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Deck of Dream Team

Trent Rivers – Deck of DT 2024

Take me to the River!

Player Trent Rivers
Club Melbourne
Position DEF
Price $691,000
Bye 6 & 14
2023 avg 77
2023 gms 23
Proj. avg 94
Draft range Late 5th, early 6th

Click here for 2024 Fantasy Classic prices

Gulden, Flanders, Rozee, Day.

Every year there is a handful of young guns that become defender/forward, AFL Fantasy premos thanks to a positional move to the midfield. In season 2024, I’ve identified Trent Rivers as a potential breakout candidate.

Why should I pick him?

MORE MIDFIELD TIME. A phrase synonymous with an AFL Fantasy breakout season and it appears the Rivers midfield move is real.

In the offseason the Dees picked up 27-year-old Marty Hore who plays similarly to the Rivers role of 2023. So why pick up ‘old man’ Hore (for a second time), not to mention Blake Howes who is developing nicely at half back in the background? Is it to allow the release of Rivers to the midfield? I believe so.

The loss of Harmes (27% CBA’s in 2023) and Jordan (27% CBA’s in 2023) during the trade period leaves quite a hole in the Demons’ midfield stocks. Yes, they recruited Billings and drafted Windsor but both are outside mids which further supports my argument that Rivers will be set for quite a bit of inside midfield time in 2024.

Then there’s this hot off the press…

In games where Rivers got 10% or more CBA’s last year, he produced scores of 104, 78, 75 and 67 for an average of 81. Let’s assume then that 81 is Rivers’ floor when playing as a ‘cameo’ midfielder. With those CBA’s expected to increase to an anticipated 30% this season (maybe more with the Oliver situation at the Dees) a big scoring boost is very likely for Rivers.

With his increased midfield time, I believe Rivers can average around 94 and challenge as a top 6 defender in 2024, not to mention that we get a free look at him in the opening round to confirm whether or not the midfield role is real.

Why shouldn’t I pick him?

Talk about an awkward starting price. $691,000 is on the very high side for a mid pricer and you need everything to go right with Rivers for the pick to come off. Personally, I like to spend around $500,000 on my mid pricers which allows for better cash gen but sometimes you’ve got to bite the bullet when you know a prominent midfield role is forthcoming. Two player comparisons might be the way to go when considering someone like Rivers and price, for example LDU and Rivers OR Brayshaw and Windhager.

Unfortunately, Rivers has never shown a ceiling. His highest career #AFLFantasy score is 108 which came against the Hawks just last year. I’m stating the obvious here but selecting a mid pricer without a ceiling can stifle cash generation especially for a player priced at 77 to begin with.

It’s not the worst of the early byes but Rivers and Melbourne get a rest in Round 6. Sure, you can trade Rivers at his bye if he’s hasn’t lived up to expectations, but you may need to deal with a forced trade and run the risk of holding him when I’m sure coaches will also own Hore and Gawn.

Deck of DT Rating.

JACK

A Jack may not be the best hand to play with, but winning moves can still be made. Those planning to fade Nick Daicos to start Round 1 need a plan to bring him in after his bye (non-negotiable) and even if mid-pricer Rivers doesn’t blow it out of the water, he could still be the perfect stepping stone to getting Daicos in Round 6. The Dees have a decent enough start to the Fantasy season with the Dogs, Hawks, Port, Crows and Brisbane at the G and I think Rivers can do some damage in those games.

Ultimately, the big appeal with Rivers is his increased midfield time which gives him the opportunity to boost his possession and tackle numbers. When he plays his secondary position behind the ball, he’ll prop up those mark stats too. It’s a perfect scenario and similar to how Jack Sinclair played last year.

My current Fantasy structure in defence is 3 premos and 3 midpricers and Rivers is very much in contention for my team come Round 1. Yes, Rivers is probably a high-risk selection to start the season but he could be that semi unique car/hat winning pick and I urge you to consider.

Follow @JeppaDT and also @PlusSixPodcast

A legend of the AFL Fantasy game, Jeppa provides the best rookie content on the internet, bar none! Follow the man behind the most viewed Fantasy series on the web, the Juniors, on Twitter: @JeppaDT.

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