Fantasy Sports

Fantasy Sports Lingo: All the Words and Phrases You’ll Ever Need to Know


Whether you’re a long-time DFS devotee or an unseasoned newcomer, chances are you’ll still be coming across terms and phrases that you don’t understand on a daily basis. The lingo of the DFS community is diverse, as well as a source of fascination that has even attracted the attention of the academic community.

Once a lingo starts to attract the eggheads, you know it’s time to create a guide so that laypeople can keep up. While there are too many fantasy sports terms to list here in their entirety, there is a smaller set of words and phrases that you are more likely to encounter on a regular basis. Here are the essential bits of DFS lingo that any player needs to know.

Auction Draft

This is the essential component of virtually all fantasy sports leagues. The auction draft is the process by which owners bid for players to add to their team, using however much-predetermined money they have to spend (their ‘cap’). Many DFS players prefer the auction system as it means that everyone has access to premium players, rather than the lucky few who get an early pick.

Average Draft Position (ADP)

This is something that is always worth monitoring when selecting your players. The ADP is compiled using data from all of the different ongoing drafts to give an average number of people who are selecting or bidding for a player at one time. This gives you an idea of how popular a player is and what their relative value should be.


This one is pretty obvious. It’s the amount of money you have to play with and invest in your fantasy sport of choice. It’s the term of choice used by the two main fantasy sports platforms, FanDuel and DraftKings, meaning that it is definitely worth committing to memory.


Similar to ‘real’ sports, the bench consists of the players who are not currently in the game. More specifically, they are the players that are not a part of your starting lineup on a particular week, meaning that they are not collecting any points.


A breakout is a term used to describe a player who suddenly jumps from an average ranking to a great one. Usually, a breakout player will rapidly accrue value and become hugely in-demand.


Collusion occurs when two separate coaches decide to work together to attempt to win a league. The jury is out on the ethics of this, but it is a widespread practice with all DFS leagues.

Cheat Sheets

These are the full lists of pre-ranked players that display their overall rankings and positions. These are released daily and are a vital resource for committed DFS participants.

Fantasy Formula

This is a basic formula used to evaluate a player’s worth and potential. When participating in real-money online betting on fantasy football or horse racing, for example, this formula can help you calculate a team’s chance of success and ensure you wager wisely. Put simply, the formula is a combination of a player’s skill plus opportunity.

Free Agent

This term is used to describe any player that is currently not on any fantasy rosters in your particular league.


A freeroll can be used to describe any daily fantasy league that is completely free-of-charge to enter but still offers cash prizes to all participants. It’s a great way to get your bankroll up as well as build your fantasy sports skillset.

Overall Points

While not all fantasy leagues use overall points, it is definitely a term worth knowing. Essentially, overall points is a way of calculating the winner of a league by taking into account the total number of points scored by each individual franchise during a season.


The owner is the boss. In DFS, the owner is whichever individual has overall responsibility for a particular franchise or team with a fantasy sports league.

Now that you know the essential terms, you’re ready to play fantasy sports like a pro. Make sure to keep checking our updated DFS guides for all of the latest lingo!

About Andy Stitzer

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