Pro Pundits - Simon

How holding on to your chips and transfers can lead to long-term FPL success

There is a lot of talk in the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) community about the importance of patience and knowing when to act and when to wait is widely accepted as a crucial element of success.

But even a casual perusal of the desperate lamentations that echo across fantasy forums on a Saturday evening will illustrate that, while we fantasy managers often fail to act when we should, we very often act when we shouldn’t.

In fact, it’s very hard not to act, it feels good to act, especially after a bad Gameweek.

So why is patience such a virtue when it comes to fantasy football? What does science have to say about this? The answer might involve marshmallows.

The Marshmallow Experiment

Aside from perhaps the Stanford Prison and Milgram experiments (1971 & 1963 respectively), few psychological experiments have gained the notoriety of the Stanford Marshmallow Experiment (1972).

In this study, young children were sat in a room with a marshmallow placed in front of them and were told that they could eat the marshmallow now or, if they waited 15 minutes, they would be given a second marshmallow.

Inevitably, some of the children ate the first marshmallow while some avoided temptation long enough to receive the second marshmallow. And some of them just cried.

Salah benched as Matip returns for Liverpool's Palace visit

What was most interesting about the Marshmallow Experiment is that they followed up with the children 10 years later and found that those who had resisted eating the first marshmallow had largely scored better in their SATs, performed better in school generally and even had healthier BMIs.

While there is some debate as to why this correlation between the ability to delay gratification and these various measures of success should exist, it exists nonetheless.

Much like tomato ketchup and a certain Irish stout, good things come to those who wait.

While the results of the Marshmallow Experiment are still debated, the idea that there is a link between ability to delay gratification and improved prospects of success in humans has, for years, been supported by high profile and influential figures ranging from psychologist Jordan Peterson to motivational speaker Tony Robbins, both of whom, in fact, consider this ability to be among the most important indicators of success in both children and adults.

Applying the Theory to FPL

So can we as FPL managers learn anything from this?

Well, one very obvious parallel exists if you replace marshmallows with free transfers.

You can have two, but you have to avoid using the first one.

I’m a huge believer in saving the second transfer whenever possible and, while I’m not aware of any studies on the subject, I know that there is a fairly strong correlation between the success of my transfers, how well I’m doing in FPL generally and how often I’ve been able to carry a transfer.

The most obvious reason for why this might be is that, whereas with one transfer your options are limited to players within the same price bracket as the one you’re getting rid of, with two transfers you have far, far more options.

A second reason might be that waiting a gameweek to make two transfers instead of one per gameweek gives you more time to think and reduces the likelihood that you will make some sort of knee-jerk mistake that you end up regretting.

A similar principle could be applied to when you make your transfers. This season, perhaps more than any others, has shown the benefit of waiting as late as possible to make your changes.

It’s generally accepted that access to more, and more current information will typically improve decision quality and FPL is likely no exception.

Of course, being patient is easier said than done, especially off the back of a bad Gameweek where the temptation to make a change, any change, is huge.

Here, we might take a leaf out of the children of the Marshmallow Experiment’s book in that some, in an attempt to avoid temptation, simply put their hands over their eyes.

In an FPL context, this might mean avoiding looking at player prices or even spending too much time thinking about your next transfer until a day or two before the next Gameweek begins.

The principle of delaying gratification could equally apply to when you use your chips.

Serious FPL managers have long been distinguished by their tendency to keep their wildcards and chips until later in the season and, while it doesn’t always work out as intended, this approach confers all sorts of benefits including the opportunity to take advantage of Double Gameweeks, a typically higher team value to invest in players and more knowledge of who the best teams and players are.

Of course, there are also disadvantages to being patient.

Just as cautious cavemen in the Paleolithic Era were less likely to be eaten by sabre-tooth tigers, they were also less likely to find food themselves, particularly if they were too cautious.

The benefits of delaying action in FPL must always be weighed against the benefits of taking it and distinguishing which is the correct course and when, is and always has been a big part of the skill to this game.

However, knowing that a bias towards patience generally (be it natural or forced through will) is likely to produce better results overall, should be a positive step in the direction of making better and more deliberate FPL decisions.

