Fantasy Football Terms and Abbreviations You Need To Know in 2024 Include ADP, PPR, and FAAB

As fantasy football continues to grow, new managers are faced with learning the game. Here, we have compiled a list of the most helpful fantasy football terms.

If you’re a fantasy football veteran, this article is probably not for you. For those newer to the game, you’ve come to the right place.

More and more managers enter the community each year. It is our duty to make their learning curve as easy as possible.

If you’re new to fantasy football, you’re going to encounter dozens of terms and abbreviations, many of which you’ve likely never seen before. It can certainly feel overwhelming.

Allow this to be your one-stop shop for everything you need to know about fantasy football terminology.

What Are Some Common Fantasy Football Abbreviations?

I will start with some bad news. There’s no way any singular article could cover every conceivable term and abbreviation you might encounter when playing fantasy football.

Analysis advances every year. With progress comes new terms and new metrics. There are probably some new stats out there even I haven’t heard of yet.

The focus here is to help educate you on the most common terms and abbreviations you will see. Here are the most prevalent abbreviations across all fantasy platforms.

Fair warning: there are a lot.

aDOT

aDOT stands for “average depth of target.” This term refers to how far a ball travels in the air past the line of scrimmage before it reaches its intended target.

ADP

ADP is one of the most important terms in fantasy football. It’s probably the term you will hear the most in the months of July and August and the single most important term for drafting.

ADP stands for “average draft position.” It is the average spot at which a player is selected in fantasy drafts. ADP can be relative to a specific fantasy platform (i.e., Yahoo, Sleeper, ESPN, etc.) or across multiple platforms.

BN

BN is short for “bench.” You will most likely see this abbreviation when looking at your roster on your fantasy platform of choice.

FAAB or FAB

FAAB stands for “Free Agent Acquisition Budget.”

A couple of years ago, Yahoo opted to remove an “A” and go with FAB, which stands for Free Agent Budget. It’s a distinction without a difference.

MORE: What Is FAAB?

FAAB is your virtual amount of money available to use to acquire players from waivers. FAAB or FAB waivers is a blind-bidding system where each week, when waivers clear (typically on Wednesday morning), the platform awards the players to the teams according to who bid the most, just like an auction.

IDP

IDP stands for “Individual Defensive Player.”

Your league probably only has offensive players. Defense is captured by drafting an entire unit. However, some leagues opt to include actual defensive players. Those leagues are known as IDP leagues.

IR

Much like the NFL, IR stands for “injured reserve.” In the NFL, these are players who are on the shelf for at least four weeks.

In fantasy football, the your IR spots are available to use to put players listed as Out, IR, or PUP. These players don’t count against your total roster size, allowing you to replace an injured player on your roster without dropping a healthy one (or the injured player himself).

PPD

PPD stands for “postponed.” You will only see this next to a player’s name when his game is postponed.

It specifically refers to a situation where a game is not played on the week in which it was scheduled. Even if a game is moved from Sunday to Monday, it won’t be considered postponed. There is a 99.9% chance you never see this designation unless you play fantasy baseball.

PPR

PPR stands for “point per reception.” This is a very common scoring format where players are awarded a point for a reception.

PUP

PUP stands for “Physically Unable to Perform.” You will see this term a lot when NFL training camps begin in late July.

Training camp PUP doesn’t actually matter for fantasy football. However, any player that is still on the PUP list when the season starts is guaranteed to miss at least the first six weeks of the season.

RZ

RZ stands for the “red zone.” You may see this on NFL game trackers.

RZ indicates that the offense is possessing the ball inside their opponent’s 20-yard line.

YPC

YPC stands for “yards per carry.” This refers to the average yardage a player accumulates each time he carries the ball.

YPR

YPR stands for “yards per reception.” This refers to the average number of yards a player accumulates each time he catches the ball.

Fantasy Football Positions

As with the NFL, fantasy football follows the same positional naming in most cases.

D/ST: Team Defense/Special Teams. This represents all the production from a team’s defense and special teams. It does not include kicker scoring, as that is a separate position.
DEF: An alternate abbreviation for D/ST.
K: Kicker
QB: Quarterback
RB: Running Back
TE: Tight End
WR: Wide Receiver
Flex: Any RB, WR, or TE
W/T: Wide Receiver or Tight End
W/R: Wide Receiver or Running Back
Q/W/R/T: Superflex, or, any QB, WR, RB, or TE

For those of you in an IDP league, you may encounter the following abbreviations as well:

CB: Cornerback
DB: Defensive Back
DE: Defensive End
DL: Defensive Lineman
DT: Defensive Tackle
FS: Free Safety
LB: Linebacker
MLB: Middle Linebacker
OLB: Outside Linebacker
S: Safety
SS: Strong Safety

What Are Some of the Most Popular Fantasy Football Formats?

