Daily Fantasy Sports Glossary of Terms

Daily Fantasy Sports Glossary of Terms


Daily Fantasy Sports Glossary of Terms


Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) is a rapidly growing industry. DFS is different in a lot of ways from traditional fantasy football and thus it has different terminology. Understanding these terms is important to having success in DFS. Here are some of the most important terms you should know when playing DFS:

50/50 – A type of league where the top 50 percent of scores win their buy-in amount and the bottom 50 percent lose their buy-in amount. For example, if you buy-in for $100 and finish in the top 50 percent, you would win $200 (minus the rake). If you enter for $100 and finish in the bottom 50 percent, you lose $100.

Bankroll – The amount of money a person has allocated to play DFS games.

Buy-In – The entry fee to play a DFS contest.

Cash Games – A type of game where the prize pool is divided and awarded to the winner or winners. These games give players better odds of winning (roughly 50 percent) than GPP tournaments. Head-to-head, 50/50 and double-up leagues are all considered cash games. Cash games are popular among sharks and grinders looking to build their bankrolls.

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Contrarian – Someone who isn’t heavily owned or isn’t a “popular” play. In GPP contests lesser owned players are risk/reward because they can pay off big if picked correctly. Contrarian plays are used often by experience DFS players in large tournaments.

Combo – Rostering a quarterback with his running back, receivers and tight end. This is often done when an explosive offense like the Colts or Packers is facing a weaker defense and has a chance to rack up a lot of fantasy points.

Dollar Per Point – The number of dollars each projected point costs. If a player is priced at $10,000 and is projected to score 20 points, he would be worth $500 per point. The goal in DFS is to get the least amount of salary per point as possible.

DFS – Daily Fantasy Sports

Diversify – A strategy of playing multiple lineups. This allows a DFS player to limit risk by using as many players in as many different potential lineups as possible. In large GPP tournaments, virtually all DFS pros play multiple lineups to increase their odds of winning.

Double-Up – A game where the top 50 percent of scores double their entry fee minus the rake.

Exposure – The amount of money you have invested in a player. If you have a lot of exposure in Aaron Rodgers then you have a high percentage of your bankroll invested in him.

Fade – Not selecting a player or game for a particular reason. You might “fade’ Andrew Luck in Week 1 because he’s playing the tough Bills’ defense.  You may “fade” the Patriots/Steelers game because it’s snowing.

Fish – An inexperienced DFS player. A “fish” is usually preyed on by “sharks.”

Freeroll – A free contest offered by the host company like DraftKings, FanDuel or FantasyScore but it pays out cash prizes. It’s a way to get newcomers introduced to a company’s games and features without making the player spend money.

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GPP – Stands for Guaranteed Prize Pool. It’s a contest where the payout is guaranteed regardless of the number of entrants. When you see DraftKings is giving away $2 million in Week 1 of the NFL season, it’s a GPP tournament.

Grinder – A DFS player who plays high-volume. It comes from the daily grind of researching and building lineups, unlike those who just come in for the larger tournaments.

Head-to-Head – A one-on-one fantasy game. Instead of a tournament, fantasy players go against each other like in the traditional fantasy setting.

Multiplier Contest – A contest where you can multiply your entry fee by a certain factor based on the payouts. Multipliers are set at 2x, 3x, 4x or 5x. In a 2x multiplier, the winner gets paid out 2x his entry fee. If the entry fee was $100, you win $200.

Multiple-Entry – In large GPP tournaments players are allowed to enter multiple lineups. Some players enter different lineups, while others opt to enter the same lineup multiple times.

Overlap – The percentage at which a player is owned in a contest. This allows DFS players to know how many teams used a particular player.

Overlay – When a GPP tournament doesn’t fill all its expected entrants, a hosting company must make up the rest of the money for the guaranteed prize pool.

Player Pool – The players who are eligible to be drafted into a DFS game.

Qualifier/Satellite – A tournament in which the winners don’t receive cash, but instead win a ticket (free entry) into another league. It’s usually tickets to a larger league being held by the company.

Prize Pool – The total amount of money entered into a contest that’s available for payout.

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Rake – The amount of commission the hosting web site takes off each entry fee. The rake is different at each web site but is usually around 9-10 percent.

ROI – Return on Investment. How much profit a DFS player makes related to the money he invests. 

Salary Cap – The total dollar amount a DFS player can spend to fill out a lineup.

Shark – An experienced DFS player with a history of success in the industry. Sharks are known to prey on lesser experienced players (fish).

Single-Entry GPP – A Guaranteed Prized Pool tournament that allows only one entry per player.

Stacking – Similar to “combo” where you pick multiple players from the same team. Stacking is very common in MLB but it’s also used in the NFL to “stack” the same players from a high-scoring offense.

Sweat – Watching those final few minutes of the final games as your contest is on the line. In other words you’re “sweating” out your win or loss.

Ticket – DFS sites allow players to win tickets in qualifiers that may be used for designated larger tournaments in the future.

Tilt – Poor decision making when it comes to your lineup or bankroll.

Train – This is when a player opts to use multiple entrees with the same lineups in one contest. The reason for this is because if the lineup wins, the player has an opportunity to take the money in the top few spots instead of just first place. It’s a high-risk strategy used more by experienced DFS players.


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