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Fantasy 101

AFL Fantasy Football Glossary

What’s a break even? What’s a cash cow? All of the Fantasy footy jargon is unpacked.

Are you frightened by Fantasy jargon? Does the thought of a bunch of number-crunching footy nerds hovering over their laptops and chortling about ‘cash cows’ and ‘Fantasy pigs’ make you break out in a cold sweat? Then, relax. Like most buzzwords, they’re completely harmless, particularly if you take the time to learn the lingo. We have made it easy for you with this complete A-Z guide of all the AFL Fantasy terms you’ll ever need – a Gary Ablett to Dayne Zorko, if you like. Enjoy.

ADP (Average Draft Position)

A number that indicates where a player has been selected in a Fantasy Draft based on the previous drafts that have occurred beforehand. For example, Dayne Beams’ draft ranking last year was 6. Fair to say, it won’t be that high again.


When you miss your pick in Fantasy Draft. The time limit runs out which can be because of indecision, too many beers or internet connection issues.

Best 18

A term used over the bye rounds where only your highest 18 scoring players (who must be on the field) will count towards your score.

Best 22

Refers to whether a player is in their club’s best side.


The score a player must reach that weekend to maintain their price. If they score more, they will increase in value. If they score less, their price will drop.


A player who has a break-out season will boost their average considerably from the year before. These are the players you want to target when selecting your Fantasy Classic team for the opening round, but often more importantly, they are the ones who will help you win your Fantasy Draft league if you grab a late round bargain on a break-out.


A player who is predicted to have a poor season compared to general expectations. The player might be injury-prone, coming off a career year that my be an outlier or may not live up to the hype.

Burning up the track

An overused term during the pre-season. Beware of thinking such pronouncements meaning to a one-week wonder ends up in your Fantasy team.


Also known as the multi-bye rounds (MBRs) is the group of three weeks that teams have a week off. Most Fantasy Draft leagues take the byes off for head-to-head match ups as do a lot of Fantasy Classic leagues. In Classic the top 18 on-field scores will count for the weekly total and coaches have three trades to use in each bye round.


Each week you get to assign the captaincy to one player in your team, and their score is doubled for that round. If you captain doesn’t play, the vice captain’s score will double.

Cash cow

A cheap player who grows in price due to strong scores through the season, before being sold to make money. Ideally, a basement priced player who makes $300k+ in the first few weeks is what you need to upgrade to a fallen premium.


A player’s best potential score, admittedly the subject of speculation, however if we have seen some high scores, we know they have a ceiling.

Champion Data

The official statisticians of the AFL. They provide all of the stats that make up the Fantasy numbers. Fantasy Freako is the ‘face’ of their Fantasy content and can be found on Twitter as well in their annual AFL Prospectus and weekly ‘Rave’ email. Champion Data, also referred to as CD, give players the initial positions and make adjustments by adding DPP in rounds 6, 12 and 18 each year.

Chasing points

Trading in someone who scored well the week before, in the hope that they will replicate that form for you.


The game where you pick a side under the salary cap. Player prices change each week depending on performance and coaches have trades they can use every week.


Referst ot he act of fantasy coaches conspiring unethically to gain an unfair advantage. It is often done via trade, throwing games or other practices that would give one owner an unfair advantage for an easy win.


The Gillon McLachlan of the league. The person responsible for setting up and maintaining the league and making the big calls on settings, most imporant in Draft leagues. They’ll collect entry fees and distribute prizes… and oversee Draft trades. It is important for the commissioner to be unbiased (fair) and honest.


An emergency who will certainly play, and will provide you with cover if an on-field player is a late withdrawal. The ultimate cover scenario is when that emergency scores over 100 and you receive that score in place of withdrawn player. The nightmare scenario is when one of your players goes down injured in the first quarter with a sub-20 score, and your cover player scores over 100 but his score doesn’t count.


A tackle – worth four points each in Fantasy.


When you can’t field a full team due to injuries or poor management. A player who doesn’t play that weekend will score 0 – a donut.


The term used when offloading a player to a cheaper player to make some cash. For example, the best was to utilise a downgrade is selling a fattened cash cow who has maximised his value for a new rookie playing his first game.

DPP (Dual-Position Player)

A player who carries two positions next to their name and can play in either one. DEF/MIDs and MID/FWDs are the most popular while RUC/FWDs and DEF/FWDs can also help with flexibility, especially in Draft. Players are awarded DPP status in rounds 6, 12 and 18.


