in our "very personal" battle.
With the flame lit one our age-old rivalry, the ScoutCast is revived to resemble the days gone by, with Granville wriggling uncomfortably as we spar throughout. Jonty is on hand to mediate, taking a few blows of his own, with Granville lashing out blindly.
Around the melee, we take in another round of "rough with the smooth" and digest a slew of community questions. We chat Aguero Vs Kane, consider the merits of showing Sanchez and De Bruyne the door, and make our Christmas Fantasy Football wishlist.
Thu, 19 November 2015
Sneaking in late like John Terry in a triumphant team photo, Granville gatecrashes this week’s ScoutCast after we drafted in Andy85SWM as his able replacement.
Andy tag teams with Jonty and Mark as they look back ten days at the long forgotten Gameweek 12, before grappling with another round of posers from the community.
They cast tentative votes on the Aguero debate, assess Lukaku’s armband credentials, check that we can all write off Chelsea and question whether time is up for Sanchez in the light of Oil’s streak of assists.
After all that, Granville parachutes in and they get a few minutes to gloat over his injury-ravaged squad. A worthy cameo contribution.
Thu, 5 November 2015
Following on from Halloween, it’s time to revisit a horror show Gameweek from Granville.
Having gathered an array of green arrows in recent weeks, my ScoutCast co-host produced a pair of transfer howlers, watching on from behind the sofa as both Philippe Coutinho and Riyad Mahrez banged nails into his Gameweek coffin.
Jonty and I do our best to dwell on Granville’s misery for as long as possible, before attempting to cheer him up with similarly scary tales from the community in “Rough with the Smooth”.
We then take on your questions, debating Leicester’s legs, United’s decline and whether we can actually tame the Fantasy Football troll that is Romelu Lukaku.
Thu, 22 October 2015
We take Fantasy Football seriously. So much so, myself, Granville and Jonty find time each week to join up online and natter semi-aimlessly about it. Some of you even go so far to watch and listen. We all take Fantasy Football seriously.
That’s why we dedicate this episode of the ScoutCast to Fuzzy Warbles, whose passion for Fantasy Football drove him to scribe a long letter to the Premier League. In doing so, he raised his head above the parapet to gain the <a href="https://uk.sports.yahoo.com/news/fantasy-football-manager-written-letter-premier-league-just-084914996--spt.html?cmp=ukfb">attention from the mainstream press</a> and various Twitterati.
Predictably, that attention was somewhat confused as to why someone would care so much about a few points to muster an 800-word email.
We know why.
Granville, Jonty and I are more than happy to waste more words discussing <a href="http://www.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk/2015/10/20/the-big-numbers-gameweek-9-4/?hc_page=2#hc_comment_11596012">“CedricGate”</a>, the catalyst for Fuzzy’s irritation.
Before that, we analyse Gameweek 9, discuss the contrasting fortunes of Jamie Vardy, Anthony Martial and Eden Hazard, plus assess the Gameweek 11 fixture swing. We may have a few chuckles along the way, but we’re taking it very seriously.
Thu, 15 October 2015
Just ten days after celebrating three-figure hauls, many Fantasy managers are now left counting the flags as the international break casualties mount.
Sergio Aguero’s twanging hamstring has taken the shine off his incredible 25-point haul and it’s his demise from hero to zero that dominates the chatter in this latest ScoutCast episode.
With Granville struck down by sniffles, Luke aka “D1sable” steps into the breach to join Jonty and Mark to take up the challenge of weighing up the Aguero stand-ins.
The trio also take time to assess two contrasting managerial appointments, greeting Jurgen Klopp’s thrilling heavy metal football, whilst mustering a nod to Big Sam’s bid to produce a Black Cats escape routine.
Thu, 1 October 2015
Forget two fat ladies, in ScoutCast Bingo it’s all about three men with paunches chatting Fantasy Football fortunes, rattling out a few familiar clichés along the way.
Thanks to Numb’s <a href="http://www.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk/comment/11410234">witty community contribution</a>, this week’s episode finds us gripping our dabbers in preparation for mispronunciations, dropped connections and a regular helping of “blimeys”.