There is seemingly no limit to the creativity of those in the fantasy football community. The new and innovative ways to play this game that they come up with are nothing short of incredible.

Here are some of the common terms used to describe various fantasy football formats.

All-Play

Most fantasy leagues are traditional head-to-head formats. Each manager will have one opponent per week. Your sole objective is to score more points than the team across from you.

In All-Play, every team plays every other team every week. So, if you’re in a typical 12-team league, that means you have 11 matchups each week. The highest-scoring team would go 11-0, and the lowest-scoring team would go 0-11.

Autopick Draft

An autopick draft is a form of drafting without all of the managers getting together at one time to select their players.

Instead, managers preset their rankings by a designated deadline and the platform automatically conducts a draft, filling each team’s roster.

Auction

The most common draft format remains snake, but auction has been growing in popularity over the years.

An auction draft, which is also known as a salary cap draft, utilizes a nomination and bidding system to place players on rosters. One by one, teams go in order nominating players. Every team will have the opportunity to bid on that player. As with any auction, the highest bidder wins.

MORE: Auction Draft Strategies | Best Ball Strategy

Auction drafts differ from FAAB waivers in that the bidding is not blind. You know exactly how much you need to bid to win. You just need to decide if it’s worth it.

Best Ball

Best Ball is a fantasy football format where a manager’s only activity is drafting their rosters. Once the draft is over, the fantasy platform automatically sets your optimal lineup each week.

There are some versions of Best Ball where you can make adds and drops throughout the season, but the basic tenet of the format is every team will have their optimal lineup every week.

Best Ball does not use a weekly head-to-head format. Instead, whichever team has the most points after 17 weeks wins.

Devy

Devy is short for “Developmental.” This is a very advanced format of fantasy football where you really need to know your stuff.

Devy leagues consist of drafting not only a full roster of NFL players, but also a full roster of college players.

As those players enter the NFL, they join your NFL roster. It’s an extremely challenging format, but it can be incredibly rewarding when you pinpoint that college freshman who becomes the next great NFL superstar.

DFS

DFS stands for “Daily Fantasy Sports.” DraftKings and FanDuel are the two most popular platforms for DFS, but contests and games exist on a whole host of platforms, including Underdog and Sleeper.

Daily fantasy leagues are fantasy football contests limited to just one week, one day, or sometimes even one game of the NFL season.

There are numerous ways to play DFS. Formats vary from drafting rosters via snake draft to building a lineup based on a salary cap. The nature of the contest will impact strategy, but the goal is always to score as many points as possible.

Dynasty

Dynasty fantasy football is a format where your entire roster carries over from season to season.

There is one initial startup draft involving every NFL player. After that, the draft only consists of rookies. Players will not reenter the available player pool unless they are dropped. The only way players can change teams if if they are dropped or traded.

Empire

An Empire league places a fun little wrinkle on dynasty fantasy football. One of the pitfalls of dynasty leagues is that the ultimate goal is to completely dominate. Well, that’s no fun for the other 11 teams.

So, in an Empire league, half the pot goes to the year’s winners, with the other half set aside in a rolling Emperor pot.

The Emperor pot does not pay out until someone wins consecutive championships. Once that happens, that manager takes both pots, and the league either disbands or undergoes a hard reset (which is simply starting over from scratch).

Guillotine

The Guillotine league is one of the newest formats of fantasy football. This type of league is NOT a traditional head-to-head setup. Instead, each manager has one goal every week — don’t come in last.

Each week, the lowest-scoring team is eliminated from the league. Unfortunately, that means someone only gets to play for one week. That team’s entire roster becomes part of the following week’s waiver pool. At the end of the season, the last team remaining is the champion.

Head-to-Head

If you’ve read this glossary in order, you’ve already seen this term several times. Head-to-head is the most common league format. Every manager will have one opponent per week. You get a win only by defeating that opponent.

Keeper

A keeper is a player you keep on your roster from one year to the next. Keeper leagues serve as a middle ground between redraft and dynasty.

