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. highsguy
      3 months, 2 days ago

      Dallas Raph Adams OUT
      Stones Lookman Antonio IN (-8)
      7->10 DGW
      BB: McCarthy, Bamford, Lookman, Holding

      Y/N??

      1. Stormbringer22
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 2 days ago

        Yes, and yes BB

      2. NateDogsCats
          3 months, 2 days ago

          No IMO, -8 is a lot for that, could easily see your original 3 outscoring those even not taking the -8 into account

      3. Stormbringer22
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 2 days ago

        Lads, please can I have your opinion on the below:

        DCL + Ferguson > Antonio + Cancelo -4 and play the BB chip?

        Martinez - 4.0
        Chilwell* - Cancelo* - Coufal* - Dallas - Taylor(?)
        Salah(C)* - Bruno* - Grealish* - Soucek* - Son
        Vardy* - Antonio* - Bamford

        1. Steve The Spud
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          3 months, 2 days ago

          really can't see anything wrong with that, might even be tempted to go for a -8 and get a keeper in as well or does budget not allow ?

          1. Stormbringer22
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 1 Year
            3 months, 2 days ago

            Cheers, Cancelo would have to be downgraded to Stones to get a keeper as well. Not sure if I am keen on another -4 for a keeper though.

        2. Cojones of Destiny
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 2 days ago

          the move yes, BB no

          1. Steve The Spud
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 1 Year
            3 months, 2 days ago

            I probably wouldn't bb unless the keeper or Taylor was addressed

          2. Stormbringer22
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 1 Year
            3 months, 2 days ago

            Thanks mate

        3. highsguy
            3 months, 2 days ago

            Transfers look good
            Not sure about BB if no 2nd GK and potentially no Taylor

            1. Stormbringer22
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 1 Year
              3 months, 2 days ago

              Cheers

          • InvertedWinger
            • 5 Years
            3 months, 2 days ago

            You’d have a Gk blank and also Taylor possibly playing only Liverpool. It’s tight but I think I’d hold

            1. Stormbringer22
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 1 Year
              3 months, 2 days ago

              Thanks

        4. McSauce
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          3 months, 2 days ago

          yes prob give you a +8 return

          1. McSauce
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 11 Years
            3 months, 2 days ago

            FAIL back to bed

          2. Stormbringer22
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 1 Year
            3 months, 2 days ago

            Is that reply to me or Highsguy?

            1. highsguy
                3 months, 2 days ago

                This lol

                1. McSauce
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 11 Years
                  3 months, 2 days ago

                  Highsguy

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

            Repost as bottomed

            Bearing in mind DGW19 what is the best 16m MF combo for this front 8 for the next few GWs

            Bruno Salah Soucek xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx

            Watkins Firmino Wilson

            Any ideas would be welcomed

            1. Steve The Spud
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 1 Year
              3 months, 2 days ago

              kdb and Smith Rowe possible or out of budget?

            2. Cojones of Destiny
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 3 Years
              3 months, 2 days ago

              KDB Foden

              1. Cojones of Destiny
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 3 Years
                3 months, 2 days ago

                oops just saw the budget KDB + SR

          4. Jinswick
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            3 months, 2 days ago

            Best move here? Bellerin to the bench if A) or C)

            A) Dier -> COUFAL (5.3 max)
            B) Bamford -> ANTONIO
            C) Dier & Bamford -> CRESSWELL & ANTONIO (-4)
            D) Save FT

            DDG
            CANCELO, TARGETT, Bellerin
            KDB, BRUNO, STERLING, Son
            WATKINS, WILSON, Bamford*

            Forster, Dier*, Martinelli, Mitchell
            Bank 0.3m, FT, all chips

            1. InvertedWinger
              • 5 Years
              3 months, 2 days ago

              A

            2. Stormbringer22
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 1 Year
              3 months, 2 days ago

              C

          5. InvertedWinger
            • 5 Years
            3 months, 2 days ago

            -8 to Bench Boost with Meslier, Stones, Soucek, Antonio?

