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.

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2,012 Comments Post a Comment
  1. RedWolf
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    How do i get KDB into this team?

    Martinez Steer
    Konsa, Mitchell, Robbo, Coufal, Zouma
    Bissouma Mane Zaha Ziech Son
    Kane Bamford DCL.
    1.6itb

    Mane to KDB
    Mane and Bissouma out for KDB Jota
    Zaha and Robbo out for KDB Kilman
    Son and Robbo out for KDB Chilwell
    Kane and Bissouma out for KDB Brewster

    1. Bobby Digital
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Son Robbo

    2. NULL-X-VOID
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      C

  2. NULL-X-VOID
    • 7 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    Any update of Hamez's injury? Will he play this GW?

    1. Miguel Sanchez
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Liverpool Echo reporting he should be fine

      1. NULL-X-VOID
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        Cheers Miguel.

  3. Atimis
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    Worth making any changes?

    1FT 1.6 ITB.

    Martinez
    Robo/Reguilon/Chilwell
    Salah/Son(c)/Hamez/Grealish
    Kane/DCL/Bamford

    Martin/Kilman/Mitchell/Stephens

    1. Pompel
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Looks strong, gtg!

  4. HVT
    • 10 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    Sell Trent or not?

    1. Christina.
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      It's tough, but once you have done it it becomes easier every week. (I sold wk 3)

      1. HVT
        • 10 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        Fair play, I didn’t have the gumption.
        The cash enables an upgrade on Foden or Podence.

    2. Lev Yashin
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Yes.

      I looked at shipping Robbo and it does open up a world of opportunities.

  5. ShaunGoater123
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    I should save my free transfer and roll with this right?

    McCarthy

    Chilwell / Dallas / bellerin

    Salah / son / sterling / soucek

    Kane / Jimenez / Watkins

    Button / Justin / Mitchell / bissouma

  6. Lucky Z
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    Why people thinking on transferring out Kane and Son? Each of them scored 71 points to the moment. On form. Yes, tough fixtures are coming, but there is no such rock defences as recently ManCity and Liverpool had. Especially if they are bought at 10.5 and 9.0.

    1. ivantys
        3 months, 21 days ago

        Tbf, since the Europa league started, spurs hadn't been firing and they've had easy games. They could still be great values but I'm moving on to easier fixtures from other teams.

      • Brosstan
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        It's very simple. They believe other options will outscore Kane/Son over their poor fixture fun. If you don't believe that, don't sell them

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

      G2G - 2FT used & 0ITB? Did Robbo > Dallas & Podence > Ziyech

      Martinez
      James, Saiss, Dallas
      Son, Salah, Ziyech, Grealish
      Werner, Kane, DCL

      Steer, Mitchell, Anguissa, Dunne

      Cheers!

      1. Lucky Z
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        I'd bring in Coufal rather than Dallas. And yes, good moves

        1. POWERPOD
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 21 days ago

          Cheers mate. What's the reasoning behind Coufal instead of Dallas?

          1. Lucky Z
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 21 days ago

            WHU seems better defensively + Coufal has capacity for assists

    3. Lev Yashin
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Pulisic out or utilise Dallas/Lamptey/Bissouma?

      1. HVT
        • 10 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        I’d play Lamptey, good option.
        Who would you bring in btw?

        1. Lev Yashin
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 21 days ago

          Probably Ziyech as well.

          1. HVT
            • 10 Years
            3 months, 21 days ago

            Fair enough, decent shout.

      2. Lucky Z
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        I did Ziyech in such situation. Have JRod, Reguilon and Mitchell (on bench) to much ? to keep Puli as well

        1. HVT
          • 10 Years
          3 months, 21 days ago

          That’s a good call got caught last week myself with no bench

    4. as33
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      G2G?:
      Martinez
      Bellerin, Chilwell, KWP(Kilman)
      Zaha, Son, Salah, Rashford
      Kane(c), DCL, Watkins

    5. KANTEnders
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Pick 3 defenders to start of the following :
      A) TAA (city away)
      B) C.Taylor (BHA away)
      C) Ayling (Palace away)
      D) Coady (LEI away)
      E) Coufal (Ful home)

      Cheers!

      1. Pompel
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        ABE

    6. davies
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      All set?

      Martinez
      Chilwell Lamptey Kilman
      Salah Sterling Son (c) Grealish Soucek
      Kane DCL

      Forster Mitchell Brewster Dunne

      Cheers.

      1. HVT
        • 10 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        Crap bench but that’s another days work.

        1. davies
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 21 days ago

          1.6 ITB

          Kane > Vardy in 2 weeks upgrades bench/Soucek

    7. konrad.sygula95
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      What are the best replacement for Ings and Havertz? on 2 ft

      A Kdb & Wilson
      B Ziyech & Kane

      Mccarthy/Nyland
      TAA/ Saiss/Holding/Douglas/Mitchell
      Son/Salah/Havertz/Grealish/Stephens
      Ings/Werner/Mitro

      2ft 1.1itb

      1. Miguel Sanchez
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        B

      2. ivantys
          3 months, 21 days ago

          A

        • Azathoth
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 21 days ago

          ZK

        • Pompel
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          3 months, 21 days ago

          B

      3. valurth
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        Bought Jota this week, did I buy myself a benching headache !!

