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Fantasy Football Terms from A-Z

Below are The Fantasy Football terms and headings
that are used throughout our articles and subscriber features. We’ve categorized
them under the specific features that they primarily appear in.

We’ve also included a Glossary of Terms containing commonly
used Fantasy Football terms from A-Z.

Roster Spot – aka Tier System

The position on a fantasy roster depth chart
a player should hold.

Average weekly FFP lists how much players should be scoring for each tier.
Top Starter (#1):

A weekly play no matter the match-up (90%). A major contributor and focus of
their offense (except K, D/ST). Puts up strong numbers on a consistent basis,
is reliable, and rarely produces little or nothing.

Average weekly FFP for each position:

QB: 14.0+

RB: 13.0+

WR: 13.0+

TE: 7.0+

K: 8.5+

D/ST: 7.0+

Solid Starter (#2):

A play on most weeks (70%) unless the match-up is decidedly unfavorable. Is
an important part of the offense, but not the #1 focus. Puts up strong numbers
certain weeks, but can have weeks with little production. Is a good complement
to stronger Fantasy players.

Average weekly FFP for each position:

QB: 7.0 – 15.0

RB: 10.0 – 14.0

WR: 10.0 – 14.0

TE: 5.0 – 8.0

K: 5.0 – 9.0

D/ST: 5.0 – 8.0

Top Backup/Potential Starter (#3):

A spot play when the match-up is favorable (50%). Is best suited as
a Flex starter. Doesn’t get enough touches to put up consistent numbers on a
weekly basis. Most ideal to rotate in-and-out of the starting lineup. Not a
feature player, but could either be young and emerging, or a role-playing veteran.
See #5 for QB/TE definitions.

Average weekly FFP for each position:

QB: under 8.0

RB: 7.0 – 11.0

WR: 7.0 – 11.0

TE: under 6.0

K: under 6.0

D/ST: under 6.0

Solid Backup (#4):

A play only if the match-up is highly favorable (30%), or out of necessity due
to injuries or bye weeks. Strictly a role player in their offense, who often
has weeks that he doesn’t produce numbers. Also could be part of a bad offensive

Average weekly FFP for each position:

RB: 4.0 – 8.0

WR: 4.0 – 8.0

Backup/Bench (#5):

A play is unlikely (10%). Either does not get playing time, is injured, or has
been highly unproductive. Kept on the bench as insurance for Top Starters, emergency
depth, or as a deep sleeper.

Average weekly FFP for each position:

RB: under 5.0

WR: under 5.0

Free Agent Ratings

Strong Buy:

Player to pickup or trade for.

Mod Buy:

Player to keep an eye on or pickup if possible.


No change in value. Most time studs are considered Holds, because they
cannot produce at a higher level than they already are. In this case, they would
also make Strong Buys.

Mod Sell:

Player to consider replacing.

Strong Sell:

Player to drop or trade away.



Has a favorable match-up. Strong play with low risk, recommended start.


Has a 50-50 match-up. Decent play with some risk, but worth a start
if needed.


Has an unfavorable match-up or is injured. Risky play, not recommended to start.


Injury Alert:

Player was/is listed on this week’s NFL Injury Report, was injured last game,
or has a nagging injury.

Performance Alert:

Player and/or opposing defense has had recent production or stats worth noting
(favorable/unfavorable), which could effect the player’s production this coming

Depth Chart Alert:

Player has been involved in significant depth chart movement, starting lineup,
or playing time changes.

Glossary of Terms

(listed from A-Z)


Process of dropping a player from your roster and adding a free agent to replace
him during the course of a season.


Short for Average Draft Position. Term used to say where a player is being drafted
on the average. Tracked in both real drafts and mock drafts. Usually this number
looks like this: 3.05. The number 3 represents the round and the number .05
represents the pick # in that round.

Auction Draft:

An alternative form of drafting where Owners bid on players one at a time while
building their roster. The Owner who bids highest is rewarded that player, but
each team must also stay within their league’s set salary cap while filling
out their roster.


Player is not likely to produce up to expectations and therefore their draft
value is overvalued. Usually this player has previously had strong seasons,
but may now be on the downside of their career, is returning from injury, and/or
may no longer be a focus of the team’s offense. Owners who reach to draft them
based on their name and previous draft values will not get the same productive
in return.

Cheat Sheet Rankings:

List of ranked players by position on one sheet of paper to use as a reference
and guide during a draft.


The person who runs a fantasy league and is ultimately responsible for all league
rules and decisions.

Depth Chart:

A list of players, ordered by team and position, listing where they
rank on the team from starter to second string to third string, etc. Depth charts
are useful to Owners when determining who the next option would be if a team’s
starter gets injured.


The process of Owners selecting players onto their rosters until every Owner’s
roster is full. Usually held before the season starts.

Automated Draft - a draft option that makes it possible for
Owners to draft teams without having to physically attend a draft. Each team
in the league pre-ranks players who are then assigned to teams using an automated
draft process.

Online Draft – The process of holding a league’s draft live
online, usually using a custom “draft room”.

Offline Draft – Gathering together all Owners in a single location
to draft. Also known as the “old school” draft.

