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Ball Watching: Reviewing Gameweek 9

Mike Gottlieb

Mike Gottlieb is a podcast host and contributing writer at He is a supporter of the Colorado Avalanche, San Diego Chargers, and Chelsea FC. He also understands how random that is.

I. Manchester United are a Mess

Even though they salvaged a draw against Chelsea on Sunday, their fantasy-relevance is a mess. Falcao was ranked in our weekly rankings and didn't even feature, Angel di Maria looked threatening but didn't get on the score sheet, and even though Marouane Fellaini has had a goal and an assist in his last two games, Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney's imminent returns cloud the afro'd Belgian's future status. This is going to be discussed more in the podcast this week, but I would only feel comfortable starting di Maria moving forward. No one else is worth the rotation risk.

II. Sadio is the Mane

Sadio Mane is my new obsession. Jump on the train now, or else you might miss it. Mane's pace has led to goals in two straight (even though the one against Sunderland has been stripped by the dubious goals committee). It is very clear that he is going to feature opposite Dusan Tadic in the midfield and make runs off the in-form Graziano Pelle. All three are must owns in year-long fantasy formats.

III. Jovetic > Dzeko

Stevan Jovetic will be more valuable than Edin Dzeko going forward. The Bosnian offers Man City more versatility being able to drop into the midfield and I see the Citizens playing more one-striker going forward. While his value is lower than Dzeko's I'd consider picking him up now.

IV. Aaron Cresswell has Assists in Two-Straight Games

The low-priced West Ham defender is starting to come good on our preseason love. With Andy Carroll close to returning, that would leave three towering options for the young full back to pick up even more assists.

V. Wilfried Zaha is on My Watch List.

The young winger started this week and will hopefully continue to do so because he looked dangerous against West Brom. Unfortunately, Zaha's involvement came at the price of fellow watch-list member Jason Puncheon. Whoever starts is worth a gamble if they classify as midfielders.

VI. Buying Liverpool

I'm buying as much Liverpool stock as possible today. The Reds' short-term fixture list includes the likes of Newcastle, Stoke City, Crystal Palace, Leicester City, and Sunderland. Not a world-beater among them. Whether it's Fabio Borini, Daniel Sturridge (thigh), Mario Balotelli, Raheem Sterling, or whoever starting up front, I want as many of them as I can and ride this fixture list to its fruition.

VII. Alexis is Ready

I've mentioned this before, but the adjustment period is over for Alexis Sanchez. He's the only Arsenal player I feel comfortable starting every week and is priced as such in most formats.