            1. Stormbringer22
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 1 Year
              3 months, 2 days ago

              Yes

          6. dsefton
            • 5 Years
            3 months, 2 days ago

            repost, sorry!
            DDG Areola
            Cancelo Stones Coufal Lowton (Tierney --> Cresswell?)
            KdB Bruno Rashford Soucek (Son --> Salah?)
            Wilson (Laca --> Antonio?) Bamford

            Assuming Tierney is out:
            A) Son + Laca + Tierney --> Salah + Watkins + Cresswell (-8) - can't do Antonio as would have 3 west ham already...
            B) Laca + Tierney --> Vardy + 4.6m def (-4)
            C) Tierney --> Cresswell (FT)
            D) Son + Laca + Tierney --> Salah + Antonio + 5.4m def (Justin?)
            E) Something else?

          7. Original - Wolves Ay We
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            3 months, 2 days ago

            Are these the only PL fixtures that need re-arranging?

            Everton v Man City
            Villa v Everton
            Villa v Spurs
            Man City v Southampton
            Leeds v Southampton
            Burnle v Fulham

            1. NateDogsCats
                3 months, 2 days ago

                Fulham v Spurs again too I think

            2. Scooby75
              • 1 Year
              3 months, 2 days ago

              Please help me to decide:

              Martinez
              TAA Zouma Justin
              Son Bruno Salah Soucek Jones
              Kane DCL

              4.0 Alioski Mitchell Brewster

              A. DCL, TAA to Vardy, Cancelo
              B. DCL, Jones to Antonio, Foden
              C. DCL, SON to KDB, Bamford
              D. Something else

              1.4 ITB
              Thanks in advance

              1. swobe
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 7 Years
                3 months, 2 days ago

                A

                1. Scooby75
                  • 1 Year
                  3 months, 2 days ago

                  Thanks, rival in ML has Vardy so that’s my leaning

            3. davies
              • 6 Years
              3 months, 2 days ago

              Balbuena >

              A) Lowton
              B) Holding
              C) Dawson (have Coufal)

              1. Cojones of Destiny
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 3 Years
                3 months, 2 days ago

                C

            4. swobe
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 7 Years
              3 months, 2 days ago

              Any news on Charlie Taylor?

              1. Tonyawesome69 FHXX
                • 2 Years
                3 months, 2 days ago

                Dyche was a lot more confident earlier in the week. "Charlie Taylor is a doubt for tomorrow, but the squad is coming back together now and everyone else are fine."

                Table:

                  1. swobe
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 7 Years
                    3 months, 2 days ago

                    Cheers mate

            5. b91jh
              • 3 Years
              3 months, 2 days ago

              What to do with this lot? 1.6itb

              Martinez
              James Dias Cresswell Dallas
              Salah Bruno Grealish Soucek
              Kane Bamford

              Button Raphinha KWP DCL*

              A) Raphinha/Kane to KDB/Antonio -4, TC KDB(exact cash, need to complete tonight)
              B) DCL to Antonio, play BB
              C) DCL/Button to Antonio/Johnstone -4, play BB
              D) DCL/Button/KWP to Antonio/Johnstone/Cancelo -8, play BB

              Which to go or any other suggestions? Thanks.

            6. Tonyawesome69 FHXX
              • 2 Years
              3 months, 2 days ago

              RP - Which option is best? Balbuena and Son are definitely getting transferred out. Unsure with Kane to Vardy (-4)

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

              1. Steve The Spud
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 1 Year
                3 months, 2 days ago

                just B For me

                1. Tonyawesome69 FHXX
                  • 2 Years
                  3 months, 2 days ago

                  Thanks

              2. Cojones of Destiny
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 3 Years
                3 months, 2 days ago

                B

                1. Tonyawesome69 FHXX
                  • 2 Years
                  3 months, 2 days ago

                  Thanks

              3. Stormbringer22
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 1 Year
                3 months, 2 days ago

                B mate

            7. RAFA THE GAFFA
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 5 Years
              3 months, 2 days ago

              Would you bench boost this?

              McCarthy, Dallas, Adams, Raphina

              1. highsguy
                  3 months, 2 days ago

                  That's my current bench. Theoretically it's a strong bench but personally I'm not BBing unless I get at least 2 of them out for DGWers. Currently thinking about 3 of them out (see post above)

                • Herman Toothrot
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 8 Years
                  3 months, 2 days ago

                  No imo

                • InvertedWinger
                  • 5 Years
                  3 months, 2 days ago

                  If the rest of your team is strong then the same 4 are likely to have a DGW soon, down the line and that’s when I’d BB

                • Tonyawesome69 FHXX
                  • 2 Years
                  3 months, 2 days ago

                  Borderline - probably yes since you have a playing benched GK but its a tough fixture against Leicester

                • Stormbringer22
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 1 Year
                  3 months, 2 days ago

                  I would

                • RAFA THE GAFFA
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 5 Years
                  3 months, 2 days ago

                  Mixed responses. Thanks

                • BeWater
                    3 months, 2 days ago

                    I had this exact same bench. Did Adams to Antonio and decided to can the BB for now. In normal season I wouldn't want to keep a strong bench but with the amount of postponements and changes it's worthwhile. And Leeds will eventually have a good double somewhere.

