My name is Darryl and I am a football addict. If you are reading this, the odds are that you might be one too. In addition to consuming all five live Premier League games that usually air on the local and cable tv networks, I am still able to feed this monster healthy servings of La Liga, Serie A and Bundesliga matches, along with the weekly Red Bulls game. That's a lot of hours. Addictions aren’t easy!
But over the first two weeks of the season I've barely been able to view three games (Match Of The Day to the rescue), and with that it would be fair for you to conclude that these past 14 days have been an excruciating nightmare for me. Wrong! The last two weeks have been absolutely incredible!
It started on the weekend of August 11 in London, England, the first stop on my vacation tour. I found myself inside the infamous Emirates Stadium where I witnessed Arsenal's spectacular opening day comeback in a seven goal thriller. A couple days later, the tour took a turn to Cataluyna, where yours truly sat center section of the magnificent Camp Nou to feast my eyes on other worldly quality of the first leg of the Spanish Supercup. Words do not do justice to the experience but these events went above and beyond my footy fix requirements for the month.
There was a terrorist attack in Barcelona on my birthday, at the Placa De Catalunya where I stood three days earlier. I'm thankful to be alive.
To cap off this surreal vacation, I attended renowned reggae music festival Rototom Sunsplash where I was able to connect with music enthusiasts from around the globe and revel in a palpable vibe of "peace and love".
Cherry on the ice cream sundae: my FPL fantasy team amassing a total of 124 points over the first two game weeks. Imagine my pleasant surprise as a proven notoriously slow starter and extremely strong finisher.
Confessions aside, I'm heading into game week three on a major high. This is what a brilliant vacation and the best FPL start I've had in ages can do.
Ahh. Let's move on to my picks, which are a reflection of my current good spirits. What's a meaningful life without taking any risks? I've given chances to several players who have underperformed, and I've spread the love around by limiting my attacking player selections to no more than one from any given team.
Wayne Hennessey (£4.5, Crystal Palace v. Swansea)
I know what you're thinking, they haven't registered a clean sheet for the season. Hello toothless Swansea!
Jonas Lossl (£4.5, Huddersfield v. Southampton)
Two games, two clean sheets. The step up to the Premier is overrated, isn't it? The Dane will be looking for three in a row.
Hugo Lloris (£5.5, Tottenham Hotspur v. Burnley)
With his cataclysmic error last week, the inclusion of Lloris on my list of top picks would suggest that I inhaled copious amounts of second hand marijuana smoke while frolicking at the Rototom music festival.....and you would be correct.
Mishap aside, a keeper of his pedigree will be out to redeem himself and with the mood I'm in, I'll vote to give him that second chance.
Miguel Britos (£4.5, Watford v. Brighton)
Brighton come to Vicarage Road without a single goal in their opening two fixtures.
Antonio Valencia (£6.5, Manchester United v. Leicester)
The team is rolling, the assists will come. Stay the course.
Marcos Alonso (£7.0, Chelsea v. Everton)
The second-most transferred in defender this week after his 16 point performance against Spurs. The mental fortitude of Everton's Mason Holgate will surely be stretched to its limits contemplating this match-up.
Ahmed Hegazi (£4.7, West Brom v. Stoke)
Number one for defensive transfers in this week, the prospect of solid returns look good for the 20% of managers who own him.
Vincent Kompany (£6.0, Manchester City at Bournemouth)
City has numerous set piece opportunities each game, the Belgian always has a chance of converting. Good clean sheet shout as well.
Kevin De Bruyne (£10.0, Manchester City at Bournemouth)
My pick for player of the season. Sold by thousands but this is where he gets it going.
Matt Ritchie (£6.0, Newcastle v. West Ham United)
Another midfield asset who is yet to come good. Facing a West Ham team who have conceded seven thus far, the time is now for Ritchie. Failure in this game is almost certain to book him a one way ticket to FPL oblivion. That there are so many cheap midfield options producing points does not help his case either.
Richarlison (£6.0, Watford v. Brighton)
One goal and one assist for the new boy in the opening two weeks. With Brighton coming to town nursing questions of whether they even belong at this level, Richarlison will be sent onto the field with a clear message to go at them early and often.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan (£8.2, Manchester United v. Leicester City)
Four assists thus far join many highlights featuring defenders scrambling in panic with futile attempts to contain the Armenian's assaults. Mkhitaryan is showing major improvement on his second season at Old Trafford and shows no signs of slowing down.
Willian (£7.1, Chelsea v. Everton)
Employed against Tottenham in the second striker role and shined brightly.
Mesut Ozil (£9.5, Arsenal at Liverpool)
I see you rolling your eyes, but a week ago I saw the Wailers perform Redemption Song. This is the German's turn. After being whipped in the press by former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, the stage is set for gargantuan response. Alexis Sanchez may also show up this weekend. What better asset to provide Ozil with an outlet to convert all the chances he creates?
Christian Benteke (£7.9, Crystal Palace v. Swansea City)
Continuing the theme of selecting players desperate to find form, Benteke should get off the mark against a Swansea team possibly on the way to the championship.
Steve Mounie (£6.1, Huddersfield v. Southampton)
No goals last week but a lively follow up to his week one double suggests there's more to come. Production here can solidify him as cheap third striker option for those planning an international break wildcard that may include Lukaku and Kane.
Harry Kane (£12.5, Tottenham Hotspur v. Burnley)
No goals in August, ever! Give him the captain's armband and walk away. Do it! Be bold.
Chicharito (£7.1, West Ham United at Newcastle)
Transfer choice of over 380,000 this week, facing a Newcastle team that seems on the brink of turmoil. I'm very apprehensive about not owning the former Leverkusen goal poacher extraordinaire.
Romelu Lukaku (£11.7, Manchester United v. Leicester)
Don't go crazy in the comments friends, I know I told you no more than one attacking player per team. That was before Zlatan Ibrahimovic today announced he will be back at Manchester United and stole headlines. Who do you think is going to want to reclaim the back pages and remind everybody there's a new sheriff in town?
So was I in too good a mood, are you appalled by some of the names included or do you believe the best is about to come from those who have not yet lived up to their expectations?