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. tbhogal
    • 11 Years
    4 months, 2 days ago

    Is Adams still a good option now that ings is out guys?

    1. TheSteel
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      4 months, 2 days ago

      Better now, id say

    2. Nice to Finally Michu
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 2 days ago

      I would wait and see how they play with him and Long tomorrow at home. I expect the injury will hurt Adams' appeal but I could be wrong

      1. Nice to Finally Michu
        • 7 Years
        4 months, 2 days ago

        As an Adams owner I should say that my plan is to play him this week and assess how Saints play. His fixtures over the next two are mediocre but he could still tick over if he looks like the focal point tomorrow. If that's the case i'll probably keep until GW 13/14. What I expect however having seen almost every saints match this season is that Adams will be quiet tomorrow but still probably get one return. If thats the case then i'm shipping for Richarlison

    3. BeWater
        4 months, 2 days ago

        I had him first 4 weeks and thought about getting him back for Mitrovic but I'm unsure without Ings in the team so made other transfers.

    4. Jellyfish
      • 8 Years
      4 months, 2 days ago

      Chances of Lamptey starting this gw?

      1. BeWater
          4 months, 2 days ago

          He's always flagged and always plays!

          1. Pep Roulette
            • 3 Years
            4 months, 2 days ago

            So true

          2. Jellyfish
            • 8 Years
            4 months, 2 days ago

            Good enough for me, cheers

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

        Are there pressers before deadline tomorrow? Specifically Frank

        1. Ze_Austin
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          4 months, 2 days ago

          Yup. Frank in the morning

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

        Sterling or KDB?

        1. Ze_Austin
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          4 months, 2 days ago

          KDB for me

        2. FPL_trail_runner
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          4 months, 2 days ago

          I plan to have both from next week with FT

        3. The Overthinker
          • 4 Years
          4 months, 2 days ago

          Sterling

        4. BeWater
            4 months, 2 days ago

            If I had one of them I would just keep whichever you had. I have neither and am planning to get KDB in my team for week 10.

          • Pep Roulette
            • 3 Years
            4 months, 2 days ago

            Cheers everyone

        5. The Overthinker
          • 4 Years
          4 months, 2 days ago

          I am not able to see the replies on any post. Anyone else facing the issue??

          1. FourLokoLeipzig
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            4 months, 2 days ago

            I had that issue a year or two back. It’s a setting you can toggle on and off, and someone on here told me what to do... can’t remember what it was though, sorry!

          2. ZeBestee
            • 6 Years
            4 months, 2 days ago

            Tick "show replies" box at the start of the comment section.

            1. Stamford Bridge
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 4 Years
              4 months, 2 days ago

              but he cant see your reply

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

          @Overthinker: Check "Show replies" at top right of the comments section

          1. The Overthinker
            • 4 Years
            4 months, 2 days ago

            Now visible. Thank you.. I was searching for it at the bottom

            1. Ze_Austin
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              4 months, 2 days ago

              Happy to help

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

            Oh yeah, that was it!

          3. Ógie
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            4 months, 2 days ago

            I wonder why that tick box is there anyway?

            Like does anyone that uses the site have that ticked on purpose and why if they do?

            1. ZeBestee
              • 6 Years
              4 months, 2 days ago

              I think its ticked by default, but you can choose to untick. Agree doesn't make any sense to be there as this is basically a forum and replies are crucial.

              1. Ógie
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 8 Years
                4 months, 2 days ago

                Indeed.

                It would be better if there was a tick box next to every poster so one could make them disappear if they so wished. 😛

        7. FPL_trail_runner
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          4 months, 2 days ago

          Think I have found my transfers this week

          2 FT
          Saiss + Antonio to James + Bamford

          Enough in the bank to go Son to KDB next week with 1 FT. Son looks the only decent captain option

          Meslier
          Ayling Robertson TAA James
          Sterling Salah Son Hamez
          DCL Bamford

          4ml Kilman Bissouma Brewster

        8. It’s gonna Ben Mee
          • 7 Years
          4 months, 2 days ago

          Bench two:

          A) Zouma
          B) Chilwell
          C) Vestergaard
          D) PVA
          E) Lamptey

          1. BeWater
              4 months, 2 days ago

              C and D. Wish I had problems like this!

            • Must.Go.Faster.
                4 months, 2 days ago

                Oooo, tough one. They all have favourable fixtures... Both Chelseans and PVA? Although Lampster could cause havoc too

              • markus808
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 10 Years
                4 months, 2 days ago

                C, I think PVA is unbenchable, why not go 4 defenders?

            • Konig Luther
              • 8 Years
              4 months, 2 days ago

              Click in "Show replies" @Overthinker on top of comments list

            • konrad.sygula95
              • 3 Years
              4 months, 2 days ago

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

              2ft 1.1itb

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

            • Smudger’s Dirty Dozen
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 9 Years
              4 months, 2 days ago

              Best TAA/Saiss replacements

              A Chilwell
              B Cresswell
              C Coufal
              D Bellerin
              E Vestergard

              1. The Overthinker
                • 4 Years
                4 months, 2 days ago

                C

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

                A for sure

              3. Must.Go.Faster.
                  4 months, 2 days ago

                  Well and Bell

                  1. Smudger’s Dirty Dozen
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 9 Years
                    4 months, 2 days ago

                    Which well...

