DFS Glossary of Terms


This DFS Glossary is intended to put DFS Terms in as simple writing as we deem appropriate. We aim to give beginning DFS players knowledge of how these terms are typically used in the DFS World.

General DFS Glossary of Terms

  • $/Point is the number of dollars that each projected point will cost you. To use an example, if you have a player that costs $5,000 and that player is ultimately projected to score 10 points, you would divide $5K by 10, which would get you $500/point. You are looking for lower numbers here as you should want to pay less of your available salary per point.
  • 50/50 is considered a “Cash Game” where 50% of the entrants will receive the same amount in payment for finishing in the top half.
  • Action is a reference to the amount of games or cash that are in play at any given time, on any given site.
  • Bankroll is the amount of money you’re allocating to your DFS investment. You should never risk more than you’re willing to lose.
  • Buy In or ‘entry cost’ is the money paid to enter a contest.
  • Contrarian plays are when you choose a player or lineup that goes against the Chalk. By differing from public opinion, you will draft players with lower ownership percentages. The benefit to these plays is that when a low owned player excels it benefits your line up while benefiting a low percentage of the fields’ lineups.

Dfs glossary, DFS Glossary of Terms

  • Cash Games typically refer to head to head and double up contest types. Multipliers, boosters, 3 mans, 5 mans, etc are also often included as types of cash games.
  • Ceiling references the best possible result for any particular stat, but typically it is used for the projected points outcome. So, Christian McCaffrey’s best yards gained for a game in 2019 was 176, we can say that this is his ceiling.

“Floor” would be the opposite to ceiling.

  • Chalk plays are the obvious plays who project to produce great value. The majority of the public will typically recognize this as well, resulting in high ownership of these players.
  • Defense vs Position or DvP shows how many fantasy point an opposing defense gives up to a players position.
  • DFS stands for Daily Fantasy Sports.
  • Donk which is short for Donkey. Basically this is just a poor player in the DFS world that throws away money on poor decisions without a care.
  • Double Up‘s are sometimes referred to as ’50/50’s and are a DFS contest type in which nearly half of the field of players doubles their money. The reason less than half the players double there money is due to the entry fee.
  • Entry Cost is the money paid to enter a contest.
  • Entry Fee is the portion of a DFS buy in taken out by the DFS site. These fees are how DFS sites make money. Entry Fees are sometimes also referred to as ‘rake’.
  • Expected Value (EV) of players in DFS is generally referring to their mean expected performances given a certain set of circumstances.
  • Expected Value (EV) of an contest entry is generally referring to the expected profit or loss to make on average given a set of circumstances.
  • Fade means to avoid a player or group of players. Normally you will see DFS folks fading a player because they are either going to be heavily owned and they want to put in a contrarian lineup or, the player or group of players is just bad for that particular slate.
  • Flex is a slot within a lineup that can be occupied by multiple positions. A Flex in NFL DFS can be a RB, WR or TE as an example.
  • Floor is the worst outcome for any given stat and is the opposite of “Ceiling” referenced above. Christian McCaffrey’s lowest receiving yards for one game in 2019 was 26, it can be said that this is his floor.
  • Freeroll is a DFS game that has no entry fee to enter, but does have cash prizes. You would normally see freerolls given out as loyalty rewards for customer or if the DFS site is looking to attract new players.
  • Guaranteed Prize Pool Tournaments or GPPs refer to tournament structured contest types in which the prize pool is guaranteed. These contests are guaranteed to run regardless of whether the entry cap is filled. The payout of structure of these contests are top heavy with first place winning the most and each place after first winning less and less.
  • Head to Heads or Heads Ups are a DFS contest type in which only two players play against each other. The winner wins two times the entry fee they paid minus 2 times the entry fee resulting in almost doubling their entry fee.
  • Lock is the time when a contest starts and you can no longer edit your lineups.
  • Multi-Entry is a game where you are allowed to put in more than one lineup. Normally when you are on the dashboard of your favorite DFS site and are looking at available games, there will be an indicator as to how many entries are allowed.

This is the opposite of Single-Entry.

  • Must Play is a player whose value is too good to not play, i.e., the extreme chalk plays.
  • Overlay is created when there are not enough entrants into a contest to cover the guaranteed prize pool. This excess of prize money means that players with break even expected value (EV) are now profitable players. Profitable players are now even more profitable as there’s essentially free money added to the prize pool.
  • Projected Value or Points/$ shows a player’s projected score relative to their salary. The formula is (Projected Fantasy Points / Player Salary * 1000). The reason for multiplying by 1000 is just so the number is cleaner, i.e., 2.53 instead of .00253
  • Rake is the amount of commission that a DFS site takes off the entry fee. The standard rake for the industry seems to be about 9-10% but it can go down under this amount when the stakes for a game is higher.
  • Single-Entry is a contest where you can only enter with one lineup. This is the opposite of a Multi-Entry game.
  • Stack/Stacking is putting multiple players from the same team or same game into your lineup to capitalize on potential blowouts. It is quite normal to see DFS players put in a group of players that are dependent on each other, like stacking a QB with a WR and/or RB. If the QB is playing well, it is likely that his receivers are as well. Stacking is your friend in DFS.
  • Team Total is the total for just one of the teams competing in a game. It is (the Total / 2) + or – (the spread/2). See: Total.
  • Total is the number of points sportsbooks have set for a game. It is sometimes referred to as the “Over/Under” as you can bet that the game will have more or less than the line. High Totals are a good indication of games that will have a lot of fantasy points scored in them.
  • Vegas Lines refer to the totals, team totals, and the spreads that Vegas or off shore sportsbook use. The best source for spreads is Pinnacle Sports @ pinnacle.com as they tend to have the sharpest lines.

Hopefully this DFS Glossary will help you to understand some of the common DFS terms that you would likely encounter regularly on your DFS journey. There is no doubt I have missed a bunch so I will check back in from time to time to add to the list.

If you want to dive a little deeper into the DFS world, you can check out the articles listed below which can help guide you to becoming a better and more knowledgeable DFS player.

Daily Fantasy Sports Breakdown

Draftkings Review

Fanduel Vs Draftkings – A side by side look at the two giants of DFS.

For Lineup Optimizers to help you out with building more competitive lineups, you can check out these:

Draft Dashboard

Daily Fantasy Nerd

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