Telegraph Fantasy Football 19/20 tips: Five things we learned in Week One

VAR ruled out goals for Manchester City against West Ham.
VAR ruled out goals for Manchester City against West Ham. Credit: PA/Adam Davy

The 2019/20 edition of Telegraph Fantasy Football is now underway, as is the race to win more than £15,000 in cash prizes.

Kevin Cleary is the early pace-setter. His team, Lyon gilf 5, chalked up 119 TFF points in the opening 10 matches, putting him a single point clear of Steve O'Donnell's AngelsWithDirtyLaces in second.

As for the team of the week - which you can see in full below - a 4-3-3 formation proved most effective with a defence including three players from Brighton. How many of these did you have in your starting XI?

The best possible XI within budget for Week 1. Credit: Telegraph Fantasy Football

VAR played a significant role in Manchester City's win against West Ham, ruling out a goal when Sterling was deemed offside and then ordering a retake after Sergio Aguero missed from the spot.

Here's what else we learned in Week One:

1. 18% of managers need a new goalkeeper

Liverpool keeper Alisson has been ruled out "for the next few weeks" with a calf injury he sustained in the season-opening win against Norwich, according to manager Jurgen Klopp.

The Brazil number one went off after just 39 minutes, leaving 18% of all TFF managers with an early transfer dilemma.

Only Ederson (£4.5m) is in more TFF teams than Alisson and Liverpool's second-choice shotstopper Adrian (£3.5m) is likely to see his ownership rise as a result.

But who else is worth your consideration?

Tom Heaton (£3.4m) 

Aston Villa keeper Tom Heaton kept Tottenham at bay for 73 minutes until a late surge from Tanguy Ndombele and Harry Kane.

The Villains have Bournemouth (H), Everton (H), Crystal Palace (A) and West Ham (H) in their next four matches so bringing in Heaton could result in a positive points-return, as well as an additional £1m in budget to play with.

Jordan Pickford (£3.9m)

A slightly more expensive option would be England and Everton number one Jordan Pickford.

He picked up an opening-day clean sheet away to Crystal Palace, making two crucial saves as the Toffees held on with 10 men.

Their next five fixtures are Watford (H), Aston Villa (A), Wolves (H), Bournemouth (A) and Sheffied United (H) so he looks a suitable replacement until Alisson returns from injury.

Mat Ryan (£3.2m)

Brighton recorded an impressive 3-0 win away to Watford on the opening weekend and they now have back-to-back home matches to look forward to against West Ham and Southampton.

Both of those sides were comprehensively beaten, against Manchester City and Burnley respectively, and they produced only three shots on target apiece.

2. Mahrez's magic returns five stars

Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez was the leading point-scorer in Week 1, producing 17 from midfield.

Priced at £4.6m he's a cheaper alternative to Sterling, de Bruyne, David Silva, Bernardo Silva and Leroy Sane, and looks undroppable after producing a key contribution in each of City's five goals against West Ham.

City face Spurs in Week Two, before a run of matches against Bournemouth, Brighton, Norwich and Watford. Mahrez could be a shrewd selection as he currently sits in less than 1% of all teams.

3. Erik Pieters provides the value

A handy tool to keep an eye on throughout the course of the season is the points per million column in the stats centre.

Two names that standout so far are Erik Pieters and Dan Burn.

Pieters started at left-back for Burnley in their 3-0 win against Southampton, earning a clean sheet as well as two key contributions. That resulted in 4.6 points per million. He's priced at £2.8m but faces Arsenal, Wolves and Liverpool in his next three matches.

An even cheaper option in defence is Brighton's Dan Burn. No player is priced less than his tag of just £2m but he started at the heart of Graham Potter's defence and earned a clean sheet away to Watford, rewarding managers with 3.7 points per million.

4. The toughest Golden Boot race ever?

Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane, Mohamed Salah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all found the back of the net in Week 1 which was a dream start for the majority of TFF managers.

Ashley Barnes and Marcus Rashford each scored a brace and there were also goals for Teemu Pukki, Neal Maupay and Billy Sharp for the new Premier League arrivals.

5. Lampard has a huge task on his hands

The start of Frank Lampard's reign as Chelsea manager began in disasterous fashion as the Blues lost 4-0 to Manchester United.

The entire of his side produced only six TFF points between them, a feat only worsened by West Ham's collective -1 against Man City.

Surely things can only get better for the two sides in Week Two.

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Early considerations ahead of Week Two

The One League deadline is approaching

Looking for even more ways to win in the 2019/20 season? Our One League gives managers the chance to compete against fellow rivals but with a limit of one team entry.

To be in with a chance of winning the £1,000 first prize, choose your team wisely and enter it into the One League by 12:30pm this Saturday, August 17.

New improvements are on the way

We're constantly looking to improve your Telegraph Fantasy Football experience. There are a number of improvements being worked on for the new Android app and the new website which you can find out more about here.

Double the odds on the Super Cup

Liverpool and Chelsea go head to head in the Super Cup on Wednesday night - and you can get Double The Odds on your first bet with Grosvenor Sport. Find out more about the offer here. 

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