|Player||Team||Assists||Goals||Blocks||Plus/Minus||Completions/Attempts||D-line Points Played|
*Led league in 2016
Other candidates: Greg Cohen, San Francisco FlameThrowers; Andrew Meshnick, Madison Radicals; Marcelo Sanchez, San Francisco FlameThrowers; Matthew McDonnell, DC Breeze; Nathan Champoux, Detroit Mechanix; Jacky Hau, Toronto Rush; Morgan Hibbert, Vancouver Riptide
Peter Graffy — Madison Radicals
The prototypical deep defender in the league's perennially top ranked defense, Graffy can seemingly teleport across the field to get to any disc he reads. His athleticism and timing allow him to hawk any disc out of the air, but Graffy does not get enough credit for attacking the disc the moment he lays eyes on it.
Anson Reppermund — Pittsburgh Thunderbirds
In his second year as a pro, Reppermund honed his field awareness evolved into one of the most impactful defenders. He is best help defender in the Midwest if not the entire league, and is a master at positioning his lanky frame in between the disc and his opponent and swatting it into the next county.
Ryan Drost — New York Empire
One of the most consistent defenders over the past three season in the league, Drost can guard anyone but excels in open field matchups. He has the speed to keep up with anybody, and his aggressive pursuit coupled with instinctual positioning skills make him stubbornly immovable when he's ready to make a play.
Matt Jackson — Dallas Roughnecks
There might not be a player in the league that logged more miles running this season than Jackson, as he hounded after opponents step for step throughout the 2016 campaign. Although his blocks numbers aren't as high as some of the other members on this list, Jackson's ability to pressure almost every throw and catch made him indispensable in Dallas' blitzing defenses.
Dan Emmons — Dallas Roughnecks
The perfect complement to his teammate Jackson, "Danimal" lived up to his intimidating moniker by acting as the deep field canopy to prevent opponents' hucks. His 6'5" physique makes him an ideal defender for patrolling deep space, but really it's his foot speed that allows him to anchor the Roughnecks' top three defense.
Michael Matthis — Austin Sol
At his size, you wouldn't think Matthis to be much of threat in the open field, but his springy hops and blazing quickness allow Austin's defensive captain to make astounding plays on the regular. In just his first season as a pro, Matthis demonstrated a veteran's ability to poach lanes and disrupt passes, while also shutting down the skies if someone made the mistake of lofting a pass in his area code.
Jeff Silverman — Los Angeles Aviators
There isn't much depth to Silverman's game beyond his defense, but it doesn't really matter because of how good he is at his specialty. Pound for pound, Silverman might be the best defender in the entire league. He can cover so much ground so quickly that there is really no way to anticipate when or where he is coming from to get the block.