              4. Jay Arell
                • 3 Years
                4 months, 2 days ago

                Zouma, Bellerin or Cresswell? Already have Chilwell

                1. BeWater
                    4 months, 2 days ago

                    Creswell.

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

                    Cresswell for this run of fixtures

                  • Don Kloppeone
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 3 Years
                    4 months, 2 days ago

                    Thank you for asking my question!

                2. Nice to Finally Michu
                  • 7 Years
                  4 months, 2 days ago

                  Worth waiting for Frank's presser before bringing in Ziyech? Could be a difference in 0.1

                  1. fcsaltyballs
                    • 5 Years
                    4 months, 2 days ago

                    nah just go for it, i did

                    1. Nice to Finally Michu
                      • 7 Years
                      4 months, 2 days ago

                      Fair enough, I think you're right. Plan in the coming weeks relies on me being pretty alert to price changes

                  2. BeWater
                      4 months, 2 days ago

                      He came off early last night. I expect him to start.

                      1. Nice to Finally Michu
                        • 7 Years
                        4 months, 2 days ago

                        As do I, just wary of a knock

                  3. fcsaltyballs
                    • 5 Years
                    4 months, 2 days ago

                    Martinez
                    Robertson Chilwell Dallas
                    Salah Son James Grealish Foden
                    DCL Kane

                    Forster Saiss Brewster Ferguson

                    1 FT, 0.0 itb

                    1. Saiss >> ?
                    2. Save FT (hope my XI all start)
                    3. Something else??

                    Thanks

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

                    Willock gets his goal

                  5. Don Kloppeone
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 3 Years
                    4 months, 2 days ago

                    Struggling with what best to do with 2FT. Pulisic is the main issue and I may have lost patience with LIV def not delivering value.

                    2FT 1.1itb
                    Martinez
                    Robbo*, Chilwell, Dallas
                    Salah, Son, Pulisic*, Grealish
                    Kane, DCL, Bamford
                    (Forster) (KWP, Stephens, Branthwaite)

                    A) Puli, Robbo > Ziyech, Cresswell/ Coufal/ Bellerin (2FT)
                    B) Puli, Robbo > Rodriguez (if fit), Zouma (2FT)
                    C) Puli > Ziyech (roll an FT)
                    D) Puli > Zaha

                    Cheers

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

                    Grealish or Ziyech?

                    1. Nice to Finally Michu
                      • 7 Years
                      4 months, 2 days ago

                      Ziyech for me short term (4 weeks), Grealish long term (8 weeks)

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

                      Grealish. Talisman. Cheaper. Long term hold

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

                        This

                      2. Nice to Finally Michu
                        • 7 Years
                        4 months, 2 days ago

                        He's definitely the long term hold but SHU new TOT LEE is an exciting prospect for someone of Ziyech's caliber. ars BHA whu NEW wol I can see Grealish ticking over in so it's about how long you plan on having the player in your side

                        1. Ze_Austin
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 2 Years
                          4 months, 2 days ago

                          True

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

                          Thanks all

                  7. Dele
                    • 4 Years
                    4 months, 2 days ago

                    Would you do Rashford & DCL >> Ziyech & Werner?

                    1. Dele
                      • 4 Years
                      4 months, 2 days ago

                      2FT and exact funds to do the swap

                    2. Nice to Finally Michu
                      • 7 Years
                      4 months, 2 days ago

                      I wouldn't, Rashford's fixtures are turning. They aren't fixtures to die for but i'd expect returns. DCL has a terrific run GWs 9-11, getting rid now seems foolish when he has ful LEE BUR and Richarlison and James and Digne all back in XI for that run

                      Rashford > Ziyech at most if you feel very strongly

                      1. Ze_Austin
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 2 Years
                        4 months, 2 days ago

                        These reasons, and then the benefit of spreading out exposure to highly attacking teams in an unpredictable season

                        If Man U does something, Bruno and Rash are likely to be involved. Same with DCL and James at Everton. Then Chilwell/Zouma gets you into Chelsea at both ends of the pitch

                        With good fixtures for those you have too, there isn't much need to concentrate so much on Chelsea

                    3. Hansel
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 10 Years
                      4 months, 2 days ago

                      No

                  8. g40steve
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 2 Years
                    4 months, 2 days ago

                    Has Mitchell been dropped by PVA return?

                    Keep or swap?

                  9. Luton_Fan
                    • 11 Years
                    4 months, 2 days ago

                    Zaha, Bowen or Fornals?