Around those fun and games, we tackle the serious matters – assessing the merits of Sergio Aguero, Callum Wilson’s replacements and Mark's range of Christmas jumpers.
All those hard-hitting issues are addressed via another round of community questions, following on from our review of Gameweek 7 as Granville fights the urge to gloat having opened up a 40 point lead.
Thu, 24 September 2015
The time comes when every Fantasy Football manager has to react quickly to douse some fires in their squad. The problem is, Mark's team is currently a blazing inferno, without a disco in sight.
At least that’s Granville’s opinion. Buoyed from seeing his canny capture of Anthony Martial deliver a brace at St Mary’s, the cocky co-host is quick to dish out a whipping to Mark's ailing lineup.
The pair discuss the merits of United’s new teenage sensation as part of another round of community questions, served up once again by Jonty. The three of them also ponder the Chelsea revival, David Silva’s fragile ankles and just how their Fantasy Football managerial styles translate to the dog world: a crunch question that’s been brewing unanswered for many episodes.
Thu, 17 September 2015
What makes a “casual” ScoutCast host? Perhaps one who takes to his bed even after a table topping 60-point return?
Despite bringing in his biggest haul of the season, leaving both Jonty and Mark in his wake, Granville’s man-flu gets the better of him. Not to worry, Luke, aka “D1sable”, drops in to fill his evening slippers, helping steading the ScoutCast ship in prepartion to cross the choppy waters of another community fueled episode.
Luke and Mark look on enviously while Jonty gets dewy eyed about Dimiti Payet’s Monday night returns, before they switch attention to the fortunes of the Fantasy Football Scout crowd, scanning their fortunes in another bout of “Rough with the Smooth”, which this week includes a precautionary tail of a Fantasy Football rage injury.
They round off, as always, with another bout of community questions, assessing the lure of the five-man midfield, strikers and their desperate quest for bonus points and even entertain the idea of making Kolarov our captain. The season could hardly get more bizarre.
Thu, 10 September 2015
An extraordinary ode/death threat to Granville provided the inspiration and backdrop for this week’s Scoutcast.
The poor soul wasn’t sure whether to feel flattered or mildly panicked by a community post like no other.
Recovering from the menacing tribute, Granville joined forces with Jonty and Mark to assess the merits of the deadline day arrivals, before grappling with another round of community questions.
They rinse through the De Bruyne debate, the heavy-hitter slump, briefly consider buying Jonny Evans, before tentatively giving out dating advice – again inspired by the imaginations of you, the community.
Thu, 27 August 2015
It’s Jonty’s time to curry sympathy this week and he’s on the receiving end of a barrage of cyber-bullying from co-host Granville.
Determined to the belittle Jonty’s Wildcard performance following Callum Wilson’s hat-trick, Granville takes to Twitter before roasting him live on air on the ScoutCast. He seems to have totally missed the fact that I too sold on Wilson as part of my own Wildcard; I’m quite happy for Jonty to play Patsy on this one.
Jonty rolls with the virtual punches to join us as we look back on the Gameweek that saw all three of us refresh our squads. We score our Wildcards out of ten, before scanning for community Gameweek tales in “Rough with the Smooth”.
We then take on your questions, as we assess Pedro’s pedigree, the lure of Aleks Kolarov and the merits of a well-rounded squad in the light of the FPL chips.
Thu, 20 August 2015
Tempted into dealing our Wildcards by yet another “mediocre” Gameweek, Granville and Mark go through almost the entire episode before Jonty reveals he’s weakened and gone “active”. It’s a revelation that almost has the pair logging off and reaching for their own panic buttons.
Before that dramatic finale, the trio find salvation via another bout of “rough the smooth”, cheering themselves up with tales of Gameweek totals which dip below even their miserable tallies.
They also take a further round of community questions, forcing Mark to “fess up” on Theo Walcott, while Granville laments Wayne Rooney’s form and the three of them tackle the merits of Mahrez, Ozil and loading up on City assets.
Thu, 13 August 2015
Limping out of the blocks like three flabby Dads at their kids’ Sports Day, Granville, Jonty and myself are in a sheepish mood for the first ScoutCast of the season.
