Pro Pundits - Simon

The House’s Money: Why maintaining a good start to the FPL season is so difficult

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times …it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

  • Charles Dickens, ‘A Tale of Two Cities’.

Dickens may not have been speaking specifically about the opening Gameweeks of an FPL season (we’ll never know for sure) but his words are, nonetheless, fairly appropriate. While it has, indeed, been a tale of two Gameweeks thus far, there will be some who have done far, far better than others.

I love the start of a new FPL campaign as much as the next Fantasy manager but, I have to admit, it’s also among the most challenging parts to navigate successfully. Not only are we operating with very little information, but many of us also have to deal with the fact that some mini-league rivals have, somehow, already opened up what might appear to be unassailable leads.

Of course, this is the part of the season where we regularly preach patience and encourage people to avoid panic-driven decisions that they might later regret. Phrases like ‘it’s a marathon, not a sprint’ are commonplace on FPL forums and we might also comfort ourselves with our vague childhood memories of a story about a race between a tortoise and a hare.

This article, however, will focus on why those people who have shot to the front probably won’t stay there, and why those chasing shouldn’t panic, yet.

The House Money Effect

Gamblers and investors, in particular, may be familiar with the ‘House Money Effect’, a cognitive bias first popularised by Nobel Prize-winning economist Richard Thaler. 

Essentially, the House Money Effect draws off the principles of ‘mental accounting’; the idea that we categorise money and expenditures into different accounts in our mind, and we evaluate outcomes in relation to these. 

So, for example, we might have mental accounts such as ‘beer money’, ‘college funds’ or ‘holiday money.’

The House Money Effect often occurs when we receive money in an atypical manner. For example; winning a bet, receiving a bonus or profiting from an investment. 

Behavioural psychologists have observed that people take far greater risks with such sums than they would with their savings or regular earnings. They also find that people also tend to be more generous with such windfalls than they might otherwise be.

The proposed reason for this phenomenon is that, psychologically, people don’t perceive these sums to really be their money, it goes into a completely different mental account to money earned in the normal way. It’s the casinos or ‘the house’s money’ and, thus, we tend to treat it that way. At best, we make more money from the risks we take with it. And at worst, we end up with our original stake, no better or worse off than we were before and, because we think we’ll be okay with either outcome, we’re inclined to treat it as fun money.

I would argue that, due to their windfall of FPL points, Fantasy managers who do very well in the opening few Gameweeks are substantially more at risk of succumbing to the House Money Effect than normal. 

This might translate into them spending some of those points via hits, making riskier transfers, making transfers when it might have been objectively more sensible to save them or simply being less rigorous in their selections, captaincy or transfer decisions. 

Now, this isn’t to say that high-flying managers simply got there by luck, much in same as an investor doesn’t profit entirely by luck, it’s simply stating that, due to this cognitive bias, the extra points they have scored may seem like ‘house money’ to them, and they’re likely to be more inclined to risk them as a result. 

Essentially; if they blow their lead, they’re no worse off than their competitors and this, mentally, becomes their baseline.

How Spurs and Everton's new signings fared in their FPL Gameweek 1 debuts 1

There is some evidence that may support this having already occurred too. Between Gameweeks 1 and 2, the average number of points spent on transfers via hits by FPL managers was 2.28 points overall but, among the Top 10k, this rose almost 20% to 2.72. 

Rationally-speaking, the Top 10k should have had less cause to make any transfers, let alone take hits, based on Gameweek 1 but, instead, they made more transfers and spent more points on them. 

The Top 10k also scored fewer gross points on average than the overall (53.27 vs 59.55). Naturally, in a single gameweek, this could simply be luck, but it could also be a result of less rigorous decision-making caused by the House Money Effect.

So, for those chasing, the key lessons from this are to not panic, to not make the same mistakes that the people above you probably will, and to take advantage of these mistakes to close the gap. That means avoiding hits, risky captaincies and panic moves like Wildcarding unnecessarily. 

It is worth bearing in mind that many of those who held firm with their Gameweek 1 squad profited as a result in Gameweek 2. As Guns ‘n’ Roses singer Axl Rose once said, “All we need is a little patience” though, again, it’s unclear whether he was talking about FPL specifically.

Naturally, there is also a fairly obvious lesson in all of this for those FPL managers who are doing really well after two Gameweeks, which I suppose I could spell out, but, honestly, who really wants to help those people anyway?

My Gameweek 3 Team


Former Fantasy Premier League world champion and four-time finisher in the top 7k Simon March gives us the lowdown on his thinking for the new campaign.

