(Becoming a goat) has seemed to become the new strategy (although one could argue it started in S4 with Brian taking his goat, it wasn't quite as obvious to the audience), don't necessarily play to win, but play to get yourself $100,000 in second place, and the producers appear to be encouraging that strategy by the casting (although it backfired a bit when Nanoinka quit and Brandon pretty much gave up too).
I don't agree, really. I can't think of anybody whose strategy it's been to come second or third by being a goat. A lot of the people who viewers see as goats see themselves as masterminds/superstars: Russell, Coach, Russell, etc. You could argue that Phillip Sheppard played for second place against Rob...but I would argue that the whole point of keeping Rob around was that they all thought, "Oh, nobody would ever give the million to someone who's played four times!" Phil is the closest we've come to "goat as a strategy for coming in second", and even he was playing to win.
And a lot of the time, love them or hate them, modern Survivor "goats" are actually the power players who determine the boot order and decide who they'll take to the end. If Russell had decided to boot Sandra instead of Danielle or Jerri, well, then, Danielle or Jerri would have a million dollars right now. That makes him a jerk who nobody on the jury liked, but wasn't Sandra's "goat" in the way that Clay was Brian's. Sandra had nothing to do with Russell staying in the game; just the opposite, he kept her in it. If you run the game, you're not a "goat". I agree that they're casting way too many Power Goats these days---every post-Gabon season has been dominated by one, although one (Rob) bizarrely won, one (Original Coach) didn't get to FTC, and two (Naonka, Colton) quit early.
If anything, I think we need more Clay-style goats. Excluding All-Stars, we had three goats in a row - Clay, Matt, Lill, and arguably Twila - and since then, the only Clay-style "good players keep this person around to beat them" have been Dreamz and maybe FvF Amanda (who wouldn't want to do FTC with her?)