Fantasy Basho Haru 2021 is Live!
The Banzuke is out and we are live on Fantasizr. Join a league or start your own now: https://www.fantasizr.com/sport/fantasy-basho-haru-2021
Below is this tournament's Banzuke, with the Fantasy Basho value. Remember, you have a budget of 50 to pick four rikishi each day.
The Haru 2021 Banzuke has two notable features. The first is that the myriad rikishi who missed the Hatsu basho because of COVID restrictions kept their January ranks. This has made some other rikishi have unexpectedly lenient or harsh ranking moves. For example, Endo and Okinoumi stay at Maegashira 5 despite 7-8 records last time out. Tochinoshin, meanwhile, fell just three ranks despite a 4-11 record. Tokushoryu, on the other hand, fell out of Makuuchi from Maegashira 8. His 3-12 record was bad, but that's a huge slide.
The second notable element of the Banzuke is that January Yusho winner Daieisho is a third Komusubi. An extra Sanyaku slot is always worth mentioning, but this one is striking for another reason. Going 13-2 and lifting the Emperor's Cup from Maegashira 1 is usually worth a promotion to Sekiwake. Instead, Daieisho got the bare minimum rank promotion.
As unfair as that might be to Daieisho, vaulting him to Sekiwake could be seen as unfair to Takayasu and Mitakeumi. Both men went 9-6 at Komusubi. They certainly did nothing to be shoved down the Banzuke, and they too had Sekiwake worthy performances. Yet the incumbent Sekiwake, Terunofuji and Takanosho, both achieved kachi-koshi. Practically speaking, whether Daieisho is at Sekiwake or Komusubi doesn't matter. He will get the same slate of opponents and is still in the named ranks.
There are two effects of Daieisho standing at Komusubi. From the perspective of the Sumo Association, they have placed Daieisho at a rank where Ozeki promotions rarely come from. If Daieisho would like to make Ozeki, he will likely need 10+ win basho for March and May.
Then there is an effect for Fantasy Basho. Fantasy Basho is now only our daily version, with a budget for each slate of picks. The 50 maximum and subsequent player values are designed to avoid selecting only the Sanyaku. No one can pick a Yokozuna and any other Sanyaku rikishi. An Ozeki and a Sekiwake can be picked, but require picking the other two only from the lowest ranks. Even selecting two Komusubi limits other chocies. Yet for Haru, if a player wishes to select Shodai and Daieisho, that is possible. With Terunofuji and Daieisho, who both got double-digit wins in January, a player can choose from various rikishi in lower ranks.
Hatsu was odd in a number of ways, notably the cloud of a COVID outbreak threatening the entire basho and taking out whole Heya. Yet both Yokozuna were not there to put losses on the top rikishi, and the top Ozeki, Takakeisho, was clearly battling some kind of injury all basho. This made the rest of the Sanyaku succeed more than usual. For Haru, that just means any Fantasy Basho player gets a wide range of choices for the key picks.
Sumo starts on March 14th. You have until then to sign up and make your picks. Good luck!