2017 Week 14 Power Rankings

By Adam Ruffner

Rankings Archive

Rank Team Record Trend Comment

1

11-1 - Though he is a bit one dimensional in what he brings to the field, David Richardson has had an undeniable presence in the South Division for the Flyers since their first game. For the third consecutive season he is leading the team in blocks, despite missing two games in 2017. He is two blocks shy of averaging 20 per season since 2015, by far the only player in the South to consistently produce such disruption. In a division full of bigs, Raleigh's may prove to be the difference maker in making it to Championship Weekend in Montreal.

2

10-2 - Five different Roughnecks—Dalton Smith (34), Jimmy Mickle (34), Abe Coffin (33), Chris Mazur (31), and Dylan Freechild (30)—have thrown 30+ assists this season, with Brandon Malecek (28) and Matt Bennett (23) within distance of joining the club with two games remaining. Last year's team had just three such players. As a result of Dallas' attack becoming more handler-driven than in 2016, the team is more dangerous with the disc, for better and for worse. They've decreased their team completion percentage by an entire percentage point, but also reduced the number of completions it takes for them to score from 11.3 in 2016 to just 0.9 in 2017.

3

8-3 - The Rush squad that will face the Royal tomorrow night in Toronto will not be the same one that lost to Montreal 22-19 the last time these two teams met at Varsity Stadium on April 29. Andrew Carroll was not at that matchup, and has since thrown 16 assists and caught 24 goals in his last six games. When he's on the field, the Rush offense is visibly more fluid, with Carroll's speed, tempo, and suddenly dangerous disc skills providing yet another weapon for an already skilled unit to utilize.

4

10-2 +2 After trailing Minnesota in the standings since their Week 5 defeat to the Wind Chill, the perennial division champions finally regained their foothold atop the Midwest with a 21-13 drubbing in Madison on Saturday night. The Radicals failed to claim the 2013 divisional crown—Chicago earned that honor in the inaugural season for the two teams in the Midwest—but since the beginning the 2014 season, the Radicals were either tied for first or held it incontrovertibly for nearly three entire seasons before the Wind Chill displaced them for the past nine weeks of play.

5

8-3 - With the absence of Nick Stuart and Matt Rehder from Seattle's roster in the West, and the season-ending injury to LA's Mark Elbogen, the Spiders may have the best, big downfield threat in the division in Jackson Stearns. Through 10 games in 2017 the second year cutter is averaging 4.4 goals per game to go along with his 19 assists while routinely drawing the toughest defensive matchups from opponents. Stearns plays with a chip on his shoulder, and seems to relish facing the best the West has to offer; he has 34 goals in seven games against teams with winning records.

6

9-4 +1 DC is still another two weeks out from their final game of the season in Philadelphia, but a lot can happen in between now and then in the East Division for the Breeze's benefit. If the Royal beat the Rush tomorrow, and DC takes care of business on the road against the Phoenix (not a given), the Breeze could have a chance at a number one seed in the playoffs—the first time ever a non-Toronto team claimed that position. However, if Montreal wins tomorrow and then wins again against Ottawa on July 23, it would be the Royal that claim first in the East, and DC would be in the same number two seed standing it sits in now. I'm already sweating and I'm not even playing in these games.

7

8-2 -3 For the third time in four games, the Wind Chill got off to a slow start, but this time it led to their demise and a season-low 13 goals in Madison. Minnesota is in the bottom third of the league in passes per score at 12.6 per successful drive, and has scored more than 23 goals just once in their last seven games. The defense has averaged a robust 15 blocks per game over that stretch, but the team as a whole is completing just 91 percent of their throws.

8

7-4 - The Aviators square off against the Growlers in San Diego tomorrow night in a crucial matchup for determining the West playoff race, but LA will be without their most productive player in matchups with their rival. In two games against the Growlers this season, Mark Elbogen has a ridiculous 7 assists and 14 goals. Eric Lissner seems like the odds on favorite to fill the production gap, but it might be time for Michael Kiyoi to reach his offensive potential again. The former AUDL champion missed the entire 2015 season with an injury before playing solid minutes for the Aviators D-line last season. But in the last month of play, Kiyoi has slowly but surely become a more central component of LA's smooth offensive play.

9

7-4 - The FlameThrowers are the midst of nearly a month-long bye before they retake the field at home on July 15 to face the Cascades. The FlameThrowers remain the most potent team on paper, but much like last season's hopes, it remains to be seen whether this group can coalesce in time to qualify for their first final four in franchise history. Part of that has to do with commitment: Only Antoine Davis and Marcelo Sanchez have played in all 11 games this season for San Francisco.

10

8-4 +1 The Royal once again received a complete team effort in their 29-20 win at home over the Empire to secure their first playoff berth since 2015, but none was more impressive than Steven Bonneau's throwing performance. In his first season with Montreal, Bonneau leads the team in both assists (41) and completions (355), throwing a season-high seven last Saturday. What Bonneau lacks in height and length he more than makes up for in quickness, power, and field IQ, often dictating the rhythm of the Royal offense with quick give-and-go plays that set him up in power position.