        Jota, Salah, Grealish, Son, Rashford
        Wilson, Kane, Bamford

        Who the f*** do I bench?
        (Leaning towards Grealish/Bamford)

        1. ivantys
            3 months, 21 days ago

            Bamford if you really have to pick one. I wouldn't want to have 8 attackers.

            1. Goodricke
              • 5 Years
              3 months, 21 days ago

              Speaking as a Leeds fan, I am seriously considering benching Bamford. Leeds have a curse away to London sides. One win in London in the last 10 visits.

              1. ivantys
                  3 months, 21 days ago

                  I wouldn't want to bench him that's why no point having 8 attackers waste of money on bench every week and then need to hope the one you bench doesn't haul.

            2. I SPEAK ENGELS AND DRINK GI…
              • 1 Year
              3 months, 21 days ago

              Classic mistake

          • McSauce
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 11 Years
            3 months, 21 days ago

            Morning Gents, simple one but a tough decision? FIRST TO 3 WINS

            A) Lamptey
            B) Coufal

            1. Miguel Sanchez
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 4 Years
              3 months, 21 days ago

              B

            2. ivantys
                3 months, 21 days ago

                B. Avoid the Lamptey trap

              • davies
                • 6 Years
                3 months, 21 days ago

                A

                Avoid the Hammers trap

                1. Pompel
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 7 Years
                  3 months, 21 days ago

                  How is Lamptey a trap?

                  1. ivantys
                      3 months, 21 days ago

                      Brighton don't keep CS, you'll just be looking at attacking returns every week.

                    • davies
                      • 6 Years
                      3 months, 21 days ago

                      Opposite to what I said

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

                  A easy

                3. Pompel
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 7 Years
                  3 months, 21 days ago

                  B

                4. McSauce
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 11 Years
                  3 months, 21 days ago

                  Coufal 1st to hit 3..... hmmm

              • Miguel Sanchez
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 4 Years
                3 months, 21 days ago

                First on bench:

                A) Justin (WOL)
                B) Bissouma (BUR)

                1. Pompel
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 7 Years
                  3 months, 21 days ago

                  Close, but B

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

                  B 3pts
                  A 2pts

              • Pompel
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 7 Years
                3 months, 21 days ago

                Feeling stuck since Sterling limiting my options, need some input to help make a decision. Team is

                Martinez
                Chilwell Boly Lamptey* Taylor (Mitchell*
                Salah Son(c) Sterling March* (Burke)
                Kane DCL Maupay

                1FT, 0.3 itb

                Looking at :

                A) Roll FT and hope at least one of the Brighton lads play
                B) Boly + March -> Coufal + Bowen -4pts
                C) March + Sterling -> RGrealish + Zaha/JRod - 4pts
                D) Taylor -Z Coufal
                E) Other?

                cheers!

                1. Miguel Sanchez
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 4 Years
                  3 months, 21 days ago

                  A

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

                  B or C u need litle bit fun with this game.

              • konrad.sygula95
                • 3 Years
                3 months, 21 days ago

                What are the best replacement for Ings and Havertz? on 2 ft

                A Zaha & Vardy
                B JWP & Kane

                Mccarthy/Nyland
                TAA/ Saiss/Holding/Douglas/Mitchell
                Son/Salah/Havertz/Grealish/Stephens
                Ings/Werner/Mitro

                2ft 1.1itb

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

                  Kane / Bowen?
                  Vardy / Zieych?
                  Martial / Ziyech?

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

                Anymore press? Safe to bring in Creswell?

                1. McSauce
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 11 Years
                  3 months, 21 days ago

                  should be ye

              • Lev Yashin
                • 8 Years
                3 months, 21 days ago

                Starting XI and bench order OK?

                Martinez
                Chilwell, Lamptey, Dallas
                Salah, Son, Ziyech, Grealish
                Kane, DCL, Bamford

                Steer, Robbo, Kilman, Bissouma

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

                Good stuff Simon that was an interesting read. Cheers.

              • tinear
                • 1 Year
                3 months, 21 days ago

                Help me sort this mess up. Didnt realize Havertz red flagged.

                Martinez
                TAA, Ayling, Zouma
                Salah, Son, Grealish, Havertz
                Kane, DCL, Bamford

                Steer, Saiss, Mitchell, Bissouma

                1ft 0.3itb

                1) Saiss to Coufal
                2) Havertz to Zaha / Jrod
                3) Havertz Saiss to Coufal Zaha -4
                4) Any other suggestions

              • Taking The Mkhii
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 3 Years
                3 months, 21 days ago

                Really enjoy reading Simon's articles. I find it fascinating how he associates cognitive bias to the world of FPL. Keep up the good work !

              • Ian & Zen
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 4 Years
                3 months, 21 days ago

                Podence > Bowen or Fornals
                Worth a hit?
                Which one?
                Other options up to 7.2M?
                Thanks