Fantasy Football 101: Terminology & Basics for Beginners

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Fantasy football is a game that can seem daunting to get involved in, let alone master. The list of players you feel you need to know is already long, and then you must see if they are good. Good is defined differently from being good in the NFL to being good for fantasy football. Then once you make the bold decision to join a league, you have to figure out that league’s rules. Then all your league mates start throwing around different phrases like ADP (Average Draft Position), PPR (Point Per Reception), or post-hype sleeper.

So, what do all these terms mean? What are all the terms you need to know to manage a fantasy football team? We here at the Fantasy Footballers are here to help you! We want to be a platform for all levels of fantasy enthusiasts.

Here is a list of terms you need to know to navigate the semi-murky waters of fantasy football.

Fantasy Football

Maybe this is unnecessary, but before we can get into the other terms, let’s ensure we understand what fantasy football is. It is a game where you assume the role of an NFL general manager, and your goal is to construct a roster to score more points than the other managers in your league. You can select players from all over the NFL to complete your roster. There are different styles of roster construction, and how the game changes from year to year can vary, but the goal boils down to trying to score more points than your opponents each week by building a roster of NFL players that is better than your league mates.

League Styles


The most common style of fantasy football is where your team resets every year. You typically have the same managers in the league from year to year, but you have to build your roster from scratch entirely annually. You do this in a draft. Again, there are different styles of drafts, but an annual draft is how you build your roster.


A fantasy football style that is rapidly growing in popularity. This style is the most like the NFL. Your roster does not change drastically yearly because you control your team’s makeup entirely. You can use your draft picks, or you can trade them away. You can only draft rookies in most leagues, but some allow you to draft veterans after a certain point. After the draft, you must cut down your roster to ensure you can fit everyone into your roster spots. These leagues are meant to go on for years and years. The rosters are usually massive, with extra-sized benches for you to have most of the league players on the roster somehow.


The last of the main styles of fantasy football is a blend of redraft and dynasty. In this version, you keep a certain number of your players, and then all the other players go back into the pool of players everyone is drafting. Then once those players are selected and kept on the roster for each team, the league hosts a draft similar to redraft to fill out the needed spots. This style requires a good bit of strategy because you are filling your roster spots with great players and knowing other great players could be going to other teams, so who you keep is more than “I keep my best players.” For more on this topic, check out How to Convert a Redraft League Into a Keeper.

Draft Styles

Snake Draft

The most common draft style aims to create a fair balance in the league yearly. The way these works is the first person to draft in the first round becomes the last person in the second round and then is back to the first in the third round, thus creating the snake-like curves of the drafting style’s name. The thing about this style is that while the number one pick can get you one great player, you have to wait a long time before your next choice. This forces you to strategize how you want to build your team and attack the draft to keep the advantage that the number one pick can give you.

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Linear Draft

This is the drafting style most used in dynasty drafts. However, it is becoming popular in some keeper leagues as well. This draft style is just like what happens in the NFL draft. The team that comes in last gets the first pick in each round, and the championship team goes last. This style is designed, just like in the NFL, to create parity in the league. This style adds another wrinkle – because your pick is defined based on where you finish, it is more enticing to trade some of your picks for players on other teams or picks in the draft. This draft style is perfect in a dynasty league rookie format because it adds so much intrigue to how you trade and work for your team throughout the season.

Auction Draft

This draft type is where you have a specific allotment of money and then use that money to build out your team. Every player on your team has to be paid for, which means if you want one specific player, you can bid up to the dollar amount needed to pay for them, keeping in mind that you need to budget enough funds to fill out the rest of your roster. Usually, each person takes a chance nominating a player, and then the league bids on that player until someone wins the bid. This style is so unique from the other two types it can make a league full of similar people feel entirely different.


Use all of this knowledge as you so choose. There will be more glossary terms, but this should get you started figuring out what league style and draft you want to be involved in. That is the first step into the journey that is fantasy football. Find a league that you like and get involved. If you don’t have anyone you know looking to add a member to a league, visit and check out Footclan Leagues. There are all styles of leagues with a wide range of skills and history with the game. You could find a community that is perfect for you.

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