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1,918 Comments Post a Comment
  1. El Lobito 10
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 26 days ago

    "Kevin is so important to us, he will not rest" - Pep before Christmas. Can't see him resting KdB. These two are hard games and they are only recently finding form. No chance he throws a spanner in the works to derail it.

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

      I agree he won't be rested but I have doubts whether he will dominate like people think based on recent displays

    2. No end product
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 26 days ago

      Might take pens though

    3. Studs Up
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 26 days ago

      Pep said he was "exhausted with 15mins to play". If that's the case, why did he not sub Kev with only two subs used.
      Guess Kev is too important if the result is not secured?

      1. El Lobito 10
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 26 days ago

        100% agree. He did win the penalty after all. Sterling is such a donkey

        1. unclesbasement
            2 months, 26 days ago

            Two important points. My mind is nearly 100% made up on TC KDB. Its just the possibility of Villa game being called off

            1. El Lobito 10
              • 3 Years
              2 months, 26 days ago

              Similar here. Not sure

        2. unclesbasement
            2 months, 26 days ago

            t

      2. boombaba
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 26 days ago

        Would you BB with Lookman, Meslier, Bamford, Mitchel ??

        1. Tsparkes10
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 26 days ago

          Nah

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

          No I don't think so

      3. Make ManeMane Make ManeMane
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 26 days ago

        Bench Boost?

        Dier (shu)
        Saka (NEW)
        Dallas (BHA)
        No keeper

        1. Tsparkes10
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 26 days ago

          Nah

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

          I would've if it wasn't for the no keeper dillema

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

          Def not

        4. Rhodes your boat
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 26 days ago

          Probably not

        5. No end product
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 26 days ago

          Nah

      4. KanteTouchThis
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 26 days ago

        Planned to BB and had it all set up before Leeds game got cancelled. I think I'm just gonna go for it. What option do you prefer

        A) Kane+Saka to KDB+6.0fwd -4(initially it was gonna be Rodrigo, no idea who to go for now)
        B) Saka to Foden
        C) Saka+Ayling to Foden + 5.0 -4 (Targett or Justin)
        D) Saka + Son to Foden + Ziyech - 4 (hiding behind a couch)

        Thoughts appreciated.

        1. Tsparkes10
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 26 days ago

          C

          1. KanteTouchThis
            • 3 Years
            2 months, 26 days ago

            That means no KDB. I don't see a good enough fwd option at 6.0 to justify losing Kane

      5. Sid123
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 26 days ago

        I see a lot of people willing to takes hit on a dgw, me included. How costly is it to rank though if the players play both and don't return. Surely minimal as they break even with just appearance points? Or am I missing something?

        1. Benteke Fried Chicken
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 26 days ago

          If there’s ever a week for a hit or 2, this is it.

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

          It's definitely less of an impact if they have a double and even less if you play BB and bring in 4 additional players' points

          1. Sid123
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 1 Year
            2 months, 26 days ago

            Cheers, it would be without benchboost for me though

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

              Just depends who is going out and who comes in..... GL whatever you decide!

              1. Sid123
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 1 Year
                2 months, 26 days ago

                What would you go with this team out of interest?
                Martinez forster
                Dallad dier coufal stones cancelo
                Bruno kdb rashford saka Smith rowe
                Bamford kane dcl

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

                  If you can get good replacements for DCL, Saka/ ESR and Forster then it’s worth BB I’d say

                  1. Sid123
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 1 Year
                    2 months, 26 days ago

                    Will have a play around! Cheers

        3. No end product
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 26 days ago

          You are effectively bringing a player in for a net 2 points with a massive upside if you bring in a DGW player vs a single - hit away

          1. Sid123
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 1 Year
            2 months, 26 days ago

            Thanks for this

      6. Paulybaby123
          2 months, 26 days ago

          Maguire

          Or

          Saiss/Bellerin

          Safer option?

          1. Sid123
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 1 Year
            2 months, 26 days ago

            Long term bellerin. Maguire on 4 yellow cards. Cannot see him getting booked in the pool game then mosses Fulham. How about bissaka if you want united?

        • b91jh
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 26 days ago

          Bottomed... any comments would be appreciated.

          Button, KWP, DCL to Johnstone, Cancelo, Antonio (-8) and BB?
          Will get 11DGWers plus triple Leeds and Kane.

          Otherwise they will stay on the bench alongside Raphinha.

