2016 Week 15 Power Rankings

Rankings Archive

Rank Team Record Trend Comment

1

14-0 - Dallas finishes their first season as a franchise by being league leaders in both goals (399; 28.5 per game) and blocks (255; 18.2 per game), while ranking second in goals allowed (267; 19.1). Heading into the postseason, the Roughnecks have no discernible weak links—in strategy of personnel—and they force teams to execute at a level that is grueling. And in just nine games this season, Mickle collected a team-best 47 assists to go along with 24 goals and 17 blocks.

2

14-0 - For the third straight season, the Radicals finish the regular season with the fewest goals allowed (231; 16.5 per game) in the AUDL, including 11 games where they surrendered 20 or fewer; they had 11 such games last year, and 12 in 2014. Graffy finishes as the league leader in blocks with 41. No other player has reached 40 in a season in the league's five-year history, and now Graffy has done it twice.

3

11-3 - The FlameThrowers are the only team in the West to qualify for the playoffs in all three seasons of the division's existence, and the only West team to average 10 wins during the regular season. All that being said, SF is just 2-2 in 2016 against the other two West playoff teams (SEA and LA). And before this past weekend's 27-20 victory over the Spiders, you'd have to go back two months (eight games) to find their last significant margin of victory (+7, also against SJ).

4

12-2 - He's a bit one dimensional, but veteran speedster Armitage just wrapped up his fourth straight year with 35+ goals on the season, leading Toronto with 40 in 2016. The term "track speed" is thrown around a lot casually, but Armitage can back up that claim with a national-team gold medal from his college days. Much is made of "when athletes join the sport of ultimate", but Armitage is solid proof of what that future already looks like: fast.

5

9-5 - With 60 assists and 40 goals, Burton just completed one of the best offensive seasons in league history. His athleticism and aggressive looks with the disc are a big part of his production, but really it's Burton's hands that make him a superstar. He has just two drops on the season, and his ability to quickly control the disc and fire passes in rhythm is unparalleled. His hair-trigger releases off of under cuts give defenders almost no ability to react once Burton has the disc.

6

10-4 +1 By the time the Breeze retake the field tomorrow night for their home playoff game against New York, it will have been almost a month since DC was last active (6/25 vs PHI). Rusted or rested, it will be DC's best shot to win their first playoff game in its four-year franchise history. They won their last four games of the regular season by an average margin of 8.3 goals.

7

9-5 -1 The Flyers took two hard Ls in their Texas road trip the final weekend of the regular season, but they seemed to be coasting a bit knowing they would be locked into the number two spot, win or lose. Allen (41ast, 43gls) is the first AUDL player ever to follow a 50ast/50gls season with a 40ast/40gls one, while Richardson (18blks) lead the team in blocks for a second straight year.

8

9-5 - The hottest team in the West, the Aviators closed out their regular season schedule with six straight wins, including outright victories against both San Francisco and Seattle. Elbogen and Nguyen each have 26 goals during the team's win streak, but a large portion of that success is due to the efficiency of their defensive attack. LA is converting 55 percent of their break opportunities into scores over their last six games, a rate that would be the league high for a full season.

9

7-7 - Even though the Empire tied for the fewest amount of wins for a playoff team in league history, it feels like they have an extra gear to engage heading into the postseason. They've lost all their matchups against DC and Toronto this season (0-6), but at this point that record doesn't matter and actually seems to benefit New York as far as motivation.

10

10-4 - After looking wayward in the middle of the season, Pittsburgh closed 2016 by winning four of five, reaching 10+ wins for the second straight season, and again finishing as a top 10 team in both scoring offense (25.4 goals per game) and defense (21.1 goals per game against) in the league. The Thunderbirds have flown well beneath their ceiling all year, but have slowly been looking more and more like a legit challenger to Madison.

11

7-7 - The Hustle needed a big game from MVP-hopeful Tunnell if they were to qualify for the postseason, and he responded with a near-perfect performance of seven assists, two goals, 45 completions, and just one turnover in their playoff-clinching win against Jacksonville. Tunnell (66ast in '16) hasn't thrown fewer than four assists in a game since April. He's also one of maybe five players in the league that can reliably complete full-field hucks with either a forehand or a backhand.

12

7-7 - Closing the season on a 6-2 run and missing the playoffs leaves a dark cloud over Austin, especially after looking back at their 31-29 overtime home loss to the Hustle on June 18 that ultimately ruined their playoff aspirations. The Sol led 4-1 to start, and even had a 21-16 late in the third against the Hustle before eventually giving the lead away. Still, Austin ended their first campaign scoring 30+ goals in three of their final six, and started to look like a truly elite squad, especially on offense.

