Like the rest of the sports world, fantasy football has a lingo all its own. The slang terms are all fairly easy to grasp and fun to use, so don’t be scared off! The following list will help you get a good feel for these fantasy football terms before you start playing.
Auction: A fantasy draft style in which owners use a bidding system to acquire players.
Breakout: When a player goes from average to great.
Bust: A player who underperforms and does not live up to expectations.
Bye week: Every NFL team is inactive once during the regular season; an NFL team’s off week is its bye week.
Cheat sheets: The lists of pre-ranked players — overall and by position.
Collusion: Two coaches working together to win a league.
Damaged goods: When a player involved in a trade is hurt.
Draft: A process in which fantasy team owners take turns selecting players to fill out their roster.
Elite: The highest ranked players at their positions.
Fantasy formula: A simple way to evaluate a player’s potential: skill plus opportunity equals success.
Fantasy worthy: He plays enough to make a fantasy impact.
Fleecing: Taking advantage of a bad coach in a lopsided trade.
Flex: A slot in your lineup that accepts more than one position; flex positions usually accept wide receivers, running backs, or tight ends.
Free agent: A fantasy player who is currently not on any team roster and has cleared waivers.
Game-time decision: Waiting to see if a hurt player will start.
Handcuffing: Drafting a backup and a starter from the same NFL team.
IDP (Individual Defensive Players): Instead of using team defense, this league type allows fantasy owners to choose individual defensive players for their team rosters.
IR (Injured Reserve): A player who is currently injured and is eligible to remain on a fantasy roster without taking up an official roster spot.
Keeper league: Coaches retain a certain amount of players from one season to the next.
League settings: The league rules and stat modifiers that determine fantasy point values.
PPR (Points Per Reception): Scoring system in which players receive an additional point for each reception they have.
Pre-rankings: How NFL players are rated before the draft.
Private league: A league you can join by invitation only and that’s controlled by a commissioner.
Public league: A league where anyone can sign up and play.
Sleeper: A little-known player who’s ready to awaken and be great.
Stud: A top-rated fantasy starter.
Trade bait: Good players who you can offer to other coaches.
Trading deadline: Last day of the season to make trades.
Vulture back: A running back who steals goal-line carries from the starter.
Waiver wire: Dropped players are here before they become free agents.