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. Ibralicious
    • 6 Years
    3 months, 29 days ago

    Pick 2 to start from these 3:

    A) Coufal (CS odds: 35% - 0.5 A/GP)
    B) Dallas (CS odds: 31% - 0.14 G/GP - 0.14 A/GP)
    C) Robertson (CS odds: 16% - 0.14 G/GP - 0.28 A/GP)

    Based on stats alone, I'm leaning A&B but feels wrong to bench a 7.1 defender. Cheers!

    1. That Was Easy!
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      Don't let price affect your decision. I think I would go A and C, though.

      1. Ibralicious
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 29 days ago

        Fair enough, thanks

    2. Tonyawesome69 WC31 & FH…
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      A and C for me

    3. Camzy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      I'm benching Dallas here all day.

      1. Ibralicious
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 29 days ago

        Yeah, just don't know think Robertson can outscore him been that kind of season really

        1. Camzy
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          3 months, 29 days ago

          He absolutely can. If anything, Robbo might have the ball the most out of anyone on that pitch.

    4. Luton_Fan
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      A, b

    5. DannyDrinkVodka
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 29 days ago

      bench Dallas

  2. Tonyawesome69 WC31 & FH…
    • 2 Years
    3 months, 29 days ago

    TAA and Robbo owners, which one are you planning to transfer out?

    1. istanbul05
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      I'd keep Trent over Robbo at the moment.

      1. Ibralicious
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 29 days ago

        Other way around easily. 0.4 cheaper and the same if not more attacking output. At least some justification for the price there, TAA is outrageously overpriced atm, unfortunately.

        1. istanbul05
          • 7 Years
          3 months, 29 days ago

          Agree both overpriced, but last 3 games inc. CL, Trent looks much better than how he started the season.

    2. SMOOTH
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      taa - you?

    3. Hansel
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      I’m keeping Trent

    4. D.Glynn
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 29 days ago

      I sold TAA and kept Robbo last week. Based on eye test

    5. Tonyawesome69 WC31 & FH…
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      I'm leaning towards TAA. I think the stats are swaying in favour towards him

  3. chendog
    • 11 Years
    3 months, 29 days ago

    A - Ward-Prowse and Wilson
    B - Ziyech and Brewster

    A or B?

  4. istanbul05
    • 7 Years
    3 months, 29 days ago

    2FTs:

    A) Robbo to Cresswell and bench Pulisic
    or
    B) Pulisic to Ziyech

    Martinez,
    Robbo, Chilwell, KWP,
    Salah, Son, Pulisic, Zaha, Grealish,
    Kane, DCL.

    Forster, Dallas, Brewster, 3.9.

    Thanks

    1. Ibralicious
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      B

    2. Luton_Fan
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      B

    3. FF Dirtbag
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      B

    4. Tonyawesome69 WC31 & FH…
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      B

  5. Garth Marenghi
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 29 days ago

    Who benefits more with Antonio out/Haller in?
    A) Fornals
    B) Bowen

    1. Luton_Fan
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      Bowen i think

      1. Garth Marenghi
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 29 days ago

        Think you’re right

  6. FF Dirtbag
    • 9 Years
    3 months, 29 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

    1. George James
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      Wilson IMO. Use funds elsewhere next week

      Thoughts on my team below mate?

    2. FF Dirtbag
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      I do think Wilson will struggle more against Southampton

  7. George James
    • 6 Years
    3 months, 29 days ago

    Best move? 2FT 0.7ITB

    A) James >> Zouma Save FT
    B) James + Saiss >> Chilwell + Kilman
    C) Saiss + Foden >> Chilwell + Bowen
    D) Saiss + Foden >> Kilman + Ziyech
    E) something else.

    Martinez • Steer
    Lamptey • James • Robbo • Coufal • Saiss
    Son • Salah • Podence • Foden • Bissouma
    Werner • Kane • DCL.

    1. FF Dirtbag
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      B for me. Saiss and James need sorting out

      1. George James
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 29 days ago

        Yeah cheers.

    2. D.Glynn
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 29 days ago

      C

      1. FF Dirtbag
        • 9 Years
        3 months, 29 days ago

        And have two Chelsea defenders? Nah nah nah.

    3. The Ilfordian
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      That's a great team. Would be good to get another big hitter in midfield so C or D looks great - probably lean towards D as you've got good cover in defence.

  8. Pickle juice
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 29 days ago

    What's the best wildcard template team for the next few game weeks

  9. DavidKent
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    3 months, 29 days ago

    TAA, Bissouma -> 4.5m Def, Grealish

    Given Bissouma and 4.5m probably won’t play, I’m really asking TAA -> Grealish ?

    1. FF Dirtbag
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      Pick Coufal or West ham defence and your 4.5 will play

  10. Jullepuu
    • 1 Year
    3 months, 29 days ago

    Which players should be going out of this team? (On Fanteam)

    Lloris Meslier
    Boly TAA Dallas Targett White
    Son Salah Sterling Bruno Bissouma
    Adams Wilson Batshuayi

  11. Captain Vantastic™
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    3 months, 29 days ago

    Start Digne or Barnes?

    1. Luton_Fan
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      Barnes

    2. The Ilfordian
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      I regretted benching Digne before and Wolves defence looks strong so would go Digne for goal threat against a dodgy Man U back line

  12. Will J 256
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    3 months, 29 days ago

    Who would you prefer? Rashford or Ziyech as a Pulisic replacement?

    1. D.Glynn
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 29 days ago

      Z

    2. Luton_Fan
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      Rash

  13. istanbul05
    • 7 Years
    3 months, 29 days ago

    C looks good

  14. George Agdgdgwngo
    • 11 Years
    3 months, 29 days ago

    Is Mitchell to Coufal worth a -4?

