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. 03farmboy
    • 2 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Would you take -4 to transfer out balbuena? Or play Kwp or Alioski on the bench?

    1. Tonyawesome69
      • 2 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      If it is for a DGW player then yes as Balbuena has lost his position and just finished self isolation. I'm doing Balbuena to Dawson for a hit

      1. 03farmboy
        • 2 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        I can offer stones would you prefer to go for him? Also I’ve already took a -4 getting in De Bruyne so it would be a -8 altogether

        1. Tonyawesome69
          • 2 Years
          8 months, 14 days ago

          Depends on your team. Do you need/ want to transfer Balbuena out for a DGW player like Stones?

          1. 03farmboy
            • 2 Years
            8 months, 14 days ago

            My team without doing so would be

            McCarthy
            Chilwell, Justin, Kwp
            Salah, Bruno, De Bruyne, Soucek, Saka
            Kane, bamford
            Bench: meslier, Alioski, balbuena, Brewster

    2. teneighty
      • 6 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      What Tony said.

  2. Pep Roulette
    • 3 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Werner is going to haul this gameweek! I can feel it!

    1. JBG
      • 3 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Did you transfer him in for a hit? Is that why you feel it?

      1. Pep Roulette
        • 3 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Not yet, but I'm planning to!

    2. teneighty
      • 6 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      His owner will be thrilled!

  3. McPollolocco
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Should i triple captain Salah??

    1. Tonyawesome69
      • 2 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      I don't think GW19 is the right GW for TC chip imo.

    2. kusasi
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Same problem, can't decide ... feel like I should say no but if I don't then everyone else will and he'll haul ...

    3. Rupert The Horse
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      No

  4. Tonyawesome69
    • 2 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    I think I'm ready to push the button on the transfers (-4) and BB chip.

    Thoughts on this? Thanks

    Martinez
    Stones Cancelo Coufal Dawson
    KDB Bruno Soucek Salah(C)
    Bamford* Kane*
    (Johnstone Raphinha* Rodrigo* Holding*)

    1. Tonyawesome69
      • 2 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Anyone?

    2. Westfield Irons ⭐️
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Yes looks decent, but I'd be tempted by Kane > Vardy for another hit

      1. Tonyawesome69
        • 2 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        haha been toying with that idea for a while. Doing Kane to Vardy allows me to upgrade Dawson to Cresswell.

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

        1. Westfield Irons ⭐️
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          8 months, 14 days ago

          A - also because a slim chance Dawson starts to rotate with Balbuena. Cresswell could haul. Do it!

          1. Tonyawesome69
            • 2 Years
            8 months, 14 days ago

            Cheers, it is the more aggressive move. What's your thoughts on Vardy and LEI two games?

  5. htfcbrad
    • 2 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    What's the best plan for those that still have all of their chips?

    1. Tonyawesome69
      • 2 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      BB19, WC25, FH29 and TC a small DGW

      1. Tonyawesome69
        • 2 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        that's the plan in my head anyway

    2. *Reformed-Character*
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      use a chip.....

  6. kusasi
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Who should I triple captain? Or hold? (all playing twice)

    Johnstone
    Dias / Cancelo / Cresswell
    Salah / Fernandes / Rashford / Barnes / Soucek
    Firmino / Antonio

    1. Tonyawesome69
      • 2 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Hold the chip

  7. Please Answer Me
    • 7 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Who are the most nailed out of Stones, Cancelo and Dias?

    1. Pep Roulette
      • 3 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Dias
      Stones
      Cancelo

    2. The Yorkshire Pirlo
      • 5 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Wow. Great minds, see below hahaha

    3. Silent Hunter
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Dias

    4. Elly88 > KTR (Kevin The …
      • 9 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Dias>Cancelo>Stones

    5. Tonyawesome69
      • 2 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Dias, Cancelo, Stones

  8. The Yorkshire Pirlo
    • 5 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Which City def to bring in?

    A) Cancelo
    B) Dias
    C) Stones

    Think I’d prefer Cancelo but is he due a rest? 🙁

    1. Please Answer Me
      • 7 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Great minds mate, see above

    2. wulfrunian
      • 4 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      b

    3. Seamy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      I have the same options but leaning Stones as the 0.8m does wonders with my team going forward.
      I may swap Chilwell for Cancelo in time too

    4. Tonyawesome69
      • 2 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Dias the safe option, Cancelo the more exciting and higher ceiling

    5. Cojones of Destiny
      • 3 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      B

  9. Sz21
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Any of these moves worth it for a -4?
    1. Dallas-> Cancelo (Benching headache- (Bamford) but looks worth it.
    2. McCarthy -> Mendy. Gives Chelsea defence but not the City def double up.
    3. Mane -> KDB. Don't fancy this as much. The break should do great for Liv.

