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. rozzo
    • 7 Years
    2 months, 21 days ago

    Martinez Steer
    TAA Saiss Lamptey Johnson Mitchell
    Salah Son Rodriguez Trossard Anguissa
    Kane Ings DCL

    2ft
    0.9 itb

    A). TAA, Trossard and Ings to Zouma, Grealish and Vardy - 4
    B). Saiss and Ings to Chilwell and Wison
    C). Anything else

    Cheers

    1. Hansel
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 21 days ago

      A great long-term!

  2. dunas_dog
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 21 days ago

    Which player needs to go first?

    A Saïss
    B Pulisic
    C Mitchell

    1. gart888
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 21 days ago

      Mitchell the least useful long term, but the least painful to have right now... I'd probably go Saiss first, unless you think Pulisic doesn't play this week.

      1. dunas_dog
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 21 days ago

        Thanks- ideally want City defender for week 10 onwards so options I see are Saïss to Cancelo/ Dias early or wait to do that and go Pulisic to Ziyech or Zaha now

      2. Jon Walter's Hatty
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 21 days ago

        If you have enough playing defenders id say Pulisic. Lots of options

        1. Jon Walter's Hatty
          • 7 Years
          2 months, 21 days ago

          For what its worth ive chucked both for Chilwell and Bowen

    2. Camino Aleatorio
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 21 days ago

      Saiss

      Pulisic is just a streaky wussy ... he is going to score big soon ... between his little injuries

  3. gart888
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 21 days ago

    Double move of Robertson+Brewster to Dallas+Wilson?

    1. Wolfman180
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 21 days ago

      If you have the luxury and its not for a hit, id say its worth a punt.

      1. gart888
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 21 days ago

        Yeah, it's not a hit.

        Think I should go Brewster -> Wilson or DCL -> Werner?
        I got in on DCL late, so could sell him for what I paid.

        1. Wolfman180
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 21 days ago

          Do you have any other Chelsea players?
          Id say more Brewster to Wilson. DCL can still do well and you'll most likely want him back in for the following 3 fixtures. Wilson keeps ticking over points too

          1. gart888
            • 6 Years
            2 months, 21 days ago

            Also have Chilwell.

        2. camarozz
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 21 days ago

          If I was getting rid of Robbo (might be doing so myself) I would feel a lot better if I was getting someone better than Wilson with the money tbh

          1. gart888
            • 6 Years
            2 months, 21 days ago

            While I agree with that in general, a front 3 of Kane-DCL-Wilson might be nicer than Kane-Werner-Brewster even though Werner is so much better than Wilson.

  4. Nightf0x
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 21 days ago

    Which?

    A) jimi to wilson
    B) foden to fornals
    C) jimi barkly -4 to wilson fornals
    D) sais to belerin/holding/coufal/clyne/taylor
    E) a and d with -4

    1. Balls of Steel
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 21 days ago

      B

      1. Camino Aleatorio
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 21 days ago

        Yeah, that’s common sense

  5. Oliver Tockman
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 21 days ago

    Anyone else thinking about James Maddison?

    1. Jon Walter's Hatty
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 21 days ago

      Looked great tonight slowly getting back to full fitness. Great diff in a few weeks time id say

  6. camarozz
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 21 days ago

    If Rodriguez is out (again) would u consider selling Dcl for Werner as part of 2ft move?

    1. gart888
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 21 days ago

      Depends on how cheap you got DCL. Werner at 9.3 is great great value if he's on pens and that team is in form.

      1. camarozz
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 21 days ago

        That's the prob, have him since gw 1.
        But need to shake things up coz I'm way down in my MLs.
        Have to consider also I want Kdb for Son so have to prioritise

        1. gart888
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 21 days ago

          If you have DCL for so cheap I'd be hard pressed to sell him until his form slips HARD.

    2. Camino Aleatorio
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 21 days ago

      He’s probably out or will be limited

      But next week Everton plays the worst team in EPL, Fulham

      So you already paid with 0 and a poor performance from JamesR, what’s one more week?

      He might play against MU, it’s not 100% sure he won’t play.

  7. Sharpify
      2 months, 21 days ago

      I'm beginning to think that TAA is an expensive luxury. Maybe time to ditch him and invest the cash elsewhere?

    • DavidKent
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 21 days ago

      I’m torn between Lamptey, Justin or Corful. Any thoughts appreciated?

      1. Oliver Tockman
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 21 days ago

        Coufal for me. West Ham look very solid.

