Power Rankings: Week 4

May 23, 2024
By Adam Ruffner

24. Detroit Mechanix (-)
Record: 0-3
Most recent result: 27-10 vs Madison (L)
Next game: May 24 at Pittsburgh

After missing last week’s 17-goal loss to Madison, Jake Felton is active this Friday at Pittsburgh. Felton showed a variety of release angles and full field power in his last start against Indy, and looks like the heir apparent to Joe Cubitt for his creativity as a passer. But we’re at 76 straight losses, and even local press is declaring Detroit the “losingest pro team In America”

23. Dallas Legion (-)
Record: 0-3
Most recent result: 18-17 vs Houston (L)
Next game: June 1 vs Carolina

Legion star Alec Wilson Holliday is second in the UFA in scores per game (7.3) and third in receiving yards (365), but is the only consistent downfield option in the Dallas offense. As a result, opposing defenses have often allowed the third-year receiver to get his fill while focusing coverage elsewhere and forcing a lot of Dallas turnovers. Only the Mechanix commit more turns per game than the Legion, and for the third consecutive season Dallas ranks bottom-five in offensive success rate. 

22. Portland Nitro (-1)
Record: 0-4
Most recent result: 18-13 at Los Angeles (L)
Next game: May 25 at Seattle

Portland dropped their fifth straight game dating back to last season with their loss in LA, and now are 3-25 as a franchise since their inception two years ago. But there’s more pop here than meets the eye, with young playmakers Felix Moren and Henry Wayte capable of running the fastbreak on offense, and David Barram one of just three throwers this season averaging at least 40 completions and two huck completions per game. 

21. Toronto Rush (-1)
Record: 0-2
Most recent result: 15-12 vs Montreal (L)
Next game: May 25 vs Pittsburgh

Toronto had 29 turnovers in their last outing and are currently second to last in huck success rate. But those aren’t the most concerning stats, no. The Rush sit dead last with a 6.9 percent break rate, which if it held for a full season would shatter the previous UFA low. 

20. Montreal Royal (-4)
Record: 1-3
Most recent result: 18-16 vs New York (L)
Next game: June 8 vs Toronto

International rookie sensation Tobe Decraene has the esteemed honor of leading the league in both total scores (29) and throwaways (19) through the first four weeks of the season. And that’s been indicative of the Royal’s start to 2024: A lot of big punches, but few have landed. Montreal has the fourth worst team completion rate, and the fifth most huck turnovers per game.  

19. Houston Havoc (-2)
Record: 2-1
Most recent result: 18-17 at Dallas (W)
Next game: May 24 vs Chicago

Houston got their second win against Dallas this season, and the Havoc currently have the illusion of holding the third and final playoff spot in the South Division. 31-year-old Jimmy Zuraw continues to have a career year as the southpaw has a slash line of 5/43/346 in assists/completions/throwing yards per game while completing over 71 percent of his deep shots. Friday night at home against the Union could be a terrific time for Houston to get their first franchise win against a playoff team. 

18. Pittsburgh Thunderbirds (+4)
Record: 1-2
Most recent result: 16-15 at Minnesota (W)
Next game: May 24 vs Detroit

No team improved their playoff stock more in the first four weeks than Pittsburgh getting a hard-fought win in Minnesota. And now with a home-and-away against two winless teams in Detroit and Toronto coming up this weekend, the Thunderbirds could be 3-2 after the dust settles in Week 5. This team currently ranks second worst in offensive efficiency, and third worst in defensive efficiency, to give you a sense of what this season has been like.  

17. Philadelphia Phoenix (+2)
Record: 0-3
Most recent result: 24-23 at DC (L)
Next game: May 24 at New York

Heartbreaking doesn’t even begin to describe Philly’s double overtime defeat in DC, especially given the historic performance from James Pollard. But for the third straight season the Phoenix are 0-3 to start their campaign, making the back nine another uphill battle with the reigning champs up next. The truly uncanny stat that likely encapsulates Philly the best is the fact that they lead the UFA in defensive conversion rate (75 percent!), but with just eight break opportunities spread across their three games, there hasn’t been enough volume to move them into the win column. This team continues to show a scintillating ceiling, but with no real results. 