The game where a league takes it in turns to pick their side meaning every player is unique.

Draft Day

Best day on the Fantasy calendar. The time/date the initial draft takes place for Fantasy Draft leagues where hopefully all coaches can get together and have plenty of banter, beers and fun.

Dream Team (DT)

The name of the official AFL Fantasy game up until 2013. VaporMedia (aka Sports Deck or Virtual Sports) still run this format under the name of Real Dream Team or RDT.


Former name of the Draft game.


A player selected on your bench to cover an on-field player in case they are a late-withdrawal. Only those on the field will score for you, so emergencies who play are extremely important.


The company that makes the website/app and runs all of the tech side of things.

Fantasy Pig

The highest and most prestigious status in the Fantasy world, awarded to a player who goes above and beyond to feast on points. Dane Swan was the original Pig and since then Tom Rockliff (2014), Tom Mitchell (2017) and Brodie Grundy (2019) have been inducted into the Sty. The Fantasy Pig has no respect – just when you think he’s had his fill of points, he goes back for more and more.

Fantasy Piglet

A potential pig in the making, who is serving their apprenticeship.

Free Agent

Players not selected in a Draft league and therefore available to pick up. A restricted free agent (RFA) will require coaches to place a bid to sign the RFA. The waiting time is chosen as either 1 or 2 days or it can be set to OFF and is open slather. RFAs that aren’t selected when the waiting period is up will become Free Agents at 12pm that day.

Guns and rookies

A strategy used by Fantasy coaches where they only pick premium players and rookies, totally avoiding the mid-priced options. The idea is that the premiums will score reliably every week, while the decent rookies will score well enough to generate a price rise and later be upgraded.


A team not being actively managed by it’s coach or the act of not actively managing a Fantasy team.

Green Vest

The lowest scorer from The Traders each week wears the horrid green vest. This comes from the substitute rule that saw one of the four bench players don the green vest and weren’t allowed into play until someone wore the red vest through injury or tactics (usually late in the game). This shocking rule was in place from 2011-2015 frustrating Fantasy coaches when one of their players wore one of the two vests and therefore limiting their scoring.


See pocketing.


Also known as the bench. You’ll have two players in each position here when playing Fantasy Classic. It’s wise to pick one from each as your emergency for that position.

Junk time

A term that refers to players who get very busy in the closing stages of a game with lots of kick to kick and uncontested ball boosting their score. A Fantasy coach’s dream. Ex-Tiger Joel Bowden was the king of this points bonanza.

Karma bus

An imaginary vehicle that will run down those who brag. Be careful not to boast to your mates about league victories before all games are completed. That’s when the karma bus leaves the depot and your unique player does an ACL in the first quarter.


When a Fantasy coach gets mega-lucky and receives a ‘kiss’ from the Fantasy fairy.

Late change

A last minute change to the original 22 players who were selected when teams were announced. A term dreaded and feared by all Fantasy coaches… especially if you don’t have any cover.


A collection of coaches who play against each other. Commissioner can set up head-to-head or open leagues in Classic.

Linear draft

Draft setting where the the draft pick selection follows the same order each round.


A player who is cemented into your side and will stay there unless something drastic happens.


The term used when the round begins and your team can no longer be changed. Generally full lockout is at 7:50pm AEST every Friday night (8:10pm AEST if the Friday night game is in Perth).


A term used when Fantasy coaches try to gain a double-chance when selecting a captain. This can only be done during partial lockouts when you select a player as a vice-captain on the Thursday game. Then, if you like their score, you select a non-playing player as your captain (while putting someone playing on your bench as emergency). They will score a zero and the vice-captain’s score will be doubled. If the Thursday night score of the vice-captain isn’t any good, select a captain as you usually would.

Mid-priced player

Players who are valued between $300,000 to $500,000. Tempting to save a few dollars, but most are mid-priced for a reason. They have become less of a dirty word in recent years, however, more fail than work out.

Mock Draft

A fake draft that is used to practice drafting strategy and guage where players will be drafted in actual fantasy drafts. The Draft Doctors’ Mock Draft simulator is the best for AFL fans.

More midfield time

A promise made to players from AFL coaches, that never comes true. Well, almost never.


