Pro Pundit Teams

Loss aversion and why we hold on to underperforming players in FPL

In my previous article, I discussed the difficulties we often find in transferring out players who have been performing well, even when it might appear beneficial for us to do so. 

However, sometimes we hold on to players too long even when they’re not doing well. This article is the Part One of a two-piece series that will consider the possible causes for that behaviour and how we might overcome them to make better transfer decisions.

Loss Aversion

Loss aversion is a cognitive bias in humans that describes our tendency to fear losses more than we value gains. Specifically, scientific studies have shown that we fear losses approximately twice as much as we value gains. 

This probably explains why we’re reluctant to take hits on players who are unlikely to ‘explode’, but it also goes some way to explaining why we hold on to underperforming players too long.

Arguably the number one source of anxiety among Fantasy managers comes from transferring a player out who you suspect might suddenly start scoring, something that always seems to happen. 

The hundreds of thousands of managers who transferred Timo Werner (£9.3m) out ahead of his two goals and assist in Gameweek 5 can probably relate to this feeling. It is, essentially, a feeling of points lost. Because we anticipate this feeling, we fail to act as a result.

Warped Reality

In reality, players we transfer out probably don’t score nearly as often as we think, we just remember the instances when they do, thus mentally inflating their frequency. It also doesn’t necessarily become a bad action to have removed a previously underperforming player, just because that player suddenly decides to start scoring that Gameweek.

While it might feel like this kind of thing is a matter of luck, one of the key skill elements of FPL is identifying the contextual factors that influence whether a player will score or not. 

Taking Werner as an example again, he had been previously playing out of position on the left wing and a move to the central striker position seemingly improved his prospects. However, he was also playing against a Southampton team who played a high defensive line, something that suits pacy players like Werner. 

Therefore, if either or both of these conditions are removed, it’s possible that Werner will go back to underperforming. The skill, therefore, is figuring out what conditions are important to the prospects of a player, and whether they will be consistently present.

If the conditions that contributed to a player’s sudden change in form are not sustainable, managers who transferred them out should not lose sleep over their decision, particularly if it enabled a move to an alternative with better long-term prospects. The spectre of this occurring should also not deter a manager from making a move if it makes objective sense based on whatever standards they employ to make their decisions.

It’s not because of you

Most importantly, although it might feel like it, a player did not start scoring because you transferred them out. That kind of ‘magical thinking’ can quickly sabotage a Fantasy manager’s season as it removes logic and objectivity and puts events firmly into the hands of chance. 

Stick to your trusted methods and, if they happen to fail you one Gameweek, console yourself with the knowledge that it absolutely, definitely, happens to everyone.

In Part Two, I’ll be discussing the ‘Endowment Effect’, coffee mugs, and why we sometimes prefer our low performers to others’ high performers.

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1,687 Comments Post a Comment
  1. No Professionals
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 8 days ago

    Martinez
    Robertson Saiss Mitchell
    Salah(c) Son Grealish Foden
    Kane Jimenez DCL

    Steer James Taylor Alzate
    1FT 0.6itb

    Obvious move imo is James to Lamptey and play him over Mitchell (risk he starts).

    is that move worth more than the benefit of 2FT next week?

    1. HurriKane
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Get Lamptey. He's good long term move.

      Rest of your team looking good as well

    2. Camzy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Does it improve your XI this week?
      Is it a good long term pick?

      The answer is yes and yes so the move is good.

  2. SharkyT
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 8 days ago

    1 FT 0.8m ITB

    A) Start Mitchell & bank FT
    B) Dunne > Kilman
    C) Dunne > Dallas
    D) Dunne > Ayling
    E) Dunne > ???? Suggestions

    1. lindeg
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Targett

      1. SharkyT
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 8 days ago

        Have Martinez though don’t fancy a double up

        1. lindeg
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 8 days ago

          Think a double up is excellent

    2. HurriKane
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      C

    3. ElChapo
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Targett

  3. HurriKane
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 8 days ago

    Southampton has scored 8 goals in last 4 gws with Ings grabbing 4

    Wolves has scored 3 goals in last 4 gws with Jimenez scoring 2

    One of Ings or Jimenez has to go for Kane. Who would you sell?

