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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Become a Member and get unrestricted access to our data and articles

Full-year memberships and monthly subscriptions are now available.

Join now to get the following:

  • Plot your transfer strategies using the fully interactive Season Ticker.
  • Get projections for every Premier League player provided by the Rate My Team statistical model.
  • Use Rate My Team throughout the season to guide your selections and transfers.
  • Get access to over 150+ exclusive members articles over the season.
  • Analyse our OPTA-powered statistic tables specifically tailored for Fantasy Football Managers.
  • Use our exclusive tool to build custom stats tables from over 100 OPTA player and team stats.
  • Enjoy our brand NEW Flat-Track Bully feature which introduces an opposition filter to your tables.
  • View heatmaps and expected goals data for every player.
  • Use our powerful comparison tool to analyse players head-to-head.

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2,012 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Jdpz
    • 1 Year
    11 months, 16 days ago

    Sterling or KDB?

    1. Pep Roulette
      • 4 Years
      11 months, 16 days ago

      Getting KDB this week

    2. nico05
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      11 months, 16 days ago

      KDB

  2. The Count of Monte Cristo
    • 9 Years
    11 months, 16 days ago

    Grealish still a better option than Zaha at the moment for next 4-7 GWs or so?

  3. Jdpz
    • 1 Year
    11 months, 16 days ago

    Vardy or Werner (next 3-5 GWs)

    1. Weak Become Heros
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      11 months, 16 days ago

      W

    2. Pep Roulette
      • 4 Years
      11 months, 16 days ago

      Vardy from GW10 looks a great pick

    3. Jon Walter's Hatty
      • 8 Years
      11 months, 16 days ago

      Ive just got Vardy as Leicester as a creating team look right on it.

  4. Pep Roulette
    • 4 Years
    11 months, 16 days ago

    Will there be any news on Lamptey before deadline?

  5. Hansel
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    11 months, 16 days ago

    Any news on Antonio?

    1. Pépé Pig
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      11 months, 16 days ago

      Last article I saw said he's hoping to be back after international break

      1. Hansel
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        11 months, 16 days ago

        Cheers

        1. Pépé Pig
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          11 months, 16 days ago

          I guess still a chance there could be a Son situation with him tomorrow tho

    2. TLF
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      11 months, 16 days ago

      Maybe tomorrow although reports midweek suggest he may be out this weekend.

  6. Esalman
    • 11 Years
    11 months, 16 days ago

    What should I do to protect my unexpectedly high rank? Current team:

    McCarthy
    Robertson Reguilón Justin Lamptey
    Zaha Salah Son Rodríguez
    Werner Jiménez
    Ryan Walker-Peters Brewster Bissouma

    I'm planning to take a hit over next couple of weeks to get rid of Robertson, Son and Brewster, and get in KDB, Wilson and maybe Ayling/Coufal. Any thoughts will be appreciated 🙂

    Caveat- I cannot get certain players like DCL, Ings etc because missus called dibs on then.

    1. Punter
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      11 months, 16 days ago

      What's that about the missus?

      1. Esalman
        • 11 Years
        11 months, 16 days ago

        My wife won't let me pick players that she already picked lol. That includes DCL, Ings, Vardy, Mane, Foden etc.

        1. Jon Walter's Hatty
          • 8 Years
          11 months, 16 days ago

          Time to go to the Johnny Depp finishing school for husbands...

          1. Esalman
            • 11 Years
            11 months, 16 days ago

            tbh I had to pick unpopular players like Zaha, Werner, Jimenez etc which helped my rank 😉

            1. Tomerick
              • 7 Years
              11 months, 16 days ago

              It won’t work out that way all season. Best thing you can do is explain to your wife that you don’t need an additional handicap if you’re serious about preserving the rank.

  7. La Roja
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    11 months, 16 days ago

    Bench one:

    A) Barkley
    B) Robbo

    1. Hansel
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      11 months, 16 days ago

      A

    2. Pep Roulette
      • 4 Years
      11 months, 16 days ago

      A

    3. nico05
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      11 months, 16 days ago

      A

  8. Il Capitano
    • 1 Year
    11 months, 16 days ago

    GTG?

