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

    Blackbox tonight?

    1. Collie01
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Live now on YouTube

      1. Firminoooo
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        Thanks. Couldn’t find it.

    2. Right In The Stanchion
        3 months, 21 days ago

        Right on time?

    3. Fernando Torres
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Rashford -> Ziyech for free?

      1. La Roja
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        It could backfire spectacularly

      2. No Professionals
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        No way. You’ve got rashford recently I assume? He has wba at home next gw

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

        No!

      4. nico05
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        Deffo not

      5. Fernando Torres
        • 9 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        Have you guys seen United play recently?

        1. No Professionals
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 21 days ago

          Just do it then

          1. doher.ty
              3 months, 21 days ago

              This! You don't need our permission

      6. unitednations
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        3 months, 21 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.

      7. La Roja
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        Thinking to take a hit for long term, used 2 FT’s already

        Martinez
        Robbo Zouma Lamptey*
        Son Salah Barkley Ziyech
        Jimenez Kane DCL

        Forster Justin Mitchell* Burke

        0.6 ITB

        A) Mitchell ➡ Coufal -4
        B) Barkley ➡ JWP -4
        C) Martinez ➡ Mendy -4

        1. nibby
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 21 days ago

          None

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

          Lamptey should be fine ..I wouldn't take the hit

        3. nico05
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          3 months, 21 days ago

          A is a smart move but not for a hit

        4. g40steve
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          3 months, 21 days ago

          A of those

        5. The Count of Monte Cristo
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 21 days ago

          Would save, A best option out of those 3 listed, however. Suerte, tío.

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

          No need for a hit, team looks good for this week

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

        Arteta is morphing into an Action Man

        1. The Count of Monte Cristo
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 21 days ago

          Bit harsh on Action Man imo

      9. Rondon9
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        Is Ziyech a good option going forward?

        1. La Roja
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 21 days ago

          Oh yes

      10. Feed tha Sheep
        • 8 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        Have 2FTs first one I’m doing Saiss > Chilwell..second one?

        A. Davies > Coufal
        B. Foden > Ward Prowse

        1. nico05
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          3 months, 21 days ago

          A. Davies probably not gonna feature at the weekend

        2. doher.ty
            3 months, 21 days ago

            B is a sheep move

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

          Getting spooked by the “Werner to be rested” comments as I got burnt by Saiss last week
          Wise to switch Jimmy to Werner this week or just hold 2FT next week?
          Don’t own any Chelsea players

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

            I'd do it. I'm considering it for a hit.

          2. doher.ty
              3 months, 21 days ago

              It's LEI and Southampton the next two for Jimmy. Surely he can match Werner. After that his fixtures turn.

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

                Sound advice, cheers
                I would probably do it if not for internationals coming up

          3. g40steve
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            3 months, 21 days ago

            GTG?

            Martinez
            Coufal, Zouma, Chilwell,
            Grealish, Salah, Zaha, Son C
            DCL, Kane, Bamford

            Forster, Podence, Lamptey, Robbo

            1. nico05
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              3 months, 21 days ago

              Looks good. Really nice team

              1. g40steve
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 2 Years
                3 months, 21 days ago

                Cheers,
                Son or Kane C?

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

                I'd go mad with the team selection.. too much funds on the bench imo

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

              Bench boost?

              1. g40steve
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 2 Years
                3 months, 21 days ago

                Not thought about that, usually wait for DGW?

            3. Stupendous
              • 8 Years
              3 months, 21 days ago

              You dont bench a 7m defender. Even against city.

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

            2 of my defenders are flagged...

            Which move to make?

            A. Lamptey to Coufal
            B. Reguilon to Zouma?

            1. nico05
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              3 months, 21 days ago

              ID keep both tbh neither definitely out are they?

          5. Ninjaa
            • 10 Years
            3 months, 21 days ago

            Current squad. Getting there slowly without using the wildcard

            McCarthy 4m
            TAA Justin Saiss B.Davies 4m
            Salah Son JWP Podence Reed
            Kane Adams DCL

            1ft this week with 4m itb.
            Who should I be shipping out this week as priority and who should I be bringing in as their replacement??
            Obviously Saiss B.Davies Podence and JWP are the obvious ones but which??? Cheers.

