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Average Draft Position: 57.4 in ESPN leagues, 50.4 in Yahoo! leagues.
Why He's Worth the Risk: Ah, that tricky knuckleball. R.A. Dickey was nothing short of amazing last year, finishing 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 230 strikeouts and a Cy Young Award. In five starts between May 27 and June 18, he didn't give up a run and struck out 52 hitters. At points last year, he was virtually un-hittable, in large part to a knuckleball that can hit 80 mph.
And now he's on a much more talented Toronto Blue Jays team than the New York Mets he played for, meaning his win total might actually be sustainable again this year.
Oh, and you can probably get him in the sixth round. That's right, you can get last year's National League Cy Young winner in the sixth round. Talk about potentially amazing value.
Why He Isn't Worth the Risk: Ah, that unpredictable knuckleball. Hitters never quite know what it will do, but neither do fantasy owners. Yes, Dickey had a 3.28 ERA in 2011 and a 2.84 ERA in 2010, but he had 238 strikeouts total in those two seasons, just eight more than he managed last year, and 19 wins combined.
Now, you should never chase wins—they're too unpredictable—but Dickey's insane jump in strikeouts and his dramatically lowered WHIP (1.05 last year, compared to his previous career-best of 1.19 in 2010) are reasons to question whether or not last year's production is sustainable.
Plus, he is 38 years old and is now pitching in the AL East, which, in recent years, has been the best offensive division in baseball. The risks are plentiful here.
Verdict: I'm hedging my bets with Dickey. There is no way I would risk taking him in the first five rounds, but I think he potentially represents amazing value in the sixth round or later. I don't think there is a chance he comes close to replicating last year's success, but a 3.00 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 175 strikeouts is a realistic projection.
Draft him to be your third starter, not to be an ace. If he blows up, great. If he doesn't, at least you saw it coming and drafted him accordingly.