Kyushu 2022 Power Rankings
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As has now become traditional before each basho, here are the Fantasy Basho Power Rankings for Kyushu 2022. These are a look at how everyone is performing coming into the tournament. These are not meant to be predictive either for the whole basho or for individual matchups.
They do give us a sense of how everyone has been doing over the past year. Here is the formula for the Power Rankings.
Take the Fantasy Basho score (2 points for each win, 1 point for a kinboshi, 1 point for a Special Prize) for a tournament, adding 10 points for a yusho and 5 for a Jun-Yusho.
Add up the last five scores with a modifier. Multiply the most recent basho score by 5, the next most recent by 4, the third most recent by 3, the fourth most recent by 2, and the fifth most recent by 1.
For basho in Juryo, take the win total for that tournament and multiply by 1.5. For basho below Juryo, take the win total from that basho.
Add a bonus score, which is the budget number for that rikishi in the upcoming basho.
Here are the Power Rankings, followed by some brief commentary.
For the first time in a long time, the Yokozuna isn't the top man in the Power Rankings. Neither is an Ozeki. Sekiwake Wakatakakage stands atop these rankings. He has easily had the best year, and it's reflected in these rankings. I wouldn't call him the absolute favorite, but he's in the group of potential winners on paper. He probably is the least likely to fall flat.
Also scoring highly are Terunofuji, Takakeisho, and Tamawashi. Terunofuji is likely out for Kyushu. Tamawashi is coming off a sensational basho, but he hasn't put together multiple strong basho in awhile. That would make Takakeisho another favorite. On the other hand, he has been fighting like an Ozeki recently but not really been a serious yusho contender. Who knows quite how to evaluate them.
Unsurprisingly, with an enlarged lower Sanyaku and tough upper Maegashira, there is a tight bunching in that group. This is a very even crop of sekitori right now.
Shodai and Mitakeumi are only in okay positions in this chart because of their ranks. They fought to get there, but have not been stellar in the last few tournaments. They need a rebound in Kyushu.
Abi's zero points for Aki after sitting that tournament out obviously knock him down. That also happened on the banzuke, of course. He should do better than this ranking shows.
Ryuden also may have more. He just came back from a suspension, and he did well in September. He also gets credit for that here, so maybe he should just be viewed as a mid-Maegashira again.
Atamifuji is trailing this list alongside Azumaryu despite the great hype for him. Of course, this chart includes two Makushita basho for the youngster, and he hasn't dominated Juryo. He is probably able to stick in Makuuchi. That in itself will be a major achievement.
See you on Sunday for the sumo action.