    1. Ibralicious
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      not a -4 for a defender, ever. He's not even close to a CS guarantee so wouldn't do it

    2. Jon Walter's Hatty
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      If you need a defender to play then yes. Im curious to see if Mitchell and PVA get in the same side somehow. A Palace defender would be super for next 4 weeks

  15. Bobby Digital
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 29 days ago

    Mitchell falling... Booooh. Will have to take it on the chin.

  16. Alli
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 29 days ago

    A. Jimé > Werner/Vardy
    B. Save FT

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

    Nyland* - Dallas - Stephens - Mitchell*

    1. Big Hands Barry
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      B this week

  17. Big Hands Barry
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    3 months, 29 days ago

    A) TAA to anyone
    B) Foden to Bowen/Fornals
    C) TAA & Foden to Coufal & Rashford

    1. D.Glynn
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 29 days ago

      I'm considering b

  18. Lionac
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 29 days ago

    Which 4,5 def would you get?

    A) Coufal
    B) Masuaku
    C) Clyne

    1. Bobby Digital
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      B

    2. Big Hands Barry
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      B better stats but risk from change in formation. A probably the better pick imo

  19. fcsaltyballs
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 29 days ago

    Martinez
    Robertson Chilwell Dallas
    Salah Son James Grealish Foden
    DCL Kane

    Forster Saiss Brewster Ferguson

    1 FT, 0.0 itb

    Good to go??

    1. D.Glynn
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 29 days ago

      Foden out?

      1. fcsaltyballs
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 29 days ago

        Who for? When he’s starting he’s superb value

  20. George James
    • 6 Years
    3 months, 29 days ago

    Play 2

    A) Robertson

    B) Podence

    C) Foden

    1. RogDog_jimmy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      3 months, 29 days ago

      a, b.

      even if foden plays hard to see a huge scoring game against liverpool.

    2. SHOOTER MCGINN
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      AB

    3. DannyDrinkVodka
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 29 days ago

      I would bench Robertson

  21. RogDog_jimmy
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    3 months, 29 days ago

    Play one of
    Mitro / ASM / Targett / Justin

    leaning Mitro, ASM has been disappointing since moving into the 10 position, but Southampton have shipped some goals and no Ings will make them hurt.

    1. George James
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      Mitro. Easy

  22. wulfranian
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 29 days ago

    Do you think that R James will start?

    1. George James
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      No ( owner)

      1. wulfranian
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 29 days ago

        cheers

  23. Luton_Fan
    • 11 Years
    3 months, 29 days ago

    Im torn

    A. Keep trossard for 1 more gw
    B. Trossard to zaha

    Thx

    1. SHOOTER MCGINN
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      A

  24. Tonyawesome69 WC31 & FH…
    • 2 Years
    3 months, 29 days ago

    After watching BlackBox, has anyone changed their mind on captaincy from Kane to Son?

    1. SHOOTER MCGINN
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      Not watched yet, but had it on Son all week. Not thinking to go the other way with the form Kane is in.

    2. Camzy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      Nope.

      I'm capping Kane. There won't be enough space to attack for Son. Look at the games he's hauled in:

      Southampton, Man Utd, West Ham. Southampton and United played really high lines that he exploited pretty brilliantly. West Ham goal was a counter in the first minute.

      I can't see West Brom getting up the field much at all. That favors Kane who gets in the box or around it in build-up. Son drifts wide against the low blocks.

      1. Tonyawesome69 WC31 & FH…
        • 2 Years
        3 months, 29 days ago

        With WBA conceding the most chances down their right side and if Reguillon is back from the flu, do you still think Son will drift wide?

        1. Camzy
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          3 months, 29 days ago

          Yes. Because he can't be in the middle. It's just not possible.

    3. Jon Walter's Hatty
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      One good thing as a non Son owner i dont have the issue

  25. SHOOTER MCGINN
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 29 days ago

    For the next 5 gameweeks, assuming fit, would you rather;

    A) Bowen + Kane
    B) Pulisic + Richarlison

    1. Bobby Digital
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      A easy

    2. Luton_Fan
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      A

  26. gauzah
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 29 days ago

    Should I shift Pulisic or wait until pressers?

    1. Ode
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      Don’t think he will play but i’d still wait in case of a surprise

    2. Jon Walter's Hatty
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      I think Frank would be mad to start him when he can recover better in the IB. Ive ditched

  27. Olson
    • 6 Years
    3 months, 29 days ago

    Anyone watched much of Bowen and think he's a good prospect for WHU good fixtures?

    1. Jon Walter's Hatty
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      Passes eye test and ive brought in. Just a bit concerned how Benrahma fits in

  28. Ode
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 29 days ago

    Bench KWP or Dallas?

    1. Jon Walter's Hatty
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      Dallas for me. Both leaky teams just prefer KWP fixture

      1. Ode
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 29 days ago

        I agree, cheers

  29. AD2110
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 29 days ago

    Tricky one to decide who to bench this week. Which one would you bench out of this lot?

    A) Robbo
    B) Coufal
    C) Bellerin
    D) DCL

    Rest of team below:
    McCarthy, (Steer)
    Robbo, Bellerin, Chilwell, (Coufal, Mitchell)
    Salah, Son, Grealish, Ziyech, (Stephens)
    DCL, Kane, Wilson

    1. Pépé Pig
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 29 days ago

      Robbo

  30. Dr. Ante Pavlovic
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 29 days ago

    When are the pressers?