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Monday, August 15, 2011
FC Manager: USA preview -- Segment 3, Week 3 preview

By Travis Clark
Special to ESPN.com

The CONCACAF Champions League is finally here, and for five MLS teams, the impact will be profound.

Over the next few months, five squads -- FC Dallas, Colorado Rapids, Los Angeles Galaxy, Toronto FC and Seattle Sounders -- will all contend with six extra games of the group stages, and it's certainly going to shake things up as far as MLS fantasy goes.

The implications for regular season games will be profound, as coaches juggle playing time and might give some bigger names a chance to rest in league play.

So stay tuned with the latest news, and don't become over reliant on players who may become weary over the course of the season. Here's a look at some of the best options for this week.

Impact Players

Dwayne De Rosario, MF, D.C. United, 7.3 market price (@CHI, @KC): His move to D.C. has been a revelation, as De Rosario seems to enjoy carrying the bulk of the offensive load. He'll got two cracks at relatively weak defenses this week.

Chad Marshall, D, Columbus Crew, 7.0 (PHI): Like clockwork, Marshall is once again immense in the Crew defense. While he never gets the press for it, he's a viable fantasy option as the Union sort out their new-look attack.

Dane Richards, MF, New York Red Bulls, 7.7 (@NWE): It's certainly not business as usual for the Red Bulls, as they remain in a bit of a funk and must now contend with the possibility of missing out on the playoffs.

Alejandro Moreno, F, Chivas USA, 7.0 (@CLR): After missing a large chunk of the season for Copa American duty, Moreno returned two weeks ago to score a brace. He'll have his hands full against a tough Colorado defense, but getting a goal or an assist is a strong possibility.

Kevin Hartman, GK, FC Dallas, 7.1 (SEA): Time and time again, Hartman comes to the rescue of FC Dallas. One of many players on double duty this week (including a Champions League game against Pumas UMAM), the heat of Dallas will be a challenge for Seattle to overcome, and Hartman could capitalize with a shutout.

Value Buys

Andrew Hainault, D, Houston Dynamo, 5.3 (@NWE, RSL): Last weekend was a good performance and win for Houston. One of their anchors at the back is Hainault, who can also provide points from a set piece. He should play the full 90 in both games this week.

Chris Pontius, F, D.C. United, 6.1 (@CHI, @KC): Enjoying a breakout season after enduring a hamstring issue last year, Pontius scored twice against Vancouver and is one of the most dangerous attacking wingers in the league. Look for him to be among the goals again this weekend.

Omar Gonzalez, D, LA Galaxy, 6.4 (SAN): The towering defender is a menace along LA's back line, recovering and coping nicely with a broken nose. Visiting San Jose is in shambles at the moment, and prime for a clean sheet at the Home Depot Center.

Benny Feilhaber, MF, New England Revolution, 6.2 (HOU, NWY): While Feilhaber's return to the U.S. came with some fan fare, it hasn't helped the Revolution's fortunes. He scored a cracker of a goal last weekend, but little else went right for New England. Two games at home will help his numbers, at the very least.

Teal Bunbury, F, Sporting KC, 4.9 (POR, DCU): After a promising rookie season, Bunbury's second year hasn't been up to the somewhat high expectations. He's got on the score sheet the last couple of games thanks to some scrappy goals, and will get two more chances at home to continue to turn things around.

Avoid

Omar Bravo (F, Sporting KC) has to sit out the mid-week game against Portland because of his red card in the last outing. … Fredy Montero (F, Seattle Sounders) has struggled to find the net and it might be better to shy away as he copes with the CONCACAF Champions League. … After struggling with an injury, it's unclear whether or not Stefan Frei (GK, Toronto) will be back this weekend for league play.

Captain's Pick

He wears the captain's armband for D.C. from time-to-time and has been racking up points like a madman, so United midfielder Dwayne De Rosario will continue to put the hurt on Eastern Conference opposition this week.

Travis Clark is a fantasy soccer writer for ESPN.com. You can follow him on Twitter @travismclark.