13

9-5 +1 The Wind Chill set a franchise record by securing their ninth win of 2016 with a 20-19 victory over Detroit while also qualifying for the playoffs. This year is also the first time no individual Wind Chill player has scored more than 45 goals or more in a season; DeClerck led the team with 30 to go alongside his 30 blocks. Spreading the disc is key to Minnesota's continued success, but leaning more heavily on playmakers like Schoenrock and Jagt in their playoff game against the Tbirds might be necessary.

14

6-8 -1 Vancouver ended 2016 about as poorly as possible for a once vaunted playoff contender, dropping three in a row and four of their last five while giving up almost 27 goals per contest during that stretch. Defense has always been this team's achilles heel, and it has led to their second straight season finishing with a sub-.500 record.

15

8-6 - With Minnesota's win and their own loss, Indy will miss the playoffs for the second straight season after qualifying in all of their first three attempts, even though 2016 was arguably their best season to date. They won their season series against both Chicago and Pittsburgh, and scored the most goals in franchise history (360).

16

7-7 +1 Lee ends the regular season as the second leading goal scorer in the league with 60, 37 of which came in just the last six games, which is roughly the same pace as Freystaetter's legendary season. During that stretch of play, Lee has scored a goal in less than one out of every four times he touches the disc. Keep in mind: Lee scored just 17 goals in 12 games a season ago.

17

5-9 +1 Ham concluded 2016 as the third leading goal scorer in the league (57) without committing a single drop. That is just mind boggling. Despite the team's decorated history, 2016 the first time in Spiders history the team has had three throwers with 40+ assists (Van Arsdale, Smith, Cao).

18

5-9 -2 Hubris is: The Cannons dropped both of their final two games after tweeting they had the "easiest" schedule to conclude their season in the South and missing the playoffs for the first time. However, they go into next season with the league's leader in assists (Sullivan, 82; 2nd most ever) and goals (Freystaetter, 95; AUDL single-season record). Jacksonville's aim has to be two-fold: eliminate the physicality in their game, and figure out a way to transmute their individual player success into wins.

19

6-8 - For the second time in three seasons as a franchise, the Royal finish 6-8 and just miss the playoffs. Quinlan (41ast, 43gls) becomes the second Montreal player in as many seasons to hit the 40/40 mark (Cabot in '15). Where the Royal suffered was on defense, as they surrendered a franchise-high 331 goals in 2016.

20

4-10 - The core of Charlotte's roster proved this season that they can hang with anyone, and if their depth can keep improving, they'll be more than just an upset threat in 2017. The youngster Fairfax (13gls, 16blks) showed in the second half of the season that he has both the height and awareness to develop into one of the best backend defenders in the division.

21

4-10 - Chicago once again put the screws to Madison, but couldn't seal the deal at home—it has now been two years since the Wildfire have beaten their northern rivals. 2016 was a transition year from the get-go, and with developing players like Stogdon, Miller, Shey, and Pardo looking better and better with each game, Chicago could have a big bounce back season in 2017.

22

3-11 +1 After most of the year was marred by missed opportunities, the NightWatch close their season on a two-game winning streak after a huge victory at home over the Cannons, scoring 30 goals for the first time in franchise history. Radcliffe essentially inverted his assists and goals totals from a season ago (28ast/46gls in '15; 45ast/32gls in '16), and leads a cast of very talented players. What Nashville needs heading into 2017 is an identity.

23

2-12 -1 After lacking bite in the first half of the season, the Growlers ended 2016 by scoring 20+ goals in their last six games. It didn't lead to increased win totals, but it does provide momentum heading into next year. Milardovich (27ast, 21gls, 27blks) led the team for a second straight season in blocks.

24

4-10 - There is not a more committed player on any given team than Hubbard. He has missed just one game in the past three seasons despite playing a majority of 2014 with a cast on his broken arm. He finished 2016 one goal shy of 50 (he had 46 goals last season, too), and notched his second straight campaign with 20+ blocks (29 in '16).

25

0-14 - Cincinnati's 0-14 record gives the Midwest a winless team in each of the last three seasons, even though they improved across the board from 2015. Last season, the team struggled to move the disc vertically. But this season, the team struggled to complete passes with consistency, finishing with a league-worst 89 percent completion rate.

26

0-14 - They didn't get a win in their Canadian road trip, and finish with their first winless season in the franchise's five-year history, but the Phoenix played their best ultimate to finish the year. There are pieces here that fit, and during the offseason with a revamped front office, maybe Philadelphia can rise again in 2017.