Fantasy football terms and abbreviations you need to know in 2021 include PPD, ADP, and PPR

    For those immersing themselves in fantasy football for the first time, the terminology can be a bit confusing. With the goal of building a library of knowledge that we can add to as we continue to play, recognizing and understanding commonly used fantasy football terms is essential to your success. here, we’ve compiled a list to serve as a reference for those who need a quick refresher after a long offseason and for those trying out the game for the first time.

    what do the different fantasy football terms and abbreviations mean?

    While not an exhaustive list of fantasy football terms, these are the most common abbreviations across all fantasy platforms.

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    adot represents the average depth of the target. this term refers to how far downfield a player is from the line of scrimmage when receiving a target.


    adp, or average draft position, refers to the average place in a draft where a specific player has been selected across the entire fantasy platform.


    This represents a bench of fantasy football lineups or the players on a given team outside of the starting lineup.


    The faab, or free agent acquisition, budget is a fixed amount of “money” a coach has to spend throughout the season to acquire players from waivers. Instead of being first come, first served, managers make blind bids for a player they want to add. the coaches who bid the highest win the right to that player. however, once the budget is spent, managers can only make $0 offers for the rest of the season.


    In some fantasy leagues, you can play defensive players. these are known as idp or individual defensive players.


    just like nfl, go stands for injured reserve. these are players who are out for several weeks but do not count towards your roster count.


    although rare, as covid caused a number of issues with nfl games this season, ppd is used to indicate to fantasy managers that a game has been postponed.


    ppr stands for point per reception. this is a style of scoring in which each catch an offensive player records counts toward a fantasy point. the amount you can score is based on your league settings.


    rz, or red zone, as it is generally known, is the area of ​​the field from the 20-yard line to the end zone.

    fantasy football positions

    as with the nfl, fantasy football follows the same positional name in most cases.

    d/st: team defense/special teams. traditionally, this means defending an entire nfl team and its special teams.def: another abbreviation for d/st.k: kickerqb: quarterbackrb: running backte: tight endwr: wide receiver

    For those of you in an individual defensive player (idp) league, you may find the following most common abbreviations.

    cb: cornerbackdb: defensive backde: defensive enddl: defensive linemandt : defensive tacklefs: free safetylb: linebackermlb: middle linebackerolb: outside linebacker s: securityss: strong security

    what are some of the most popular fantasy football formats?

    Every year there are more and more formats for playing fantasy football to suit everyone’s preferred way of playing. These are some of the common terms used to describe fantasy football formats.

    total game

    all teams play each other from week to week. for example, in a 12-team league, the team with the highest score would be 11-0; second highest would be 10-1, etc.

    automatic draft selection

    An online auto-select draft is held, but your league provider selects each team for the league.


    In auction draft leagues, managers inherit a predetermined amount of money to bid on players to complete their rosters. each coach can bid on any player he wishes to complete his roster. the highest bidder for a specific player will be rewarded with that respective player.

    best ball


    best ball leagues are the ones where there are no weekly head-to-heads between the fantasy owners’ teams. additionally, there are no weekly starting lineups. instead, the players with the highest scores at their respective positions are entered as starters, and the points are tallied weekly. The fantasy team with the most points at the end of the season wins.

    development (devy)

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    Devy leagues are formats that allow fantasy managers to add players while they are still in college and anticipate that they will transition to the NFL in the future. once selected, a devy player remains on that team’s roster until he enters the league.


    Daily Leagues are a week-long contest where owners select rosters for one week only. draftkings and fanduel are popular formats for playing daily lineups. leagues typically follow a salary-cap format in which each player is valued based on past performances and projected stats.


    dynasty fantasy football leagues require a commitment over multiple seasons. after the initial draft in the league’s inaugural season, players remain on the same roster from one season to the next unless traded or released. each year after the first season, an all-rookie draft is held. This type of fantasy league provides the most realistic experience of owning and managing an NFL franchise.


    an empire league is a dynasty-style fantasy football league where each year, half the pot goes to the winners of the year. the other half is reserved in a rolling emperor pot. the emperor jackpot is not paid out until there is a consecutive winner. the consecutive champion wins the emperor pot and the league is dissolved.


    Guillotine leagues are one of the newest fantasy football formats. this type of league is not a traditional head-to-head setup. instead, it is the total points earned weekly. each week the team with the lowest score is eliminated from the league. that team’s roster is placed in the free agent pool up to the waiver wire. at the end of the season, the last team left is the champion.

    face to face

    Head-to-head leagues are the most common league format. a fantasy coach takes on a different team every week. the team that receives the most points that specific week wins, while the other side receives a loss.


    keeper is a term used for leagues where you can retain a player from year to year based on your league’s bylaws. Before the draft, you would declare the goalkeepers and then enter the draft with these players who were already on your roster from the previous season.

    linear draft

    A linear draft is where each draft pick follows the same order each round, similar to how the nfl draft is orchestrated.

    offline draft

    An offline draft is held in person with other leaguemates and then added to the fantasy site of your choice once the draft is complete.

    draft online

    An online fantasy draft is held on the same fantasy site, where league mates can participate anywhere in the world instead of being in a singular location.


    the most common fantasy football league that spans a season with no player carrying over from one year to the next.