We do our upmost to rouse some enthusiasm for the events of Gameweek 1, buoyed by tales from you, the community and your latest round of finely honed questions, drilling down into the current big dilemmas.
Chelsea and Arsenal’s stuttering start, the strategy surrounding Aguero and Sanchez, plus the top targets ahead of Friday’s 6.45 deadline provide plenty to distract me from the fact that I’d been robbed of a David Silva goal just minutes before coming on air.
Thu, 28 May 2015
On Saturday afternoon, an unsuspecting couple moved into their new Singapore flat next door to a gentleman named Simon March. Twenty-four hours later, after being kept awake by solitary screams of frustration and joy, they were left wondering if they’d made a terrible error.
They needn’t have worried. What they were enduring was simply the extraordinary trials of the Fantasy Premier League’s leader, being tortured by the twists of the final day of the season, as Theo Walcott threatened to trample on his dreams.
As it happened, Walcott’s best efforts were to prove futile - Simon March claimed the FPL crown after spending 14 Gameweeks at the summit. However, it was far from plain sailing.
In tonight’s ScoutCast, Jonty and I talk to Simon and relieve last Sunday’s events and learn how Paul McShane and Sergio Aguero formed an unlikely alliance to steer him to victory.
If you’ve never listened to a ScoutCast before, I recommend you break that trend on this one occasion. It really is worthwhile listening to Simon’s tale to share just how it feels to claim the title on the very final day, whilst taking in his thoughts on they key strategies that helped him along the way.
Fri, 22 May 2015
I can’t deny it – right now my luck is in. Following on from Sadio Mane’s three-minute explosion of points I’m finding it hard to mask my “Smugface” in this week’s ScoutCast episode. You’re advised to stick to the audio version rather than suffer it in full effect via the Google Hangout recording.
Whilst resisting the temptation to revel in my Gameweek 37 glory, I do my best to invite both Granville and Jonty into the conversation to cycle through the ScoutCast regulars. We also tackle another batch of community questions, as you quiz us on final day punts, our Fantasy Football Scout moment of the season and on the state of the Fantasy Premier League game we know and love.
Thu, 14 May 2015
This week’s ScoutCast episode certainly doesn’t lack “Kahunas” but it does go without my nasal tones.
Another bout of man-flu got the better of me this week but, rather than can the episode, I allowed the lunatics to take over the asylum and run this nonsense without me.
Granville and Jonty rise to the occasion, ably abetted by this week’s star guest, Jack Wain – previously number two in the world and still part of the pack giving chase to former guest, Simon March.
Jack makes his appearance just as his gutsy gamble to ignore the sure-fire Sergio Aguero captaincy backfires. Granville and Jonty analyse that brave fall from grace, while quizzing our FPL luminary on the Gameweek 37 double and the great Eden Hazard dilemma, all courtesy of another round of questions from you, the community.
Thu, 7 May 2015
Our latest ScoutCast episode is dedicated to the memory of long-time community member <a href="http://www.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk/2015/05/01/a-tribute-to-simon-humber/">Simon Humber</a>, aka "Absinthe", who sadly passed away last week.
Granville, Jonty and myself pay our respects by going about our business - just as Absinthe would have wanted.
We overcome Granville's late arrival to analyse Gameweek 36, while deflecting the latest bout of community posers that have us assess the likelihood of Chelsea rotation, run the rule over Arsenal assets and lament the demise of Sir Leighton Baines. We also take time out to reflect on our season's biggest errors, while Granville is given the unenviable task of selecting the best Fantasy manager from Jonty and myself - like a sultry temptress choosing between a pair of doting admirers.
Thu, 30 April 2015
Only one FPL manager could withstand a 52-point hit and walk away with a smile on their face. In this week’s ScoutCast episode we tell the extraordinary tale of the FPL champion's “inactive” Wildcard, whilst looking back on Granville’s own, rather more successful squad refresh.
We tackle all the usual regulars, as Jonty arrives armed with another array of quizzical requests from you, the community. We look forward to the Gameweek 37 double Gameweek, assess the role of end of season motivation and recall the moment that Jamie Vardy’s girlfriend turned our world upside down. No really.
