Daily Fantasy Sports, like any industry, has its share of nuance. And that percolates all the way through to the terminology employed by its community. For anyone just getting on the DFS train, first of all, welcome aboard. Stick with PlayPicks.com for all your daily fantasy sports strategy and advice for lineups at DraftKings and FanDuel.
Second, there are a handful of terms that will be used often across the industry. Below, we outline some of the most prominent terms that you absolutely need to know before dipping your toe into DFS.
For the purposes of this exercise, we’ll keep all examples extremely optimistic.
Bankroll: The amount of investment a user dedicates to Daily Fantasy Sports, specifically contest buy-ins. This does not include investments beyond contest fees, namely fantasy site subscriptions and time investment.
GPP: An abbreviation of Guaranteed Prize Pools, GPPs are large-field events in which there is a guaranteed payout structure and amount. Normally, a small percentage of players win.
Cash Games: Including some of the following terms, cash games refer to any game that features lower risk by way of paying out lower profits to a greater percentage of the field. Some games include H2H, 50/50s, Double Ups, and the like.
H2H: A matchup against a single opponent in which the winner typically receives 90% of the pool with 10% going to the rake.
50/50: Similar to H2H, 50/50s pay out 90% of the prize pool to the top 50% of scores, meaning half of the field wins their buy-ins back plus an additional 80% in return. However, this game type features more than two players, sometimes in the 1000’s at DraftKings or FanDuel.
Double Ups: Like 50/50s, Double Ups are multiplayer tournaments, but the winners receive double their buy ins. In order for those economics to work, the top 45% of lineups — as opposed to 50% — make up “the money.”
Rake: The percentage of entry fees taken by the site facilitating the contest.
The Money: A common term in any wager-based competition, “the money” refers to the subset of lineups which qualify for a predefined amount of the prize pool. In DFS, a certain percentile of any competition will be the threshold for being in the money or out of it.
Stacking: A common practice, stacking refers to the combination of players from the same team, normally leveraged when certain indicators (O/U, spread, etc.) indicate higher potential fantasy output.
Game Stacking: A more aggressive take on stacking, game stacking is the practice of rostering multiple players from both teams in a single matchup. This tactic provides greater exposure to a game and often requires high expected offensive output from each team. Like regular stacking, it is much more prevalent on shorter slates.
Fade: As the term suggests, to fade is to avoid rostering a player on a given slate. A full fade would imply that a user will have 0% exposure to a specific player, while one can partially fade a player, such as when they have exceptionally low exposure to a chalk player compared to the field.
Chalk: Speaking of, chalk is the subset of available players which are expected to be most highly owned by the tournament field. Chalk is often dictated by amount of games in a given slate, injuries, value, and matchup.
Bullish: Borrowed from traditional finance, bullish implies an optimistic outlook on the probability of a future event, such as the expectation that Player A will hit a homerun.
Bearish: Also borrowed from traditional finance, bearish implies a pessimistic outlook on the probability of a future event, such as the expectation that Player A will not hit safely.
Late Swap: This is mostly important to know because it impacts how you deal with questionable designations. Late swap refers to the ability to swap one player for another after the contest entry locks. While most sites have late swap formats, not all sites treat late swap the same, insomuch as they differ in how they deploy it. For instance, DraftKings has a separate game type entirely for late swap, though they’ve toyed with its removal in the past.
Overlay: When a GPP’s guaranteed pool is greater than the sum of entry fees. Simply, if the combined entry fees for a guaranteed prize pool is less than the guaranteed prize, the site then makes up the difference, meaning that a lower percentage of the pool is funded by DFS players. That means fewer entries competing for the same guaranteed prize pool.
PPR: Points per reception varies across the industry, but the definition does not. A PPR contest means a player will receive additional points for every reception beyond points accumulated from yards and touchdowns. This is NFL DFS only.
Stacking: Rostering multiple players from the same team.
Game Stacking: Rostering multiple players from either team in the same game.