Hatsu 2022 is Live on Fantasizr!
As 2021 comes to a close, we already have the Banzuke for the first sumo tournament of 2022. The Hatsu basho won't be starting until January 9th, but we have the rankings. that means that Fantasy Basho is also live on Fantasizr. You can join the Public League or start your own league here.
Before you get to picking your lineup, you probably want to consider who is ranked where and what their price is for this round of Fantasy Basho. Remember, while you get to pick four rikishi each and every day and can switch your lineup for all fifteen days, you must remain within the budget of 50. And here is what each rikishi will cost you:
There are additional things to consider about this Banzuke. First things first, there are seven Sanyaku wrestlers. That means the joi-jin line, the point marking the top 17 wrestlers who in theory must all face each other, is at Maegashira #5 West Chiyoshoma. However, there is the giant caveat of stablemates never facing each other except in a playoff. That means Takakeisho-Takanosho, Daieisho-Endo, and Okinoumi-Hokutofuji are prohibited matches. So a few rikishi below Chiyoshoma may see some top-ranked opponents.
The Maegashira #6's are the most interesting rank of the Banzuke anyway. On the East side, Hoshoryu is a 22 year old who has proven to already be a solid mid-Maegashira. His task in 2022 is to push to the next level. On the West side, Abi notched a career-high 12 wins last time out for a jun-yusho in his return to Makuuchi after a suspension induced drop to Makushita. Either Hoshoryu or Abi has the ability to knock off a higher-ranked rikishi, and they should get a chance or two.
In fact, the alternate options could extend to the brother set at Maegashira #8 of Hidenoumi and Tobizaru. They can't face each other, as siblings, but Hidenoumi also isn't going to face anyone in January. He will be suspended due to an investigation into illegal gambling, with reports saying he and stablemate Shiden were visiting an illegal casino. Shiden was supposed to make his Juryo debut in January. Those two are the only suspended rikishi for this reason now, but the story is still unfolding.
That does mean someone from the Juryo ranks will be facing a lower-ranked rikishi. That can help many of the people at the bottom of Makuuchi. The Maegashira #11 through #17 ranks are full of wrestlers hanging on as their career begins to fade. Sprinkled among the veterans are some interesting youngsters like Kotonowaka and especially debutants Wakamotoharu and Oho. Oho, in particular, is intriguing. He is the grandson of legendary Yokozuna Taiho and son of former Sekiwake Takatoriki. More importantly, he is just 21 years old and the youngest rikishi in the top division.
That is the news for now. More information will come between now and January 9, so stay tuned.