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. StayoutheSpiceZone
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 26 days ago

    Foden for:

    A) Grealish
    B) Ziyech
    C) Hames
    D) Just keep Foden

    1. JJeyy
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 26 days ago

      A

  2. enrico.palazzo
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    3 months, 26 days ago

    Ings replacement up to 8.9?

    Or a hit -4 yeti get Werner

    1. JohnnyRev7
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      3 months, 26 days ago

      Looking at your team I'd go Werner.

      But as it's the IB maybe just play Bissouma in a 3-5-2 and revisit afterwards?

      Your call.

  3. JJeyy
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 26 days ago

    Zaha or Bowen?

    Bowen worse stats but faced harder opponents

    1. The Senate
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 26 days ago

      I think Zaha

    2. Free Hat
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 26 days ago

      If you want to play safe, Zaha.

      For differential and gut feeling, Bowen.

      Just my opinion.

  4. Fernandito
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    3 months, 26 days ago

    Really tempted by C but is a -8 too crazy?

    Martinez
    Lamptey TAA James Saiss Mitchell
    Salah Son Rashford Foden Anguissa
    Kane Watkins DCL

    A Saiss to Cresswell
    B TAA & Saiss to Chilwell & Cresswell(-4)
    C TAA, Saiss & Foden to Chillwell, Cresswell & Ziyech (-8)

    1. IN SANE IN DE BRUYNE
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 26 days ago

      It's a bit crazy but I do it pretty often. Gotta love a little!

    2. Twisted Saltergater
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 26 days ago

      Don't make any move - play Lamptey, TAA and James.

      Saiss to Creswell if you need to.

  5. Sweetboi
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 26 days ago

    Bottomed - Which one for the next few lads?

    a) Robertson + Bowen

    b) 4.5 Def + Ziyech

  6. The Senate
    • 2 Years
    3 months, 26 days ago

    2FT 1.5ITB - who, if any, would you sell?
    Planning Semedo and Podence out GW10, maybe KWP out GW9

    Ramsdale
    Chilwell Semedo KWP
    Salah Rashford Son Grealish Podence
    Kane DCL
    (Steer | Brewster Justin Mitchell)

  7. tbhogal
    • 11 Years
    3 months, 26 days ago

    Who’s the better option Fornals or Bowen guys??

    1. The Senate
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 26 days ago

      my gut says Bowen but I haven't really looked into it

    2. Free Hat
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 26 days ago

      Stats and points say Fornals.

      But yet I have picked Bowen.

      Dont ask why.

  8. Lingard’s Shin Guards
    • 2 Years
    3 months, 26 days ago

    A) Ings, pulisic, saiss to Vardy, Grealish, Masuaku (-4)
    B) Ings, Pulisic, saiss to Wernrr, Grealish, Cresswell (-4)

    1. The Senate
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 26 days ago

      A. Vardy >> Werner IMO

  9. Couch Potato
    • 1 Year
    3 months, 26 days ago

    2FT 1.0 ITB

    A TAA => Chilwell

    B TAA + Saiss => Chilwell + Coufal

    C TAA + Saiss + Podence => Chilwell + Coufal + Hamez/Zaha/Ziyech (-4)

    Other midfielders are Salah/Son/Grealish/Bissouma.

    1. Concrete
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 26 days ago

      Can you just do Saiss to Chilwell or Cresswell and save an ft?

      1. Couch Potato
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 26 days ago

        Yes, but to be honest, I'm losing patience/faith in TAA!!

        1. Concrete
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 26 days ago

          Me too but Decent stats and nice run after the break. Things are settling down more with results etc now

          If you have a wildcard to get him or Robb back it could work

          1. Couch Potato
            • 1 Year
            3 months, 26 days ago

            Already burnt the Wildcard!

            Really looking to generate funds to get KDB/Sterling when City fixtures get good, so TAA to Chilwell was my best idea.

  10. JURGENAUT
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    3 months, 26 days ago

    Anyone feel Martial could return against Everton? Need a replacement for Ings, funds not an issue. Already have Kane and DCL

    1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 26 days ago

      I am getting Martial.

      1. JURGENAUT
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        3 months, 26 days ago

        Nice, I’m assuming you’re confident against Everton? Or do you have one eye on West Brom fixture?

        1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 26 days ago

          A combination.

    2. Udo
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 26 days ago

      No love for Cavani here? Or am I just trying to be to clever?

    3. Concrete
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 26 days ago

      United are a wait and see for me so no

      1. JURGENAUT
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        3 months, 26 days ago

        Who would you recommend? Funds not an issue

        1. Concrete
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 26 days ago

          Werner, Kane, Wilson?