    1FT 0.1m ITB WC available
    McCarthy (Button)
    TAA Zouma Justin (Mitchell Taylor)
    Salah Son(C) Sterling ASM (Bissouma)
    Werner DCL Watkins

    Could possibly shift one of Justin/Taylor to Coufal, but better to have the 2 FT over IB right?

  9. McSauce
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    11 months, 16 days ago

    Is lamptey fit? Still flagged and haven’t heard any updates

    1. TLF
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      11 months, 16 days ago

      Re Lamptey

      https://twitter.com/BenDinnery/status/1323604051574071298

      No further comments today that I'm aware of.

  10. Parsnips
      11 months, 16 days ago

      What’s everyone’s transfer plans after this gameweek? I’m bringing in cancelo and de bruyne

      1. HVT
        • 10 Years
        11 months, 16 days ago

        Saiss to Chilly

        Debating another or hit.

    • Nightf0x
      • 6 Years
      11 months, 16 days ago

      Sais to

      A) coufal
      B) clyne
      C) lewis
      D) taylor
      E) holding/belerin

      1. La Roja
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        11 months, 16 days ago

        Bellerin

      2. Pépé Pig
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        11 months, 16 days ago

        Bellerin or Cresswell

    • afcblegend
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      11 months, 16 days ago

      Reckon Matt Ryan will be back to start this weekend? Still don't know why he was left out.

      1. Jon Walter's Hatty
        • 8 Years
        11 months, 16 days ago

        Dodgy prawn off the barbie

    • Champions League Varane
      • 2 Years
      11 months, 16 days ago

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

      1. La Roja
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        11 months, 16 days ago

        Ziyech and Vardy

    • Jdpz
      • 1 Year
      11 months, 16 days ago

      Bamford and KDB or Vardy and Grealish? (next 3/5 Gameweeks)

      1. Punter
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        11 months, 16 days ago

        Kdb

      2. Pépé Pig
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        11 months, 16 days ago

        V and G

    • Punter
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      11 months, 16 days ago

      Thoughts on Mitrovic to Wilson for a hit?

      1. nico05
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        11 months, 16 days ago

        Just wait until next week for me

        1. Punter
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          11 months, 16 days ago

          Yeah probably smart

    • Alli
      • 4 Years
      11 months, 16 days ago

      A) Jimé > Werner/Vardy
      B) Save FT

      McCarthy
      Zouma - KWP - Justin
      Mané - Salah - Son - Zaha
      Wilson - DCL - Jimé

      Nyland* - Dallas - Stephens - Mitchell*

    • chelseabrad
      • 6 Years
      11 months, 16 days ago

      Bench two;

      A) Robertson (mci)
      B) KWP (NEW)
      C) Neto (lei)
      D) Grealish (ars)
      E) Hamez (MUN)

      1. Luton_Fan
        • 11 Years
        11 months, 16 days ago

        A, b

    • Woy_is_back
      • 4 Years
      11 months, 16 days ago

      Get rid Mitchell now?

      1. HVT
        • 10 Years
        11 months, 16 days ago

        Personally wouldn’t waste the transfer

        1. Woy_is_back
          • 4 Years
          11 months, 16 days ago

          He's going down in price though so bank the 0.1

    • HVT
      • 10 Years
      11 months, 16 days ago

      Is Ziyech nailed?

      1. Woy_is_back
        • 4 Years
        11 months, 16 days ago

        Should be

    • Fuddled FC
      • 9 Years
      11 months, 16 days ago

      Which one?

      a) Ziyech
      b) Grealish

    • Jullepuu
      • 2 Years
      11 months, 16 days ago

      Worth it to get rid of Son for a City mid after the next two games?

    • Camzy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      11 months, 16 days ago

      Very tempted to take a hit to remove Foden. Feels like a big opportunity.

      A) Foden > Soucek -4
      B) Foden > Bowen -4
      C) Keep Foden

      B allows some interesting options. I can do Rashford > Sterling/KdB for GW10 directly instead of having to fund it via Semedo > 4.5m or Kane out.