    Ings has form and Jimenez has fixtures.

    1. lindeg
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Jimi but close

      1. lindeg
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 8 days ago

        Sell jimi

    2. No Professionals
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      toss a coin

    3. Puntillimon
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      For today? Or for next week? If today I would sell Jimenez. Reckon Pickford will not be in a good space today, Everton will concede with James and rich missing out too.

      1. Puntillimon
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 8 days ago

        Ings* oops

        1. Puntillimon
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 8 days ago

          Sell Jimenez keep ings argh*

    4. RIDZ
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Both have form and on pens but Jimenez has better fixtures for the next 4 with 3 home

      I'd go with Jimenez

      Saints will face number 1 & 2 from the table for the next 2

    5. El Presidente
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Selling Jimenez this week???? Insane.

  4. RIDZ
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 8 days ago

    Who to play?
    a) Mitchell (ful)
    b) Chilwell (mun)
    c) ASM (wol)

    1. El Presidente
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 8 days ago

      The one that has a premium defender price tag, no?

  5. House Frey Wedding Planner
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 8 days ago

    Hi all,

    How should I approach this GW?

    Martinez (4.0)
    Saiss, Mitchell, Lamptey, (Justin, KWP)
    Salah, Bruno, Son, Zaha, Klich
    Vardy, DCL, (Brewster)

    Already used a transfer to ship KDB out for Bruno

    Should I take a -4 hit to:

    a) Vardy to Kane
    b) Klich to Grealish

    Or leave my team as is?

    Cheers

    1. RIDZ
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Don't go without Son or Kane in your team,

      A and have fun!

  6. iL PiStOlErO
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 8 days ago

    GTG? Bench ok?

    Ramsdale
    TAA Justin Mitchell
    Salah(C) Sterling Son Bissouma
    Kane DCL Watkins

    Steer KWP TaylorRomeu

    0.1 itb

    Already did a -4 to get Kane. If I had other ft then I would have done Rams to Martinez but that has to wait now cause just had to get Kane in atm. Major reshuffling in defence will have to wait untill WC one day...

  7. tim
    • 11 Years
    1 month, 8 days ago

    Yoyo!

    McCarthy
    Saiss Mitchell TAA Targett
    Sterling Son Salah(C) Podence
    Kane DCL

    Nyland Bissouma KWP Davis

    GTG?

    1. tibollom
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      yep all good mate

      1. tim
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 8 days ago

        Cheers! Good luck! May the arrows be green with you!

  8. tibollom
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 8 days ago

    Really tough to chose between Kane and Salah for captain.. what's making you chose between the two??

    1. Boz
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Kane. Form

    2. PompeyUpNorth!
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Salah under lying stats and home to Sheff U

    3. Maddamotha
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Salah. Gut feeling. He also gets an extra point for a goal and clean sheet.

    4. RIDZ
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      The one who play home always come first for me,

      1. tibollom
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 8 days ago

        thanks guys, seems like Salah it is.. hard to do with Kane's form though

  9. Boz
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 8 days ago

    Bench order to cover Jamez?

    A) Bissouma
    B) Dallas
    C) Mitchell

    Currently ABC

    1. @FPLMason
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      ABC

      1. Boz
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 8 days ago

        Thanks

    2. tibollom
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      yep abc

      1. Boz
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 8 days ago

        Thanks

  10. @FPLMason
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 8 days ago

    Konsa vs Targett. Talk to me, lads.

    1. PompeyUpNorth!
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Konsa

    2. tibollom
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      konsa

    3. Boz
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Goals vs Assists. I’d go Konsa

    4. ST United
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Mings

    5. D.Glynn
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Konsa for me, bonus points and goals

    6. @FPLMason
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Cheers, lads. Looks like everyone is impressed with Konsa's goal threat this season.