          1. BeWater
              2 months, 26 days ago

              I would do that. I have Cancelo and Antonio myself.

              I'm on a -4 currently and could get Johnstone for a -8 and boost with him Lowton, Raphinha and Dallas.

              1. b91jh
                • 3 Years
                2 months, 26 days ago

                Cheers.

                Would u prefer Kane/Raphinha to KDB/Antonio over bench boosting? No KDB in my current squad (or BB squad) is little worrying to me.

                1. BeWater
                    2 months, 26 days ago

                    I don't have KDB myself. I think your original plan of Johnstone, Antonio and Cancelo seems good. Would you need to take further his for KDB?

                    1. b91jh
                      • 3 Years
                      2 months, 26 days ago

                      Couldn't get KDB with a reasonable bench with less than -12 tho..

                      So it is KDB vs bench boost for me.

                      1. BeWater
                          2 months, 26 days ago

                          Probably bench boost then.

              2. fridge
                • 9 Years
                2 months, 26 days ago

                Hi all, my bench boost is out the window so working out the best moves this week. Any help on the below much appreciated!

                McCarthy
                TAA. Coufal. Lowton (Dallas) (Balbuena)
                Salah. Fernandes. Soucek. Son. Raphinha
                Kane. Bamford (Wood)

                A) Kane > Vardy
                B) Kane, Balbuena > Vardy & Stones (-4)
                C) Kane, Wood, Balbuena > Vardy, Antonio, Stones (-8)
                D) TAA & Son > Stones & KDB (-4)

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

                KDB will play then rest for Cheltenham game imo

                1. Gudjohnsen
                  • 4 Years
                  2 months, 26 days ago

                  You would think so imo

              4. osceola31909
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 8 Years
                2 months, 26 days ago

                Use FH or just do (-8)

                A. Non FH team with -8 (could be -4 with Mane instead of Salah)

                Martinez
                Dias - Cancelo - Coufal
                Salah - KDB - Bruno - Son
                Antonio- Wilson- Bamford

                Subs: Areola - Dallas - Mitchell - Anguissa

                B. FH team

                Martinez
                Robertson - Stones - Coufal
                Salah - KDB - Bruno - Grealish - Soucek
                Vardy - Antonio

                Subs: Steele - Mitchell - Strujik - Davis

                1. KanteTouchThis
                  • 3 Years
                  2 months, 26 days ago

                  A with Mane

                  1. ted mcnure
                    • 10 Years
                    2 months, 26 days ago

                    this

              5. -GK22-
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 8 Years
                2 months, 26 days ago

                DGW GTG?

                MARTINEZ
                ZOUMA, STONES, ROBBO
                SALAH, BRUNO, raphinha, son
                ANTONIO, VARDY, bamford

                4, JONES, Dallas, TAYLOR

                Would you play jones over raphinha?

                Is Robbo a good captain choice?

                1. cigan
                  • 2 Years
                  2 months, 26 days ago

                  No to the first one - likely to start 1 game out of 2
                  Salah, Bruno or Vardy before Robbo for captain

                2. AllThePies
                  • 5 Years
                  2 months, 26 days ago

                  -seems good
                  -flip a coin
                  -for sure

              6. BremerHB
                • 4 Years
                2 months, 26 days ago

                Team A or B?

                A) Bench Boost (-4)

                Martinez - Johnstone
                Robbo - Dallas - Coufal - Stones - KWP
                Salah (C) - Bruno - Son - Raphinha - Anguissa
                Antonio - Kane - Bamford

                B) No chip (-8)

                Martinez
                Robbo - Dallas - Coufal - Cancelo
                Salah - Bruno - KDB (C) - Raphinha
                Kane - Bamford
                (Johnstone - Anguissa - KWP - Mitchell)

                1. BremerHB
                  • 4 Years
                  2 months, 26 days ago

                  Rubbish post. Totally mixed myself up! No KWP in the second draw - 4.3 fodder FWD!

              7. Stoichkov#8
                • 5 Years
                2 months, 26 days ago

                Do we have something more about DCL injury?

                Few days ago Ancelotti said "that's not an important injury but we want to keep him safe...I think soon he can recover".

                Do we have something more, any training pictures etc?

              8. AllThePies
                • 5 Years
                2 months, 26 days ago

                Salah (tc) or..