    rookie draft

    Rookie drafts are an integral part of dynasty fantasy football leagues. After the initial draft, rookie players are added each season through a separate draft consisting only of incoming rookies.

    snake eraser

    Each member of the league takes turns selecting players from first to last. however, the order is reversed in the next round. for example, the team with the first pick will pick first in odd rounds, but pick last in even rounds. a snake current is also known as a serpentine current.

    third round reversal (3rr)

    This style of wording is starting to gain popularity to balance the value of each selection space. statistically, the first slot in a snake draft has the most value. a third round reversal counteracts this by reversing the order in the third round.

    as an example, the first two rounds go in the traditional snake order, 1 to 12 then 12 to 1. instead of the first pick picking again, the person in 12th place would pick to open the third round. thereafter, it continues as a traditional snake drink.

    two quarterbacks/superflex

    Two quarterback leagues require teams to start with two quarterbacks each week. superflex is similar in that it allows the option to start a second qb, but it is not a requirement.

    common fantasy football scoring formats

    While it’s getting harder to keep up with all the new and innovative ways to play fantasy football, these terms are the most common scoring formats you’re likely to come across.

    half ppr

    half point ppr leagues award 0.5 points per catch and otherwise follow a standard scoring format.


    ppr represents one point per reception. this is a style of scoring where every reception an offensive player has counts towards a fantasy point. the amount you can score is based on your league settings.


    In standard scoring fantasy leagues, receptions do not count towards bonus points.

    the cousin

    this is a fancy term for a scoring format where tight ends receive extra receiving points to add value to the position given their traditional lack of volume. Point awards may vary based on league settings.

    staggered ppr

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    Instead of a flat rate where all players accumulate points, a catch is scored differently for each position to balance volume between positions. an example would be rbs getting 0.75 per catch, wrs getting 1 point and tees getting 1.25 points.

    general fantasy football terms

    Although not found in individual categories, these are a collection of fantasy football terms that every coach should be familiar with.

    boom or bust

    A player referred to as a “boom or bust” player has a wide variation of weekly scoring results. while they could have exceptional weeks, there is also the possibility that they will be very poor performers.


    A fantasy breakout is a term used in fantasy to describe a relatively well-known player who might be about to rise in value. Where the sleepers may be lesser-known players, the breakers may be established players ready to go from a top 36 player to a top 24 player.


    a bust is someone who is likely to underperform based on when they are selected during the fantasy draft.


    When referring to a range of results for a player, his “ceiling” is the higher end of the spectrum. it’s the opposite of a player’s floor.


    the steward is the person who runs the league. His job is to set up the score, create bylaws if needed, and handle any issues that may come up during the season. furthermore, they must act as fairly as possible, without prejudice, and ensure that collusion does not occur.


    As the name suggests, this term refers to a player’s ability to consistently produce reliable results.


    A drop is “relinquishing” a player from your roster to the free agent pool while adding or claiming a player to add to the owner’s roster.


    a flex is a place on the roster where you can start players of different positional designations. Typically, this spot on your starting roster might be a running back, receiver, or tight end.


    minimum represents the lowest possible result that a fantasy owner could reasonably expect from a player. the floor is the opposite of the ceiling.

    decision at the time of the game

    When a player is labeled as a “moment of the game decision”, there is no guarantee that a particular player will play, and their status will be evaluated closer to the start. this generally applies to players who are injured but were not ruled out earlier in the week.


    The term wives refers to a player’s back. traditionally this is used with running backs when you want to secure the next player in line for bunts. As an example, Dalvin Cook is the leading running back for the Minnesota Vikings. his wife would be alexander mattison, since he would be the player who would take over in case cook is lost at some point.

    injury report

    nfl teams must provide injury reports every day. These reports list player injuries and the status of upcoming games.

    dummy drafts

    Mock drafts are a vital piece of fantasy football. These are drafts that you can join with others or against cpu and draft teams while working on different strategies without getting stuck on said team.

    reach out

    Reach occurs when fantasy owners select a player way above their ad or don’t provide great value compared to their fantasy output.


    Fantasy sleepers are players that are generally undervalued and can usually be found in the later rounds of the draft. they have the potential to produce much more than their working capital.


    stacking/stacking is a fantasy football term in which a manager’s goal is to pair multiple players from the same team on their roster. the most common stack is a quarterback with at least one receiver on him. if the quarterback leaves, chances are his receivers will too, and vice versa.


    This term is used when you choose to rotate players from week to week. most commonly, it occurs with kickers or defensemen. Instead of playing with one person/unit for the entire season, he changes them weekly to take advantage of advantageous pairings.

    taxi squad

    A taxi team in fantasy football allows fantasy owners to retain talent from rookie drafts on a roster. Generally, a player must have two or fewer years of NFL experience to be eligible. The Cab Squad is essentially your fantasy version of an NFL practice squad.

    values-based writing

    value-based drafting (vbd) is a strategy that assigns a value to each player by comparing that player’s fantasy points to the fantasy points of a point guard at the same position.

    exemption wire

    The waiver cord is the group of NFL players who are not currently on any of the league rosters. these players can be acquired each week to add talent, pass on a position, or replace an injured player.

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