Serpentine Draft – The most commonly used draft order where
Owners that pick early in the odd rounds pick late in the even rounds. For example,
in a ten team league, the team that has the first pick in the first round would
pick tenth in the second round and first in the third round.


Short for Fantasy Football Points. Abbreviation used to reference Fantasy points
that each player has scored or accumulated.

Free Agents:

Players who are available within the fantasy league. Any player who is not currently
on any other Owner’s roster or on waivers is considered a free agent.


Short for Individual Defensive Players. An alternate to drafting a team defense.
Owners draft defensive players and earn points based on a separate IDP scoring
system, much like offensive players do.

Injured Reserve:

Or IR. A roster spot that is used to keep an injured player “reserved”
on an Owner’s roster without them being available to the other Owners. They
are on a team’s roster but not allowed to be placed in the active lineup. Typically,
a player on injured reserve must either be listed as Out, Doubtful, or Questionable.

Injury Report:

During the season, NFL teams provide injury reports on a daily basis
starting on Wednesday. These reports list player injuries and status (IR, Out,
Doubtful, Questionable, Probable) for the upcoming game. Injury reports are
useful to Owners when determining who to start and who to bench.

Keeper League:

A type of fantasy league that allows Owners to “keep” a set number
of players on their roster from year to year.


A group of Owners whose teams compete against each other.

Mock Draft:

A sample draft where Owners practice drafting players in preparation for their
“live” drafts. Mock drafts give Owners a good idea of where individual
players are typically being drafted (ADP).


Refers to the person in charge of each individual fantasy team. A group of Owners
make up the league.


Term used to say whether a player should start or not.


Reference to an Auction Draft move when an Owner feels a player should
be going for more than they currently are, so they bid up the player in hopes
to drive up their price.


Short for Points Per Reception. Abbreviation used in reference to leagues that
award pts for receptions.

Projected Stats:

Expected statistical performance for each player during the season. Owners “project”
the stats that each player is expected to accumulate over the course of the
season before it begins.


Short for Running Back-by-Committee. Offensive system that utilizes more than
one RB in a series of four downs on a consistent basis. RBs that are part of
a RBBC have a lower value and are usually considered #3-4 RBs. They get taken
out of the game in certain game situations (3rd down, goal line) and because
of that, they do not get the amount of touches necessary to put up solid numbers
on a weekly basis.


Players who are on an Owner’s roster but are not in their starting
lineup. In most cases, reserves do not earn points, except in tiebreakers.

Roster Limit:

The amount of players each Owner is allowed to carry on their roster.

Roster Spot:

The position on a Fantasy roster depth chart a player should hold.

Salary Cap:

A system that limits the total amount of money each Owner can spend on players
in a draft and/or carry on their roster.

Scoring System:

The type of “system” each league uses to determine how players
earn points.

Sleeper (Value):

Player is likely to exceed expectations and therefore their draft value is undervalued.
Usually this player is younger or is on a new team and has not yet put up big
numbers. They could also have had steady seasons and are on the verge of taking
it to the next level or two and breaking out. Owners who target them will likely
not have to reach to grab them and should get a highly productive player in

Sleeper (Stud):

Player is ranked within the top 10 at their position, but has a strong chance
to exceed even those expectations to finish within the top 3-5. Usually this
player has been productive in the past as a #1-2 player, but has yet to crack
the elite group of players at their position. Owners who target them at the
top of their draft board will likely receive one of the best values at the position
with a strong #1 player that has the potential for a career year.

Sleeper (Deep):

Player has had little or no production in the past, but is in a situation that
could enable them to gain significant fantasy value. Usually this player is
younger and has either been a backup or is coming off an injury. Owners who
target them as late-round fliers are not taking any risk, but could receive
a sizeable reward if the player produces enough to warrant a roster spot for
the entire season as a #2-4 player.


A star fantasy player that produces FFP at an elite level.

Team Defense or D/ST:

Short for Defense/Special Teams. Scoring system used by most leagues
where an entire team’s defense and special teams are drafted to earn points.


The act of exchanging players and/or draft picks between two or more Owners.
This can occur during a draft or during the season.

Trade Deadline:

A time set towards the end of the season when trades are no longer allowed to
be made within the league.

Undroppable Players:

Used to maintain fairness and integrity in a league by creating a list consisting
of the best players in the league that teams cannot drop from their roster for
any reason. This is done to prevent teams out of contention from dropping studs
from their roster and giving other teams competing for the league title an unfair


Process used in some leagues to make all free agents equally available to every
team. Waivers generally work like this: when a player is dropped from one team,
he does not immediately become available. Instead, the player is placed on waivers
for a set amount of days predetermined by the league. The team with the highest
waiver order who puts in a claim for that player will have the chance to add
him to their roster first.

Waiver Order:

The ranking of Owners with priority on waiver claims. Typically, from week to
week, waiver order is reset to reflect Owners records. The Owner with the worst
record is first in the waiver wire order and the Owner with the best record
is last in the waiver wire order.


Short for Yards After Catch. Abbreviation used in reference to receiver stats.


Short for Yards Per Carry/Catch. Abbreviation used in reference to averages.


Short for Yards Per Game. Abbreviation used in reference to averages.

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