MORE: Dynasty vs. Keeper Leagues

In dynasty leagues, managers retain their entire rosters from year to year. In keeper leagues, managers retain some of their rosters from year to year.

Linear Draft

You probably won’t encounter a linear draft unless you play in a dynasty league.

Linear drafts are conducted like the NFL Draft. They do not snake each round like your typical draft. Instead, the order in which teams draft is the same every round. Whoever picks first in Round 1 picks first in every round.

Offline Draft

An offline draft is when your league conducts its draft in a way that doesn’t utilize the fantasy platform’s online software. This is how everyone drafted in the before times (read: before the internet), or so I’m told.

After an offline draft is complete, your commissioner will manually input each team’s roster onto the platform you are using to host your league unless you’re scoring by hand (don’t do that).

Online Draft

An online fantasy draft is when you utilize your fantasy platform’s online software to conduct your draft. This is the easiest and, by far, the most common method of drafting.

Everyone enters into the draft room at a predetermined date and time to draft their teams. After the draft, the platform automatically populates everyone’s roster.

Redraft

Forever the most popular version of fantasy football, redraft probably refers to the league format you’re playing in — or at least one of them.

Redraft leagues treat each season as an entirely new year without connection to the previous one. Managers draft new teams each year.

Rookie Draft

Rookie drafts are an integral part of dynasty leagues. After the initial “startup” draft, each successive year’s draft consists of only rookies. This draft is typically linear and known as the dynasty rookie draft.

Snake Draft

This is the most common form of drafting. In a snake draft, the order in which teams pick players reverses each round. For example, in Round 1, the order is 1-12, and in Round 2, the order is 12-1.

Third-Round Reversal (3RR)

This drafting style is starting to gain popularity to balance out the value of each draft slot. Statistically, the earlier you pick in a snake draft, the more likely you are to win.

 

Third-round reversal means the order in which your draft snakes reverses in the third round. Rounds 1 and 2 proceed as normal, with Round 1 going 1-12 and Round 2 going 12-1. However, Round 3 once again goes 12-1, with Round 4 then going 1-12, and so on.

2QB/Superflex

Two-quarterback leagues require teams to start two quarterbacks every week. Superflex is similar and more common because it accounts for the fact that there are only 32 starting quarterbacks in the NFL.

Managers are still expected to start two quarterbacks, but the Superflex position allows fantasy managers to start running backs, wide receivers, or tight ends in the spot as well.

Common Fantasy Football Scoring Formats

There are far too many variations on scoring to mention here. We will focus on the most common scoring formats you will encounter.

Full-PPR

As indicated above, PPR stands for point per reception. In full-PPR scoring formats, each reception is worth 1.0 points.

Half-PPR

In half-PPR scoring formats, each reception is worth 0.5 points.

Non-PPR

In non-PPR scoring formats, a reception has no value beyond the yards gained. You may also see this format referred to as “standard.”

MORE: How Fantasy Football Scoring Systems Work

This is an antiquated term based on this scoring format having been the standard for a very long time, mostly in the pre-internet days. It has not been the standard scoring format for several years now, but if you see someone use it, know that they probably mean non-PPR.

TE Premium

TE Premium refers to a scoring format where tight ends are awarded additional points for the same actions as other pass catchers.

Typically, the bonus will occur with receptions. An example of a TE Premium league is awarding tight ends an extra 0.5 points per reception on top of whatever all pass catchers receive.

Tiered PPR

Tiered PPR adjusts the number of points awarded for a reception based on the length of that reception.

For example, a reception that doesn’t gain any yards might not garner any points, but a 10-yard reception might net you an additional 0.5 points, while a 20-yard reception would earn a full 1.0 points on top of the yardage.

General Fantasy Football Terms

If you’re reading fantasy football articles or listening to podcasts, you will undoubtedly hear many of these terms. It’s important to know what they mean.

Boom-or-Bust

This term refers to a very volatile player. A boom-or-bust player is not reliable week-to-week, but is capable of scoring a lot of points.

Breakout

This term typically refers to a player who has been in the league for more than a year but has yet to perform at the level fantasy managers believe he is capable of. This term can also be used to describe a player’s performance from the previous season, indicating he took a massive step forward.

Bust

This is the opposite of a breakout. A bust is a player who severely underperforms relative to where he is taken in fantasy drafts.

