Matthew Leuenberger – Deck of DT 2016

Name: Matthew Leuenberger
Club: Essendon
Position:  RUC/FWD
AFL Fantasy: $301,000
AFL Dream Team: $315,500
Bye Round: 14
2015 Average: 54.43
2015 Games Played: 14
Predicted Average: 75-80

Click here for DT Live profile.

Why should I pick him?

The ‘Berger landed at the Bombers via free agency in the Trade Period seeking opportunities as he had fell behind Stefan Martin in the pecking order at the Lions. Playing 14 games, his Fantasy output was limited averaging 54 points. This was atrocious but we can put it down to role.

Let’s take a look at his history. Leuenberger went 92.8 from 22 games in his fifth season and with injuries, he has been on our Fantasy radar since as a bargain almost every second year. In 2013 he averaged over 85 but then the last two seasons a knee and Martin’s resurgence has meant he hasn’t been what we wanted.

The 27-year-old picked up FWD status to give him the very handy FWD/RUC due to playing second fiddle last season but by all reports, John Worsfold has stated that he will be the number one ruckman due to Tom Bellchambers being better up forward. Of course it’s best if he’s the sole ruckman – he scored 124 this year with Martin out of the side, but at that price there is plenty of upside still working in tandem with Belly. I’m predicting him to average in the range of 75-80 which is enough to fit the mould for my strategy.

I wouldn’t be picking him in the forward line, however the flexibility of his DPP could help during the season.

Considering he is worth less than half the price of Stefan Martin and Todd Goldstein, we can save a decent amount of cash by opting for a mid-priced player. Obviously this is risky, especially with his body and a bit of unknown at a new club, but the reward surely outweighs the risk.

Click here for the Essendon prices and targets from

Why shouldn’t I pick him?

Shouldn’t we start with the two best rucks and set and forget? It makes sense – if there were two midfielders who would be pumping out 115 each with a gap to the next group, we’d be all over it for captiancy alone… why should the rucks be any different?

Leuenberger has has plenty of injury woes over his career and at the end of the day, he’s only had a couple of seasons where he has averaged high enough to be considered a premium. Let’s be honest here, if we were betting on it, the ‘Berger isn’t really that underpriced considering he comes in priced at what he has delivered in six of his nine seasons. It would be safer to go with a set and forget strategy, regardless of their prices.

Risk on body, risk on role, risk on output… there is plenty to worry all of the best coaches – even though he comes in at $301K.


Deck of DT Rating.

QUEEN – He’s risky (have I said that enough), but at this stage I am willing to take the punt. With plenty of upside and hopefully the Bombers playing a fantasy friendly game, there will be plenty of hitouts and touches around the ground for the big man. It will suck if he is stuck forward for extended periods of time, but I’ll back in what Woosha said with the ‘Berger being the go-to man. Heck, he’s been a long standing member of the Warne Dawgs over the last few years and I guess another year won’t hurt.

Are you keen to start with Matthew Leuenberger?

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  • Good stuff Warnie, great to see the ‘Deck of DT’ back!

  • No no no. Get burnt every year [twice 2010].

  • Great read Warnie but surely he’s too risky.. If he does down early who do you trade him to?

    Set and forget

    • My issue with set and forget this year is the price we’re paying. Unless of course including Sauce as a set and forget ruck, then I think I’ll be looking for value.

      This is going to be a big question of the preseason. I reckon we will almost dedicate a full podcast to it. Haha. Goldy definitely won’t be near my team. Stef is definitely ‘worth’ his dollars, but I have doubts that he will average much more than 110.

      At this stage I’ll be going Leuenberger and Martin.

      • Yeah I currently have Sauce and Martin.. Would you consider Mummy or Blicavs as “set and forget” with Sauce? If they all get there average around 95-100 they will be very handy at R1&R2. Or will it break your season starting without Martin, what do you think?

        • I’m still not sure. Martin is a gun, but we are definitely paying full price for him. I like the Mumford and Sauce set and forget. Can easily jump up to Martin when he dips with one of them (probably Mumford before he inevitably gets injured!!).

          Two trades per week in AF opens up a lot more options with rucks and strategy.

        • Same sauce martin combo for me

  • Martin and Jacobs/Nicnat/Blic for me.

    Rucks is the worst area to take mid price risks by far.

    You pick a failing mid-price mid and if things go wrong you can quickly jump off and get on board a low breakeven midprice mid and get back on track. You pick a failing mid-price ruck and you’re pretty much screwed…

  • Great read Warnie, fantastic to see deck of dt back again!
    I’ve decided that I’m set and forgetting with Goldy and Stefan Martin as my rucks for this season.

  • Too much of a risk for me.

  • Too many times burnt by midprice rucks. Not going there again this year. At this stage, backing in Stef+Sinclair.

  • Not quite set and forget but I am starting with a slightly different pair of Blicavs and Grundy. If Martin or Goldy are to have a bad day their price will fall considerably based on their starting price however I hope to stay with this pair all year.
    Leuey is not going to be a final squad ruckman and he is too expensive as a cash cow.

  • I’m picking him as F5 and swinging in the ruck. Risky but go hard or go home.

  • I think queens about right here I think, in fact I think you could give a queen to the entire Essendon team! Hehehe

  • Definitely on the radar but not sure whether ruck or forward at this stage.

    • Imo, there are much better options in the forward line in his price range. If you will pick him, it’s as a ruck.

      • but are you not tempted to pick him as potential F7?
        personally, I’m all over the idea of potential keeper cover at 300k (heck, I did it last year with Savage rd10, 280k and done)

        • and as others have alluded to, if he goes down early, then you’re looking for another midpriced ruck (not Bellchambers again), as opposed to switching him to a midpriced forward

  • Given that Leuenberger scored 124 and 83 (with 51 and 42 hitouts respectively) this year without Stefan Martin in the side, I’ll be looking very closely at the Berger this pre-season. Fitness is the key, and very underpriced if he’s cherry ripe.