DFS Glossary of Terms

By Kevin Adams

Twitter: @MagicSportsGuy

New to playing in daily fantasy football formats? No problem. This simple glossary will help you understand the important and commonly used terms prevalent in the expanding industry of Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS).

$ per point (reaching +EV) – When doing your preparation for DFS football, it is essential to know and attempt to reach a players “value.”

50/50 – A league in which the top 50% of scores win. In a 50/50 league with 100 entries, the top 50 scores double their “buy-in” minus the “rake.” So even if you finish 50th in a 100-man $10 50/50, you win the same amount as the 1st-place finisher ($18). 

Algorithm or Model (Projection Model) – A sophisticated computer program that creates player projections after analyzing data/statistics.

Bank Roll – Funds a player has allocated or made available to play in DFS contests.

Buy In – The entry fee or cost to enter a DFS contest.

Cash Game – A common term used for describing contests in which the prize pool is divided in half and is awarded to the winners. Cash Games consist of Head-to-Head, 50/50s, and Double-Up contests.

Chalk – A term for a high-ownership or obvious DFS play (also known as “Scratch”). Eddie Lacy against the Bears in Week One is “the chalk” play.

DFS – Daily Fantasy Sports.

Donkey – A term used to describe an unsuccessful DFS player on that particular day. Often times even the best players will refer to themselves or each other as a “donkey” or “donk” because of a mistake they made that day.

  • Ex: I forgot to take an injured player out of my lineup. I’m a donkey today.

Double-Up – Cash game in which players who win double their entry fee. “Double,” “Triple,” and “Quadruple-Ups” are different from 50/50s in that those who win actually multiply their full entry (for instance, a $10 entry that wins in a Double-Up would win $20), but sites take their rakes by having fewer than half the field (or a third in Triple-Ups, and so on) win.

Fading/Fade – Not selecting a particular player or matchup.

  • Ex: I am fading Drew Brees because he is on the road against an elite pass rush.

GOAT – Term used to describe the “Greatest of all Time”. This is used quite often on DFS twitter when a player is having a good game. It is not literal!

GPP - Guaranteed Prize Pool. A contest that will pay out the specified prize even if it does not have the targeted number of entrants. When this happens the company makes up the difference, creating “overlay.”

Head-to-Head (Heads Up) – A daily fantasy sports contest against a single opponent.

Late Swap – The ability in your lineup to a change player who has a later game start time after the initial line-up lock.

Line-Up Lock – The time line-ups are no longer editable, even for later games. The time the first game starts in a contest.

  • In a Thursday-Monday NFL contest, “line-up lock” is Thursday at 8:20 ET.

Live Final – A qualifiers-only GPP organized by the DFS sites. They often have the largest prize pools of any GPP for the entire season even though the size of the tournament is much smaller (50-100 people usually). The site pays for the players accommodations/air travel and also treats them to food, beverages, and a paid “experience,” like a helicopter ride through the Grand Canyon.

Multiplier Contest (2X,3X,4X,5X) – The prize pool is paid out to a predetermined percentage of entrants. In a 4x multiplier, the winner will get paid out 4 times their entry fee.

  • 4x Multiplier = $1,400 prize pool (140 entries/$10 buy-in)
  • So the top 35 players win $40 from their $10 investment.

Minimum Salary (Min. Salary) – The lowest salary offered in a DFS contest. For example, FanDuel’s minimum salary for a player is $2200. Sometimes, these players near the minimum salary are essential when trying to squeeze in multiple high-priced players.

Multiple-Entry GPP – A large-field tournament that allows a player to enter multiple line-ups up to a specified cap. A player can either hedge their exposure by creating multiple line-ups or submit the same lineup multiples times (“train”).

Mass Multiple-Entry – When a player submits hundreds and sometimes thousands of line-ups into a LARGE GPP. This will usually be done by a computer program or “script.”

