Previous Year Recap
2020 was not great for Real Salt Lake. The team struggled to find goals for most of the year and the biggest news of the season was the controversy surrounding former owner Dell Loy Hansen. On the fantasy side, no RSL player earned a three-digit score. In fact, no player even earned 90 points. Veterans disappointed and youth failed to produce. These were not players you wanted on your team, but it was a team you were usually happy to bet against. OH yeah, and Kyle Beckerman retired. /cry
Fantasy Players to Watch
Goalkeeper: We’ll likely see Andrew Putna continue as the starting keeper for RSL. Putna was an average fantasy keeper in 2020 so he’s not someone I’d immediately go for. I’m more interested in the backups, Zach MacMath and David Ochoa who could push for the starting spot. However, before you grab a keeper, you’ll need to be confident in the defense.
Defenders: As far as defenses go, RSL was middle of the road. They didn’t give up as many goals as other trams, but they struggled to offset those with their own scoring. Aaron Herrera was the highest scoring defender in 2020 and Justen Glad or Donny Toia as switcheroo targets. But you’ll likely find better options if 2020 form continues.
Midfielders: One of the biggest disappointments on the season was home field fantasy favorite Albert Rusnak failing to produce his usual level of points. Will he be back in 20201? That’s unclear. After Rusnak, Damir Kreilach would be the next player to keep an eye on. He was one of the better goal scorers in 2020, with 7, but some new additions could see that number fall in 2021.
Forwards: Now this is where the big changes happened. RSL struggles to score in 2020 so they have brought in two forwards who they hope will remedy this in 2021. The first is Former US national team player Pablo Ruiz who is coming off a strong USL season. Ruiz should be the starter for at least a couple of months, until he is joined by Bundesliga goal-scorer Bobby Wood in July.
For me, RSL has the potential to be a solid switcheroo team. The West is strong and I’m not confident that the changes they have made will be enough make it into the top eight. But, if their veteran midfielders can improve on their 2020 form and if their new goal scorers start finding the back of the net, you could find great value in having these players switch in off your bench.