Pro Pundit Teams

How ‘Endowment Effect’ alters judgement of underperforming FPL assets

In my previous article, I talked about how ‘Loss Aversion’ (our tendency to fear losses about twice as much as we value gains) can cause FPL managers to hold on longer than they should, to players who are underperforming. This week, I’ll be discussing an arguably even more irrational cause for the same behaviour: the ‘Endowment Effect’.

Like Loss Aversion, the Endowment Effect is a cognitive bias which describes our tendency to overvalue something we own, irrespective of its objective value. 

For some reason, most studies of the Endowment Effect seem to have focused primarily on the economics of coffee mugs with various findings such as that, when somebody takes possession of a mug, they are found to typically want twice as much money to sell that mug as they would be willing to pay for the exact same type of mug. Some people are unwilling to even consider selling their mugs, seemingly at any price, with one notable example involving a student turning down $1,000 from their professor for a mug they had just been given. I know what you’re thinking; what a mug.

Some scientists believe that the Endowment Effect is simply an extension of Loss Aversion and there is some evidence for that. However, other analysis has suggested that the feeling of ‘ownership’ of something establishes a bond between object and owner. Some have gone so far as to suggest that such an object, whatever it might be, becomes internalised as a part of our personality and, thus, to give it away or even sell it would effectively be to lose a part of our ‘self’. This makes sense from an evolutionary perspective as, without the capacity to form such attachments, we wouldn’t feel attached to anything or anyone.

So how might the Endowment Effect manifest itself with regards to Fantasy Football? Well, anybody who has played a Fantasy Football draft game has probably experienced how difficult it is to make transfers with other managers in your league. They either won’t budge at all or they want something ridiculous like, Harry Kane (£11.0m) for Shane Long (£5.2m) as part of the deal. And this stubbornness seems to apply however fair the proposed deal may be. This is very likely the Endowment Effect in practice.

But we also form these attachments in Fantasy Premier League even when there is nobody else on the other side of the deal. Throughout my time playing FPL, I have definitely chosen players on the basis of sentiment (how else could I explain my three-season ‘Chris Brunt Era’?) and I know I’m not the only one. 

I see people commenting all the time about having a ‘soft spot’ for a certain player or expressing grief because they’ve been forced to transfer them out. Often simply ‘liking a player’ is cited as the primary reason for transferring a player in, above any performance metrics or rational expectation of future points. Alternatively, “he’s done well for me in the past” is another oft-seen justification.

Typically, this parasocial relationship we sometimes have with players seems to originate from them doing well for us in the past and, I’d argue, that this is particularly strong when that player was a differential at the time. I would suggest that these types of players come to form part of our personalities as Fantasy managers and having them in our team reinforces that sense of individual identity. No wonder, then, that we often find it so difficult to transfer such players out. 

As a result of this attachment, however, we are likely to give such players more time than they perhaps deserve or might be conducive to maximising our rank. We might even hold onto them through injury or suspension. This sentimental attachment to underperforming players will inevitably become problematic as it may well cause us to miss out on better opportunities.

How Leeds restricted De Bruyne to unfortunate FPL blank in Gameweek 4

So what can we FPL managers do to avoid the Endowment Effect? The obvious answer would be to try not to get too attached to certain players though, as discussed, this is easier said than done.

Perhaps the best way would be to adopt our own individual objective standards for player-related decisions. That could, for example, involve establishing a rule by which a player can only blank, say, three times before he is transferred out or can only miss one or two Gameweeks maximum through injury.

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend being too intransigent about following through on such a rule if it doesn’t make sense in context (e.g. the player is about to embark on an amazing run of fixtures) but having such it in place will at least help you engage the logical part of your mind over the more emotional one and this should help improve the quality of your decision-making.

Become a Member and get unrestricted access to our data and articles

Full-year memberships are now available for the price of £19.99. Monthly subscriptions also cost just £2.99. A FREE trial is now available during December.

Join now to get the following:

  • Plot your transfer strategies using the fully interactive Season Ticker.
  • Get projections for every Premier League player provided by the Rate My Team statistical model.
  • Use Rate My Team throughout the season to guide your selections and transfers.
  • Get access to over 150+ exclusive members articles over the season.
  • Analyse our OPTA-powered statistic tables specifically tailored for Fantasy Football Managers.
  • Use our exclusive tool to build custom stats tables from over 100 OPTA player and team stats.
  • Enjoy our brand NEW Flat-Track Bully feature which introduces an opposition filter to your tables.
  • View heatmaps and expected goals data for every player.
  • Use our powerful comparison tool to analyse players head-to-head.

