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.

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.

Direct download: FFSCoutCast_EP220_Manic.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:22am UTC

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.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP219_Evicted.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:14pm UTC

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.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP218_Three_Kings.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:42pm UTC

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.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP217_Deflated.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:44pm UTC

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