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Replacement Strategy

With the rash of injuries to important fantasy players so far this season, many fantasy teams have had to decide whether or not to replace the injured superstar.  This isn't a concern in your standard Yahoo!-type leagues as these formats allow transactions up to game time and have a pool of players who are very likely to outperform the injured player over the span of the stay on the disabled list.

This is not the case in AL- and NL-only leagues and those leagues that have more restrictive replacement rules i.e once per week.  In an AL-only, do you replace Joe Mauer if you have weekly transactions? Likely not as the dregs of the back-up catcher world make "barren" seem fecund.

But what if it was Ryan Howard?  or Felix Hernandez?  Can their short-term replacements accumulate as many stats as the hitter or pitcher would in the games his owner missed before re-activating them?

No doubt the fear of Howard returning and hitting three homeruns before you can get him active or Felix Hernadez throwing a complete game one-hitter is what makes the decision difficult, and what often motivates leagues to allow more liberal transaction rules.

However, I believe teams look at the potential loss and disregard what the replacement produces.  If you pick-up a middle reliever and he happens to get a W in the 3.5 weeks that Hernandez was unavailable then you, at worst, breakeven. If you get a HR from Howard's replacement, you will also likely breakeven.  (I'd prefer 2 HRs just to be safe, though.)