ALREADY A USER? CLICK HERE TO UPGRADE YOUR FREE ACCOUNT

NEW TO SCOUT? CLICK HERE TO START A MEMBERSHIP ACCOUNT

2,012 Comments Post a Comment
  1. yanky
    • 11 Years
    2 months, 14 days ago

    im wildcarding after start of gameweek, so I need a ONE WEEK transfer only

    a) Mitchell > Zouma
    b) Podence > Zaha
    c) Bissouma > Bowen (bench Podence)

    1. _figu
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      C has highest ceiling imo

    2. Big Ronnie
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      C

    3. DAZZ
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      C mate. Same dillema below

  2. Big Ronnie
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    2 months, 14 days ago

    Jimenez to any of these worth a -4? Leaning towards A.
    A) Werner
    B) DCL
    C) Martial
    D) Wilson

    1. yanky
      • 11 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      A or B (if hamez back)

    2. DAZZ
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      Werner mate. Dont let them tell you otherwise. He’s on penalties and with Pulisic + Havertz out, he’s highly likely to start.

      1. Big Ronnie
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 14 days ago

        Cheers mate. Yeah only slight worry is him not starting.

        1. DAZZ
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          Would be surprised if Frank went without Pulisic Havertz and Werner.

    3. bautasten
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      A or hold.

  3. Pep Roulette
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 14 days ago

    Coufal or Lamptey?

    1. yanky
      • 11 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      lamptey if confirmed fit

    2. Big Ronnie
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      Couple. Will be relying on Lamptey attacking returns.

      1. Big Ronnie
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 14 days ago

        *Coufal

  4. DAZZ
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 14 days ago

    So tempted by Podence > Bowen -4. Have a feeling about him this week. West Ham might annihilate Fulham.

    1. bautasten
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      Not concerned about no Antonio denting the attack?

  5. dylano21
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 14 days ago

    Bench 2.

    Chillwel, James, James Rodriguez, Soucek, Cresswel, Dcl

    1. DAZZ
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      None of them lol. But if pressed to bench 2 of them, soucek, and reece james.

      1. dylano21
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 14 days ago

        Have this at the moment. Could also bench grealish maybe

    2. yanky
      • 11 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      jeez do u have to hahah i guess soucek and dcl but i dont feel good about it

    3. Right In The Stanchion
        2 months, 14 days ago

        Lol. Bad management to have this dilemma.

        Soucek has to be one of them.

    4. bautasten
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      Pulisic to..
      A) Bowen (Son -> De Bruyne GW9/10)
      B) Ziyech (Kane -> Jesus GW9/10)

      1. _figu
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 14 days ago

        Prefer KDB so A.

        1. bautasten
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          Thanks...Could get KDB in with Ziyech in my team, but would require 2 FTs. But A gives me more flexibility going forward.

      2. korbendallas82
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 14 days ago

        a

    5. FPLMACKEM
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      2 months, 14 days ago

      When to wildcard?

      A) GW10 for the fixture swing
      B) GW16 to prepare for the blank and double GW.

      1. _figu
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 14 days ago

        Depends on your team.

        1. FPLMACKEM
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          2 months, 14 days ago

          McCarthy
          TAA Robbo Lewis
          Salah son jrod Barkley
          Mitro Jimenez maupay

          Steer Podence Taylor Ferguson

          2.8itb and 2ft

          I'm considering making transfers for the next two gws with players who have favourable fixtures. Then wildcard out of it in gw10 and get a team to attack the fixture swing.

          1. _figu
            • 3 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            Lewis to Chilwell no brainer. Would save the another or maybe Mitro to Bamford.

            1. FPLMACKEM
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              2 months, 14 days ago

              I'd have too much money in defence then and not enough for KDB. I'd probably only do chilwell for TAA/Robbo.

      2. yanky
        • 11 Years
        2 months, 14 days ago

        pulling trigger tomorrow, best on international break and i gave TAA Podence Saiss Mitchell Kane Son all who I want to offload for some united and city assets. Doubles are after wildcard expires and over christmas alot can change in a few weeks

        1. FPLMACKEM
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          2 months, 14 days ago

          Fair point. I think the double is in gw18 and the problem with wc then is you may end up with a team that is suitable for the double but not for the medium to long term.

    6. _figu
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      Clueless what to do here. Any help would be appreciated.

      Martinez
      Lamptey Robbo Chilwell
      Son Salah Barkley Podence
      Kane (C) Jimenez Maypey

      Foden Saiss Mitchell

      1 FT, 0.1 in the bank.

      1. yanky
        • 11 Years
        2 months, 14 days ago

        save transfer then look to offload two of saiss/jimenez/mitchell

        1. yanky
          • 11 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          or spurs assets too based on fixtures

        2. _figu
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          Having two Wolves and Maypay dropped(?) is a slight concern. But saving is where I'm leaning right now. Thank you for your feedback.