  11. PompeyUpNorth!
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 8 days ago

    Please can I have advice on who to have as first sub for Hamez? Unless the advice is to sell with .8 itb and a hit?
    McCarthy button

    Trent Robbo Taylor

    Salah (C)Grealish Hamez Son Bruno

    Mitro Wilson

    Subs Brewster Justin Mitchell

    1. Boz
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      I’d start Justin over Taylor but keep Brewster 1st sub

      1. PompeyUpNorth!
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 8 days ago

        Thank you

  12. nonprophet
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 8 days ago

    Jesus man. This site is turning bad. Real bad. Paid member. In Australia. No team news for a fair few teams still in predicted line ups. A heap of tweets though. To all those people who don't pay like most of us here. Not that I want to rely on that information but it helps for a picture. Think that's poor. Am I wrong in thinking this?

    1. PompeyUpNorth!
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      I’d say it’s a bit early for team news as most of the pressers arnt done. I’d also say being a member seems worth it as you get so much more access to information.. but I get your point if you’re in Australia cause you’re dying to know before bed I guess esp with early deadline .. good luck!

    2. ST United
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Well have a look at Liverpool predicted lineup...Alisson listed as being Out but also shown as starting

    3. Teror
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Maybe move to a different country or play fantasy AFL?

    4. El Presidente
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 8 days ago

      I get you, it sucks to have such time dif and especially with Friday starts... but I guess regarding team news there´s not much that can be done tbh...

  13. Philip Jones's Diary
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 8 days ago

    Am I trying to be too clever picking Sterling as captain over Salah, Son and Kane?

    1. PompeyUpNorth!
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      No not at all. More rotation risk but could pay off big time..

    2. Cahill
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      that depends. are you?

      are you picking him because you think he'll score more or are you picking him to try and be clever?

      1. Philip Jones's Diary
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 8 days ago

        That's a great question. I back him to score well but I also think I'm trying to be clever. The only worry I have is the rotation, but I really doubt he will be rotated.

    3. JOELIO8701
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Depends on what they all score 🙂

    4. @FPLMason
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Not really. Great record against West Ham.

    5. Chris_H
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Maybe.

      West Ham are in better form than Sheff Utd
      City have several injuries

      Just owning him is differential enough right now I'd say

      1. Philip Jones's Diary
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 8 days ago

        Yeah that's a good point. I think last week was frustrating because I owned him, and he scored well, but everyone else's equivalent scored well. Might be best to stick with Salah for this week anyway.

  14. Shark Team
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 8 days ago

    Only if Klopp says : "Sadio I think will not be available for Saturday"
    I will change my armband from Kane to Mo

    1. El Presidente
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Hum...

    2. bench boost for every gamew…
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Why do People think pool without Mane is better for Salah? Just rubbish, Mane makes Salah a better option if he plays as ut makes pool stronger. There is nothing that steals some thing from another thing, that is a false proposition. If anything, Mane makes more room for Salah because he attracts attention from opposition team.

      1. Shark Team
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 8 days ago

        Stats suggest it. Salah Vs BHA(A) was his best away game last year and It was mainly bec Mane was out.

  15. stu92
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 8 days ago

    Wildcard team, G2G?

    Martinez - 4.0
    Robbo - Mings - Saiss - Kilman - Lamptey
    Son - Bruno - Rodriguez - Barkley - Soucek
    Kane - DCL - Jimi

    Thinking about Mings > Konsa/Targett to save the extra cash for Man City upgrades in a few weeks.

    1. RIDZ
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Will you play Mings? Downgrade him if not

    2. D.Glynn
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 8 days ago

      I'd prefer Liverpool mid to Bruno if money can be saved elsewhere

    3. wilson007
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 8 days ago

      No Mo is a no go.

    4. iL PiStOlErO
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 8 days ago

      No pool or city so big NO. Also Hames is out this gw at least.

  16. JUNITED
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 8 days ago

    Decided to go for differential going for Vardy to Aguero instead of Kane. I feel like Burnley will pull Newcastle against spurs while Aguero will score hat trick to end West Ham good run or something like that.

    Going to regret this decision

  17. French Gooner
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 8 days ago

    James Rodriguez
    A) Keep
    B) Sell

    1. Konstaapeli
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      A

    2. @FPLMason
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      C) wait until the Ancelotti presser

    3. Phil's Stamps
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Keep

    4. El Presidente
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Sell only if he´s out for more than 1 GW

    5. Pavsboot
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Keep. Copped a knock yet still played out the game so can't be that bad. Unless we're told otherwise I reckon he's just being given a rest against an easy opponent and he'll be back in next week.

