This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Soccer series.
- 3:00 p.m: Manchester United v. Barcelona
- 3:00 p.m: Ajax v. Juventus
Lionel Messi, BAR at MUN (€33): The price for Messi is far from low, but it's tough to argue there is a more reliable player on the slate. He comes in with a remarkable 13 goals on 47 shots (25 on target) in his last eight games, including four multi-goal outings, and he's taken at least five shots in seven of those games. Barcelona have struggled playing away during the latter stages of the Champions League over the past two years, but make no mistake, Messi can still perform exceptionally well even if Barca don't get a result (that being said, they are favored to win).
Federico Bernardeschi, JUV at AJA (€14): Were you expecting Cristiano Ronaldo (€33) to be the Juventus forward worth considering? There's no denying that Ronaldo can have a massive impact on this slate, but Messi's opportunity and recent play (Ronaldo has missed the past four games because of injury) puts him ahead for me. That doesn't mean you can't play them together – in fact, it might be a popular strategy – but you need to find plenty of values elsewhere. One of those happens to be Bernardeschi, whose role on set pieces for Juventus has helped him to 15 accurate crosses in his last seven starts, finishing with at least two five times in that span. It also doesn't hurt that he took 22 shots, drew 19 fouls and created 11 chances in that span, giving him an excellent floor for a favored side.
Marcus Rashford, MUN v. BAR (€19): The contrarian play will definitely be to focus on Manchester United, who have gotten a number of excellent results in the Champions League with lineups that don't always seem that great to start. Rashford is expected to lead the line, and while Barcelona are favored at Old Trafford, they are far from a lock-tight defense. Anthony Martial (€19) could do some damage as well, and while they are unlikely to have monster games, low-owned goals are always nice to have.
Hakim Ziyech, AJA v. JUV (€25): It doesn't get much tougher than facing Juventus, but Ziyech has shown time and time again that he can succeed against almost any opponent, including goals in both legs against Real Madrid in the round of 16. Those goals helped extend his double-digit fantasy-point streak to six Champions League games, and he comes into Wednesday's match with more UCL shots than anyone but Ronaldo and more shots on target than anyone but Messi and Robert Lewandowski. Ajax need to get a result in the first leg because doing so in Turin will be a really tough task, and there's little doubt that Ziyech will be involved in whatever Ajax can get going. If you want to pile on with the Ajax midfielders, Frenkie de Jong (€15) doesn't have the same attacking upside but has still scored at least 5.00 fantasy points in four of seven UCL starts this season.
Arturo Vidal, BAR at MUN (€10): Getting a minimum-priced midfielder for a favorite will be very helpful in the other spots, though Vidal's place in the starting XI isn't guaranteed. He's not a significant attacker, but he does more than enough defensive work to make him very viable at his price, as he comes in with at least 8.50 fantasy points in five of his last seven starts, with his two coming up short because he played 63 and 45 minutes, respectively. The Barcelona attack is Messi and Luis Suarez (€22, forward), so don't expect a huge breakout from Vidal, but pretty much anything at this price will be helpful. If you think Barcelona will have a ton of possession, which isn't crazy to think because they always do, adding Arthur (€13) makes sense, as does Sergio Busquets (€15).
Paul Pogba, MUN v. BAR (€23): Given the forwards to pay up for, ownership on Pogba shouldn't be that high, especially with his recent play and Manchester United being home underdogs. Nevertheless, there's plenty of magic in Pogba's boots, and if Manchester United get a result Wednesday, it would surprise no one if Pogba was involved, either on his own (he's on penalties) or with Rashford or Martial.
Alex Sandro, JUV at AJA (€10): There could be a number of Juventus defensive stacks Wednesday because they have a number of cheap options and the best clean sheet odds on the slate. Sandro is more of an attacking defender, though he does solid defensive work to help with his floor. His cheap price is a gift that many will take advantage of, a situation that could also apply to Daniele Rugani (€10), who is expected to start in place of the injured Giorgio Chiellini (€19). Juventus' clean sheet odds aren't that great, but two potential defenders at minimum price would certainly help those who want to pay up for Messi and Ronaldo, though Joao Cancelo (€17) has the most upside at the position.
Nelson Semedo, BAR at MUN (€11): While we're on the subject of cheap defenders, Semedo fits the mold quite well since he's only €1 over the minimum and expected to start at right-back for Barcelona, who have the highest win odds on the slate. He doesn't do nearly as much as teammate Jordi Alba (€20), but that's why he's so much cheaper. If Semedo doesn't get the start because Sergi Roberto (€12) does instead, the price change isn't nearly big enough to force you to adjust significantly.
David de Gea, MUN v. BAR (€13): If you think both games will be close, with goals on both sides, it makes more sense to save the €5 for de Gea, who arguably has the highest save upside on the slate. Every other goalkeeper is €18, and while there are value plays at each position that would allow you to reach that level, you're depending on a win and clean sheet to make that worth it. Wojciech Szczesny has the second-highest win and highest clean sheet odds, while Marc-Andre ter Stegen has the highest win odds but second-highest clean sheet chances.