Ceiling

This refers to the high-end of a player’s range of outcomes. A player’s ceiling is the best possible season he can reasonably produce.

Commissioner

This is the person who runs your league. The commissioner is tasked with all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into making your fantasy league happen.

It is the commissioner’s job to create (or renew) your league, schedule your draft, establish and enforce the rules, and arbitrate any issues that may arise during the season.

Consistency

Much like the name suggests, this term refers to a player’s ability to produce results fantasy managers can rely on. A consistent player is the opposite of a boom-or-bust player in that his fantasy scoring is more stable every week.

Drop

This is the act of removing a player from your roster. When you drop a player, he will hit the waiver wire and be eligible to be claimed by any team in the league.

You may also hear a player referred to as a “drop.” That means he is someone that person feels should be cut from rosters.

Flex

This refers to the spot in your starting lineup where more than one position is eligible.

Unless otherwise indicated, you can start any running back, wide receiver, or tight end in a Flex position. As you may have deduced, the term was derived from “Flexible.”

Floor

This represents the worst realistic season or performance that a player can have. The floor is the opposite of the ceiling.

Free Agent

In the NFL, a free agent is a player not currently signed to an NFL roster. As I’m sure you’ve deduced, in fantasy football, a free agent is a player not on waivers and not on any roster. He is eligible to be added by any team at any time, subject to your league’s waiver wire rules.

Game-Time Decision or ‘GTD’

This refers to a player whose playing status is truly up in the air.

When a coach labels a player as a game-time decision, in most cases, fantasy managers will not know if he is going to play until inactives are announced 90 minutes before kickoff.

Handcuff

This term is exclusive to the running back position. A handcuff is a backup running back who doesn’t possess any fantasy value on his own, but is likely to be relevant should the starter playing ahead of him get hurt or become otherwise indisposed.

Injury Report

NFL teams are required to provide daily injury reports for their practice sessions held four days, three days, and two days before each game.

The first two injury reports indicate what the player is dealing with and his practice participation level. The third and final injury report provides the player’s status for the upcoming game, which will be listed as questionable, doubtful, or out. If nothing is listed, then the player is good to go.

Mock Draft

This refers to a fantasy football draft that is purely practice. A mock draft does not matter in the sense that there are no ramifications for what you do during the draft.

You can conduct mock drafts with other people or do automated mock drafts with the computer. Fantasy managers participate in mock drafts to help prepare for the real thing.

Reach

You will hear this term when someone in a fantasy draft selects a player significantly ahead of their ADP. For example, if a player has a Round 8 ADP and you draft him in Round 5, that would be considered a reach.

Sleeper

Traditionally, this term is used to refer to a player that most other fantasy managers might not know about. Essentially, it’s a guy flying under the radar.

In modern fantasy football, with the prevalence of information out there, pretty much everyone knows who every player is.

MORE: What Is a Sleeper in Fantasy Football?

Nowadays, a sleeper is typically just a player going later in fantasy drafts who has the potential to perform at a level significantly higher than where he is drafted.

Spot-Starter

This term refers to a player you add from the waiver wire to make one singular start the upcoming week. Of course, that doesn’t preclude you from keeping him around if you think he will remain useful for future weeks.

Stack or Stacking

Stacking is a fantasy football strategy where you draft a quarterback and pass catchers from the same NFL team. The purpose of this is to increase your team’s weekly upside.

Stream, Streamer, or Streaming

Whether you’re talking about a stream, a streamer, or the act of streaming, it’s all referring to the same thing. This a strategy that entails shuffling through different starting players each week. It commonly occurs with kickers and defenses, but it can apply to any position.

Taxi Squad

This term refers to a specific set of players in certain dynasty leagues.

MORE: Fantasy Football Taxi Squads — What Are They, and Should You Use Them?

Taxi squads usually consist of rookies. It’s an area of your roster where the players will not count against your total roster spots. A taxi squad is akin to an NFL practice squad.

VBD

VBD is short for value-based drafting. This is a draft strategy that assigns a value to every player by comparing that player’s fantasy points to the fantasy points of a baseline player at the same position.

Waiver Wire

The waiver wire is the pool of NFL players currently not on any roster in your fantasy league. These players can be added to your roster each week.

With the fantasy football season behind us, why not start preparing for your rookie drafts with our dynasty rookie rankings? Additionally, as you look to improve your team heading into 2024, our dynasty trade calculator can help you find the perfect deal to boost your championship chances.

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