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TNS Sport's Fantasy Football - August

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For the first time ever, a few TNS Sports Writers have decided to battle against each other to see who the ultimate fantasy football expert is.

If you don’t know how to play fantasy football, you have a strict budget to pick a set of players online who you think will perform well in real life. Those players then gain points through various fantasy football rules, for example an assist is +3 points.

For this season we are using Fantasy Premier League, the rules are explained on their website:

https://fantasy.premierleague.com/help/

The League Table

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Currently in 1st place is Taran Dhamrait’s cleverly-named team ‘Can’tThinkOfaName,’ running away with it on 263 points from the first 3 game weeks. His entire preferred backline of Andy Robertson, Benjamin Mendy and Marcos Alonso all feature as the highest-scoring defenders so far, with Alonso the highest-scoring player on 35 points. Mohamed Salah, Lucas Moura and Aleksander Mitrovic also make up the strong core of his team; having all scored highly so far.

Keith Watkins’ ‘When Harry Met Alli’ is the closest challenger so far on 207 points. He also has Alonso and Mendy in his team in addition to the highly-impressive Callum Wilson and Richarlison, despite getting himself sent off in game week 3.

In 3rd with 199 points is Nathan Best’s ‘Beef Mertens,’ who benefitted from strong performances from the English Harry’s: Harry Maguire and Harry Kane.

Currently holding the final Champions League place is myself, with my team ‘It’s Coming Home’ racking up 183 points so far. Alonso has been the stand-out performer for me, whilst other players like Newcastle’s Kenedy unimpressing.

In 5th is sports editor Joe Rindl, with his team ‘Joe’ achieving 175 points.  Alonso, Kane and Mitrovic have scored the highest for him so far.

6th is Ciaran Hanvey’s ‘Delph & Safety’ with 141 points. He has benefitted from the performances of the likes of Kieran Trippier and Sadio Mane but still has the injured Kevin De Bruyne on his bench!

7th place goes to Oliver Thomas’ ‘Ctrl Alt De Laet’ with 136 points. He has a strong front three of Sergio Aguero, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Wilfried Zaha.

Second from bottom is George Mooney’s ‘Arnauto-bitch’ with 128 points, whose strength is in goal and defence with David De Gea, Kyle Walker, Alonso and Maguire.

Currently holding the wooden spoon is Gaurav Chaddah’s ‘Suffolk St Rangers’ with only 109 points. It is a fairly strong team so not sure why he’s struggling, maybe minus points from the likes of Richarlison in game week 3 aren’t helping!

Inside my team

This is how my team looks like after all the August fixtures. I’ve made a few changes to my starting team, but for game week 4 this is how I’ll line up.

I am hoping that De Gea will start to pick up some clean sheets but if he doesn’t, I may have to find a new goalkeeper considering his high price (£6.0 million). I am happy with my defence as I’ve had Alonso in from the start, who has bagged me 35 points so far. Trent Alexander-Arnold is a good price (£5.0 million) considering he’s a starter in a strong Liverpool team and watch out for Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who at just £4.1 million is proving to be a bargain.

Any midfield with Salah is strong, although on the flip side Christian Eriksen has not been performing yet. Up front, Aubameyang has not yet lived up to his hefty price tag of £10.9 million but being an Arsenal fan, I remain hopeful. Aguero has a tasty run of fixtures coming up and as captain will score me double points at home to Newcastle.

Tactically, my bench is made up of cheap starters to save money for elsewhere.

Players to buy in September

These are some players you might want to consider for the month of September to push yourself up your league table:

Goalkeeper – Jordan Pickford (Everton) £5.0 million

Pickford has three home fixtures against Huddersfield, West Ham and Fulham and an away trip to Arsenal coming up. He is favourable to keep clean sheets in the home games and for the game against Arsenal, he gives the option of being rotated to the bench for your other goalkeeper.

Defender – Marcos Alonso (Chelsea) £6.7 million

Expensive but worth every penny, Alonso is the highest-scoring player so far. Chelsea have two home fixtures in Bournemouth and Cardiff coming up before a trip to West Ham and a home tie against Liverpool. He is a threat in both boxes and should score highly again, especially in his first two fixtures.

Midfielder – Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace) £6.4 million

The Serbian takes free-kicks and penalties for Palace and scored a league-high penalty total last season. Palace face Southampton and Newcastle at home as well as Huddersfield and Bournemouth away, providing decent fixtures to score points, especially with the form of Zaha and the number of set-pieces he wins.

Striker – Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) £11.3 million

Aguero is expensive but like Alonso he will guarantee you points through his goalscoring record. City face Newcastle, Fulham and Brighton at home in addition to an away trip to Cardiff, all fixtures the Argentinian will likely score In.

So, who’s going to win the first ever TNS Fantasy Football competition, and who will finish bottom of the table? Or, if you’re not interested in that, who has the best team name?

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