          1. JURGENAUT
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            3 months, 26 days ago

            Got Kane & DCL.

            Not sure if Werner starts is my worry

  11. Dark Side Of The Loon!
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 26 days ago

    Have Sterling, Play Foden or Podence?

    1. Concrete
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 26 days ago

      Podence

    2. JURGENAUT
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      3 months, 26 days ago

      Foden

  12. Daniel - WC Active
    • 11 Years
    3 months, 26 days ago

    Antonio to Wilson tonight?

    Robbo to Zouma tonight?

    Wait for one extra day and swallow the price rises?

    1. Twisted Saltergater
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 26 days ago

      Antonio back after the IB. I'd keep.

      Do you really want Zouma? Not sure I'd lose Robertson for him.

      1. Concrete
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 26 days ago

        This for me too

        1. Daniel - WC Active
          • 11 Years
          3 months, 26 days ago

          But will he be back? how many times we have heard this that X player will be back and we keep keeping him like Mark last year with Martial he kept him for 7 Gws or so

          1. Twisted Saltergater
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 11 Years
            3 months, 26 days ago

            There was a tweet from ExWHUemployee apparently saying he'll be back after the IB. That's all I've heard.

            1. Daniel - WC Active
              • 11 Years
              3 months, 26 days ago

              But will he ? I am somehow not convinced, Wilson and Bam Bam will outscore him, will he be back to normal fitness? he was struggling several games, don't know what to do

            2. Ze_Austin
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              3 months, 26 days ago

              Didn't find this tweet on his timeline

  13. n-doggg
    • 8 Years
    3 months, 26 days ago

    Does anyone have the goal scorer odds for this GW?

  14. Concrete
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    3 months, 26 days ago

    Which one?

    A Chilwell & Wilson
    B Cresswell & Werner
    C Chilwell & Jim

    1. korbendallas82
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 26 days ago

      A

    2. Free Hat
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 26 days ago

      B

    3. Concrete
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 26 days ago

      Cheers!

  15. Pep Roulette
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 26 days ago

    Which is the best option?

    A. Coufal
    B. Masuaku
    C. Lamptey

    1. Concrete
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 26 days ago

      C

  16. unitednations
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    3 months, 26 days ago

    Pretty confused here...Best moves here with 1ft and 0m

    Martinez
    Taa Lamptey James* -- Mitchell* Saiss*.....*rotation prone
    Salah Son Havertz Barnes -- Burke
    DCL Kane Watkins

    A: Havertz >> Grealish but double villa attack vs arsenal?
    B: TAA + Havertz >> Bellerin + Bruno
    C: TAA + Havertz >> Kilman + Sterling
    D: Something else i.e. Havertz >> Bowen/Zaha/Ziyech

  17. Zlatan F.C
      3 months, 26 days ago

      Any ideas here? 1FT 2.4m in the bank

      Martinez
      Robbo Lamptey Chilwell
      Grealish Salah Podence Son Foden
      DCL Kane

      Forster Saiss Brewster Ferguson

    • n-doggg
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 26 days ago

      Captain!

      A. Son
      B. Werner

      1. Twisted Saltergater
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        3 months, 26 days ago

        Son

      2. Concrete
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 26 days ago

        Son

      3. Free Hat
        • 2 Years
        3 months, 26 days ago

        If you dont have a very big couch, A

    • Eastman
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 26 days ago

      Sterling > KDB a good idea or wasted transfer?

      1. Free Hat
        • 2 Years
        3 months, 26 days ago

        Can backfire very easily imo

      2. Concrete
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 26 days ago

        Prob a waste considering fixture and then int break

      3. BeWater
          3 months, 26 days ago

          Wasted transfer. KDB drips steady points normally. Sterling seems to blank more and explode more than him. With Burnley and Fulham coming up I can see him hauling in one or both.

          1. Eastman
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 26 days ago

            Thanks folks.

      4. 2EyedTurk
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 26 days ago

        On a WC, so how about it...
        Mendy
        Chilwell Coufal Vestergaard
        Ziyech Salah Jota Zaha
        DCL Kane Vardy

        Fabri Grealish Kilman Phillips
        0.0 ITB

        1. BeWater
            3 months, 26 days ago

            Not sure I would want to WC into a team with no City players given their fixture run. Also, do you really want to bench one of that front 8 every week?

