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

    In your opinion what is the best 9m DF (fodder and bench player (rotating with Coufal) combo for this back 7 for the next few GWs

    Martinez Johnstone

    Stones Coufal Cancelo xxxxxxxx xxxxxxx

    Any ideas would be welcomed

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

      Mitchell. They rotate well. I'm doing Cresswell & Mitchell.

  2. I Member
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 26 days ago

    Anyone playing TC this week?

    1. Rupert The Horse
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 26 days ago

      Prefer to wait for a Spurs double myself.

      1. The Big Fella
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 26 days ago

        Why?

        1. Rupert The Horse
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          2 months, 26 days ago

          So explosive.

          1. The Big Fella
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 26 days ago

            Depends who they are against though I think. The thing with this week is, we know the teams that are playing. In a future DGW, we don't know what the form of the opposition will be (or Spurs' for that matter) or even who the opposition will be. I think I will play TC this week, although I do like the idea of Son against 2 attacking teams in the same week, I must confess.

    2. JBG
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 26 days ago

      Yes, most likely.

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

    Worth doing a BB for lloris, Harrison, Adams and Charlie Taylor?

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

      Taylor fit ?

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

      Yes if free and if you used WC/FH already

    3. In a Rush
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 26 days ago

      Taylor not confirmed fit I own as well it’s very frustrating

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

    Better option:

    A) DCL > Antonio (bench Bamford)
    B) Save FT play Bamford (bench DCL)

    1. 007 [RoboKlopp]
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 26 days ago

      A

        1. 007 [RoboKlopp]
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 26 days ago

          You have DCL that injured.

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

            He has him too but fair enough. Not sure how serious is it as Ancelotti said its not a big problem more like precaution

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

      A but play Bamford if poss

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

        Can't. Rest of players must play like big hitters, DGW ones etc.

  5. V-2 Schneiderlin
    • 10 Years
    2 months, 26 days ago

    on a FH - for Man City players - would you prefer:

    A. KDB, Gundogan + Foden
    B. KDB, Gundogan + Cancelo

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

      B

    2. Tonyawesome69 WC31 & FH…
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 26 days ago

      KDB, Foden and Cancelo/Stones(whichever one you can afford) I don't fancy the Gundo pick

      1. V-2 Schneiderlin
        • 10 Years
        2 months, 26 days ago

        hmm - budget might be a problem - it would be Stones in that case.. thx

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

      KDB, Cancelo, Stones?

      1. V-2 Schneiderlin
        • 10 Years
        2 months, 26 days ago

        interesting - at the moment I'm thinking KDB, Foden, Stones...

    4. AYLD28
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 26 days ago

      One without Gundogan

  6. Slurpy
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 26 days ago

    play lowton or dallas?

    1. Tonyawesome69 WC31 & FH…
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 26 days ago

      Dallas

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

      Dallas

    3. BeWater
        2 months, 26 days ago

        Dallas could be in midfield. Chance of a clean sheet and an attacking return.

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

      Anyone without KDB going with Sterling or Foden?

      1. BeWater
          2 months, 26 days ago

          Thinking about getting Foden in for Son but takes me to -8. Getting KDB would require losing either TAA or Vardy in addition to Son and don't want to do that.

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

            Similar predicament myself. Dont want to lose Son.

            1. BeWater
                2 months, 26 days ago

                Son could easily outscore Foden with a 4 point lead.

          2. Yes Ndidi
            • 1 Year
            2 months, 26 days ago

            Foden for the time being. Can't bring myself to ditch Son yet for KdB.

        • JIC
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 26 days ago

          Current team is;

          Martinez (McCarthy)
          James, Robbo, Coufal, Justin (KWP)
          Salah, Mahrez, (Son), Soucek, Bruno
          (Bamford), Wilson, Watkins

          Thinking Mahrez, Son and KWP out for Cancelo, KDB and Lookman for -8. Then BB.

          Thoughts?

        • Tonyawesome69 WC31 & FH…
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 26 days ago

          Which option is best?

          Balbuena and Son are definitely getting transferred out. Unsure with Kane to Vardy (-4). If I do this change, Dawson can be upgraded to Cresswell.

