This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Soccer series.
Lionel Messi, BAR v. LIV (€32): There aren't many reasons to fade Messi. In fact, he'd probably still be in my lineup if he were €40. He's made the scoresheet in every home start this season and bagged a brace against Man United last UCL match. Messi will also be fully rested having played just 74 minutes in the last two league matches. He has the best odds to score and averages more shots on goal (3.01) and chances created (3.15) than anyone else on the slate. If this match was at Anfield, there'd be some reason to doubt him, but Liverpool's back line has rarely held away clean sheets against top competition, and they lost all three away matches in the group stage.
Fernando Llorente, TOT v. AJA (€15): The main reason you can spend on Messi is because Llorente is half his price and has the best odds to score of anyone not on Barcelona. Sure, his floor is zero, but would you rather get 30 points from Messi and zero from Llorente, or 10 points from both Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez? Those may be extreme examples, but that's been the case numerous times this season. Llorente allows you to spend on Messi, but he also has decent odds to score.
Luis Suarez, BAR v. LIV (€21): It may not be the easiest strategy, but you can still compose a reasonable lineup with both Messi and Suarez. That way, you'll undoubtedly make the scoresheet if for some reason Messi doesn't. While Suarez has yet to score in the Champions League this season, he's still a steal with others like Roberto Firmino at the same price and Dembele more expensive. Even if Suarez doesn't make the scoresheet, his floor has been around five points, averaging 4.25 shots and 2.63 fouls drawn per 90 minutes in UCL.
Hakim Ziyech, AJA v. TOT (€27): Ziyech is the best play on the slate behind Messi, though Tottenham fans may disagree. He's produced Messi-like numbers in the Champions League, averaging 5.35 shots (2.12 on target), 2.00 chances created and 4.90 crosses per 90 minutes, and he scored at least 10 fantasy points in all six matches against Juventus, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. Even if Ajax are held scoreless, he should still have the best floor as long as Tottenham don't play their best match of the season. Tottenham lost at home to West Ham over the weekend and Ajax should get opportunities to capitalize. Spending €29 on Philippe Coutinho is like playing with fire since he probably won't go more than 80 minutes and his floor is around five points.
Lucas Moura, TOT v. AJA (€19): Moura is mostly a GPP play because there's a chance he finishes with one shot and three fantasy points. Since bagging a hat trick against Huddersfield, he hasn't done anything positive. However, I wouldn't mind taking a chance on him because someone will have to step up with both Harry Kane (ankle) and Son Heung-Min (suspension) out. Christian Eriksen (€23) has the better floor and is worth the play if you have the money, but Moura is worth the gamble.
Frenkie de Jong, AJA v. TOT (€15): In the opposite mold of Moura, de Jong is a floor play. He doesn't cost anything, but should put in five fantasy points, which is sometimes all you need from a third or fourth midfielder with Messi on the roster. He's completed at least 48 passes in every UCL match, which boosts his floor that usually survives on tackles and interceptions. I'm staying away from the defensive Liverpool options since all of their floors will be lower than usual with fewer completed passes. If Victor Wanyama (€13) starts, he's in the same conversation as de Jong, and slightly cheaper.
Kieran Trippier, TOT v. AJA (€17): There's no reason to spend on Jordi Alba (€20) when Trippier is a few euros cheaper. While Alba completes more passes, Trippier does a little more of everything else, which is why their floors are fairly even and both have almost the same odds for a clean sheet. In the Man City matches, Trippier still hit at least six fantasy points in both, and that number usually jumps to eight or nine against teams that don't control the ball as much. Throw in upside from set pieces and crosses and Trippier will be a popular defender at a decent rate.
Sergi Roberto, BAR v. LIV (€12): It's unknown who will start for Barcelona, but both Nelson Semedo and Roberto are worthy options for the price. Semedo has started the last three league matches at right-back, but Roberto started the last UCL game. Either way, both are cheap and should be popular plays, with a clean sheet the main selling point. Roberto isn't guaranteed to play a full 90 and Semedo has a lower floor, but they allow you to spend on the likes of Messi and Ziyech. The hope at this price is that they can complete enough passes and make enough tackles to reach five fantasy points. Fortunately, Liverpool have allowed the third-most interceptions and fourth-most tackles in the Premier League.
Joel Matip, LIV v. BAR (€14): Similar to the midfielders, Matip won't reach his usual floor due to fewer completed passes, but that's still around five fantasy points because he averages 1.20 tackles won and 2.20 interceptions per 90 minutes in the Champions League. He should get plenty of work at Camp Nou because Barcelona have allowed the most tackles and second-most interceptions in La Liga. Whether it's Matip or Dejan Lovren in the starting XI, both are solid value plays who will get you points no matter what happens in the match.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen, BAR v. LIV (€18): ter Stegen doesn't cost much more than the others and I'm comfortable spending on him with the best odds to win and secure a clean sheet. Liverpool are on a nice run and scoring multiple goals per match, but I'd rather trust the home team, especially since Barcelona have allowed just one goal in their last five at Camp Nou in all competitions. If you have too many Liverpool field players in your lineup, Hugo Lloris (€16) is also on the table. Alisson Becker (€14) is the GPP route and only advisable if you fade Messi.