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

              Saiss > Chilwell. Boring but effective.

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

            Any1 getting Rashford? thinking to do Pulisic>Rashi

            1. nico05
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              3 months, 21 days ago

              No but good move

          7. DA Minnion
            • 8 Years
            3 months, 21 days ago

            What do I need here lads.
            Martinez Forster
            Lamptey Chilwell Dallas Mitchell Kilman
            Salah Son Sterling Grealish Stephens
            Wilson Kane Dcl

            2 frees and 0.6 in the bank.
            Need to use at least one transfer.

            1. lilmessipran
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 8 Years
              3 months, 21 days ago

              Mitch to west han def?

              1. DA Minnion
                • 8 Years
                3 months, 21 days ago

                Thanks

            2. Original Pirate Material
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              3 months, 21 days ago

              Looks pretty solid, move on Mitchell to bank 0.1 value?

              1. DA Minnion
                • 8 Years
                3 months, 21 days ago

                My thoughts. Thanks

          8. Pep Roulette
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 21 days ago

            Hey fam! Is this a good plan?

            McCarthy (Button)
            TAA Robbo Dallas (Mitchell Ferguson)
            Salah Son Havertz Foden Podence
            Kane DCL (Davis)

            GW8 - Havertz & TAA to KDB & Lamptey for -4

            GW9 - Foden to Jota for free

            GW10 - Kane to Vardy for free

          9. Original Pirate Material
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            3 months, 21 days ago

            What is more importsnt for the next 3 GWs?

            A. Jiminez to Werner
            B. Reece James to Cresswell (I own Chillwell)

            1. nico05
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              3 months, 21 days ago

              B

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

              James may keep his place tbf

          10. FDMS All Starz
            • 5 Years
            3 months, 21 days ago

            Zouma or Chilwell? Feel like Zouma is more of a goal threat and cheaper but Chilwell is a little bit more nailed, someone help

            1. lilmessipran
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 8 Years
              3 months, 21 days ago

              Chilwell

              1. nico05
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 2 Years
                3 months, 21 days ago

                This

            2. Original Pirate Material
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              3 months, 21 days ago

              Chilly

          11. Flynny
            • 5 Years
            3 months, 21 days ago

            What to do with foden?

            A...start him...weak bench

            B...sell for jwp - 4

            C...sell for bowen / fornals- 4

            Thanks

            1. nico05
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              3 months, 21 days ago

              A

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

              C could work out imo

            3. Original Pirate Material
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              3 months, 21 days ago

              C

            4. The Reptile
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 9 Years
              3 months, 21 days ago

              I'm in the same boat, thinking of Fornals atm

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

                What happens to fornals and bowen when benrahma comes in??

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

            Who is more important to move on, Saiss or TAA?

            The latter is more expensive, but has higher chance to turn it around as he’s still playing.

            1. Original Pirate Material
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              3 months, 21 days ago

              Saiss.

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

                Thoughts around that?

                1. nico05
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 2 Years
                  3 months, 21 days ago

                  Trent has great attacking potential

          13. Niho992
            • 2 Years
            3 months, 21 days ago

            Barnes to Zaha or Hamez(if he's fit)
            ?

            Like Hamez more

            1. Garth Marenghi
              • 4 Years
              3 months, 21 days ago

              Why transferring out Barnes?

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

                Yeah, interested as to why?

                1. Niho992
                  • 2 Years
                  3 months, 21 days ago

                  Dont like his fixtures.

            2. nico05
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              3 months, 21 days ago

              Id hold onto Barnes tbh

              1. Niho992
                • 2 Years
                3 months, 21 days ago

                Wolves and Liverpool in next 2 and he wasnt good in last 3-4 GWs tbf

                1. Garth Marenghi
                  • 4 Years
                  3 months, 21 days ago

                  10-13 is great

          14. FPLMACKEM
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            3 months, 21 days ago

            McCarthy
            TAA Robbo Lewis
            Salah son jrod Barkley
            Mitro Jimenez maupay

            Steer Podence Taylor Ferguson

            2.8itb and 2ft

            How does this sound?

