Fantasy Football Glossary

Add

Adding a free-agent player off the waiver wire or through FAAB.

Auction Draft

Owners take turns submitting silent bids on players. These players are put up for auction where the highest silent bid is declared the winner of that player. Each owner is given a team budget (or salary cap) to complete their roster. This format is not as common and takes longer (days or weeks) than a regular draft, while the snake draft order has become the standard way to build a team and can be completed in a day.

ADP (Average draft position)

Stands for Average Draft Position. This term is often used as a tool to gauge the draft stock and value of where players are getting drafted in numerous drafts within numerous fantasy football leagues. This data is compiled by your fantasy football provider.

Breakout

A player who has below average or average projections before the season that transforms into a fantasy football star. Normally these players are drafted high or not drafted at all.

Bust

A player that many analysts have projected to be a great player before the start of the season, yet his performance is less than desirable or completely falls short of early projections.

Bye Week

A bye week is when a team doesn’t play during its 17-week schedule. Keep an eye on the players you are targeting. Too many bye weeks on the same week will make you an easy win.

Cheat Sheet

A prepared list of players ranked in order of fantasy value. When putting together a cheat sheet, be aware of your league’s scoring system and rank your players accordingly.

Comeback Player

A player who returns from a significant injury or suspension, and re-emerges into a legitimate fantasy player.

 

 Commissioner/League Manager

The person in charge of running the league, setting up the draft and, if necessary, controlling all of the league fees. The league Commissioner/League Manager also can have the final word on all transactions and settle disputes between owners.

Custom-scoring League

A league that decides to assign its own value to all scoring attributes, including some that are not tracked in standard league, such as TD catch length, Pass Attempts, QB Passing TD’s, etc. Double check what your league scoring system is. Failure to know how your league scores can affect rankings and drafting strategy. Most fantasy football providers can host up to 100 different scoring settings and features.

Depth Chart

An NFL roster split that shows first-, second- and third-string players. The order of the chart projects the perceived value of that player and the playing time that should be expected.

Draft

Most fantasy football teams are constructed via a draft, where owners take turns picking players for the upcoming season. Most drafts orders are constructed through a random drawing or are based on the previous year’s results, with the poorest teams drafting first.

Drop

Releasing a player back into the free-agent pool.

Dynasty League

This is similar to a “keeper league” (see below), but instead of a few players being held over, an entire roster is retained. This league calls for a long-term commitment, but it also makes each draft run much smoother as only a few players will be picked.

FAAB

Stands for Free-Agent Acquisition Budget, a stash of imaginary cash that every team in your league is given to do free-agent auction bidding. Cash will be limited, so overspending can lead to bankruptcy or not having sufficient funds for other free agents for the remainder of the season.

Flier

In a sense, a Flier is when your GM drafts a player with high potential but also carries with it a level of uncertainly. These players should only be considered after you have all your starters locked up in the draft.

Free Agent

A player whom isn’t on any team’s roster, and is available on the waiver wire or through FAAB.

Handcuff

The strategy of taking your prominent player’s backup. This covers you in case of an injury and prevents you from losing that potential backup/starter to other teams in your league. Running backs are the usual position where this strategy is implemented.

IDP

IDP Stands for Individual Defensive Players. Instead of drafting a team defense, some fantasy leagues have implemented getting 1 Defensive Lineman, 1 Linebacker and 1 Defensive Back with Special Teams being a team generated stat. The scoring typically values sacks, safeties and interceptions. It’s not wildly popular but seems to be gaining strong traction in hardcore leagues.

Injured Reserve

This is an official designation used by the NFL for athletes who become injured or temporarily unable to play. Some leagues will allow you to tag an injured player and add someone else to your roster. This is more common with dynasty and keeper leagues, but some seasonal leagues also use that option.

Keeper League

This type of league allows you to keep a certain number of players for a set amount of seasons. The number of keepers varies from league-to-league. Some leagues, called “dynasty leagues,” allow you to keep your entire roster.

