It is widely accepted that a player who takes corner kicks is worth more than a player who does not (all things being equal). But how many fantasy points is being on corner kicks worth on average?
To answer this question, one must understand the different ways a player can earn fantasy points on a corner kick attempt, the values of these different statistical categories, and their average frequency of occurrence in a game.
Four ways a player can earn points from taking a corner kick:
1) Completed Crosses (1 point per 3 crosses)
2) Key Passes (1 point per 3 passes)
3) Big Chances Created (1 point per 1 chance)
4) Assists (3 points per 1 assist)
Historical corner kick statistics:
For most professional soccer leagues around the world, there are roughly between 5 and 5.5 corner kicks per game for each team. 20-30% of these result in completed crosses. 15-25% of these result in key passes. Only between 2.5% to 1.5% result in assists by the corner kick taker. There aren’t many statistics out there on Big Chances Created, but a good guess would be about the same number as there are assists.
Per each game, the math works out as follows:
5.25 Corner Kicks X .25 Completed Cross % = 1.31 Completed Crosses
1.31 Completed Crosses X .17 bonus points per Cross = .22 points
5.25 Corner Kicks X .20 Key Pass % = 1.1 Key Passes
1.1 Key Passes X .17 bonus points per Key Pass = .18 points
5.25 Corner Kicks X .02 Assist % = 0.11 Assists
0.11 Assists X 3 points per Assist = .32 points
5.25 Corner Kicks X .015 BCC % = 0.08 Big Chances Created
0.08 Big Chances Created X 1 point per BCC = .08 points
0.22 points for completed crosses per game
0.18 points for key passes per game
0.32 points for assists per game
0.08 points for big chances created per game
0.80 expected fantasy points per game or .15 per corner kick
Let’s look at four random corner kick takers this year.
Sometimes, a team has few corners in a game. Felipe only had 2 corner kick attempts in the entire game, so he failed to earn any bonus points from them.
This is another example of how being on corners might not increase a player’s score in an individual game. Nani had 4 corner kick opportunities and only generated two completed crosses and one shot attempt from them. He missed out on earning a bonus point by a single completed cross.
Even if a player does not get an assist off a corner, it can help him generate several bonus points. In 10 corner kick attempts, Johnny Russell got three completed crosses off corners, earning him a bonus point. Russell also had 2 key passes off of corner kicks, in addition to another key pass during the run of play. This helped him earn an additional bonus point.
A player can generate as many as 4 points in a single corner kick attempt. Michael Barrios had 4 corner kick attempts, but only one generated a shot, which was scored by Ryan Hollingshead. Barrios also earned an extra point since it was judged to be a Big Chance Created. However he did not get any bonus points in this game.
So in the four random games two players gained zero extra points, one player gained one extra point, and another gained four extra points. So in the 20 corner kicks that were taken, 5 points were earned directly from them. 0.25 points per corner kick (slightly more than the estimated 0.15) or 1.25 points per game (again slightly more than the estimated 0.80). Obviously this is quite a small sample size, but it shows that the estimate is at least within the ballpark. One assist in four games is more than average, so this would be expected to be higher than normal.
Another aspect to factor in is that players on more dominant teams will probably get more than 0.8 per game, while being on corner kicks would be slightly less value for players on bad teams.