Daily Fantasy Sports Glossary: Making Sense Of The Language Of The Game
Does the phrase “large-field contest” confuse you? Do the words “sleeper,” “rake,” and “freeroll” leave you scratching your head? Are you baffled by references to “50/50s,” “H2Hs,” and “GPPs?”
If so, realize upfront that you’re not alone. Daily fantasy sports (DFS) is still a relatively new concept. A lot of folks are still learning about it. As a novice who is just now dipping your toes into the DFS waters, one of the biggest challenges you face is getting used to the jargon.
The good news is that it doesn’t take long to learn as long as you have a good resource at your fingertips. Consider this page to be that resource. We’ll cover the most important daily fantasy sports terms you’re likely to come across. From strange acronyms to bizarre-sounding phrases, I’ll define the ones you need to know.
- 50/50 – A contest in which the prize pool is split evenly among the top 50% of the entrants. For example, a game with 20 entrants would have 10 winners. The amount of cash won by each person is slightly lower than double the entry free (e.g. $50 entry fee = $90 cash prize).
- Auction draft – A draft system in which team managers bid for players. Each manager is give a specific allotment of cash and must build his lineup without exceeding his budget. Players are put on the auction block via rounds.
- Chalk – Refers to the favorites or the picks that everyone has on their line-up. If a player is ‘chalky’ that means he has a high ownership percentage
- DFS – Stands for daily fantasy sports.
- Entrant – (aka – YOU) Any person who enters a daily fantasy sports contest.
- Entry fee – Sometimes called the “buy in,” this is the amount of money you must pay in order to enter a contest. It includes the rake (see “rake” below) collected by the daily fantasy sports site.
- FDPs – Stands for FanDuel Points. FanDuel awards you with FDPs each time you enter a real cash contest. You can use the points to enter future contests and avoid the entry fees. If you accrue enough FDPs, Fan Duel will also allow you to enter monthly freerolls (see “freeroll” below).
- FPPG – Stands for the average number of “fantasy points per game” scored by each player. When you draft a lineup, you can rank players by their FPPG scores. Doing so will help you to identify those who may be on streaks. Most formulas used to value players take this number into account.
- FPPs – Stands for Frequent Player Points at DraftKings. Similar to FanDuel and its FDPs, DraftKings awards you with FPPs each time you enter a cash contest. The number of points you earn is based on the amount of each contest’s entry fee (the higher the fee, the more points you’re awarded). The deposit bonus you receive after making your first deposit is released incrementally as you accrue FPPs ($1 is released for each 100 FPPs earned).
- Freeroll – A contest that does not require an entry fee to participate. Some freerolls offer real money prizes to the winners. Others provide free entry into contests with relatively high buy-ins. Still others are just for fun; there are no prizes – monetary or otherwise.
- Game variants – Types of contests offered by daily fantasy sports sites. They include H2Hs, 50/50s, qualifiers, multipliers, and guaranteed prize pool (GPP) contests. (See each of these variants in the glossary for more details.)
- GPP – Stands for Guaranteed Prize Pool. It is a type of tournament for which the daily fantasy sports site promises a specific prize pool amount that is to be divided among the winners. The prize pool is usually large (e.g. $45,000) as is the number of entrants allowed to join.
- H2H – Stands for Head-To-Head, a type of contest in which there are only two entrants. The winner takes the prize pool, less the rake (see “rake” below).
- Injury report – A weekly report published by the NFL that lists all players who are saddled with injuries. It includes the player’s name, position, type of injury, practice status, and game status. Daily fantasy football fans can use the injury report to note whether certain players are scheduled to play.
- Large-field contest – A contest that involves a high number of entrants. The number of entrants allowed to join is often unlimited. In most cases, a large number of winners earn a portion of the prize pool.
- Lineup – Also known as a roster, it is composed of the players drafted prior to the first game of the contest.
- Multiplier – A contest in which the points for a given player are multiplied by a predetermined factor.
- Overlay – Many daily fantasy sports sites – e.g. FanDuel, DraftKings, and DraftStreet – host guaranteed prize pool tournaments in which a specified amount of prize money is made available to the winners. The site hopes that the entry fees from the participants will cover the prize pool. If there are too few entrants, the DFS site must contribute its own cash to cover the deficit. The deficit is known as the overlay.
- PPR – Stands for Points Per Reception. As its name implies, it’s a type of scoring used in daily fantasy football where players earn points for each completed reception. It was originally introduced to lessen the importance of a team’s running backs. To that end, the PPR scoring system has increased the importance of a team’s wide receivers.
- Prize pool – The entire sum of money that is up for grabs in a daily fantasy sports contest. With the exception of GPP contests (see “GPP” above), the amount of the pool is usually equal to the sum of the entry fees collected from the participants less the DFS site’s rake.
- Qualifier – A contest in which the winners earn a seat at a future contest, typically one with a relatively high entry free.
- Rake – The money collected by the daily fantasy sports site and kept for profit. It is sometimes referred to as a percentage of the entry fee (i.e. “the site imposes a 9% rake.”). The percentage varies by site.
- Roster – Also known as the lineup (see “lineup” above).
- Salary Cap – The total amount of money you have at your disposal to draft your lineup. Every team manager must stick to the same salary cap. The cap varies by site and sometimes by sport. Most DFS contests at DraftKings impose a $50,000 cap on participants. Meanwhile, FanDuel imposes a $60,000 cap on basketball contests, a $55,000 cap on hockey contests, and a $35,000 cap on daily fantasy baseball contests.
- Snake draft – Also known as a serpentine draft, it is a system in which participants take turns drafting players. It gets its name from the snake-like form expressed in the order that the participants takes their turns. The entrant who leads off the first round picks last in the second round. He then picks first in the third round, and so on.
- Value pick – A player who is considered to be more valuable than his salary implies. Good values are often found among players coming off the injury list (daily fantasy football). They can also be found among those who have been hampered by a bad streak. in both cases, the players’ salaries are often lower than they should be given how productive they have been throughout their careers.
As you play at FanDuel, DraftKings, or DraftStreet, you’re bound to come across words and phrases that are unclear. Use the daily fantasy sports glossary of terms above to gain a better understanding of them. The more fluent you are, the more fun you’ll have while participating.
If you notice an important term that’s missing, reach out and let me know. This glossary is likely to grow as new buzzwords are coined in the DFS industry.