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2,796 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Bennyboy1907
      5 months, 11 days ago

      RMT WC:

      Martinez (steer)

      VVD Taylor Saiss Lamptey (mitchel)

      Salah KDB Son Zaha (Anguisa)

      Werner Jiminez (Davies)

      How does it look?

      1. ZEZIMA
        • 4 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        Read that Anguisa could be off to Italy or something. Maybe swap him for Burke? Looking good though

      2. Albrightondknight
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        Nice. All the boxes ticked. No Everton but you can’t have em all. There fixtures might not be an easy as they look on paper anyway.

    • Gun gun
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 11 days ago

      Is son or werner more of a differential capt?

      1. Rondon9
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        Son

      2. Twisted Saltergater
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        surely Werner.

      3. NABIL - I had 4 Spurs GW1
        • 8 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        Son is differential.

        Werner will be capped by many

    • Phil's Stamps
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      5 months, 11 days ago

      4.5 midfielder?

      Saw Burke mentioned on the podcast but on the comparison tool Anguissa blows him out of the water. Is that assist for the Fulham man distorting things? Although they would be 3rd on my bench I know absolutely nothing about either.

      1. The Littlest Robbo
        • 5 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        Shu want to buy a striker before the transfer window closes, so I'm not sure how viable Burke would be long term. I would choose either Anguissa or Alzate

        1. Hazz
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          5 months, 11 days ago

          Bissouma over Alzate, even if he is suspended right now.

        2. Phil's Stamps
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          5 months, 11 days ago

          Thanks. Is Anguissa nailed? He just edges Alzate on the comparison tool but Alzate has started both. Anyone know why Anguissa didn't start the first game?

    • woodboy76
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 11 days ago

      Vinagre will ge play this week?

      1. Plonatron
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        5 months, 11 days ago

        Wait for Nuno press conference

    • Tricky FC
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 11 days ago

      Rmt wc:
      Mendy martinez
      Digne saiss castagne lamptey c.taylor
      Kdb salah foden podence son
      Werner dcl brewster

      Alternatively
      Same gk and defence
      Kdb sterling havertz podence barnes
      Dcl jimenez bamford

      Rate also werner vs jimenez as i saw werner might play on wing. This bad tho?

      1. Another Hoops
        • 5 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        You're always going to bench the wrong keeper

    • NABIL - I had 4 Spurs GW1
      • 8 Years
      5 months, 11 days ago

      Doherty and Dier rested.

      Kane played for only 30 minutes, but still scored.

      Sweeettt...

    • Riggs
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 11 days ago

      Please Rate my WC:
      Martinez (Steer)
      Robbo Saiss Lamptey Taylor Mitchell
      Salah KDB Zaha Podence Burke
      Werner Jimenez DCL

      I really would like two LFC defs but don't know how.

      1. Tricky FC
        • 4 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        Poor goalkeepers which allow no rotation. Dangerous game.

      2. dunas_dog
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        Foden over Zaha and Robbo to TAA my suggestion

    • osceola31909
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      5 months, 11 days ago

      Who is the most nailed 4.5 midfielder?

      1. Tricky FC
        • 4 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        There are many. Good options are ayling/dallas, Taylor of burnley, lamptey is great, yeah those are my faves

      2. dunas_dog
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        Anguissa I think

      3. Tricky FC
        • 4 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        Sorry. I thought u meant defender. My bad.
        Currently most nailed short term is alzate. Most explosive is burke

    • amtosh
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 11 days ago

      Would you swap any of these mids for Bale (got first pick in my draft):

      Mahrez B. Fernandes Rashford B. Silva Willian

      Or would you pick up reguilon or someone else instead?

      I feel like Bale’s ceiling is higher than B. Silva or Willian but unsure.

      1. Wild Rover
        • 10 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        I don't know how Draft game works but Bale could be out for a few weeks

        1. amtosh
          • 9 Years
          5 months, 11 days ago

          Yeah will just leave him on bench but if I get him I have him for season and no one else has him so often worth locking up a high scorer even if injured or suspended.

      2. noquarternt
        • 5 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        For B. Silva surely

    • Wild Rover
      • 10 Years
      5 months, 11 days ago

      Finding it hard to resist Kane and Son double up on WC

      1. osceola31909
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        Certainly good fixtures.

      2. COK3Y5MURF
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        Has to be a bit of recency bias there

        1. Wild Rover
          • 10 Years
          5 months, 11 days ago

          What else is there to go on?

