This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.
Saturday's Showdown at DraftKings features a favored Chelsea hosting Manchester United. The fitness of Chelsea's Conor Gallagher ($7,800) is going to be one of the focal points of how to approach this slate, at least in cash games. Gallagher was subbed off early Wednesday after 20 minutes due to illness and manager Graham Potter mentioned in his recent press conference that he trained with the team Friday. It seems like he is available to start, and his presence and likely set-piece role has an impact on Mason Mount's ($10,400) floor and ceiling.
12:30 pm: Chelsea vs. Manchester United
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CASH GAME STRATEGY
Mount is going to be a popular captain option in cash, but his floor is not as certain if Gallagher is in and taking corners. I think you play both of them in this situation, but Mount is a much stronger play if Gallagher is out. While there is a chance Chelsea line up in a back four, Ben Chilwell ($8,000) will be in play if he starts at left wing-back and will probably take corners from that side, as well. I don't think Raheem Sterling ($9,200) is much of a cash play at his price (he has also played wing-back at times), but I found it noteworthy that he took two corners against Brentford on Wednesday. As usual, it's difficult to count on anyone at Chelsea for set pieces.
On the Manchester United side, game-log watchers are going to be all over Bruno Fernandes ($9,400). He has been outstanding lately but has benefitted from being on corners and set pieces during Christian Eriksen's ($9600) recent absences due to illness. If they both start, I expect to see Eriksen back on set pieces. I think you want to play one of them in cash games. I lean towards Eriksen, but I don't think it's a simple decision. Fernandes plays more forward in the center of United's attack, so he can hit his floor on open-play value, while Eriksen relies more on United earning corners and set pieces.
I think the Manchester United full-backs Luke Shaw ($6,200) and Diogo Dalot ($5,800) are the best mid-range options. Dalot took four shots against Tottenham on Wednesday and Luke Shaw had a shot on target and created two chances. United certainly won't enjoy as much possession against Chelsea as they did against Spurs, but it's promising to see that both are willing to get involved in the attacking phase when United are playing well.
There will be some value on Chelsea depending on their starting XI. Ruben Loftus-Cheek ($4,600) is a solid option if he plays right wing-back, but he is a rotation risk having played 90 minutes the past two matches. If Mateo Kovacic ($3,200) starts, he only needs a couple shots to pay off that price tag. Finally, Jorginho ($3,600) seems particularly cheap, especially since he converted a penalty last week against Milan in the Champions League. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ($8,200) was on the pitch when this happened, so it seems like Jorginho is still the preferred penalty taker and that role at his price makes him viable as a cash-game punt.
I think cash-game lineups are going to feature at least two high-priced Chelsea players, one in the captain spot, and at least one of Fernandes or Eriksen. From there, you'll have to take your pick of Shaw, Dalot or the available punt options above. In showdowns where there aren't as many clear-cut floor plays, you'll often see more goal dependent players like Marcus Rashford ($7,400) or Aubameyang get played frequently in double-ups. I'm probably only considering that route if Gallagher doesn't start, so we'll have to be ready to react to the team news when it comes out.
Using the cash template above as a starting point, it's easy to make a couple pivots and create some viable GPP lineups based on Chelsea winning. I expect to see plenty of Aubameyang and Sterling in tournaments for this reason. With clean sheet odds around 30 percent, I also expect that 1-0 constructions featuring Chelsea will be utilized, as well. These are all reasonable routes to take. For me, the status of Gallagher is extremely important as I weigh the tournament strategies I want to implement. If he doesn't play, Mount has access to a ceiling I'll be interested in and I'll be more likely to play Chelsea-centric lineups. If Gallagher starts, I think both hurt each other's floor and ceiling but will still be highly rostered in tournaments. At that point, I think it makes sense to find lineups that can take advantage of them underperforming.
In that spirit, while Antony ($10,800) is probably too expensive for cash games, I think he is a fantastic play in tournaments. He can rack up crosses and has taken three or more shots in four of his five Premier League appearances this season. It's easy to afford him if you don't play Mount and his price will keep him from becoming too popular.
I am also interested in 1-0 constructions where United manage to keep a clean sheet away from home. While this isn't a likely outcome, I think the payoffs are worth it for the times that game script works out. United don't have a concentrated offense with respect to goals, with Antony, Fernandes, Rashford and Jadon Sancho ($6,800) all carrying reasonable anytime goalscoring odds. This will keep each of their percentages in check. I think this makes a good case for captaining David de Gea ($5,600), as his salary savings will allow you to easily fit in three of the attackers above, so you'll have more shots at rostering the United goal scorer. If no individual player's score gets out of hand, lineups with de Gea captain can still win tournaments in these situations.
Finally, if Jorginho starts, I think he has a chance to be an extremely important player in GPPs. I mentioned above that it seems like he still has penalty duties and his salary makes it possible to play five high-end attackers for Chelsea or United. If this match features three or four goals but no one scores a brace, Jorginho can keep up with the best scorers on the slate with a penalty. If you are feeling particularly brave, you can even consider a 1-0 construction where Jorginho scores a penalty and Chelsea keep a clean sheet. I think I would prefer to put him in lineups with Kepa Arrizabalaga ($7,200) as a captain if I want to take that route.