          A. Balbuena, Son and Kane to Cresswell, Salah and Vardy (-8)
          B. Balbuena and Son to Dawson and Salah (-4)

          Martinez
          Stones Cancelo Coufal Balbuena*
          KDB Bruno Soucek Son*
          Bamford* Kane*
          (Johnstone Raphinha* Rodrigo* Holding*)

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

            I would but only if you are preferring Vardy beyond the DGW. Vardy has Leeds and Fulham coming up so may not be bad shout

        • Turns
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 26 days ago

          Am I mad thinking about going for C below? Just think there is a risk KDB is benched for one and I think Vardy is nailed.

          (A) Play Son & Bamford/James (don't think James plays both); Salah (c)
          (B) Son, DCL -> KDB (c), Robinson (-4); play James or Robinson
          (C) Son, DCL -> H Barnes, Vardy (-4); Salah or Vardy (c)

          1. Tonyawesome69 WC31 & FH…
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 26 days ago

            Not keen on the Barnes pick

        • unclesbasement
            2 months, 26 days ago

            Rate my team. Any feedback would be much appreciated
            Martinez (Meslier)
            Coufal, Chilwell,Cancelo (Mitchell, Clyne)
            KDB(TC), Salah,Bruno,Soucek(smith rowe)
            Bamford,Watkins,Vardy

            .

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

              Looks good. Probably atleast 45 from kdb

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

              Antonio over Watkins if possible but to be fair its GTG

              1. unclesbasement
                  2 months, 26 days ago

                  ive done -12 to get this team lol

                  1. Yes Ndidi
                    • 1 Year
                    2 months, 26 days ago

                    No shame in taking hits to get the team you want in a double.

            3. iCon
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 10 Years
              2 months, 26 days ago

              Kane & Ward-Prowse --> Rashford & Vardy for a hit
              or just
              Son --> Salah for free

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

              Worth a -12 to Bb?

              McCarthy, Robo, Raph, Adams to Martinez, Dias, Foden, Antonio.

              Don’t have to do Adams to Antonio or Raph to Foden.

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

                ....No

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

                Nah, will be other opps for BB later without needing a -12

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

                Well you know what I did - but then I consciously only wanted a -8!

                I'd go for max -8. Maybe forget the Foden move?

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

              Anyone going with double MCI def instead of KDB/ Foden for the DGW? Just me? Ok then!

              Just couldn't afford KDB without significantly weakening my team!

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

                Like that plan

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

                  Just a shame I could only afford Stones alongside Dias - would have preferred Cancelo - but it'll do!

              2. ShaunGoater123
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 6 Years
                2 months, 26 days ago

                i'm struggling to see how to ge kev in too. i can go foden but kev looks impossible.

                sorry back to your question, i think the double city defence is definitely viable

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

                I’m thinking just Dias tbh. Would love double city defence though

              4. Traction Engine Foot
                • 3 Years
                2 months, 26 days ago

                Considering ederson in for McCarthy, have dias already

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

              Re V2 If you have the money, City trio KDB,Foden, Gundogan

            7. TheBiffas
                2 months, 26 days ago

                A) Fabianski + Mitchell
                B) Johnstone + Dawson -4

              • Sturridge Wars
                • 6 Years
                2 months, 26 days ago

                Best double gameweek goalie? Under 5.0

                1. BeWater
                    2 months, 26 days ago

                    Johnstone or Areola.

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

                  Anyone on here playing the FanTeam game?

                  How does the double gameweek work? I can't see both fixtures under my players name, is it split differently on FanTeam?

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

                    nah exactly same as fpl ..just no chips

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

                      Thanks.

                      Why doesn’t it show the second set of fixtures u see the players names?

                3. lilmessipran
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 8 Years
                  2 months, 26 days ago

                  Best option

                  A Bamford to antonio ft
                  B Bamford to wilson ft
                  C Save ft play bamford

                  1. iCon
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 10 Years
                    2 months, 26 days ago

                    C

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

                    a

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

                    C

                4. E25
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 5 Years
                  2 months, 26 days ago

                  *DCL->Antonio pretty much locked in.
                  Balbuena -> which city for a -4??
                  A) Dias
                  B) Stones
                  C) Cancelo
                  D) don't take hit and play Dallas (seems passive)

                  McCarthy
                  Robbo Lowton Konsa
                  KDB Salah Bruno Grealish Soucek
                  Bamford DCL*

                  Forster / Dallas Balbuena Brewster

                5. PogChamp
                  • 9 Years
                  2 months, 26 days ago

                  For BB this GW what do you think is the minimum amount of games your bench players should play in total? 5?