        1. DavidKent
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 21 days ago

          I’ve not watched Hammers much. Does he have any attacking return?
          Is he fairly nailed?
          And more solid than Leicester?

          1. Oliver Tockman
            • 6 Years
            2 months, 21 days ago

            More attacking potential, maybe not quite as solid yet but better fixtures.

            1. DavidKent
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              2 months, 21 days ago

              Thanks mate

    • tabby98
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 21 days ago

      Mccarthy (Nyland
      TAA, James, KWP, Justin, (Mitchell)
      Salah, Son, Grealish, ASM, (Stephens)
      DCL, Kane, Jimenez

      0.9m ITB 1FT

      A) Hold
      B) TAA out for Chilwell/Zouma/Another defender
      C) TAA + ASM ---> Zaha/Ziyech + Defender for -4
      Or any other suggestions??

    • huhhh
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 21 days ago

      Digne anybody? If james out i think digne will be taking setpieces,?

      1. Hazz
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 21 days ago

        James isn't out?

        1. huhhh
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 21 days ago

          I say if? Who knows?

    • wulfranian
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 21 days ago

      For gameweeks 9-10,Rashford or Rodriguez?

    • UshFPL
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 21 days ago

      Sell Robbo or Trent?

      1. Jon Walter's Hatty
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 21 days ago

        Not a lot in it so maybe sell TAA and reinvest 0.5

      2. Punty McPuntface
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 21 days ago

        Taa

    • JakeTheRed
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 21 days ago

      Is it worth taking Pulisic out for a -4?

      1. Mr. Chimes
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 21 days ago

        I mean there are tons of options you can downgrade to unless your problem is that you've used your FT already.

    • Hazz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 21 days ago

      Foden > Jota?

      I'm tempted.

      1. Balls of Steel
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 21 days ago

        Bowen with a nicer fixture

        1. Hazz
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 21 days ago

          Whatever happened to form over fixtures?

          1. Balls of Steel
            • 5 Years
            2 months, 21 days ago

            Just my recommendation for this gw...

      2. FC Hakkebøf
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 21 days ago

        Same! But as in Maupay + Pulisic to Werner + Jota

    • differentgravy
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 21 days ago

      A Greenwood > Ward-Prowse
      B Jimenez > Werner
      C Save free transfer and bench Greenwood

      Any thoughts? Thanks

    • Tmel
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 21 days ago

      Martinez
      Lamptey Chilwell TAA
      Podence Salah Son Foden
      Kane DCL Jimenez
      (Steer Mitchell Saiss Burke)

      0.5ITB & 2FT

      a) Saiss & Jimi > Coufal & Werner
      b) Saiss & Podence > Coufal & Bowen
      c) Podence & Jimi > Grealish & Wilson
      d) Podence & Jimi > Soucek & Werner

    • Blue Flag Flyer
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 21 days ago

      Ziyech or Rodriguez?

      Completely disregarding price and value.

      1. dunas_dog
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 21 days ago

        A fit Rodriguez

      2. Punty McPuntface
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 21 days ago

        Rod

      3. FC Hakkebøf
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 21 days ago

        Ziyech.

      4. Twisted Saltergater
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        2 months, 21 days ago

        Probably Ziyech

    • Tmel
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 21 days ago

      Any better 4.9 or under defender options than Coufal (exc. Lamptey)?

      1. The Ilfordian
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 21 days ago

        Not this week. Shaw could be a bargain going forward and I like Dallas

    • huhhh
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 21 days ago

      Will you start asm over grealish this week?
      Newcastle vs injury saints
      And aston facing arsenal

    • thetommy14
        2 months, 21 days ago

        Do Pulisic to Ziyech now to catch prise? I don't think he will be fit or just be subbed on at the end of the game....

        1. thetommy14
            2 months, 21 days ago

            price rise*

          • TheSteel
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            2 months, 21 days ago

            Im waiting til the presser tomorrow. If he's ruled fit and starts, you’ll be kicking yourself as he will demolish SHU.

            1. UNDERWORLD7
              • 9 Years
              2 months, 21 days ago

              he can't demolish anyone at the moment, i'm sorry i got him.

        2. Pilgrim62
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 21 days ago

          Any thoughts on Ryan?
          Any chance he will start?

          1. dunas_dog
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            2 months, 21 days ago

            We don’t know and is a chance but personally don’t think he starts

        3. huhhh
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 21 days ago

          Saiss to digne or cresswell?

          1. CroatianHammer
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            2 months, 21 days ago

            Oh definitely - Digne I would say, since a few pundits think Utd might show up this weekend

            1. Twisted Saltergater
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 11 Years
              2 months, 21 days ago

              He’s thinking of bringing Digne in.

