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AUDL 2016: Preseason Power Rankings

The first edition of the 2016 AUDL Power Rankings is here!

The AUDL's DC Breeze v. the New York Empire
Photo by Kevin Leclaire — UltiPhotos.com

The AUDL season is days from opening pull, so we’ve got your preseason power rankings right here as the teams get set to take the field. Be sure to follow the rankings week to week on the AUDL Power Rankings page and stay tuned for continuing coverage of the league here on Ultiworld.

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1. Dallas Roughnecks

The Roughnecks have both immense star power and depth, and will show up regularly on the highlight reel. They’re the obvious favorite.

2. San Francisco Flamethrowers

The FlameThrowers have many players with championship experience in club (Revolver) and the AUDL (SJ Spiders). This is probably the deepest team in the league. But if they meet Dallas in the playoffs, can they handle the elite top end of that roster?

3. Toronto Rush

Toronto won the East last year and is getting some key players back from injury (Mark Lloyd chief among them) along with some new players from Ironside.

4. Seattle Cascades

The Cascades nearly upset the Spiders last year in the Western Conference Final, and is essentially bringing back the same team. Any time those players come together they’re a championship contender.

5. DC Breeze

The Breeze are an early favorite to win 2016’s ‘most improved team’ mantle. With the core of Truck Stop aboard along with a few new players coming over from Chicago, they’re a legitimate threat to Toronto in the East.

6. Pittsburgh Thunderbirds

The Thunderbirds went toe to toe with Madison a few times last year, barely coming out on the losing end. Their new additions might put them over the top.

7. Madison Radicals

Last year the Radicals made it to the championship game, losing to San Jose by only two. They’re bringing almost everyone back, and, as we’ve seen every year, cannot be counted out of the championship conversation. But first they have to get past Pittsburgh.

8. Raleigh Flyers

The Flyers had an up and down season in 2015 but ended up winning the South. Their games against Dallas will be must see.

9. Vancouver Riptide

The Riptide are adding some serious experience which should pair well with their young talent. This team should take a big step up this year. Making the playoffs would be a big step forward.

10. New York Empire

The “faceless mob” in New York is back again this year, and has the potential to upset DC or Toronto when things are clicking.

11. Atlanta Hustle

The Hustle missed the playoffs in 2015. They look like a deeper team this year but nothing is guaranteed in a very formidable South division.

12. Jacksonville Cannons

The Cannons made the playoffs last season but, with some new teams entering the division, getting back this year would be an even more impressive accomplishment.

13. Austin Sol

Austin is new to the AUDL but brings a mix of Doublewide and young college talent to the table. They’ll be in the mix for the final South playoff spot.

14. Chicago Wildfire

Chicago may have lost some big name players but the rest of the team is still here. Even if they have a lower ceiling, the Wildfire still have the talent to be a contender in the Midwest.

15. Los Angeles Aviators

The Aviators are a high flying, athletic bunch. With some teams in the West going through roster upheavals, they’ll be looking to take advantage and step in.

16. San Jose Spiders

The defending champions won’t have the same team this year, but never underestimate the talent pool in the Bay Area. The Spiders will still be a tough out in 2016.

17. Ottawa Outlaws

The Outlaws missed the playoffs last year, but managed to go 3-0 against Montreal

18. San Diego Growlers

Losing players like Jimmy Mickle, Nick Lance, and Kurt Gibson isn’t easy. That said, San Diego still has a solid core of players and might not take as big a step back as expected.

19. Minnesota Wind Chill

The Wind Chill closed last year with a four game win streak. But to take the next step they’re going to have to start beating Chicago.

20. Indianapolis Alleycats

The AlleyCats barely missed the playoffs last year, after getting swept by Minnesota. If they want to return to the playoffs, they can’t afford to have that happen again.

21. Charlotte Express

The Express won’t likely be in the playoff conversation playing in the South. Look out for their home games, Charlotte could score a couple big upsets.

22. Montreal Royal

Montreal made the playoffs last year, but getting back is not going to be a breeze. They just don’t have the same kind of athleticism of most teams in the East.

23. Nashville Nightwatch

Last year Nashville scored a big win at home playing against Jacksonville. If other teams come into town expecting an easy out, they could suffer the same fate.

24. Cincinnati Revolution

This team came close against Indianapolis and Minnesota last year. It’s not much, but there’s hope that Cincinnati could turn those close losses into wins.

25. Detroit Mechanix

The Mechanix haven’t had a lot to be excited about during their 29 game losing streak, dating back to 2013. But with some new players and a preseason win over Pittsburgh, it looks like this might be the year that the losing streak ends.

26. Philadelphia Phoenix

Philadelphia is going through a lot of roster turnover. With Rochester folding and DC now a championship contender, it’s going to be tough just to get a win on the board this year.

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