          1. COK3Y5MURF
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            5 months, 11 days ago

            Well, I've got Sterling and Werner in mine and they haven't scored yet. I do like Son and had him in GW2, just finding no room to fit him in. Prefer all City assets to Spurs.

      3. NABIL - I had 4 Spurs GW1
        • 8 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        If only I went Son with my initial pick

        Went with Doherty Dier Alli and Kane instead

    • fcsaltyballs
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 11 days ago

      Would you start:

      1. Ayling (shu)
      2. ASM (tot)

      thanks

      1. dunas_dog
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        Ayling

      2. Tricky FC
        • 4 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        Ayling

    • dunas_dog
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 11 days ago

      A DCL and 4.5 m midfielder or
      B Rodriguez and 4.5 m striker

      1. fcsaltyballs
        • 5 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        B. with Brewster if this move goes thru

        1. dunas_dog
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          5 months, 11 days ago

          But will we know pre deadline the issue

          1. fcsaltyballs
            • 5 Years
            5 months, 11 days ago

            he didnt play tonight... i think thats a sign hes going to be sold to either SHU or CRY

      2. Tricky FC
        • 4 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        Dcl and burke

      3. The Littlest Robbo
        • 5 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        A

      4. Kitsune
        • 2 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        A. A 4.5 striker has no chance of playing and DCL is a priority anyway.

    • Tricky FC
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 11 days ago

      Lets all discuss:
      Werner vs jimenez
      Havertz vs son

      1. Third Eye Vision
        • 8 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        2 proven assets versus 2 with potential. I’d go with proven for now.

    • fcsaltyballs
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 11 days ago

      Will Ben Davies start v NEW ?

      1. Tricky FC
        • 4 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        Yes

        1. fcsaltyballs
          • 5 Years
          5 months, 11 days ago

          i hope so mate

    • Mitos77
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 11 days ago

      Will KDB play this weekend?

      1. fcsaltyballs
        • 5 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        yes why wouldnt he ?

        1. jia you jia you
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          5 months, 11 days ago

          he got a knock on his ginger noggin near the end of the game

          1. fcsaltyballs
            • 5 Years
            5 months, 11 days ago

            dusted it off though didnt he the old boy

            1. jia you jia you
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 4 Years
              5 months, 11 days ago

              aye but we all love a bit of drama here in the FFS madhouse 😉

              1. fcsaltyballs
                • 5 Years
                5 months, 11 days ago

                haha this is true mate

        2. Mitos77
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          5 months, 11 days ago

          head injury

    • jia you jia you
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 11 days ago

      I'm surprised that the WC teams posted on here in recent days are so similar to each other considering the vast array of options.

      1. COK3Y5MURF
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        The ones that are different aren't being posted here 😉

        1. jia you jia you
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          5 months, 11 days ago

          Pehaps haha, my wildcard team is just set up to chase some price rises atm (not too much set in stone bar KdB)...god knows what it will end up like come deadline!

          1. Tempestic
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            5 months, 11 days ago

            yep same

    • bennyp
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      5 months, 11 days ago

      Thoughts?

      Meslier - (Caprile)
      TAA - Saiss - Ake - (Taylor - Mitchell)
      Salah(c) - KDB - Havertz - Podence - Rodriguez
      Jimi - Wood - (Brewster)

      Cheers!

      1. jia you jia you
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        Fer Fuchs Ake

        1. Seanigula
          • 11 Years
          5 months, 11 days ago

          Fuch Mee

      2. Tricky FC
        • 4 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        U comfortable with no son. I have a similar mid with havertz instead of son but scares me!

        1. bennyp
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          5 months, 11 days ago

          Not really but I can't have them all. Might change to get him in.

    • Tricky FC
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 11 days ago

      U comfortable with no son. I have a similar mid with havertz instead of son but scares me!

      1. Pep Roulette
        • 3 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        He can surely score and yes he can get a haul, but he won't be playing Southampton's highline defence every week! So no need to be "scared" about not having him in your team!

    • Pep Roulette
      • 3 Years
      5 months, 11 days ago

      Pep said KDB is fine

      1. fcsaltyballs
        • 5 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        thanks Pep

    • fish&chips
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      5 months, 11 days ago

      Foden to be benched after playing 90 mins in the cup?