            1. 2EyedTurk
              • 5 Years
              3 months, 26 days ago

              Yeah, that is an issue. Could fit Walker in, and switch Jota to Riedwald

              1. BeWater
                  3 months, 26 days ago

                  I'm looking at Cancelo and KDB/Sterling in for TAA and Bruno. Unless TAA goes ballistic in his next two.

                  1. 2EyedTurk
                    • 5 Years
                    3 months, 26 days ago

                    Yeah, lost patience with TAA! Tweaked now,

                    Mendy
                    Chilwell Walker Vetergaard
                    Salah Grealish Ziyech Zaha
                    DCL Kane Vardy

                    Fabri Riedwald Mitchell Kilman

          • Werner Bros
            • 5 Years
            3 months, 26 days ago

            Start one:

            A: Justin (vs Wolves)
            B: Taylor (vs Brighton)
            C: Mitchell (vs Leeds)

            1. FF Dirtbag
              • 9 Years
              3 months, 26 days ago

              Justin

              1. Werner Bros
                • 5 Years
                3 months, 26 days ago

                Thanks, that's what I'm on

          • dark91
            • 5 Years
            3 months, 26 days ago

            @simonm I hope you see this comment. I remember willingly choosing to take a course called "Economic Psychology" a couple of years ago and you can't imagine how happy I was to read this article and the previous one and being able to relate to them.
            Keep up the good work and hoping to see more of this integrated in your articles

          • Vasshin
            • 2 Years
            3 months, 26 days ago

            My team atm

            Martinez
            Saiss Robbo james Justin Mitchell
            Foden grealish salah son hamez
            Mitrovic calvert-lewin Jimenez

            I have 2ft and 1.4 in bank
            Should i do
            1. Saiss to Chilwell and save 1ft for next week
            2. Saiss to cresswell/zouma/bellerin and Jimenez to Werner
            3. Saiss to Chilwell, Jimenez to werner and foden to ward-prowse with -4

            Thanks

          • RedWolf
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 26 days ago

            Who gets dropped for KDB in a couple of weeks? 2 and 3 involve also downgrading Robbo and I'd have no pool defence:

            Mane
            Son
            Zaha

            1. Daniel - WC Active
              • 11 Years
              3 months, 26 days ago

              Son for me, you have to give the wba game to zaha

          • Daniel - WC Active
            • 11 Years
            3 months, 26 days ago

            Anyone interested in Greenwood?

            1. Daniel - WC Active
              • 11 Years
              3 months, 26 days ago

              I know I am

            2. FF Dirtbag
              • 9 Years
              3 months, 26 days ago

              At the moment there are better options in midfield

            3. The Overthinker
              • 4 Years
              3 months, 26 days ago

              Alex greenwood? Yes please

          • Big Ronnie
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            3 months, 26 days ago

            Jimenez to any of these worth a -4? Tempted by A.
            A) Werner
            B) DCL
            C) Martial

            1. FF Dirtbag
              • 9 Years
              3 months, 26 days ago

              Worth a - 4 probably not. Stick with Jimenez

          • FF Dirtbag
            • 9 Years
            3 months, 26 days ago

            Got 9.2 to spend on a striker to replace Ings.

            Gamble on Martial? Current team below.

            Martinez
            Reguillon Chilwell Coufal
            Salah Son Grealish Rodriguez
            Kane Ings DCL

            Forster; KWP, Mitchell, riedewald

          • Smudger’s Dirty Dozen
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            3 months, 26 days ago

            Martinez
            TAA Justin Lamptey
            Salah (C) Zaha Son Bowen
            DLC Jimi Kane
            SUBS Mitchell Saiss Burke* 2ft 0.2m itb

            A Forster/Martin in for Nyland GK
            B TAA to Chilwell
            C Burke to Bissouma
            D Saiss to Cresswell
            E Saiss to Coufal
            F Mixture of two

          • H-SF
            • 4 Years
            3 months, 26 days ago

            This is my team:
            Ramsdale
            KWP Saiss Mitchell Trent Digne
            Bissouma Soucek Pulisic Son Salah
            Kane DCL Maupay

            0.6 ITB. 1 FT
            4 players didn't play last week. Do I need to WC? I am unsure

          • g40steve
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            3 months, 26 days ago

            Need a cheap Mitchell replacement?

            1. J ⚒ Salah & Vinagre
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 6 Years
              3 months, 26 days ago

              Kilman

              1. g40steve
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 2 Years
                3 months, 26 days ago

                Looks good option

            2. The Ilfordian
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 3 Years
              3 months, 26 days ago

              Coufal, Dallas, Ayling, Targett, Holding , Lascelles?