The Fantasy Football Scoutcast

The Fantasy Football Scoutcast

United States

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.

Episodes

Episode Two Hundred and Twenty Six - Beached  

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. 

Episode Two Hundred and Twenty Five - Brutal  

"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.

Episode Two Hundred and Twenty Four - Maths  

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.

Episode Two Hundred and Twenty Three - Comedown  

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.

Episode Two Hundred and Twenty Two - Intense  

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.

Episode Two Hundred and Twenty One - Spurred  

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.

Episode Two Hundred and Twenty - Manic  

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.

Episode Two Hundred and Nineteen - Evicted  

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.

Episode Two Hundred and Eighteen - Three Kings  

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.

Episode Two Hundred and Seventeen - Deflated  

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.

Episode Two Hundred and Sixteen - Confessional  

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.

Episode Two Hundred and Fifteen - Disclaimer  

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.

 

Episode Two Hundred and Fourteen - Smugface  

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.

Episode Two Hundred and Thirteen - Overthinking  

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.

Episode Two Hundred and Twelve - Forearmed  

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.

Episode Two Hundred and Eleven - Beleaguered  

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.

Episode Two Hundred and Ten - Refreshed  

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.

Episode Two Hundred and Nine - Baubles  

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.

Episode Two Hundred and Eight - Shapeshifting  

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.

 

Episode Two Hundred and Seven - Regrets  

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.

 

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