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R.A. Dickey makes a great target for Stephen Strasburg owners in head-to-head leagues.
Let's move to head-to-head leagues, regardless of size of player pool. The emphasis now falls on winning playoff games.
Stephen Strasburg owners are in much bigger trouble here.
An innings cap only takes Strasburg away from a small fraction of the season in rotisserie leagues, but it can destroy your championship hopes in head-to-head formats. Strasburg's limit will set in right as the fantasy playoffs begin.
How to move forward depends on where your team is at in the standings.
Deal your ace now if you are a lock for the playoffs. Your main priority is stacking your team for a postseason run. Strasburg is no good to you if he's sitting in the dugout during the last few weeks of the season. Target players with favorable schedules during your league's playoff slate, even if you clearly lose the trade in terms of overall value.
Your job is much trickier if you still have work to do to make the postseason cut. You can't just take any deal because your team still needs to compete for well over a month.
Trading Strasburg is still important, but not quite as urgent. Making the playoffs doesn't do you any good if you can't compete then. Target players that can help you now and later.
In both cases, R.A. Dickey is likely your best bet.
He really shouldn't be on the block in any league, but his recent struggles may give you a window of opportunity. Failing to post a quality start in three of five outings since the All-Star break may make his current owners nervous.
Dickey does not return equal value in a deal straight up for Strasburg. He doesn't need to in a head-to-head league. All you care about is match ups.
Here is the New York Mets' schedule, in order, for the rest of the season: @Ari, @SF, @SD, Mia, Atl, @Cin, @Was, Col, Hou, @Phi, @Mia, @Stl, Atl, Was, @Mil, Phi, Mia, Pit, @Atl, @Mia.
Only four of those match ups (@Ari, @Cin, Col, @Stl) give me any reason for concern. Atlanta and Washington aren't cushy. Everything else, however, is cake.
Most importantly, all four questionable match ups come before September 10 (right around the earliest Strasburg would sit) when fantasy playoffs start for formats with more than four teams. Semifinals start on September 17 with Philadelphia and Miami followed by Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Miami for championship "week."
That's as good as it gets.
Verdict: Trade Strasburg for whatever you can get, regardless of value, as long as the returning player(s) still help you reach the playoffs and/or win a championship. Relative value does not matter.