                  • umerlfc
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 5 Years
                    3 months, 2 days ago

                    No

                • marcos11
                    3 months, 2 days ago

                    Captain?
                    a) Kdb (TC?)
                    b) Vardy
                    c) Dias
                    d) Bruno/Rash

                    1. Taegugk Warrior
                      • 2 Years
                      3 months, 2 days ago

                      A

                    2. Stormbringer22
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 1 Year
                      3 months, 2 days ago

                      A but not TC

                      1. unclesbasement
                          3 months, 2 days ago

                          why not? Im going for it

                    3. Taegugk Warrior
                      • 2 Years
                      3 months, 2 days ago

                      For -4

                      A. KDB + Stones
                      B. Foden + Vardy

                      1. Stormbringer22
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 1 Year
                        3 months, 2 days ago

                        A

                      2. Cojones of Destiny
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 3 Years
                        3 months, 2 days ago

                        A, got all four so can’t go wrong with either

                    4. CROYDON DE BRUYNE
                      • 4 Years
                      3 months, 2 days ago

                      Watkins or Antonio? Have a feeling Watkins can’t continue his drought much longer

                      1. Stormbringer22
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 1 Year
                        3 months, 2 days ago

                        Antonio

                    5. Who Ate All Depays?
                      • 7 Years
                      3 months, 2 days ago

                      On BB

                      Martinez*
                      Lowton* - Coufal* - Stones*
                      Rashford* - Bruno* - Soucek* - KDB* - Son
                      Watkins* - Vardy*
                      (Johnstone* - Bamford - Dallas - Strujik)

                      A) Son & Strujik -> Grealish & Dias (-4)
                      B) Son & Strujik -> Ghazi/Foden & Robbo (-4)
                      C) any other suggestions

                      1. Goonerly
                        • 3 Years
                        3 months, 2 days ago

                        A then

                      2. Herman Toothrot
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 8 Years
                        3 months, 2 days ago

                        Nice team, similar to mine.

                        I have Cancelo over Lowton and Antonio over Watkins.

                        I'd keep Son

                    6. Lukakwho
                      • 3 Years
                      3 months, 2 days ago

                      Am I stupid to not go KDB? Would cost me another -8, huge value to hold in a player I may not captain, but part of me thinks he could be good for a while now? What do you think?

                      1. InvertedWinger
                        • 5 Years
                        3 months, 2 days ago

                        City fixtures look great moving forward and he’s scoring well despite strongly underperforming his expected numbers. A pain to get for a -8 especially with other good captain choices but I’d have a plan to bring him in soon

                    7. wilson007
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 1 Year
                      3 months, 2 days ago

                      DDG
                      Dias Cancelo Coufal Lowton
                      KDB Bruno Son Rashford Soucek
                      Watkins

                      Martinez Bamford Dallas Brewster

                      Would you do Brewster, Dallas -> Chilwell/RJames and Antonio (-4) and BB?

                      Leaves me with 13 DGW, Bamford and Son

                      1. Goonerly
                        • 3 Years
                        3 months, 2 days ago

                        Seems a good choice, yes

                    8. FPL_Pugster
                        3 months, 2 days ago

                        This worth a -8 to attack DGW?

                        Son/Dallas/Adams OUT > KDB/Antonio/Kilman or Mitchell IN?

                        Woudl only then have Bamford with single game week, but he's a long term hold anyway.

                        Thanks

                        1. Stormbringer22
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 1 Year
                          3 months, 2 days ago

                          Not worth it imo

                      • Flair
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        3 months, 2 days ago

                        Nice article. Feeling persuaded to save FH.

