Overlay is one of the most important terms to be thinking about when looking for which fantasy football tournaments you want to join.

What it means is that the prize pool of a contest is larger than the amount of money in entry fees collected so far – essentially meaning there is free money up for grabs!

For example, let’s say a daily fantasy football contest has a guaranteed prize pool of £1,000. However, with an entry fee of £10 there have only been 50 entrants so far, which makes £500.

This means that there is an overlay of £500 for the fantasy football tournament, providing a fine opportunity for daily fantasy football players who are on the hunt for the best contests to play in.

While it is rare for massive overlays to happen, the DraftKings Kickoff Million on the opening weekend of the NFL football season in 2013 is a good example of how overlays can be exploited. There were only 3,661 entries into the fantasy football tournament, for a final overlay of $267,800.

Larger tournaments often have the best overlays, as it can take a long time for them to fill up, with the bigger prize pools often having the largest overlays. But fantasy football players must wait as long as possible before spotting overlays and joining large pool fantasy football tournaments, as they usually start to fill up the closer it gets to the start time.

Expected value (EV) can often be hard to come by in fantasy football, but overlay is when your EV starts to rise. EV is what you can expect to win for your money in a fair contest where you have an average chance of winning a tournament. Contests with overlay have a hugely positive EV.

To find the top overlay opportunities, compare the maximum number of entrants allowed with the guaranteed prize pool and the number of players who have entered the contest so far.