      1. chelseabrad
        • 6 Years
        11 months, 16 days ago

        Save 2 for next week after the international break and do it then

        1. Camzy
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          11 months, 16 days ago

          I'm on 0 FTs but yeah, I can try to save next week and then get City in for GW10 that way.

      2. HVT
        • 10 Years
        11 months, 16 days ago

        The hit puts me off but Foden needs up go

        1. Camzy
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          11 months, 16 days ago

          The thing is, he either goes this week or not at all.

          I'm not getting rid of him next week when he has BUR FUL mun WBA imminent.

          1. HVT
            • 10 Years
            11 months, 16 days ago

            Worth keeping when you look at those but rotation will bite.
            Worth noting I’m an owner too debating selling for Zaha/Grealish/Ziy for free.

      3. Jon Walter's Hatty
        • 8 Years
        11 months, 16 days ago

        Ive kept for this Pool game where he florished last time but he needs to produce. One more benching and will look elsewhere. Oddly enough just got Bowen for a hit myself

        1. Camzy
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          11 months, 16 days ago

          Funny because I wouldn't do this. If I keep, I'll keep for good. There will be City rotation for those easy games and my god they really are easy. BUR FUL mun WBA. Literally the 3 teams that are odds-on to get relegated in the space of 4 weeks and the other is Fulham.

          1. Jon Walter's Hatty
            • 8 Years
            11 months, 16 days ago

            Its a fair point you make I just hated that 7 min cameo last time

          2. Jon Walter's Hatty
            • 8 Years
            11 months, 16 days ago

            Like the joke in there too lol

        2. Jon Walter's Hatty
          • 8 Years
          11 months, 16 days ago

          I guess with City mids like him Mahrez Gundo etc its a price you pay on Peps wheel. As you say we need him for the weaker oppo games

          1. Camzy
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 11 Years
            11 months, 16 days ago

            Exactly. We have to take the odd benchings. And even so, he still usually gets 30 minutes against tired legs. He will start at least a few of those super juicy game. He has to.

      4. Ganso
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        11 months, 16 days ago

        B at a push, but I'm not mad about a hit for a West Ham attacker. I want rid of Foden as well though. Thinking -4 for Grealish might even be worth it this week

      5. DannyDrinkVodka
        • 2 Years
        11 months, 16 days ago

        You've put up with him until now, why bin him when the fixtures are about to turn? There will be hauls....

        1. DannyDrinkVodka
          • 2 Years
          11 months, 16 days ago

          and doing it for a hit feels doubly wrong

          1. Camzy
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 11 Years
            11 months, 16 days ago

            Because it's two weeks away. Not one.

            That's two weeks of West Ham's good fixtures of FUL shu. Mason Mount is even an option. He'll be starting these games and is on corners... SHU new in the next two.

            1. DannyDrinkVodka
              • 2 Years
              11 months, 16 days ago

              fair enough, I've got the luxury of having a bench headache, so I'll probably start Watkins ahead of Foden GW9.......I guess the question you should ask yourself is what PPG would you be happy with over the next 8 fixtures? If 5-6 is acceptable, then I would keep.......

              1. Camzy
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 11 Years
                11 months, 16 days ago

                I would not call it a luxury 😛

                I'll think it over some more. Most likely gonna stick though. The -4 aspect is what's making it tough and there's no one like Grealish open (have him already) that demands immediate investment with no downside.

                1. DannyDrinkVodka
                  • 2 Years
                  11 months, 16 days ago

                  I admit that Magnus Carlsen going in for Bowen makes it mighty tempting 😉

      6. TLF
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        11 months, 16 days ago

        Evening Camzy, I recall we were chatting about Foden on here the other day so apologies if I'm repeating myself. I have considered selling him with a FT this week and Bowen is one of the candidates to replace him but I think I'm going to hold and reassess during the IB. As you say, those City fixtures are as good as they get and if the main reason for his recent rotation has been due to being ' under the weather', he may end up getting a lot more minutes in the coming weeks. I think he's worth the risk, a 6.6 City mid is a bit of a gift.