11

7-4 -1 The Cannons square off tonight against the Roughnecks in Dallas tonight in a sneakily important game in the South. The last time the Cannons faced the Roughnecks, Jacksonville handed Dallas their first loss in franchise history, improving to 5-1 with a 25.5 goals per game average, while ostensibly sharing first place in the South Division with Raleigh. Since then, the Cannons have dropped three of their last five—all to the Flyers—averaging just 21.8 goals per game. Jordan Huston has been incredibly effective, averaging five goals per game during that stretch. But the absence of Jeremy Langdon, who has played just two games in the past five, has been noticeable for Jacksonville's offense.

12

5-6 +1 The Growlers will disqualify themselves for a third straight season from the playoffs if they lose tomorrow night's game against the Aviators in San Diego. In order to stay in the hunt for their first postseason appearance, the team will need to tap into their defensive intensity that carried them to a four-game winning streak while averaging 12 blocks per game from mid May to mid June. Steven Milardovich and Nate Page were particularly effective during that period, combining for 4.5 blocks per game.

13

7-4 +1 It wasn't pretty, but the Thunderbirds secured their third straight playoff appearance with back-to-back wins this past weekend thanks to a stingy defensive unit led once again by Anson Reppermund. With 27 blocks on the season, the third year defender now has 94 career blocks in 39 games. Before this season Pittsburgh was known for its offensive potency, but Reppermund and the defense have held opponents to just 50 goals in their last three games, all wins.

14

6-5 +1 The Cascades handed their rivals from Vancouver their largest defeat in franchise history with a 31-10 walloping in Seattle. Mark Burton upped his season assist total to 63 in the process, putting him number two in the AUDL overall. More impressive than the raw numbers, though,
is that Burton is throwing an assist on nearly 27 percent of his completions, while still keeping his completion rate above 93 percent.

15

4-9 +1 Atlanta finishes its season next weekend at home against Nashville with little left to prove this season. It's easy to imagine the Hustle as a playoff contender in nearly any other division, but with eight games against Dallas, Jacksonville, and Raleigh this season—Atlanta has an 0-8 record against those teams in 2017—the schedule seemed to be their biggest nemesis in returning the playoffs for a second straight season.

16

5-6 -4 Though the Empire salvaged a one-goal victory on the road in Ottawa on Sunday, their nine-goal loss in Montreal likely sealed this season's fate for New York, as they would both need to win out their remaining games, have Toronto lose each of theirs, and defeat the Rush at home on July 23 by a six goal margin. Unless something miraculous happens, this season will be the first time in franchise history New York will miss the playoffs since their inaugural season in 2013.

18

4-8 +1 Much like last season, the Sol have begun another late season campaign towards respectability despite missing the playoffs. They've won three of their last five, with their two losses coming on the road to Atlanta and Dallas by a combined five goals. And though he's not particularly precise with the disc, Matt Bierschenk has come on strong in his last four appearances, throwing 14 assists and hauling in 14 goals, both second on the team during that stretch.

18

3-8 -1 The Phoenix have just two more games remaining in their schedule, but both are at home with the potential for major moral victories. On July 15, Philly hosts NY with a distinct chance to beat the Empire for the first time ever in Phoenix franchise history. Likewise, they have a chance to send a shockwave through the East playoff race if they can pull off another upset of DC in Philadelphia; the Phoenix won their last matchup at home against the Breeze on June 3 by a score of 22-21 thanks to Nicky Spiva's five-assist performance.

19

4-7 +1 The AlleyCats staved off their first ever losing season with their second 30-goal performance of 2017 in their win against Chicago last Saturday. Rick Gross and Cameron Brock are both averaging nearly seven scores per game, but the Indy offense has seen their productivity drop from 25.7 goals per game in 2016 to 23.4 this season. The dropoff has been largely imperceptible as the 'Cats have played much closer games this season than in year's past, but the slight uptick in throwaways has shaken some of the team's rhythm.

20

2-9 -1 Ottawa continues to play impressively for stretches at a time this season, but once again they failed to put together a complete game in their one-goal loss to the Empire on Sunday at home. Derek Alexander (38 assists) and Kinley Gee (21) have combined for over a quarter of the team's total assists in 2017, but they've played in just nine and seven games, respectively.

21

3-9 - After their impressive performances last weekend on the road in two tough road losses, Chicago now has the league leader in assists (Pawel Janas, 71) and goals (Michael Pardo, 61), with Pardo leading the Wildfire in blocks as well despite playing 78 percent of his points on offense. They have established the most dangerous two man tandem in the league, having connected on a league-high 35 scores so far in 2017. If Chicago can split one of its last two games against Madison and Indianapolis, they will be able to match last season's win total.

22

1-12 - Vancouver continues its backslide by scoring a franchise-low 10 goals in Friday's loss to Seattle, converting just 19 percent of their overall possessions into scores. Vancouver hosts its final game of the season against the FlameThrowers; the Riptide won their last matchup against SF in Vancouver by a score of 29-27 on June 4, 2016.

23

1-11 - Saturday's loss to the Thunderbirds ensured that the Mechanix won't reach last season's win total of four, and marks the fourth straight game where Detroit failed to score more than 16 goals (12.5 per game). Anthony Davis (48 goals in 11 games; third in the AUDL) could become the first player in franchise history to score more than 50 goals in a single season.

24

0-10 - Nashville continues to look like a reinvigorated team since the beginning of June, averaging nearly 22 goals per game in their last three. In particular, Carter Rae has been a bright spot for the team, ranking the NightWatch top five for assists (8), goals (5), and blocks (7) while splitting time between offense and defense.