    7. Right In The Stanchion
        2 months, 14 days ago

        Hamez Rodriguez is going to end Ole’s managerial career this weekend.

        I feel sorry for the lad. But they can’t carry on together.

      • ChickenTikkaMoSalah
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 14 days ago

        Interesting read, on that note:
        Is doing Pulisic to Bruno for free worth it?! Can't afford KDB

        1. yanky
          • 11 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          bruno looks bad, much prefer city sterling/kdb. id look to fund somehow

      • The Wizard of Ozil
        • 10 Years
        2 months, 14 days ago

        What would you do here? Team lit up like a Christmas tree. Below are all doubts

        Saiss
        Ings
        Pulisic
        Lampty
        Reguilion
        Mitchell
        Burke

        Thinking either

        A) Saiss & Ings -> Chilwell & DCL
        B) Saiss, Pulisic & Ings -> Zouma, Zaha & Warner
        C) Saiss, Puli & Ings -> Coufal, KDB & Adams

        1. Right In The Stanchion
            2 months, 14 days ago

            Wildcard?

            1. The Wizard of Ozil
              • 10 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              Gone but might use free hit

          • Z
            • 3 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            B is TOP!
            Only if it is -4

          • yanky
            • 11 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            I kind of like A

          • RAFA THE GAFFA
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            A has the best long term picks

        2. Pep Roulette
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          Sell TAA or Robbo?

          1. Z
            • 3 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            TAA

          2. yanky
            • 11 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            if nothing else is urgent i dont mind it. id sell TAA before Robbo as both on set oueces and andys cheaper

        3. Dark Side Of The Loon!
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          Martinez
          James Coufal Lamptey
          Salah Sterling Son XXX
          DCL Bamford Martial

          XXX should be:

          1) Foden
          2) Podence

          1. _figu
            • 3 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            I'm playing Podence. Minutes and has looked good.

        4. Jet5605
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          Kane going off at half time wasn't injury related was it?

          1. yanky
            • 11 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            nope

        5. Stoichkov#8
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          Is there FPL Blackbox this week?

          1. dunas_dog
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            I think Az was on holiday this week ( presumably returning earlier than planned)

          2. Werner Bremen
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            I'm waiting for it too. Someone said at 9PM.

            1. Stoichkov#8
              • 5 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              cheers

        6. The Red Devil
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          Taylor to lamptey for a hit?
          Or play kilman/Taylor?

          1. RAFA THE GAFFA
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            Play Taylor

          2. kennethrhcp
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            def no hit. play taylor like rafa said

        7. youneedmorecavaleiro
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          GTG? Rolling FT, have WC

          McCarthy
          Chilwell - Cresswell - Justin
          Salah - KDB - Rashford - Podence
          Kane (c) - DCL - Wilson

          Anguissa - Shaw - 4.0

          0.5 ITB

          1. RAFA THE GAFFA
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            V nice

          2. icanseethroughyou
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            Only one I’d change is Podence if you can. Must be better options and their fixture list is turning red. Great team otherwise.

        8. ReindeerHotdog
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          2 months, 14 days ago

          It's great how an interesting article like this doesn't generate any conversation about the topic discussed, rather the first comment is a RMT.

          There definitely needs to be a separate part of the website for all the mindless "Tell Me What to Do" comments.

          1. Reedy
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            I like Simon's posts, this is another interesting one and I can certainly relate to the behaviour he describes.

            It's worked for me recently in the case of Ziyech, getting on just in time; but I've had it work the other way around too, sometimes benching expensive, injured players for several weeks in a row. I suppose like everything there has to be a balance.

          2. tiger
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            I agree

          3. FPL_Motty
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            2 months, 14 days ago

            Agreed. Would be nice to see more comments about the actual article..
            I am also weary though when he says, when a player blanks 3 games in a row, look to swap. But this is exactly the opposite I've been trying to teach myself over the years, where I see the best most consistent managers show so much patience, even when a player blanks 4+ times they hold and catch the big haul just as 1m managers have dumped them. There's always around after 3 blanks there becomes big sales, and being able to hold firm through that can bring the biggest gains. Even though saying this, I still get burnt by it. For example podencd this week

            1. FPL_Motty
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              2 months, 14 days ago

              *podence this week. I knew he had a good fixture but had blanked 3/4times, and I had set myself to using him to fund kane. Logical overall but if I had a bit more patience I should have held for 1 more week. On the flip side, I've held KDB through several blanks and an injury, but now I see many people considering city's plum fixture run and thinking how to rip up their teams for sterling/kdb, and I feel nicely prepared for that. Having the patience to hold firm with trusted players is tough but can bring the biggest gains.

