Previous Year Recap
If you loved chaos and unpredictable narratives, the 2020 Colorado Rapids were for you. The Pids crashed out of the MLS is Back tournament after winning the first two games at the start of the year. They struggled when the regular season resumed in August but rounded into form with resolute defending, set pieces, and timely goals from role players.
A COVID-19 outbreak saw the team go a month without playing a game, with five matches outright canceled. After losing the first two games back, the Rapids got wins against Seattle and Portland to make the playoffs. The playoff game proved to be a disappointment, as Colorado’s inexperience showed in a 3-0 loss at Minnesota United.
Fantasy Players to Watch
Goalkeeper: William Yarbrough is the favorite to start after making the permanent move to the club in February. If not, it will be Clint Irwin. Either will be a decent economical option at goalkeeper. They’ve proven to be good shot stoppers and they’ll be playing in front of one of the best backlines in the Western Conference. Defensive bonuses and clean sheets will happen.
Defenders: The starting back four will be easy to predict, injuries and three games in a week notwithstanding. Lalas Abubakar, Danny Wilson, and Keegan Rosenberry will start most matches. Sam Vines will too at left back, sans international duty. Drew Moor will get the most minutes of the non-starters. Look for the center backs to rack up CBI numbers, yellow cards, and be targets on set pieces. The fullbacks, especially Sammy Dimes will be getting attacking bonuses. If this team is getting clean sheets and scoring on set pieces, Fantasy owners should have at least one Rapids defender in their lineup regularly.
Midfielders: More so than the backline, I could write down the midfield starters in sharpie right now. Jack Price will captain the team and take most corners. He’ll be getting passing and assist bonuses. Cole Bassett could lead the team again in combined G+A, especially since he won’t be at the Olympics (*pause to die inside a little more*). Kellyn Acosta will play between them when not with the national team. If any of them are out, the backup probably won’t be worth playing in Fantasy. If you want a midfielder who’s guaranteed to get you 5-8 points and cost less than $9 million, Bassett, Price, or Acosta will be great options.
Forwards: This is where things get unpredictable. Other than Younes Namli, I can’t see any wingers or forwards starting and playing 90 minutes regularly. Namli will get a lot of service. He and Michael Barrios will create chances when playing together. I’m just not sure how often that will be given how Robin Fraser likes to sub wingers more than other position. Diego Rubio and Andre Shinyashiki won’t be scoring enough to warrant starting them on your Fantasy team. Namli and Barrios would be bargains at $8 million. I’d wait and see who plays regularly before starting anyone else, Jonathan Lewis included.
Like the real-life expectations for the Rapids, they are dark horse diamonds in the rough. This team does not have a Carlos Vela or Josef Martinez. But when they are playing well, they will have a defender and midfielder worth having in Fantasy. There will be budget options for a Switcheroo. They should be the set piece kings of MLS again, so Price should be on your radar, especially for DGWs. The attacking players are an uncertainty since the team will be scoring by committee.