      1. Tempestic
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        Mahrez did also tbf, who knows. Can defo see it happening

      2. Pep Roulette
        • 3 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        Highly likely imo

    • fcsaltyballs
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 11 days ago

      Who to start:

      1. KDB (and hope he starts with his injury)
      2. Soucek

      Thanks

      1. Third Eye Vision
        • 8 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        Bench both and Salah.

    • Make United Great Again
      • 8 Years
      5 months, 11 days ago

      No Son vs WBA is scary!!

      1. Make United Great Again
        • 8 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        Newcastle**

        1. Kitsune
          • 2 Years
          5 months, 11 days ago

          Don't know, Bruce may well park the bus after last week's free scoring antics. But yes I would definitely want Son in my team he looked really clinical.

    • jia you jia you
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 11 days ago

      I don't see many going double City attack, I'm getting more and more tempted to fill my boots and triple up on them as the week progresses.
      KdB + Sterling + Jesus would be some crazy differential 😉

      1. Shearer & Sutton
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        Triple up here KDB+Sterling+Jesus. 😉

        1. jia you jia you
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          5 months, 11 days ago

          Ballsy as hell, I love it!

    • bennygrimshaw
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 11 days ago

      WC team:

      Ryan (Steele)
      TAA Taylor Coady (Lamptey) (Justin)
      KDB Salah Podence Foden (Anguissa)
      DCL Jimenez Wener

      Tempted with Rodriguez & Mitro for Foden & DCL.

      or Kane & Jorginho for Wener & Foden.

      Thoughts?

      1. jamesjoseph2770
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        Foden risky pick. Mahrez could start..

    • Mitos77
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 11 days ago

      Any news about KDB?

      1. jamesjoseph2770
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        What happened to him?

        1. Mitos77
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          5 months, 11 days ago

          Cook elbowed him

    • Make United Great Again
      • 8 Years
      5 months, 11 days ago

      Martinez
      TAA Ayling James
      Rodriguez Salah Podence KDB(C)
      Werner(VC) Mitro Martial

      Steer, Mitchell, Johnson, Biassouma.

      G2G?

      1. TeddiPonza
        • 10 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        Looks good

    • TeddiPonza
      • 10 Years
      5 months, 11 days ago

      On wildcard

      Martinez Forster
      Saiss Lamptey Justin CTaylor Mitchell
      Salah KdB Son Podence Burke
      Werner DCL Jimenez

      Got 1,2m in the bank. Any suggestions?

      A. Podence to Foden
      B. Justin/CTaylor to Reece James
      C. Upgrade Martinez
      D. Save in bank for a rainy day
      E. Something else

      Thanks!

      1. Shearer & Sutton
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        D

    • HMC
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      5 months, 11 days ago

      Few questions for my wildcard team.

      Is Kdb enough city cover? Tempted by Jesus and easy swap to Martial when needed
      What about having no united players?
      Is it ok to not have any Chelsea for the next month? Probably get Pulisic once he’s up to speed
      Taylor and Lamptey good options to rotate with Robbo Saiss
      Tinkering with Robbo VVD instead of Salah but might need to do triple Def to cover Salah....

      1. Phil's Stamps
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        Probably, but I'd try to get Foden in somehow, or Jesus.

        That's fine for now.

        I think the next game will tell, if they finally turn it on against West Brom they will be difficult to overlook for the two subsequent home fixtures.

        I think those two are probably the best long-term 4.5s to pick on a WC, but it may take a while for Taylor to come good because Burnley's squad is in bits at the mo.

        Try and get TAA Robbo if you can (this is what I'm doing), but Robbo VVD should be ok. No need for Salah as he only has one captainable fixture in the next 10.

    • Uncle Gamst
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 11 days ago

      Any help would be most appreciated guys
      Help guys, would be most appreciated.

      I've had a disastrous 2 GWs and try to resist the temptation to WC, until things settle down.

      Thinking Alli > Rodríguez and Auba > KdB or Salah for -4 (and swallow my pride, after following Lateriser and not starting the season with him.)

      McCarthy,
      TAA, Davies, Vinagre
      Auba, Fernandes, Alli, Soucek,
      DCL, Werber, Martial
      Button, Mitchell, KWP, Bissouma

      1. fish&chips
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        5 months, 11 days ago

        Good moves as your team looks fine. Don't think it needs a WC if you think MUN will improve

    • That Was Easy!
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      5 months, 11 days ago

      Man, really want to ignore Son/Chelsea...how much will it hurt?

      Martinez
      TAA Robbo Saiss
      Salah KDB Barnes Podence
      Wood Jimmy DCL

      Steer; Reed, Lamptey, Ferguson