                    1. Nice to Finally Michu
                      • 7 Years
                      4 months, 2 days ago

                      I went Bowen

                      1. Luton_Fan
                        • 11 Years
                        4 months, 2 days ago

                        Thanks. Hmm. Thinking zaha.

                  10. Tmel
                    • 10 Years
                    4 months, 2 days ago

                    Should Jimenez > Werner or Podence > Grealish be a bigger priority?

                    1. Garth Marenghi
                      • 4 Years
                      4 months, 2 days ago

                      B

                    2. BeWater
                        4 months, 2 days ago

                        Get Werner this week and Grealish next week.

                    3. ZAWAd25
                      • 3 Years
                      4 months, 2 days ago

                      4.5 mid to Zaha for a hit? If not will have to start Taylor

                      1. Labile
                        • 2 Years
                        4 months, 2 days ago

                        Yes but Bowen better

                    4. Original Pirate Material
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 2 Years
                      4 months, 2 days ago

                      Do we think Werner starts this weekend? I see he likely going up tonight so would prefer to get him in.

                      Otherwise I’m hanging on to a slim chance Antonio passed fit.

                      I’ll be shipping Jimi.

                    5. Labile
                      • 2 Years
                      4 months, 2 days ago

                      Pulisic and Ings ➡️ Bowen/Ziyech and Vardy -4?

                    6. Smudger’s Dirty Dozen
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 9 Years
                      4 months, 2 days ago

                      Saiss....should he stay or should he go ?

                      1. Dybala10
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 3 Years
                        4 months, 2 days ago

                        Bin him

                      2. The Count of Monte Cristo
                        • 8 Years
                        4 months, 2 days ago

                        I would personally lean towards go. Just feel he may come in and play a game but still is not necessarily nailed for sure even once he comes back into the fold.

                        1. Smudger’s Dirty Dozen
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 9 Years
                          4 months, 2 days ago

                          Cheers

                      3. bitars
                        • 3 Years
                        4 months, 2 days ago

                        Ditch

                    7. Mane Mane Mane
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      4 months, 2 days ago

                      Is Ryan out for Brighton? Who will be playing instead?

                      1. The Count of Monte Cristo
                        • 8 Years
                        4 months, 2 days ago

                        Robert Sánchez I think

                    8. Pep Roulette
                      • 3 Years
                      4 months, 2 days ago

                      Is TAA to Chilwell worth a hit?

                      1. ZeBestee
                        • 6 Years
                        4 months, 2 days ago

                        Has to go I think. But long term, it probably will backfire.

                        1. Pep Roulette
                          • 3 Years
                          4 months, 2 days ago

                          I've Robbo as well.

                          1. ZeBestee
                            • 6 Years
                            4 months, 2 days ago

                            Then go for it. I have a feeling the likes of City, Chelsea and Pool will turn a gear or 2 from now onwards, they have underperformed due to lack of proper preseason.

                            1. Pep Roulette
                              • 3 Years
                              4 months, 2 days ago

                              Cheers mate

                    9. Aladdin Sané
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 6 Years
                      4 months, 2 days ago

                      Chilwell or Zouma?

                      1. Pep Roulette
                        • 3 Years
                        4 months, 2 days ago

                        Chilwell

                      2. ZeBestee
                        • 6 Years
                        4 months, 2 days ago

                        Chilwell easy. Zouma wont score every other game.

                    10. Jdpz
                      • 1 Year
                      4 months, 2 days ago

                      McCarthy, Nyland
                      TAA, Justin, Taylor, Konsa, Tierney
                      Bruno, Son, Pulisic*, Bissouma, Podence
                      Kane, Ings*, DCL
                      1.6M in the bank, 1 free transfer.

                      A) Play wildcard
                      B) Ings to Vardy, TAA to Chilwell (-4)
                      C) Pulisic to Grealish, Ings to Vardy (-4)
                      D) Ings to Werner
                      E) Ings to Bamford, Pulisic to KDB (-4)
                      Please for a help

                    11. Dybala10
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 3 Years
                      4 months, 2 days ago

                      Zaha and Coufal in for Foden and Saiss (-4) sound good?

                      Phil has been ticking along but the rotation is annoying and I can’t see a decent downgrade and like Wilf’s next 4. West Ham defender pretty much essential moving forward and Saiss is too much of a risk now.

                      1. DannyDrinkVodka
                        • 1 Year
                        4 months, 2 days ago

                        Coufal for Saiss is good enough, I wouldn't do the other move

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

                        Foden benchings and 1 pointers are very annoying!

                        I'm considering Saiss & Foden => Coufal & Grealish.
                        Just wondering if it's worth the -4 this week, but I think it probably is.

                      3. The Count of Monte Cristo
                        • 8 Years
                        4 months, 2 days ago

                        Ticking along vs Zaha's explosiveness with nice fixtures. In a season like this I would still lean towards the latter. Zaha is the main man, Foden isn't and City not necessarily as free scoring as we expect.

                        I agree with DannyDrinkVodka - just Saiss -> Coufal for me.