This week with no Champions League games I decided to look deeper into a conundrum I have had since the beginning of the DFS soccer over here on Draftkings. Can we predict an assist? It’s a simple question, yet, I’m not sure that anybody has a true answer. Yes, some players are more likely to be in position to get themselves an assist over others, but can we determine when a player has reached the appropriate amount of assists that he should be getting? For this activity I decided to look into a few advanced stats for soccer. For my data, I am pulling information from fantasyfootballscout.co.uk.

The Chance Created

It’s a simple concept, assists + Key passes = chances created. A key pass is a pass that leads to a teammate with a direct opportunity to score. This statistic allows you to take into account a players unique ability to put his teammate in position to score, and while the teammate may botch the attempt or score the goal, it bears no relevance on whether the passer made a good pass or not. On a case-by-case basis, it could be possible to determine if a player is on the verge of scoring a goal.

On the season so far, here are the top 10 players in terms of their Chances Created and their assist totals

Player NameTeamTime PlayedChances CreatedAssists
Cesc FabregasChelsea12114310
Dusan TadicSouthampton1163406
Stewart DowningWest Ham 1137374
Gylfi SigurdssonSwansea1131328
Angel Di MariaManchester United872316
Raheem SterlingLiverpool1152313
Leighton BainesEverton1144306
Alexis SanchezArsenal1019302
Eden HazardChelsea1166301
Jesus NavasManchester City775274

It is clear that these are all very active players that have been suggested and rostered by plenty of players throughout the season. There are some things that stand out though:

-Alexis Sanchez has 2 assists on 30 chances created. Sanchez has been a great goal scorer this season so far, and nobody would mistake him for a chance creator, however given that assist per chance created ratio, I wouldn’t be at fault for believing that an assist is on the horizon for the Arsenal striker.

-Cesc Fabregas and Eden Hazard play alternating roles in the potent Chelsea offense, and while Fabregas has 10 assists to Hazard’s one, I suspect the trend will shift soon to reflect the relative chances created for both players. In the future, if given the option between Hazard and Fabregas, I’m going with Hazard as he’s got the more potential for an assist moving forward


The top 25 players in the chances created list have an average assist per chance created ratio of 11.3%, given that number, there are a few players that stand out as more likely to move up or down in their ratio in the coming weeks. The following players have a higher than normal assist-per-Chance created ratio

Player NameTeamAssistsChances CreatedAssist per Chance Created
Gylfi SigurdssonSwansea83225%
Cesc FabregasChelsea104323.2%
Leighton BainesEverton63020%
Angel Di MariaManchester United63119.35%
Erik LamelaTottenham42317.39%

 

And here are the lower than normal Assist-per-Chance-Created  ratio players

 

Player NameTeamChances CreatedAssistsAssist per Chance Created
Christian EriksenTottenham2500%
Alex Oxlade-ChamberlainArsenal2000%
Eden HazardChelsea3013.33%
Steven GerrardLiverpool2713.7%
Aaron RamseyArsenal2314.3%

 

The obvious conclusions from this are that guys like Gylfi and Fabregas might be due for a correction, while guys like Eriksen and the Ox are set up nicely for an assist or two in the coming weeks. It will be interesting to see how the following few matchdays play out given this piece of information.