              1. CroatianHammer
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 5 Years
                2 months, 21 days ago

                Whoops. Read it as Saiss or Digne to Cresswell... in which case, Cresswell obv. You want the defender with the best fixture run, and that's not Digne.

          2. Punty McPuntface
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 21 days ago

            Digne

        4. Prison Mike
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 21 days ago

          Who to start?

          A) Robertson (mci)

          B) Semedo (lei)

          1. Punty McPuntface
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 21 days ago

            A

        5. camarozz
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 21 days ago

          Don't see Spurs presser (after or before euro game) any news if Reguilon will be fit?

        6. ooooo
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 21 days ago

          KWP to Coufal? Have 2 FT and no pressing issue might as well burn

          1. Twisted Saltergater
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 11 Years
            2 months, 21 days ago

            Prefer Masuaku to Coufal. More assist and goal threat. Just not as certain to start in a back 4.

        7. Punty McPuntface
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 21 days ago

          For the next 5 would you rather...

          A Wilson
          B Bamford

          1. Twisted Saltergater
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 11 Years
            2 months, 21 days ago

            Probably B. I don’t think Newcastle create enough.

          2. Tempestic
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 21 days ago

            B, wouldnt look too much into fixtures with leeds. Going to attack whoever the opposition is

        8. Twisted Saltergater
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          2 months, 21 days ago

          Best defender up to 5.5m?

          I like Cancelo but Liverpool, Spurs in the next 2 isn’t ideal.

          1. Jon Walter's Hatty
            • 7 Years
            2 months, 21 days ago

            PVA punt. Next 4 superb fixtures and Palace getting the better CHs back.

            1. Twisted Saltergater
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 11 Years
              2 months, 21 days ago

              Hmm, I do like an attacking FB.

              1. Twisted Saltergater
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 11 Years
                2 months, 21 days ago

                Was thinking of waiting then buying Telles. Should be back after the IB and Man U have West Brom.

                1. Jon Walter's Hatty
                  • 7 Years
                  2 months, 21 days ago

                  If a gambler he is worth a go I guess.

          2. FC Hakkebøf
            • 3 Years
            2 months, 21 days ago

            I would go for someone like Coufal and get some cash itb for the city bandwagon coming up

        9. FC Hakkebøf
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 21 days ago

          Anyone else tempted by Jota? With so litte time between games this year, I reckon he will get a lot of minutes. At least the same amount as Foden, which imo makes him a great pick at 6.5.

          1. Twisted Saltergater
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 11 Years
            2 months, 21 days ago

            It’ll be Mané, Firmino and Salah vs Man Coty, no matter how well Jota has done. I’d wait for an injury or suspension before buying Jota.

            1. FC Hakkebøf
              • 3 Years
              2 months, 21 days ago

              Whoscored seems to think Jota will start

              1. Tempestic
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 2 Years
                2 months, 21 days ago

                I mean I just think Klopp will want the defensive aspect of Firminos game vs City, such a trusted member of the team and an integral part of the press but considering Jota cant stop scoring it'll be a very tough call

                1. FC Hakkebøf
                  • 3 Years
                  2 months, 21 days ago

                  He can play 4-2-3-1...

            2. Tempestic
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              2 months, 21 days ago

              this. I reckon Firmino will still start vs City, Jota on around 60 mins probably.
              In easier fixtures tho they can both play in a 4-2-3-1 and I think hes a great pick in that case

        10. Tempestic
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 21 days ago

          Anything else to do here? Just did Saiss > Chilwell
          1FT 0.1ITB
          Martinez
          Chilwell Lamptey KWP
          Salah Sterling Son(C) Barkley
          Werner Jimenez DCL

          Forster - Kilman Mitchell Burke

          Very fearful of Kane this week but have been all along so might as well stick it out one more week till his fixtures turn. Reckon he'll be over 150% EO tho....
          Want to get Jimenez coz I dont think hes good value and maybe upgrade Barkley but I guess saving the second transfer for the IB is the sensible move?

          1. Twisted Saltergater
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 11 Years
            2 months, 21 days ago

            Yep, strong save there.

            1. Tempestic
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              2 months, 21 days ago

              cheers

          2. FC Hakkebøf
            • 3 Years
            2 months, 21 days ago

            Save

        11. FC Hakkebøf
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 21 days ago

          Maupay, Pulisic and Saiss owners. 2 FT. Suggestions?