    6. iL PiStOlErO
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Sell sell sell!!!

  18. jia you jia you
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 8 days ago

    Salah needs luck, and for Mane to not put him in the shade, for a captaincy haul.
    Kane makes his own luck.

    1. Konstaapeli
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      The ball has bounced nicely for Salah a few times this season. But he has buried those chances quite convincingly.

  19. Corgzzzz
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 8 days ago

    Morning Guys...........With Hamez out injured ( I will still play ) who is first on my bench ??

    A, Brewster. ( away to LFC, and home coming v old club )
    B. Struijk ( away to Villa and already have Dallas )
    C, KWP ( home to weaken Everton )

    1. Cahill
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      c

    2. D.Glynn
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 8 days ago

      C B A

  20. Cahill
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 8 days ago

    selection & Bench ok?

    Martinez
    Robbo Saiss Lamp
    Salah Son Grealish Pulisic
    Kane DCL Watkins

    soucek chilwell ferguson

    1. D.Glynn
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Look g2g

  21. Bruce Lee
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 8 days ago

    get ivanovic in for 4.5

    steal

    1. Teror
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Hope you don't get arrested!!!

  22. gomez123
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 8 days ago

    Have both Barnes & Wood and 1ft and exact money to do either of these
    A)Barnes to Grealish
    B) Wood to Maupey
    C) Both to Barkley & Maupey -4??

  23. D.Glynn
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 8 days ago

    Best FT for this week?
    A) Werner to Kane
    B) Podence to Grealish
    C) TAA and Mitro to Kane and Konsa -4
    D) save or other suggestions welcome

    McCarthy
    Robbo TAA Justin
    Salah Son Zaha Podence
    Werner DCL Mitro
    4.0 Strujik Burke Taylor

    1. RIDZ
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      just save as you have Son

  24. jerseyboy
    • 9 Years
    1 month, 8 days ago

    Who to play/bench out of:

    Mitchell (ful)
    Soucek (CITY)
    KWP (EVE)
    Chilwell (mun)??

  25. Voodoo
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 8 days ago

    Which to start with?

    A) Mitchell (ful)
    B) Walker Peters (EVE)

    1. RIDZ
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      B, James & Richarlison are missing

    2. Machine_Gunnerz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 8 days ago

      mitch

  26. lindeg
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 8 days ago

    I’m capping sterling

    1. El Presidente
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Its a good punt imo

  27. French Gooner
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 8 days ago

    Tormented over who to take out for Kane:

    A) Werner > Kane
    B) Jimenez > Kane

    1. RIDZ
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Jimenez has better fixtures, I'm on A

    2. @FPLMason
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      B. I am actually looking at Werner coming in for me if Chelsea show consistency.

      1. French Gooner
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 8 days ago

        1. Points are more shared across chelsea than wolves
        2. Jimenez has pens, Werner doesnt
        3. Werner hasn’t done much apart from last week
        4. Chelsea had/have cl and Wolves doesn’t.

    3. tim
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      I took out Werner for Kane, wasnt too happy about it, but it had to be done.

  28. mrtapio
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 8 days ago

    This should be gtg even though Rodriguez might be injured?

    Martinez
    Robbo l Lamptey l Chilwell
    Mané(C)l Zaha l Son l Grealish l Rodriguez
    DCL l Kane(vc)

    Kilman, Brewster, Mitchell
    0.0itb 0ft

    1. Cahill
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      yeah - kilman a great 1st sub

      1. mrtapio
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 8 days ago

        Thanks, I have faith in him!

    2. RIDZ
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      gtg also for next gameweek and enjoy 2 FT

      1. mrtapio
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 8 days ago

        Thanks, that would be great!

  29. Akshay9971
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 8 days ago

    Hi guys, basic question.. Can someone help me knowing what is this new thing called sort by relative? Is there article explaining it or something?

    Thanks

  30. 2OLEgend
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Start Mitchell or Ayling?