FPL 2021/22: Gameweek 11 – Captaincy Options

Alric Fernandes
By Alric Fernandes
6 Min Read

Following an exhilarating week of European football, the Premier League returns for gameweek 11 before we move into the final international break of the season. Last weekend provided much food for thought, with several proven differentials ending their favourable fixture run with a disappointing game week.

Mohamed Salah (£12.9mn) returned on yet another weekend, while Cristiano Ronaldo (£12.4mn) rose to the occasion, producing his second double-digit haul of the season. Amongst the high-value differentials, Conor Gallagher (£5.7mn) and Emile Smith-Rowe (£5.6mn) emerged as tempting assets amongst midfielders while Reece James (£5.8mn) continued with his remarkable form, asserting himself as the stand-out performer, having produced 21-points in gameweek 10.

Now, with managerial changes and an upturn in fixtures for several underperforming and underrated assets, Fantasy Premier League GW11 offers managers a unique opportunity to prepare for a relentless set of fixtures following the international break. Given the reliance on captaincy returns this season to keep up with the ranks, in this article, we shortlist three assets most likely to produce a decent return this weekend.

Emile Smith-Rowe (£5.6M) [WAT, (H)]

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Undeniably, amongst the Gunners’ most refreshing performers hitherto, Smith-Rowe has been increasingly impressive, having consistently delivered in key fixtures this season. Following Arsenal’s ignominious start to the campaign, the young midfielder has cemented himself as a valuable part of the starting line-up, having already recorded five goals contributions this season.

A noteworthy performance against Tottenham Hotspur piqued the interest of several FPL managers, and the midfielder has since gone on to register two goals and an assist in four league fixtures this season. Smith-Rowe has already registered two double-digit hauls, and started in nine of the first ten game-weeks, in the ongoing campaign. Moreover, he has performed a vital role in contributing to Arsenal’s nine-game unbeaten streak across all competitions this season.

Although not a harbinger for underlying statistics, Smith-Rowe is amongst Arsenal’s most vital cog in the team’s attacking build-up devised by the manager, Mikel Arteta. With a tricky set of fixtures after the international break, the weekend offers managers a unique opportunity to take a punt on the armband with Smith-Rowe, as Arsenal host defensively vulnerable Watford side at the Emirates on Sunday.

Reece James (£5.8M) [BUR, (H)]

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Amongst Chelsea’s most in-form players this season, James continues living up to expectations, having delivered consecutive double-digit hauls in the lead up to game-week 11. In addition to his defensive contribution, the 21-year-old is amongst the team’s most potent threats in the attacking third, having already registered six-goal contributions whilst keeping three clean sheets this season.

Currently leading the charts (56 pts.) for points scored by defenders, James has produced a double-digit in each of his last two starts this season. The right-back produced a noteworthy performance in Chelsea’s emphatic 7-0 thumping of Norwich City and followed it up by another impressive display, scoring two against a compact Newcastle United side last weekend. The right-back only ranks second to Mason Mount (£7.6mn) for expected assists (0.38xA) amongst his teammates this season.

With a favourable set of fixtures until the turn of the year, James certainly possesses the potential to emerge as the game’s highest-scoring defender for the first half of the ongoing campaign. Facing a traditional Burnley set-up this weekend, the right-back will be raring to deliver before he heads for international duty with England next week.

Harry Kane (£12.1M) [EVE, (A)]

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Undeniably, the most underperforming premium asset this season, Kane has been a shadow of himself after a potential move to Manchester City broke down during the transfer window. Now, with Nuno Espirito Santo relieved of his duties and Antonio Conte appointed as the new manager, Kane is likely to rise in popularity at the behest of the Italian tactician.

While Spurs have failed to overwhelm their opponents this season, the appointment of Conte signals a change in direction for the remainder of the season. The Italian has already earmarked Kane as being his foremost goal-scorer and is the likeliest to help the Englishman redeem himself after a poor start to the campaign.

Kane has only managed to register two goal contributions, returning in only one game-week in the ongoing campaign. However, with a refreshing change in management, many are banking on the Italian to get the best out of Kane’s abilities going deeper into the campaign. Facing an Everton side struggling to keep clean sheets, the weekend’s encounter offers a perfect opportunity for the striker to kick-start his season before heading into the final international break.

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