Thu, 23 April 2015
It’s not often that we get to spend a portion of the ScoutCast discussing Leicester City’s rich array of Fantasy talent.
That’s how this week’s episode pans out, as Luke aka “D1sable” does his George Boyd act to come off the bench and join myself, Granville and Jonty to discuss the impending double Gameweek.
We tackle the usual ScoutCast regulars, whilst deflecting the latest round of questions from the community, assessing the great Foxes hunt, the Hazard versus Sterling gamble and even how we can possibly eek out a valid target amongst the Hull City squad. Meanwhile, Granville is dreaming of a three-digit bonanza as he joins the world’s number one in activating his belated FPL Wildcard.
Thu, 16 April 2015
Three middle-aged beards collide to talk Fantasy Football. Hipsters? Sadly, as Jonty so rightly points out, we bear a closer resemblance to a trio of David Brents.
A clean-shaven Ryan joins us to complete the quartet and boost the credibility: the Kiwi contributor wakes fresh and ready for action to mull over the Gameweek gone, the week’s transfer bandwagons and to look forward to the weekend’s action.
Around those regulars, we take on the latest bout of quizzing from you, the community. We tackle the potential of the Palace form guys and the unlikely contribution from Hull and Leicester, as we cast an early eye on the looming double Gameweek.
Thu, 9 April 2015
Mark, Granville and Jonty welcomed Fantasy Premier League royalty for this week’s episode, as reigning champion, Tom Fenley, made his belated ScoutCast debut.
Tom joined the trio to talk through his difficult post-championship season, whilst lending his informed view the situation facing the current Fantasy Football Scout league leader, and FPL number one, Simon March, aka “Dufflinks”.
Of course, the boys were also glad to have Tom’s expertise on board to help grapple with the latest round of topics fed to us by the community. Amongst the many issues tackled, they attempt to explain the withering form of Sergio Aguero, discussing the merits or otherwise of an Argentine exit strategy.
Thu, 2 April 2015
When Kevin Anderson’s workmates convinced him to put together a Fantasy Football squad the day before the season kick-off, little did they know that they’d unleashed a monster.
Eight months later, Kevin sits just three points off the top, £30,000 prize, in the Sky Sports game, having never played Fantasy Football. Regardless of the outcome, that’s a debut season to remember.
Kevin was our guest on this week’s live ScoutCast Hangout, joining Granville who made a return from his brief sulk hiatus, and Jonty to complete Tuesday night’s quartet.
We discover how Kevin’s relentless planning and stalking of opponents has helped him scale the ranks to within touching distance of the glittering prize. We also take time to digest the double Gameweek options, previewing the weekend with all the usual haphazard panache.
Thu, 19 March 2015
With Granville sulking on sabbatical, it was left to myself and Jonty and his flourishing facial hair to hold the fort, ably supported by this week’s guest, Luke aka D1sable.
Racking up one of the longest episodes for months, the three of us talk evening footwear, banish seven teams to the Championship and mention Jeffrey Schlupp as much as humanly possible. Despite missing Granville’s secret sauce, we also do our best to serve up the regulars, whilst addressing the quizzing and probing from the Fantasy Football Scout community.
Thu, 12 March 2015
Simon March, aka Dufflinks, has been hanging around these pages since August 2011. A veteran of six Fantasy Premier League seasons, this campaign started more casual than ever, with Simon resigned to snatching the occasional live match from the other side of the world.
By Boxing Day he was fourth in the world and, six week’s ago, he reached the summit. Tonight he sits on top of the FPL world by 30 points with his Wildcard still tucked away in his pocket and the whole Fantasy Football Scout community behind him. No pressure.
With Granville nursing the hangover from a mid-life stag do and another United disappointment, this week’s ScoutCast is dedicated to Simon’s story, as he wakes in the early hours to join Jonty and myself for a special edition.
We overcome countless gremlins to discuss how Simon gets by on rations of four live matches a season, how he can recall every point hit he’s ever taken and how one lucky cat may just hold the secret to his success over the remaining ten Gameweeks.