                ...hear me out...

                ...Robbo (tc)

                1. Weasel Boy
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 8 Years
                  2 months, 26 days ago

                  Salah

                  1. AllThePies
                    • 5 Years
                    2 months, 26 days ago

                    So tempting though.

                    ...Of more concern is that I have precisely zero City players for a double-home-banker gameweek

                2. unclesbasement
                    2 months, 26 days ago

                    why arent you putting kdb in the conversation?

                    1. AllThePies
                      • 5 Years
                      2 months, 26 days ago

                      Salah + Bruno + Kane = no room to date... -4 to swap one of them for him you think?

                      1. unclesbasement
                          2 months, 26 days ago

                          Depends if you can get kane back for a later gwk. I just cant feel happy with my team without KDB this gwk.

                    2. De Gea is GOAT
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 4 Years
                      2 months, 26 days ago

                      Considering Salah TC

                  • Gudjohnsen
                    • 4 Years
                    2 months, 26 days ago

                    Tierney, Kane to Chilwell, Vardy (C) for -4?

                    1. BremerHB
                      • 4 Years
                      2 months, 26 days ago

                      I don't mind that actually.

                  • ABCDEFC
                    • 4 Years
                    2 months, 26 days ago

                    Have 9DGW, with Son and Bamford

                    Worth a Bench Boost?
                    McCarthy, Dallas, Raphinha, Adams

                  • Pepeye
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    2 months, 26 days ago

                    Re Don Kloppeone Tend to agree with you, can't see him dominating. Foden more likely to impress

                  • Gudjohnsen
                    • 4 Years
                    2 months, 26 days ago

                    How essential is Salah this gw?

                    1. unclesbasement
                        2 months, 26 days ago

                        risky not having him imo

                      • Salan
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 11 Years
                        2 months, 26 days ago

                        You never know Salah when and how he is explosive.

                    2. manu4life99
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 11 Years
                      2 months, 26 days ago

                      Worth a 4pt hit?

                      Laca, Kane OUT
                      Vardy, Antonio IN

                    3. hogree
                      • 4 Years
                      2 months, 26 days ago

                      Narrowed down to these two options - Which of these do you prefer?

                      A) Robbo + Son --> Stones + KDB (-4)
                      B) McCarthy + Bamford --> Mendy + Antonio (-4)

                      1. DV8R
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 9 Years
                        2 months, 26 days ago

                        A could be good, but maybe Dias instead of Stones?

                    4. Pukki Party
                      • 3 Years
                      2 months, 26 days ago

                      Thoughts?

                      Martinez
                      Robbo Cancelo Holding*
                      Salah Bruno Son* Soucek
                      Vardy Bamford* Adams*

                      Ramsdale Ayling Anguissa Taylor
                      0ft 0.1itb
                      * =sgw

                      A) Adams to Watkins -4
                      B) Ayling to Dawson -4 and play over Holding/Adams
                      C) no hits

                    5. aidmata
                      • 5 Years
                      2 months, 26 days ago

                      Hi guys, I know there's a lot of these posts flying about but really at a loss as to where to begin with this week. Original plan was BB but that's been messed up and now really concerned re no City.

                      McCarthy Areola

                      Robertson Coufal Balbuena Lowton Dallas

                      Rafinha Rashford Bruno Soucek Salah

                      Adams Bamford Kane

                      Got 1FT and 0ITB so very little room to manoeuvre for City assets - any help much appreciated!

                      Cheers

                      1. Pukki Party
                        • 3 Years
                        2 months, 26 days ago

                        That's tough. Wouldn't use BB but no good options how to get a Mancity player either.

                      2. ted mcnure
                        • 10 Years
                        2 months, 26 days ago

                        Robertson to Dias, or Raphinia to Gundo look like your options..gl

                      3. No end product
                        • 5 Years
                        2 months, 26 days ago

                        I have similar team and really pondering Robbo, Raf and Kane to KDB, Cancelo/Dias and Antonio -8
                        6 games vs 4 - so should pay back.