    McCarthy.
    Robbo, Stones, Coufal.
    Salah (TC), Son, Mane, Fernandes, Soucek.
    Antonio, Bamford.
    Forster, Dallas, Brewster, Ferguson.
    0ft, 1.3m ITB.

    1. Iceball
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      I like 1 most out of those.
      Was also wondering Mane to KDB but KDB looked tired so Im worried Mane who is fresh might do the damage so I keep him. I have Steer so am taking hit to bring in most likely Mendy for the BB. But in your shoes dont think its worth a hit since you have a playing gk.

  10. b91jh
    • 4 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Initial bench:
    Button/Raphinha/KWP/DCL

    New bench to BB: (-8)
    Johnstone/Raphinha/Cancelo or Stones/Antonio

    Go or no?

  11. RogerC
    • 12 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Would you BB if you have a bench of Bamford, Saiss and Dier + 11 dgw players?

    1. Tonyawesome69
      • 2 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Borderline. Since you have a playing bench GK with two games then I would prob BB

  12. swobe
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    OUT: DCL + Raphi + C.Taylor

    IN: a) Antonio + Soucek + Cancelo
    b) Antonio + Foden + Coufal

    1. Elly88 > KTR (Kevin The …
      • 9 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      A.
      Soucek plays all games and City almost guaranteed of cleanies

      1. kusasi
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        A

  13. Iceball
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Do you think its likely some DGW between 20-22? Will probably WC in GW 23, or 24.
    Would like a gk who has possible DGW very soon but probably it wont be?
    So for short term and this weeks BB
    A) Mendy
    B) Martinez (who might have covid?)
    C) Fulham or WBA feels very mehh, but money not issue for that short term.
    Was thinking Fabianski when I saw I already have 3xWHM when I bring Antonio in.

    1. Ponduskongen
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 12 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Both Mendy and Martinez are soild picks, Mendy has the best fixtures forward.
      Would avoid Fulham and West Brom, if possible.

  14. Dont_Win_Friends_With_Salah…
    • 3 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    I'm playing BB simply because I have no ideadea who to play and who to bench. Sensible?

    Martinez
    Dias Robbo AWB
    Bruno Son Grealish Foden
    Antonio Kane

    Mccarthy Son Holding Bamford

  15. Ponduskongen
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 12 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Think i will do a -4 for the following transfers:

    Son -> KDB
    DCL -> Antonio

    0,0 left in the bank afterwards, so it feels like it meant to be.

    1. Iceball
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Sure, go fo it 4 games instead of 2 games. What do you think of my goalkeeper dilemma above?

      1. Iceball
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        actually 1 game since DCL not just injured but also has a blank anyway 🙂

  16. Seamy
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    I enjoyed that article

    1. ted mcnure
      • 10 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      I´ll read it later...

    2. Ain't No Holebas Girl
      • 3 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      I feel like eating marshmallows now

  17. Alisson WondHaaland
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Would you bench boost this?

    Johnstone
    Robbo Chilwell Coufal Stones
    Bruno Salah KDB Bowen
    Antonio Watkins

    Mccarthy Bamford Alioski Bissouma

    Would need a -8 to get there

    1. Seamy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Depends on who is involved in the -8.
      If they are good long term picks yes. If not no

      1. Alisson WondHaaland
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        KDB, Antonio, Stones are the 3 coming in

    2. Iceball
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      No, wouldnt take that many hit for just SGW players.