        9. The Road to Turfdom
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          Great article - enjoying these behavioural pieces! Cheers Simon

        10. RAFA THE GAFFA
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          Best move guys? Might WC during IB or GW10.

          A. Pulisic >> Ziyech
          B. Saiss >> Cresswell
          C. Take another hit!

          McCarthy
          Chilwell, Davies, Justin
          Salah, Pulisic*, JRod*, Son, Grealish
          Kane, DCL
          (Nyland, Saiss, Mitchell*, Davis)

          1. RAFA THE GAFFA
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            C is for both

          2. Karan14
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            I would definitely sell one of Davies/Saiss for Cresswell/Coufal. Pulisic to Ziyech also looks if he's not fit.

            1. RAFA THE GAFFA
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 4 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              Yeah, I need to sort my defence. Was an easy move before Pulisic pulled up and ruined my Gameweek and this Gameweek

          3. kennethrhcp
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            i hate a hit week before a WC. If holding WC more than IB take the hit depending on pressers

            1. RAFA THE GAFFA
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 4 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              Yeah. I could wait but I need City for 10.

        11. manu4life99
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          Best Saiss replacement?

          Zouma - seems to be overperforming vs stats

          Bellerin - weak attacking stats

          Coufal - weak attacking stats but cheap

          1. kennethrhcp
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            im leaning C in the week or so

          2. RAFA THE GAFFA
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            C or Creswell?

          3. HMC
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            96% going Coufal myself
            Zouma definitely is over performing
            Could see Creswell continuing to produce but rather that money go to Kdb

          4. Willco97
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            Bringing all three in this week on a WC

        12. kennethrhcp
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          A: Wilson (Podence)
          B: Podence (Ings) + roll FT

          1. You've got red on you.
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            B

          2. potatoace
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            B.

          3. kennethrhcp
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            cheers lads!

        13. You've got red on you.
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          Mitchell ---> Kilman -4

          Have to do tonight to avoid being priced out.

          Wouldn't usually consider a -4 on defender but my 3rd defender spot is Lamptey, Mitchell or Dunne

          1. kennethrhcp
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            Laptey is gonna play though right? cramp i think iread

            1. You've got red on you.
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 8 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              Yeah but if I leave it I won't get as good a player on my bench

              1. kennethrhcp
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 10 Years
                2 months, 14 days ago

                i get ya... hard 1. im very slow to take a hit but ya you prob need a bench player with all that's going on

        14. andres
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          bowen or fornals?

          or find extra cash for Grealish / Zaha?

          1. kennethrhcp
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            WH = great fixtures... Bowen imo

            how would you free up funds for one of the other 2?

        15. Stram Dunk
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          2 months, 14 days ago

          Play Podence or Grealish?

          1. andres
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            Grealish

          2. You've got red on you.
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            Erm...Grealish

          3. kennethrhcp
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            Grealish

          4. potatoace
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            Grealish

        16. Nightcrawler
          • 1 Year
          2 months, 14 days ago

          TV Over 104 now. Time for all big hitters to starrt firing at the same time

          1. Stram Dunk
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 1 Year
            2 months, 14 days ago

            Nice

          2. kennethrhcp
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            maybe someone had the same/similar name but i thought you've been here for ages & not just 1or2 seasons

            1. Nightcrawler
              • 1 Year
              2 months, 14 days ago

              certainly feels like ages but i do post a lot during my active months

          3. JohnnyRev7
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            Link your team. Otherwise you're BSing.

        17. batmaniac
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          Does anybody reckon pulisic is available?
          Is he training at all?

        18. RAFA THE GAFFA
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          Who to sell first and who to buy?

          Sell;
          A. Saiss
          B. Davies

          Buy;
          1. Cresswell
          2. Coufal
          3. Lamptey

          1. potatoace
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            A.
            1.

          2. Stram Dunk
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 1 Year
            2 months, 14 days ago

            A1 easy

            1. RAFA THE GAFFA
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 4 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              Was my thinking. Cheers

          3. Pompel
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            B1

            1. RAFA THE GAFFA
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 4 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              Yeah. Both need to go!

        19. potatoace
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          Start 2.
          A. Cresswell
          B. Podence
          C. Foden.

          1. Pompel
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            AB

          2. Stram Dunk
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 1 Year
            2 months, 14 days ago

            A. and toss a coin between the other two. Foden cameo last week with Podence 8 pointer on the bench...

        20. Athletic Nasherbo
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          Could this team work?

          Mendy
          Pva Cancelo Vestergaard
          Salah Mane Sterling Mahrez Jota
          Bamford Adams

          P.Farrell Brewster Kilman Thomas

          1. potatoace
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            Way too many eggs in one basket. Would work out for you less than 50% of time id say.