                  1. Brosstan
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 6 Years
                    2 months, 26 days ago

                    4

                  2. Westfield Irons ⭐️
                    • 11 Years
                    2 months, 26 days ago

                    5 seems about right, a DGW Keeper and decent Leeds trio would be worth it, of course it depends who the DGW player and others are

                    1. PogChamp
                      • 9 Years
                      2 months, 26 days ago

                      I have Martinez and Leno but no Leeds, yet.

                6. AYLD28
                  • 5 Years
                  2 months, 26 days ago

                  Is Dias to Cancelo for a -4 worth it?

                  My thinking is this, I am bench boosting this:

                  Martinez | Johnstone
                  TAA Dias Cresswell | Dallas Dunne*
                  Salah KDB (c) Fernandes Soucek Grealish
                  Bamford DCL*

                  1FT 0.1 ITB

                  Plan is DCL + Dunne > Antonio + Stones (-4)

                  I am lacking Cancelo. I could do TAA > Cancelo and then Dunne > Chilwell for a -8 but that feels more a luxury and perhaps unnecessary move.

                  Another option is a -12 which would be TAA + Rodrigo + Dunne + DCL > Chilwell + Cancelo + Antonio + Watkins but that does feel excessive when I can do a -4 and get a decent BB team out albeit no Cancelo and a single player in Rodrigo.

                  Open to thoughts guys and gals 🙂

                  Thoughts?

                  1. AYLD28
                    • 5 Years
                    2 months, 26 days ago

                    Sorry I missed my third striker is Rodrigo

                  2. BeWater
                      2 months, 26 days ago

                      Just do DCL and Dunne to Antonio and Stones. You are going from 0 fixtures to 4 very decent fixtures. Sorts the only two issues in your squad. The rest looks fine.

                  3. ShaunGoater123
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 6 Years
                    2 months, 26 days ago

                    Any thoughts on what to do here? Should i BB or not, if so who would you transfer in?

                    Johnstone
                    TAA / Maguire / Coufal
                    Salah / Son / Fernandes / SOucek
                    Bamford / Kane / Wood

                    Mccarthy / Raphinha / Dallas / Johnson

                    1FT 0.3ITB

                  4. andres
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 9 Years
                    2 months, 26 days ago

                    Mane or Salah?

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

                    The wife has Cancelo, Dias & Foden in her team and I'm not arguing with her

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

                    A or B questions?

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

                      A) Salah, Dias, Stones (-8)
                      B) Sterling, Robo, Lowton (-4)

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

                        A

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

                    Plans all screwed up, to hell with it. Hitting the BB button

                    Fabianski Johnstone
                    Robbo Chilwell Stones Lawton Ayling*
                    Salah Bruno Soucek Son* Saka*
                    Bamford* Kane* Brewster*

                    Best options
                    A) Kane + Saka to KDB + 6.0fwd (who? Was going to be Rodigo initially)
                    B) Saka + Ayling to Foden + Targett (or other dgw def upto 5.0)
                    C) Saka + Son to Foden + Ziyech (nuts?)

                    Appreciate the help guys

                    1. Yes Ndidi
                      • 1 Year
                      2 months, 26 days ago

                      B, maybe with Justin?

                  8. Nightcrawler
                    • 1 Year
                    2 months, 26 days ago

                    Only going with 8 dgwers atm

                    Feels like everyone else has at least 9

                    McCarthy*

                    Maguire Stones Cresswell

                    Son* Soucek Salah KDB Bruno

                    Vardy Bamford*

                    1. Brosstan
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 6 Years
                      2 months, 26 days ago

                      If you have planned decently you should have about 12, and the only reason its not higher is because Leeds got f'd

                  9. How I met your Mata
                    • 5 Years
                    2 months, 26 days ago

                    Help pls xo

                    A or B

                    A Son and Foden

                    B KDB and Adams

                    (Don't have Kane)

                  10. Klopp For The Kopps 😆
                    • 5 Years
                    2 months, 26 days ago

                    Worth the Bench Boost?
                    Martinez Dallas Bamford Smith-Rowe

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

                      I would probably

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

                      Yes