    3. Cojones of Destiny
      • 3 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      no

    4. claretparrot
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      No way for a -8

  18. Cojones of Destiny
    • 3 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    which combo score more:?
    a. Dawson, Coufal, Kane
    b. Robbo, Creswell, Antonio

    1. Cojones of Destiny
      • 3 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      also a) Stones, b) Cancelo

  19. Nespinha
    • 5 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Going Son to KDB and...

    A) Adams --- Antonio (-4)
    B) Adams + Taylor --- Antonio + Coufal (-8)
    C) Taylor --- Stones (-4)
    D) Adams + Taylor --- Brewster + Cancelo (-8)

    1. Kuzser
      • 4 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      A or C

  20. ViperStripes
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 12 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    a) Play Watkins (bench Bamford)
    b) Play Bamford (bench Watkins)
    c) or use a transfer on Watkins to e.g. Antonio, Martial, Cavani, Jesus (max 9.1 so Vardy isn't an option)

    1. Westfield Irons ⭐️
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      d) find a way to play both

  21. Feed tha Sheep
    • 9 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    How many mins do we expect Maddison to play over DGW?

  22. Kuzser
    • 4 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Which combo you would prefer as a part of BB?

    1) Antonio - Sterling - Lookman - Dier for -4
    2) Antonio - Sterling - Saka - Shaw/4.8def for -4
    3) Brewster- Salah - Souchek -Dier for -8
    4) Brewster - Salah - ASR/Rice - Cancelo/Chilwell for -8

    Current Team is:
    Johnstone - Martinez
    Dallas*- Stones - Coufal - Justin - Dier
    Son - KdB - Bruno - Stelring -Saka
    Laca - Bamford - Brewster

    1. Kuzser
      • 4 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      option 3 with -4 too

  23. umerlfc
    • 5 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Which optiona brings more points this week?

    A) KDB + Vardy + 4 points
    B) Martinez + Dallas + Maddison + Wood + Bamford

  24. Van der Faart
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Heung Min Son scores this year when hes had net transfers out;

    GW2: 24
    GW4: 18
    GW9: 10
    GW11: 13
    GW13: 9
    GW15: 3
    GW17: 13

    Punishing sellers all the time.

    1. Seamy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Nice stat

    2. drughi
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      sheffield is terrible so a haul is very possible

      1. Guru Mediation
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Attacking wise yes, defending wise they're not. People are forgetting that Son (and spurs) have been in bad form for a few weeks now. The Leeds haul was an anomaly based on their determination to give the ball away in their own half.
        I'd be more worried selling Kane, but will be selling both anyway.....pride before the fall 🙂

    3. Tonyawesome69
      • 2 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      What about his points when he plays against a team with a low block 5ATB?

    4. Super Saints
      • 5 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      I sold him for Bruno GW2, ouch! Never selling again

  25. ViperStripes
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 12 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Which Single GW player are people most likely to regret transferring out or benching for a DGW.....?

    My money is on Bamford

    1. Seamy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      I'm fully braced to be punished by the Spurs attackers

    2. ThisTimeNxtYrRodney
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Bamford or son for me.

    3. Van der Faart
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Son, see above. Although I'm not selling.

    4. Silent Hunter
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Dilemma to play Bamford or Wilson 🙁

  26. Old Gregg
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    What move please?

    a) Wilson > Antonio
    b) son + (Burke) > Pulisic/Ziyech + Soucek (-4)
    c) son + Wilson > Soucek + Vardy/Werner (-4)

  27. Tsparkes10
    • 3 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    BB? Johnstone, Lowton, Raph, Dallas?

    1. umerlfc
      • 5 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Borderline
      Might just

  28. Silent Hunter
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Martinez
    Robertson, Cancelo, Dias, Coufal
    Salah, KDB, Bruno, Son, Saucek
    Wilson

    Sub: Steer, Bamford, Mitchell, Brewster

    1) Play Wilson or Bamford?
    2) TC Salah or KDB?

    1. umerlfc
      • 5 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Wilson and KDB

  29. Elly88 > KTR (Kevin The …
    • 9 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    RMT (with bench boost)
    McCarthy
    Stones Cancelo Dias
    Salah Soucek Bruno Grealish
    Antonio Kane Bamford

    Steer Son Konsa Dallas

    I think I am going to have too much winning that I will be bored with winning.

  30. Champ
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Any news on Fabianski guys?