16. Los Angeles Aviators (-1)
Record: 1-2
Most recent result: 18-13 vs Portland (W)
Next game: June 2 vs Seattle

It took a late game surge for the Aviators to fight off a Portland team playing its second game in as many days, but LA did secure their first win of the season. But with news of Brandon Van Deusen missing the rest of the season with a back injury, the Aviators are down one of the most prolific passers in the league. UFA assists and completions leader Pawel Janas is no stranger to an outsized workload, and is currently second in the league in throwing yards per game (435). But what made LA push deep into last year’s playoffs was their ability to attack from multiple angles on offense, and right now their flight clearance looks limited.

15. San Diego Growlers (+3)
Record: 2-2
Most recent result: 24-17 vs Portland (W)
Next game: May 25 at Salt Lake

After a tough start in Seattle in Week 1, the Growlers offense has gotten back on track in the last three games and has them looking frisky in the West Division following their seven-goal home win. Travis Dunn has multiple turnovers in three of his four starts this season, sure, but he’s also been the undeniable catalyst for big plays, and is currently tied for fourth in the UFA in scores per game (7). And after allowing 28 goals to the Cascades in their first game, the Growlers have given up just over 17 per game in their last three contests, and their D-line sits sixth in the UFA in 2024 in defensive efficiency. 

14. Indianapolis AlleyCats (-2)
Record: 1-1
Most recent result: 25-18 vs Atlanta (L)
Next game: June 1 vs Chicago

The AlleyCats new uptempo offense got clamped by the Hustle and converted on just 45 percent of their possessions. But that shouldn’t really come as much of a surprise for an Atlanta team playing in their fourth game this season against playoff competition, while Indy has just two calendar events in the first month of the season. There’s a lot of chaos brewing in the Central Division, and Indy could stand to benefit from having a back-loaded schedule and a lay of the land. 

13. Chicago Union (-)
Record: 1-1
Most recent result: 16-14 vs Minnesota (L)
Next game: May 24 at Houston

Chicago needs to split one of their two upcoming Week 5 games in Texas to avoid a tumble down the Central Division standings. The Union have given themselves little margin for error with their conservative play. In their last four games against non-Detroit teams, Chicago is averaging under 15 scores per game, all losses. John Lithio had three goals and 252 receiving yards without a turnover in his last start, and will need similar production levels for the Union to be successful on the road. 

12. Madison Radicals (+2)
Record: 2-0
Most recent result: 23-14 at Pittsburgh (W)
Next game: May 24 vs Minnesota

Tomorrow night is a total “prove it” game for a Madison team that is just 3-9 at home over the past two seasons. Yes, they’ve won their two games this season by a combined 28 goals, and are one of just four remaining unbeaten UFA teams in 2024. But with those wins coming against Pittsburgh and Detroit, the Radicals need to show up big at Breese Stevens Field before we can officially herald their return. Madison’s offense will look to be more aggressive in attacking downfield than they have been in several seasons, with Kai Marcus anchoring a much more potent deep game. 

11. Minnesota Wind Chill (-2)
Record: 2-1
Most recent result: 16-15 vs Pittsburgh (L)
Next game: May 24 at Madison

Minnesota committed 28 turnovers in their home opener loss to Pittsburgh, and like many of their mistakes, it felt like their attention was elsewhere—possibly on their big upcoming “Super Series” matchup with Madison. The offense punched in just 42 percent of their possessions, but it was the usually stout Wind Chill D-line that really underwhelmed, and registered their lowest defensive conversion rate since 2021. The Wind Chill will return a host of starters this weekend, including 2023 All Defense member and Radicals nightmare Dylan DeClerck. It’s only Week 5, but given how arduous Minnesota’s upcoming schedule is, their border battle with Madison feels like a must-win for the reigning division champs. 

