What Does "Del" Mean in Fantasy Football? Slang Term Team Managers Need to Know

Alex West - Author

Dec. 6 2023, Published 8:18 a.m. ET

 Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs in the first half against the Green Bay Packers
Source: Getty Images

The Gist:

  • Fantasy football uses plenty of different slang words and terms.
  • "Del" means "delisted."
  • Players that are delisted can't earn points for the team.
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Keeping up with the rules of football can be hard enough, especially if you're just entering the sports world. Trying to keep up with the rules of fantasy football leagues is even worse. In fantasy football, words like "del" can have little meaning to an outsider, but they make a huge difference in how the league turns out.

Part of fantasy football is keeping track of the rosters in your pool. Each one of the people involved in your fantasy league has their own players to keep track of, but their roster can shift throughout the season for whatever reason. Keep reading to find out what "del" means.

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Jason Kelce #62 and Cam Jurgens #51 of the Philadelphia Eagles
Source: Getty Images

What does 'del' mean in fantasy football?

If you've ever seen "del" marked next to a player's name on a roster, you might wonder exactly what it means. The abbreviation is pretty simple, meaning "delisted."

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There are a variety of reasons that a player can get delisted, but mainly through trading, injury, or being placed on reserve. No matter the reason, a delisted player becomes ineligible from scoring points toward their team.

In order to bring a roster back to balance, fantasy football team managers will need to either do some trading with one of the others in their league or find a competitive player from the waiver wire to bring into the fold.

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Micah Parsons #11 of the Dallas Cowboys at the Seattle Seahawks game
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What is a waiver wire?

In most fantasy football leagues, not every player can be claimed. Instead, at the beginning of every week, unclaimed players are frozen until they can be claimed. Those team managers have a priority ranking and the person with the highest ranking can claim that player.

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The ranking is arbitrary, but it does go in order. Whoever is the highest priority will head to the bottom of the rotation if they do recruit someone new onto their team.

While that system is relatively straightforward, some leagues choose to implement the Free Agent Acquisition budget which simulates real-life NFL decisions a little bit more.

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In this system, every fantasy football team manager gets a certain amount of money to budget how they see fit. If there's a free agent, they have the ability to bid on that player. However, the bids are done blind, so players can't just keep out-bidding each other and hyper-inflate the price.

Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs before the game against the Green Bay Packers
Source: Getty Images
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A similar process is used when drafting players normally. In some leagues, the system used is called an "auction" and team managers need to build their roster around their budget. This allows for a more open process where any team manager can theoretically get any player on their team.

Before recruiting a player from the waiver wire, it's important to consider injuries and bye weeks. Staying up to date on the current status of different teams is the best way to ensure you're making the most of your theoretical money or turn in the rotation.

How do you win fantasy football?

Since a team's roster is made up of players across many real-life teams, the way a winner is determined is entirely different. Instead of fighting to get to the Super Bowl, team managers are only hoping that their players score more points than everyone else's roster.

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