                        1. Cojones of Destiny
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 3 Years
                          3 months, 2 days ago

                          I still am

                          1. Flair
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            3 months, 2 days ago

                            Good luck

                            1. Cojones of Destiny
                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                              • 3 Years
                              3 months, 2 days ago

                              thx u2

                      • mdm
                        • 9 Years
                        3 months, 2 days ago

                        Which option is better:

                        A. DCL -> Antonio
                        B. DCL -> Vardy
                        C. DCL, Son -> Antonio, Salah (-4)

                        Thanks.

                        1. Stormbringer22
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 1 Year
                          3 months, 2 days ago

                          C

                        2. Goonerly
                          • 3 Years
                          3 months, 2 days ago

                          B or C.
                          Close call, maybe B

                        3. BERGKOP
                          • 9 Years
                          3 months, 2 days ago

                          B

                      • mr messi
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 10 Years
                        3 months, 2 days ago

                        Was planning to bb but as Taylor is still a doubt would need to take a -8 to swap Taylor a Dgw defender, Steer to a playing keeper and Adams to Antonio. Should I just abandon bb plans and just do Adams to Antonio and possibly Son to KDB for -4?

                        Team is

                        McCarthy
                        Chilwell Coufal Dias
                        Bruno Soucek Salah Son
                        Vardy Adams Bamford

                        Steer Taylor Raphinha KWP

                        1. Stormbringer22
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 1 Year
                          3 months, 2 days ago

                          In a similar situation. Think I will abandon the BB idea

                      • Iceball
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 6 Years
                        3 months, 2 days ago

                        Fabianski Coufal Bamford Brewster around 21 point according to RMT, so for 1 hit its 17.
                        Decent, and get it over with?

                        In later DGW I will stuggle to have even 1 DGW player on bench. Some might think GW26 is the week to BB, but those who have already used FH, how are you lining up for GW29? For GW26 it makes sense to have 4-5 players who play GW29 and then slowly add 3-4 more. If all DGW players on bench then GW29 will be a major struggle!

                      • LIARS POKER
                        • 4 Years
                        3 months, 2 days ago

                        Would you BB this? Could also bring someone in for Taylor for a -4

                        Meslier (BHA), Bamford (BHA), Raphinha (BHA), Taylor* (whu, liv)

                        1. umerlfc
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 5 Years
                          3 months, 2 days ago

                          I actually would if Taylor turns into a solid DGW defender

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

                          Yes, I think so if good DGW defender, from WestHam or even ManCity or Chelsa if you can afford?
                          But only if you have already used FH. What do you think of my situation above?

                      • umerlfc
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 5 Years
                        3 months, 2 days ago

                        Kane + Son + March - > Antonio + Foden + KDB(TC) (-8) ?

                        YAY OR NAY?

                        1. Stormbringer22
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 1 Year
                          3 months, 2 days ago

                          Nay

                      • You've got red on you.
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 8 Years
                        3 months, 2 days ago

                        Not one for taking hits normally but minus 8 for the changes below give me extra DGW players and better players with better fixtures going forward.

                        Worth it?

                        Holgate, Tierney and Wilson ---> Cresswell, R.James and Antonio

                        1. Cojones of Destiny
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 3 Years
                          3 months, 2 days ago

                          i would but not for RJames

                      • KAPTAIN KANE
                        • 4 Years
                        3 months, 2 days ago

                        One final check from me:

                        A) TC KdB
                        B) BB - McCarthy | Bamford | Dallas | Mitchell

                        Thanks

                        1. KAPTAIN KANE
                          • 4 Years
                          3 months, 2 days ago

                          Dallas could be Lowton in B

                        2. Feed tha Sheep
                          • 8 Years
                          3 months, 2 days ago

                          I’m looking at B

                        3. OptimusBlack
                          • 7 Years
                          3 months, 2 days ago

                          B

                        4. Stormbringer22
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 1 Year
                          3 months, 2 days ago

                          B

                        5. Cojones of Destiny
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 3 Years
                          3 months, 2 days ago

                          B

                          1. KAPTAIN KANE
                            • 4 Years
                            3 months, 2 days ago

                            Wow thanks all, very surprised!

                      • Tross007
                        • 9 Years
                        3 months, 2 days ago

                        Son > KDB
                        Kane > Firmino

                        -4

                        Thoughts?

                        1. Feed tha Sheep
                          • 8 Years
                          3 months, 2 days ago

                          Don’t love Firmino..Kane could score more in one game though Firmino in 2