10. Oakland Spiders (-1)
Record: 3-2
Most recent result: 25-19 vs Salt Lake (L)
Next game: June 7 vs Colorado

Oakland trailed by nine goals late in the second half before they trimmed the final margin to six against Salt Lake, masking a bit of a second half collapse against the Shred defensive pressure. The Spiders allowed 10 breaks in the game, and for the fourth time this season committed 21 or more turnovers. Oakland now ranks firmly in the bottom half of the league in turnovers per game, and is one of just two teams to average 20-plus per game and still have a winning record (Houston being the other). Evan Magsig has been a workhorse, and rookies Aidan Curry and Dylan Burns have bright futures ahead of them. But something is missing from the Spiders to take them to the next level. 

9. Seattle Cascades (+2)
Record: 2-2
Most recent result: 22-21 vs Oakland (L)
Next game: May 25 vs Portland

The Cascades will have a virtually full strength lineup at home this coming weekend, and could match their 25-goal output the last time they hosted Portland. And through the first four weeks of the season, no teammate throwing tandem has been as dangerous taking deep shots as Christian Foster and Derek Mourad. The two are averaging nearly four huck completions per game at an 80 percent clip, and their backhands seem specifically suited for the flight path of the new frisbee. Their ability to blow the top off of defenses unlocks the true powers of Zeppelin Raunig, Garrett Martin, and Khalif El-Salaam as receivers downfield, giving the ‘Scades one of the most high potential offenses in the UFA.

8. Colorado Summit (-3)
Record: 1-1
Most recent result: 20-15 vs Salt Lake (L)
Next game: May 31 vs Atlanta

Colorado has now dropped three in a row to rival Salt Lake after their five-goal defeat in Week 4 at home. And once again, offensive inconsistency (33 percent O-line success rate) and too many turnovers (23) made the game feel out of reach throughout the second half. Alex Atkins and Noah Coolman are undoubtedly electric playmakers, and they are averaging a combined 12 scores and over 1,200 yards of total offense per game. But both have completed a woeful 89 percent of their passes in 2024, and they combined for 12 turnovers against the Shred. The Summit are as talented as any team above them on this list, but their in-game variance also exceeds many of their peers.

7. Boston Glory (+1)
Record: 3-2
Most recent result: 17-15 vs New York (L)
Next game: May 31 at New York

The Boston broadcast mentioned in the pregame that Jeff Babbitt would take the matchup against his former team “like any other game”, and then the big man proceeded to rack up five goals, 441 total yards, and 33 completions without a turnover against New York; the completions mark is the second highest of his career in 101 starts. But even with Babbitt’s performance and a late fourth quarter rally, Boston dropped to 0-7 all-time against the Empire, and have yet to beat a playoff team in their franchise’s history. The defense is really coming on, with Glory converting break chances at the fifth highest rate in the UFA this season (61.5 percent), and a big reason why Boston was in the game late last Friday.

6. New York Empire (+1)
Record: 3-1
Most recent result: 18-16 at Montreal (W)
Next game: May 24 vs Philadelphia

The Empire still lack any kind of vertical dimension in their offensive attack, and the defense is only league average in break rate—a far cry from their 2023 form. But this New York team, more than any franchise over the past half decade, knows how to win, and they showed that in two gritty road victories in Week 4. Jack Williams, Solomon Rueschemeyer-Bailey, and new backfield offensive addition Ethan Fortin are extremely solid if a little conservative in establishing Empire drives, and their ability to navigate small spaces has saved New York on numerous, slowed down possessions. The Empire defense is getting just enough takeaways in key moments to fuel break scores, but in their last three games they’ve registered block totals of just seven, six, and five; NY had just one game in 15 matchups last year with less than eight takeaways.