Optimizer – A computer program that calculates the most efficient line-up that will produce the most (projected) points. An optimizer needs an algorithm or projection model to “crunch” or optimize the best line-up possible. Check out ours here.

Overlap – The percentage of which a particular player is owned in a particular contest.

  • Ex: Peyton Manning is 60% owned in a 500-player tournament on FantasyFeud. Therefore, there is a 300-team overlap at the QB position.

Overlay – When a GPP does not fill to capacity, the company has to make up the difference between the guaranteed prize pool and the amount of funds they actually took in.

  • Ex: A $100,000 GPP with a $200 entry fee requires 500 contests to reach its target “prize pool.” If only 400 enter the host company would have to make-up the difference ($20,000).

Paying Up – Selecting a top-priced or expensive player regardless of their $ per point projection.

Player Props – Vegas lines released on Sunday mornings that handicap a player’s individual performance for that game.

  • Peyton Manning’s Over/Under is 2.5 TDs vs. Ravens

PPR/Point Per Reception – Most DFS sites reward half a point or a full point per reception.

Prize Pool – The total money entered into a contest, simply determined by the number of entries multiplied by the entry fee.

  • Ex: 100 players at a $20 entry fee = $2,000 prize pool.

Punt – To select a minimum-salary player (most often a team Defense or Kicker in DFS Football) in order to fit (afford) one or more high-priced players.

  • Ex: I am going to “punt” kicker and D this week so I can afford Andrew Luck and Dez Bryant.

Qualifier/Satellite Tournament – A contest (usually a GPP) in which the prize pool is paid out in entry tickets (instead of cash prizes) to another tournament that is already scheduled, often to a “Live Final.”

  • Ex: A $20 Entry Fee/100-person GPP qualifier/satellite tournament ($2,000 prize pool) would pay out nine $200 entry tickets (only 9 due to the site’s “rake”) instead of cash to the winners. This is a popular strategy to obtain high-priced entry tickets without paying the full price.

Rake – The portion or percentage of a player’s entry fee (or total prize pool) that goes to the sponsor/website for expenses/profits. This varies from site to site.

  • In a FanDuel $10 50/50 league the “rake” is 10%.
  • 30 entries X $10 = $300 prize pool
  • 15 Players Win $18 ($270)
  • FanDuel keeps $30 (10%)

Script – Another term for macro or batch file. A script is a list of commands that can be executed without user interaction. It allows the players computer to load algorithm-generated line-ups directly to the DFS site (automatically).

Scratch – A term for a high-ownership or obvious DFS play (same as “chalk”).

Shark – An experienced or professional player with a successful history in DFS.

Single-Entry GPP – Large field tournament that only allows one entry team per player.

Stacking – Picking multiple players from the same team. A common stack in DFS football is to pair a QB and his WR or TE (Tom Brady to Rob Gronkowski).

Sleeper/Contrarian Pick - To select a player because you expect most of the fleld to either ignore or outright fade the player. Most useful in large-field GPPs.

Survival Tournament – Can be a single or multi-entry tournament that eliminates a predetermined percentage of contestants over a number of days/contests. Sometimes the prize pool will also include a trip to a “Live Final” such as the FFFC.

  • Day 1  110 entries (top 50 scores advance)
  • Day 2  50 entries (top 25 scores advance)
  • Day 3  25 entries (top 10 scores advance)
  • Day 4  10 entries (top 5 advance)
  • Day 5 (FINAL 5)  Top Score wins Grand Prize

Tilt – Poker/Gambling term for chasing a loss by betting more money, and then losing that contest as well. However, this term is often used incorrectly on social media. It is often just used as a replacement for “angry” or “pissed off.”

Train or Running a Train – A term used when a player uses multiple entries with an identical lineup. The advantage or pay-off to this high-risk, high-reward strategy is simple. If a line-up were to come in first place in a GPP, that player would also take down however many prizes are equal to the number of identical lineups that player entered.