Mock Draft

A “fake” fantasy draft that isn’t played out during the season but often is used by team owners to practice drafting to prepare in advance.

Owner/GM

The person who runs his/her own fantasy team and is responsible for making all personnel decisions.

Performance Scoring System

A scoring system in which players are given bonus points for passing, rushing and/or receiving milestones.

PPR (point per reception)

PPR indicates a league that awards a point per reception from Running Backs, Tight Ends or most prominently Wide Receivers. Some custom leagues award bonuses based on position. These leagues have become more common and were mainly developed to give Wide Receivers more of a presence in fantasy football scoring.

 Projections

A player’s predicted statistics, which are used to help determine that player’s fantasy value.

Running Back by Committee

RBBC describes a situation in which an NFL team uses more than one running back in a prominent role. This scenario sometimes makes it difficult for owners to depend on a running back for a consistent level of production.

Reserve

Backup or bench players.

Roster

The list of players on your team.

Scoring System

The most basic scoring systems award points only for touchdowns, field goals and extra points. That could be six points for all touchdowns, three points for field goals and one point for extra points. Other basic scoring leagues will offer four points for touchdown passes.

Snake or Serpentine Draft

Unlike the actual NFL draft that uses a set order, most fantasy drafts use the “snake” system in which the team with the first pick in Round 1 has the last pick in Round 2, followed by the first pick in Round 3, and so forth. Conversely, the team with the last pick in the first round has the first pick in the second round. This system is used to help create a balance between all of the competing teams.

Sleeper

Typically, a mid to late-round pick selection who looks like a player that could exceed his statistical expectation and becomes a prominent option in fantasy leagues. The standard sleeper should produce at some level. Deep Sleepers are players that are considered high risk selections and a typically late draft or free agent pickups.

Starting Lineup

Most basic leagues will allow owners to start one quarterback, two running backs, two or three receivers and one tight end, one kicker and one defense. Leagues can determine the number of starters and include a “flex” position that can be a running back, a wide receiver or a tight end. Some leagues also use individual defensive starters.

Stud

A true superstar at his position. Drew Brees, Adrian Peterson and Calvin Johnson are bona fide studs. Matthew Stafford? A good fantasy performer, but not a fantasy stud.

Team QB

Instead of drafting individual quarterbacks, teams essentially take every quarterback on a given team. For instance, if you draft the Patriots as your Team QB, you have Tom Brady and Ryan Mallet. If you draft the Broncos as your Team QB, you have Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler. Fantasy purists argue that this system is as evil as the designated hitter in Major League Baseball. Accounting for player’s injuries is part of the strategy of the game and you lose something with Team QBs.

Third-year Wide Receiver

Much like Harold Carmichael, Santana Moss and Steve Smith (to name a few), some receivers fail to make an impact until their third NFL season. Third-year receivers are great candidates to be “sleepers” and have “breakout” years.

Trade

A transaction that involves the swapping of one or more players from one team to another. In some fantasy leagues, the commissioner has the power to approve or deny all trade requests. A voting process among owners is also used in leagues.

Transaction

Any roster change (waiver-wire add/drop, trade, etc.). Some leagues limit the amount of transactions a team can make, often charging money for excessive moves.

Undroppable

NFL.com keeps an updated list of players that cannot be dropped from an owner’s team. This is done to protect the integrity of the league. This is updated frequently, so if a player is hurt and lost for the season, they will be removed from the list and owners are free to drop them if they wish.

Waiver Order

Refers to the order that is established at the end of each week, barring your league settings. The higher you are on the waiver order, the better chance you have to claim a player on the waiver wire.

Waiver Wire

Refers to the list of free-agent players within a fantasy league. Most free agents are subject to a waiver process, as a player is placed on waivers after the kickoff of the first game of the week or during a designated period (24 hours) after being released from a team. Waivers help to ensure that all teams have the opportunity to claim the best free agents, resulting in more balanced, competitive leagues.