5. Atlanta Hustle (+1)
Record: 2-2
Most recent result: 25-18 at Indianapolis (W)
Next game: May 31 at Colorado

In two meetings at Indy’s indoor Grand Park, the Hustle have committed just 19 total turnovers and have an offensive success rate around 70 percent. Atlanta’s defense applied pressure throughout all four quarters, and finished with 10 break scores and 14 blocks. Justin Burnett is now up to six blocks in three starts this season, and has a cool six scores and zero turnovers in transition on the counterattack. Also in two starts this season Jeremy Langdon has 11 scores and over 600 yards of offense compared to just two turnovers. The Hustle get a breather before their “Super Series” matchup in the Rockies against the Summit in Week 6, which will be a significant game for both squads.

4. Austin Sol (-)
Record: 2-0
Most recent result: 25-17 at Dallas (W)
Next game: May 25 vs Chicago

The Sol host Chicago this Saturday in the “Game Of The Week”, and rest assured this Austin team is looking for payback after their first-and-only meeting with the Union in 2022 resulted in a 24-21 loss. And while he’s not always the most efficient passer with a career 91 percent completion rating, Mark Evans can still be one of the most effective throwers for his power and fearlessness pushing the disc deep; not many defensive coverages can anticipate or react to a guy who can just bomb a 60-yard hammer out of a double team like Evans. The Sol play four 2023 playoff teams in their next five matchups, which will likely determine if Austin can host a playoff game later this summer.

3. DC Breeze (-)
Record: 3-1
Most recent result: 24-23 vs Philadelphia (W)
Next game: May 31 vs Toronto

The Breeze trailed for a majority of their double overtime slugfest with Philly, but Elliot Bonnet and Tyler Monroe could not be denied in sudden death. Bonnet now leads the Breeze in total scores, and is second on the team in yardage in just his fourth professional game. And Monroe is continuing a three-season stretch as one of the league’s best operators on offense. But the real gamer performance for DC last Saturday came from Cole Jurek, who split 30 points of playing time between offense and defense, and finished with eight total scores, over 400 yards, and two clutch layout blocks; Jurek has been a precision player in his first season-plus with DC, but against Philly he was 100 percent USDA-certified Beef. 

2. Carolina Flyers (-1)
Record: 2-0
Most recent result: 22-19 vs Atlanta (W)
Next game: May 31 at Austin

With just two games in the first month of play, there isn’t a wide data set on the 2024 Flyers. But with just one missed red zone opportunity on 33 chances, 19 total breaks, and the league’s second highest team completion rating—all against a championship-level Atlanta team—Carolina already looks as deep and legit as any other contender. The Flyers top five scorers—Anders Juengst, Grayson Sanner, Terrence Mitchell, Allan Laviolette, and Dylan Hawkins—have just three combined throwaways, with Sanner and Hawkins playing mistake free to start their season. And in his ninth year, Mitchell is playing the sharpest of his career, operating as a fill cutter on offense after platooning on D-line in 2023. His timing and feel for the Flyers system is legendary, and he’s still a highlight factory waiting to happen on any play. 

1. Salt Lake Shred (+1)
Record: 5-0
Most recent result: 20-15 at Colorado (W)
Next game: May 25 vs San Diego

In the Shred’s first season in 2022, they had seven performances with 20 or more turnovers in 14 total games. Last season they had just three such performances in 15 matchups, but one being their title game loss to New York. Through five games in 2023, Salt Lake hasn’t committed more than 17 turnovers in any game, with team captain Jacob Miller and early season MVP Jordan Kerr combining for just four total throwaways on over 350 attempts. Head Coach Bryce Merrill and his staff have built a high octane machine on both sides of the disc, with the offense evolving into the best possession unit in the league, while the defense outruns and outhunts every opponent in space. It’s 37 days until the Shred get a championship rematch with the Empire on June 29, in case you were wondering.