Stolen from golf, even if it’s a bit backwards. Par refers to the score that would be deemed as average for the week, generally what you’d expect the top 5,000 or so coaches to maintain their overall ranking. So, if Calvinator scores 2250 in a high-scoring round, he’s about 200 under par and not where he wants to be.

Partial lockout

When there is a Thursday night game (like round one), only players from the two opposing clubs in that game are ‘locked’, and cannot be selected after the opening bounce. All other players from the 16 remaining clubs can be selected/changed/moved. Full lockout will then commence at the opening bounce of the Friday night game.

Pre-draft ranking

Rankings that can be adjusted in the game prior to draft day to make drafting easier… especially after plenty of beers or in the case of an auto-draft.


The annual ‘bible’ from Champion Data that has been published since 2006. It is the essential number cruncher for players, fans and fantasy coaches for every AFL season. It usually includes Fantasy Freako’s take on every listed player and an extensive Fantasy Land section covering AFL Fantasy. Scores from the Under 18 Championships and the primary competition draftees played in their draft year are included.


A term used when selecting rucks and sometimes referred to as ‘handcuffing’. More common for Draft coaches who may select the No.1 ruck for the team and they pick their understudy as insurance, for injury/suspension.

POD (Point/player of difference)

A unique player not selected by many coaches. Often with ownership of fewer than 10%.

Rage trade

What all good coaches do when lockout lifts on Sunday evening, trading out under-performing players to send a message, and then reverse the trades before making the smarter decision.

Relton Roberts

A term used when a Fantasy coach panics at the last minute prior to the first lockout. They ignore all their pre-season research and jump on a random rookie they’ve never heard of, just because they’re named to play in the opening round. Don’t be tricked.

Reverse trade

A useful button that can be hit to change any trades you have made leading into lockout. You can use the rollback team button to reset your entire team to what it was at the end of the last round – be sure to check over your team before lockout if you hit this button.


The Fantasy scoring system is a simple black-and-white formula.

  • Kick = 3 points
  • Handball = 2 points
  • Mark = 3 points
  • Tackle = 4 points
  • Free Kick For = 1 point
  • Free Kick Against = -3 points
  • Hitout = 1 point
  • Goal = 6 points
  • Behind = 1 point


Also known as the waiver wire. A term used in Draft to describe a pool of free agents. Usually plenty of valuable players to be found.

Set and forget

Selecting a player with confidence, knowing they will be a season long keeper without causing any frustration. How this differentiates from a ‘lock’ is unclear.

Sideways trade

When you straight swap a player for another player of equal value. Often used over the bye period to prevent you from scoring zeroes and in the last few rounds when teams are ‘completed’ to chase better match ups.

Sleeper or slider

Terms that refer to players who may be forgotten about on draft day and selected as a steal in late rounds. This can be due to a poor showing in the previous season which sees them further down the pre-draft list when filtered by last season’s average.

Snake draft

The most popular format for Draft day where teams will select players in the first round and then the order reverses for the second. For example, in a 12 team league, the coach with pick 1 (round 1) will not pick again until pick 24 (round 2) whereas the coach with the last pick at 12 (round 1) would be go back to back and have pick 13 (round 2). This continues throughout the draft. Drafting on the turn (either the first or last pick) is often a preferred position for coaches.


A word associated with a player who is showing Fantasy Pig tendencies.


A bad player who scores poorly. There’s no nice way to say it. In Fantasy terms, Zac Dawson was the clear leader as someone who played most weeks only to finish most of his games with the lowest score.


Utilise different free agent options every week for a given position in your Fantasy Draft team. If you don’t have a reliable player at a position you may pick the best available free agent based on their match up for the week.

Ton up

A term used when a player scores 100 points.


In Fantasy Classic, coaches have two trades to use each week and three in each week of the bye rounds. They are able to move a player (or both) out of their side for another but they must remain under the budget. In Fantasy Draft, a trade is where two coaches decide to swap players. These can be 1-for-1 or 1-for-2, and so on.


A term used to when trading to a better player.


Very rarely used and heaven forbid you’ll need it. A vice-captain’s score will be doubled if you selected captain is a late withdrawal.


US term for free agent in Draft.

Yeo Yeo

Named after a certain Eagle who is great one week and goes missing the next with yo-yo type scores. Elliot Yeo is doing a good job to shake this monkier.


Co-captain of DT Talk since we started this thing in 2007. Best finish was 13th in 2009... that was a long time ago. Follow on Twitter: @WarnieDT

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