I'll go into this year's auction with Gore and Portis as two of my keepers. In both cases, there appears to be a clear handcuff. I don't usually like to give up two roster spots to handcuffs, but Betts and Foster both should be capable of carrying the load in case they're needed.
Would you advise me to pick up both of these guys?
depends on what round you can snag these guys really. last year, betts was going insanely high and i have a feeling there still might be some people on his wagon this year. im thinking he may go a bit high for my tastes. seeing that im a big portis fan... (he is less injury prone than most backs in the nfl....consistent production...no real threat of job loss)... im not one to reach too much for betts because i see less chance of him getting a shot than some other backups that can be had later. could he be a stud if portis went down? sure. but relative to where i think he will get drafted i dont think he is good value. of course i havent seen that many drafts yet, so its hard for me to say exactly where betts goes...its purely speculation that he will go relatively high. last season he was getting drafted before starting RBs on other teams. ( i realize portis' injury had some to do with it, but there were many discussions on the fact that betts was the real deal and would basically take work from portis regardless of injury)
foster on the other hand i think a lot of people will sleep on. he is still tagged as injury prone and people didnt even want to draft him when he was the starter on a team built around a running game. add to that the fact that he is in a questionable offense, and you basically have a guy that i believe will fall much later than betts, but i feel could put up similiar numbers if he gets a shot. its also noteworthy that foster played every game last season.
so given what i stated, i think foster is going to be a much better value, but if you can get both of these guys later in your draft i say grab em for sure. they are two of the better cuffs out there this year.
My only note is that I do auctions, not drafts. So there's no worry about when they'll go, just how much they'll cost. But I'm thinking like you are- Betts will cost more than Foster. But based on my league's history, I imagine I'll only need $5 out of my $150 cap to get both.
The thing I like to lok at with handcuffs is this:
Will the handcuff perform on a similar or better level than another RB on my roster? For example - you're starting with Gore and Portis. You're going to get an RB3 and RB4 for your team. Say you draft (I'm just throwing names out here) Fred Taylor and Deuce McAllister as your RB3 and RB4. Who's going to be the better play? Betts/Foster or Taylor/Mcallister.
In my opinion, I would rather use a roster spot on a player who I KNOW is going to play and get touches (Deuce, for example) than a player who might get touches if someone gets hurt. I feel like I am almost wasting a roster spot with handcuffs alot.
Handcuffs are tricky. The problem with them is that you never want the handcuffs to be in your fantasy lineup, because that means your stud went down, so you are essentially spending money or draft picks on guys that you don't want. I think that when you acquire a player, you should want them to be in the lineup at some point during the year. It's the opportunity cost of holding the handcuff instead of someone else that hurts you with handcuffs. For instance, I'm probably not going to draft a backup QB to put behind Brees in my keeper league this year, because that backup will just sit on the bench until week 9 (Brees' bye), and I want that roster spot available for WW flyers in the first few weeks of the season. There is the injury risk to worry about, but if Brees goes down, odds are pretty good that my season is sunk anyway.
Now if you have a deep roster, then there's probably not a huge risk of that opportunity cost hurting you, because you can probably still work things out where you have the two starters, their handcuffs, and 2-3 other RBs on the bench. But if you have less than 20 roster spots, I wouldn't go after both of them, and I might not go after either of them. I like Betts better than Foster because I think he is a more consistent player when he is in the game, and I think the WAS run game will be better than SF.
Betts is probably the #1 handcuff to have in the league. We all saw what he did when Portis went out two seasons ago. And people are still feeling the burn of wasting their mid round pick on this guy last season when they bought the hype that Portis was really hurt and it would be RBBC for Betts as a worst case scenario. Obviously that wasn't the case and as a result I think Betts will come fairly cheap this year.