        1. Camzy
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          11 months, 16 days ago

          There's also Jota for Pool. If he starts against City that bandwagon is gonna be enormous. Keeping Foden is the safest option because it's points on the board (not taking the -4) rather than chasing upside. But that upside could be big with someone like Bowen.

          1. TLF
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            11 months, 16 days ago

            Yes I'd quite like to see more from Jota before going there & am not entirely convinced he starts this week. Not a Grealish owner either and there are others I'm keen on, including Fornals who could prove a nice differential. I reckon Bowen has a good chance of outscoring Foden this week, just not sure if that will be the case over the next 5-6. Podence also in my team currently so it's a wait and see for now but I can see why you'd be tempted to move. GL what ever you decide.

          2. Jon Walter's Hatty
            • 8 Years
            11 months, 16 days ago

            May be point chasing but JWP is also an option possibly on pens and dead balls in a free scoring side

    • SaintMatt
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      11 months, 16 days ago

      DCL to rise tonight?

      1. The Count of Monte Cristo
        • 9 Years
        11 months, 16 days ago

        FFFix says yes @ 102.4%
        FPL statistics says perhaps not @ 92.5%

        For C.Taylor (BUR), FFFix says (-)65% but FPLStats says (-)100.1%.

        Anyone have any idea why the big disparity here?

    • Hryszko
      • 4 Years
      11 months, 16 days ago

      Whats my best way of getting a City asset in here? 1FT and 1.3m Itb.

      Martinez (Steer)
      Trent - Coufal - Lamptey (Taylor & Dallas)
      Salah - Son - Zaha - Podence (Burke)
      DCL - Jimmy - Kane

      1. chelseabrad
        • 6 Years
        11 months, 16 days ago

        Podence and Jimmy to Kdb and Wilson

        1. Hryszko
          • 4 Years
          11 months, 16 days ago

          Podence & Jimmy > KDB & Wilson leaves me with -2.7m haha

      2. Jon Walter's Hatty
        • 8 Years
        11 months, 16 days ago

        Just Jim to Jesus in a couple of weeks

      3. No Salah
        • 4 Years
        11 months, 16 days ago

        Trent to 4.6
        Podence and Jimmy To KDB and Wilson.

    • Dele
      • 4 Years
      11 months, 16 days ago

      Robbo & Rashford >> Zouma & KDB?

      1. HVT
        • 10 Years
        11 months, 16 days ago

        Could backfire

      2. Pépé Pig
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        11 months, 16 days ago

        Rashford has West Brom in gw9 so no

    • Gentle_Turks
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      11 months, 16 days ago

      Price changes are now at around 2.30am Uk time right?

      1. Blue Moon Rising
        • 10 Years
        11 months, 16 days ago

        Thought it was nearer midnight myself

      2. Luton_Fan
        • 11 Years
        11 months, 16 days ago

        1.30

    • That Was Easy!
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      11 months, 16 days ago

      What's the consensus on a hit for Ryan out? Can only go up to Fabs or Leno. If so, which one? Thinking I prefer Fabs for saves.

      1. HVT
        • 10 Years
        11 months, 16 days ago

        Fabs
        But Mendy looks a steal at 5m

        1. That Was Easy!
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          11 months, 16 days ago

          He's unfortunately 5.1 now.

      2. That Was Easy!
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        11 months, 16 days ago

        Consensus from Brighton correspondents and fans is that Sanchez will get another start.

    • Pépé Pig
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      11 months, 16 days ago

      Who would you prioritise getting in this week:

      A) Cresswell for Vinagre
      B) Werner for Ings

    • Blue Moon Rising
      • 10 Years
      11 months, 16 days ago

      TAA to Chilwell

      &

      Ings to Vardy?

      1. @FPLStrategist
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 12 Years
        11 months, 16 days ago

        I did that exact transfer.

    • Will J 256
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      11 months, 16 days ago

      Rashford or Ziyech as a Pulisic replacement?