                      4. aidmata
                        • 5 Years
                        2 months, 26 days ago

                        Thanks guys - appreciated

                    6. highsguy
                        2 months, 26 days ago

                        Still undecided on this -8 hit (playing BB)... pls decide for me

                        Adams Raphinha Dallas OUT
                        Antonio Lookman Stones IN

                        team:
                        Johnstone* (McCarthy)
                        Robbo* Coufal* Justin* Holding (Dallas)
                        Son Salah* Bruno* Soucek* (Raph)
                        Kane Bamford (Adams)

                        1. Alli In
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 4 Years
                          2 months, 26 days ago

                          I've a very similar team and situation and I'm considering just Adams to Antonio, no hit, and playing BB with McCarthy, Lowton (instead of you have Holding), Dallas, and Lookman (instead of you have Raphinha). Your McCarthy, Holding, Dallas, Raphinha is a similar strength bench to mine I think, I have two DGW players, but your SGW players have much better fixtures and should do as well. Your question is basically Raphinha and Dallas to Lookman and Stones for -8. I think Raphinha and Lookman are about quits this week, so it's Stones vs Dallas. You need Stones to clean sheet both games, and maybe for Dallas not to, for it to pay back. It could happen, and Stones has good fixtures to come, but so does Dallas, and he may have a DGW before long.

                          Long story short, it's a toss up, sorry!

                          My remaining worry about the BB is, are we fully confident McCarthy will be straight back? I don't want to BB without a second keeper!

                      • DV8R
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 9 Years
                        2 months, 26 days ago

                        Who gets more this week?

                        A) KDB, Adams
                        B) Raphinha, Vardy, +4 points

                      • the vanisher
                        • 3 Years
                        2 months, 26 days ago

                        For a -8:

                        Foden, Soucek Coufal IN
                        for
                        Son, Anguissa, Pieters OUT

                        yes or no?

                        1. Pepeye
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          2 months, 26 days ago

                          Yes

                        2. Rhodes your boat
                          • 4 Years
                          2 months, 26 days ago

                          Tough, probably yes just but losing son is risky for a hit!

                        3. 007 [RoboKlopp]
                          • 4 Years
                          2 months, 26 days ago

                          Yes

                      • Bennerman
                        • 2 Years
                        2 months, 26 days ago

                        Does anyone know what's going on with Villa regarding a press conference?

                        Not included on the FFS lists and doesn't seem to be any hint about it on the Villa website.

                        Wonder whether for some Covid-related reason they're not doing one, or are doing it tomorrow or something.

                        Mysterious, and Villa are the team/players a lot of people are itching to find out about...

                        1. ppv
                          • 10 Years
                          2 months, 26 days ago

                          Villa not playing until midweek

                          1. Bennerman
                            • 2 Years
                            2 months, 26 days ago

                            Ah yeah, of course, duh.

                            Cheers

                      • Camzy
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 10 Years
                        2 months, 26 days ago

                        A) Son + Bamford (save FT)
                        B) Son + Antonio (bench Bamford)
                        C) Soucek + Vardy (bench Bamford) -4

                        1. Stoichkov#8
                          • 5 Years
                          2 months, 26 days ago

                          Not C
                          Im between A and B myselfe..

                        2. BremerHB
                          • 4 Years
                          2 months, 26 days ago

                          A I reckon.

                        3. 007 [RoboKlopp]
                          • 4 Years
                          2 months, 26 days ago

                          A

                        4. Tomsk
                            2 months, 26 days ago

                            Probable Antonio outscores Bamford imo,so B.

                        5. My neck my back my Saed Kol…
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 6 Years
                          2 months, 26 days ago

                          Thoughts on these for a -8-

                          Son, balbuena dier for KDB Coufal and targett

                        6. Ruinenlust
                          • 3 Years
                          2 months, 26 days ago

                          A) Robbo and Son -> Stones and KDB (-4)

                          or

                          B) Dallas and Son -> Stones and Foden (-4)

                          ?

                        7. Angelic upstart
                          • 3 Years
                          2 months, 26 days ago

                          Sell Salah for KDB for a hit?

                          1. Fuddled FC
                            • 9 Years
                            2 months, 26 days ago

                            really? no

                          2. Ajax Hamsterdam
                            • 6 Years
                            2 months, 26 days ago

                            Not for a hit no.

                          3. Gudjohnsen
                            • 4 Years
                            2 months, 26 days ago

                            Madness

                          4. 007 [RoboKlopp]
                            • 4 Years
                            2 months, 26 days ago

                            No