Fantasy footy in Australia is its own little world. Yes, it borrows heavily from both the American and British versions of fantasy sports, but we’ve developed our own lingo down here. This blog is as good a place as any to compile a list of the jargon we use as Australian fantasy coaches. Note: this will be updated on an ongoing basis, from fan feedback in the comments.
bench (n, v): In Australian fantasy football teams, the bench is a small number of players in your squad who don’t score for your team. For instance, in VirtualSports competitions like Dream Team and Super Coach, you have a squad of 30 but a bench of 8, with 22 scoring.
breakeven (n): The score which a player would have to achieve in his next game in order for his price in a fantasy salary cap competition not to drop.
Bubble Boy (n): Used on FanFooty to refer to a player who is about to play his third game for the season, thus triggering changes in his salary cap price in VirtualSports competitions for the first time. This is derived from American fantasy sports, where people who are on the fringe of acceptance into a team or list are said to be “on the bubble”.
BF (n): Abbreviation of BigFooty, the largest Australian football forum site on the Web, which has a lively fantasy footy section.
cap (n): Abbreviation of captain.
captain (n): Some fantasy competitions allow you to nominate a captain for each game who scores an extra amount of points, e.g. double in DT and SC.
cash cow (n): A player who starts the year with a very low price in salary cap competitions but rapidly rises in price due to good fantasy scores.
ceiling (n): The highest score that a fantasy coach expects a certain player to reach in a fantasy competition.
Champion (n): Refers to Champion Data, the official provider of statistics to the AFL.
coach (n): A participant in a fantasy competition.
correction (n): About five to ten minutes after each game is finished, fantasy coaches who are watching live fantasy scores wait for Champion Data to publish their regular stat correction which adds or subtracts from statistical totals from the end of the game based on last-minute cross-checking by statisticians.
downgrade (n, v): Trading a highly-priced player for a cheaper one. This is often done to free up cash for an upgrade elsewhere in the team.
Dream Team (n): AFL Dream Team is the official fantasy competition of the AFL.
DT (n): Abbreviation of AFL Dream Team.
DTer (n): Abbreviation of Dream Teamer, a player who scores well in the Dream Team competition. Usually used in its abbreviated form.
EDT (n): Abbreviation of EliteDre@mTe@m, arguably the most successful league in Australian fantasy football.
EDTer (n): Abbreviation of EliteDre@mTe@mer, a member of EDT.
Eliminator (n): A knock-out competition that is incorporated into the AFL Dream Team competition.
exotic (n): Exotic statistics are those other than the standard categories used in the Dream Team competition. Many competitions use these exotic stats to differentiate their system to that of DT, most notably Super Coach which uses the official Champion Data rankings which have more than 30 stats, most of which are exotic.
FF (n): Abbreviation of FanFooty.
garbage time (n): The time at the end of a match when the result is assured, so the players are just playing out time with little pressure. This time can be very lucrative in fantasy for players who specialise in soft stats like playing kick to kick in the backline.
goes bang (v): A phrase stolen from Rex Hunt of 3AW, this phrase is used to describe when a player has a purple patch of getting a lot of fantasy points in a short time.
gun (n, v): Used to describe a player who is a consistent high-scorer in fantasy over a long period of time.
guns-and-rookies (n): A strategy for constructing a starting squad in a salary cap competition where most players are either very highly priced or very lowly priced, with few in the middle. This is one of the possible structures for a fantasy team.
improver (n): A median-priced player who fantasy coaches buy in the hope that they will significantly improve on their historical average.
late changes (n): 45 minutes before each game, a final team sheet is handed to AFL official by clubs listing their final 22 players. Late changes are the differences between this list and the team sheets announced earlier on Thursdays and Fridays.
league game (n): In addition to the overall competition in Dream Team and similar games, most offer a league of up to 16 teams that a fantasy coach is pitted against in a head-to-head format each week with finals to determine a winner. Each week the team is involved in a league game against one other team.
lock (n): During preseason planning, a lock is a player that a coach is sure to buy based on consistency, reliability or solid potential.
lockout (n): The time after which you can not trade or swap players in your fantasy team each week. This is usually set to just before the first game of the week kicks off.
play (v): Fantasy coaches choose each week which players to play and which to bench. To play a player is to put them in your 22. Coaches often talk about playing one player “over” another one who they bench.
private league (n): While most Australian fans know only about salary cap competitions, the concept of the private league is gaining popularity, where instead of competing against hundreds of thousands where you can all have the same players, you compete in a league of between 8-16 coaches where each player can only play for one fantasy team and instead of buying players, coaches participate in a draft.
premium (n, adj): The highest-priced players in salary cap competitions, who have a history of the highest fantasy scoring averages.
projected (adj): During a round, live scoring pages on FanFooty show a projected score for teams based on simple mathematical formulae.
+6 (n): While watching FanFooty live fantasy score pages, when players get extra points in a live update the number of points appears next to their name with a + sign in front. Thus a mark and a kick is +6.
mid-price (adj, n): See improver.
rookie (n): Fantasy coaches use the word rookie to mean any very low-priced player, be they a draftee, experienced player or a rookie-listed player.
salary cap (n): A type of fantasy competition where coaches buy players using a predetermined amount of fantasy dollars.
SC (n): Abbreviation of Herald-Sun Super Coach.
serpentine (n): The method by which draft picks are usually allocated in private league drafts. It is so named because the pick order swings around in even-numbered rounds, so that a coach who picks at #1 in a 10-team league only picks again at #20, then at #21 and so on.
sideways (adj): A sideways trade is for a player with a similar price. These trades are usually made when the player being sold has been injured.
spud (n): A player who is not worth buying for a fantasy team under any circumstances.
star (n): A player who excels for fantasy (and usually real life footy) in a particular game.
structure (n): The mix of premiums, improvers and rookies in each position of a fantasy team.
Super Coach (n): The fantasy competition run by the Herald-Sun newspaper.
swap (v): To swap a player means moving him from the bench to the starting 22, or vice versa.
ton (n): A score of 100 points in a fantasy competition. Coaches always hope their players can “crack the ton”.
trade (v): To trade a player means selling him or dropping him from your fantasy team.
22 (n): The 22 players who you select to be scorers for your fantasy team.
upgrade (n, v): A player who you trade for by selling a cheaper player and using extra money in your salary cap.
upside (n): A player’s potential for improvement in fantasy scores in the future.
utility (n): A position which can be filled by any kind of player, as opposed to other positions which can only be filled by players of that type. The equivalent in American fantasy sports is the “flex” position.
vice-captain (n): Some fantasy competitions allow the nomination of a vice-captain, who scores bonus points in place of your captain in case the captain does not play.
VS (n): Abbreviation of VirtualSports, the operator of the Dream Team and Super Coach competitions, among others.
This is only a preliminary list, as I’m sure you can think of many more. Remember, though, that we’re not talking here about general football jargon – although if there is a special fantasy-specific meaning then it does qualify – and player nicknames don’t count either. See if you can write some definitions of your own in the comments below, and if they’re accurate then I’ll include them!