            GW8 TAA+Mitrovic to Werner+Chilwell (both Sheff u H)
            GW9 Werner to Martial (WBA H)
            GW10 Wildcard for the big fixture swing

          15. Shark Team
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 21 days ago

            Would you bench one of Grealish/Jrod/DCL for Kilman?

            1. BENOIT
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 5 Years
              3 months, 21 days ago

              Lol

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

              Really?

          16. Ninjaa
            • 10 Years
            3 months, 21 days ago

            Sorry but can someone explain the sudden surge for a West Ham defender ??

            1. The Gambler.
              • 11 Years
              3 months, 21 days ago

              Great fixtures imminence

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

              Fixtures turn for the better.

            3. The Count of Monte Cristo
              • 8 Years
              3 months, 21 days ago

              Reasons above, also good value at 4.4/4.5 for Masuaku/Coufal as both get forward a fair bit. Cresswell also has set pieces, but is 5.1.

          17. La vida FPL
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            3 months, 21 days ago

            Got the funds for Foden, Maupay > Ziyech, Wilson

            For -4. Or just 1?

            1. nico05
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              3 months, 21 days ago

              Maupay-Wilson. Avoid the hit

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

                agree

            2. Luton_Fan
              • 11 Years
              3 months, 21 days ago

              Just foden to ziyech

          18. nico05
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            3 months, 21 days ago

            Mcarthy
            TAA Justin Lascelles Reguilon
            Salah Bruno Son Grealish
            Jimi Mitro

            Lascelles- Oriol Romeu- Davies

            2FT & 3 Mil available.
            A. TAA+Davies - Chilwell +Wilson
            B. Davies - Wilson
            C. Something else?
            Cheers

          19. Olson
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 21 days ago

            Anyone feel like they have the scoop on James Maddison. Feels like he's nearing a start, finding form. Has his position been pushed further forward, are Barnes/Under threats at all when he's fully up and running. Is he being protected or will his minutes be managed longer term?

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

              Context... thinking about chucking Jota in for a two week punt and trying to work out whether it's good planning when I free up the money to free up enough for a direct Maddison upgrade

            2. nico05
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              3 months, 21 days ago

              Tough one to call I would hold off taking a punt for now until becomes clearer

          20. The Yorkshire Pirlo
            • 4 Years
            3 months, 21 days ago

            Who to bring in for Ings?

            A) Kane
            B) Vardy
            C) Werner

            1. nico05
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              3 months, 21 days ago

              c

            2. La Roja
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 8 Years
              3 months, 21 days ago

              A

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

              A for this week

              B long term

          21. Pascal's Triangle
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 21 days ago

            Play

            A.) Soucek (FUL)
            or
            B.) Podence (cry)

            Thanks

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

              A easy

              1. Pascal's Triangle
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 6 Years
                3 months, 21 days ago

                Thanks

            2. Original Pirate Material
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              3 months, 21 days ago

              A

            3. nico05
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              3 months, 21 days ago

              A

          22. Jdpz
            • 1 Year
            3 months, 21 days ago

            McCarthy, Nyland
            TAA, Justin, Taylor, Konsa, Tierney
            Bruno, Son, Pulisic*, Bissouma, Podence
            Kane, Ings*, DCL
            1.0M 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)

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

              C

            2. nico05
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              3 months, 21 days ago

              C

          23. ZimZalabim
            • 4 Years
            3 months, 21 days ago

            2 fts 1 week punt before WC

            Saiss and Podence to

            A. Cresswell and Bowen
            B. Cresswell and Fornals
            C. Coufal and Mount
            D. Zouma and Bowen

            1. nico05
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              3 months, 21 days ago

              B

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

              A

          24. WrightnBright
            • 9 Years
            3 months, 21 days ago

            Preferred Hammers def?

            A) Cresswell
            B) Coufal
            C) Masuaku

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

              A

            2. Pep Roulette
              • 3 Years
              3 months, 21 days ago

              A

            3. nico05
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              3 months, 21 days ago

              ABC in that order for me

              1. WrightnBright
                • 9 Years
                3 months, 21 days ago

                Agree I think

            4. Original Pirate Material
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              3 months, 21 days ago

              A