Player Profile: Christian Welch / Chanel Harris-Tavita

Throughout the NRL pre-season, we'll be providing in-depth looks at a number of key SuperCoach players ahead of Round 1.

Pre-season

How good is this!

The NRL chat is back and as of today it’s officially Round 1 next month!

The SC Playbook will look to build on what we offered last year and see if we can get Tim, myself or one of you legends into the number one spot by season’s end.

As a season opener I thought it might be best to start looking into some players of interest, and the first person I want to look at is Melbourne front-rower Christian Welch.

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Christian Welch ($453,000)

Christian Welch is a man who has begun to take on a bigger role for Melbourne and at age 26 is a prime age for a front-rower.

Welch started last season slowly in relation to minutes played, but once he was settled he began to play consistently larger minutes and from Round 9 onwards he averaged 59.6PPG which came across a 10 game sample.

That is an increase of 8PPG+ from his overall season average which his starting price this year will be based on ($453,000).

Additionally there were absolutely zero attacking stats for Welch (outside of excellent offload numbers) and even though that trend may well continue, a single try or assist will bump that average up a little or give you a very good score for the week at a minimum.

Welch scored at 1.2PPM last season and 1.25PPM the year before. If we consider 1.2PPM to be around the number moving forward, and he was able to get himself an average of 50-55 minutes per game this season, then we would be looking at a projected average of 60-66PPG.

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Even at the lower end of the scale you have to give serious consideration to locking in a front-rower who could average you 60 odd from Round 1 and increase in value by say $80k, then you would be laughing.

Further to these numbers, Welch’s lowest score over the last 10 games was 44 which was his only score under 50, and there was an 87 in there as well which is huge when you consider it was all work rate and offloads.

The big question mark will be around the Melbourne forward rotation and how many minutes each will play.

We will get more of an idea of squad balance once the season gets closer, but Welch could be a nice Round 1 flyer who can be moved on if required without doing too much damage to your early season form or ideally stick with him if this pans out well.

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Chanel Harris-Tavita ($425,900)

Just a little short one here on another player that has peaked my attention in the early stages of pre-season.

Chanel was handed the 7 jersey for seven of the last eight rounds in 2020, playing the full 80 minutes and goal-kicking.

He scored his SC points in a variety of ways to finish those seven games with an average of 65.4PPG. Considering he is priced at a season average based on 48PPG, is he someone that could be a cut-price option in the halves or a backup half / bench player?

He tends to score in a variety of ways which give him a semi decent floor. If he could average 65PPG again over the opening weeks you would be laughing, but of course there is risk here given the small sample size.

He’s something of a POD option if you are feeling adventurous, and providing he is goal-kicking I feel he should at least be somewhere near his average even if he cant get it to 55-60+ a game.

But I can’t see him being a premium just yet unless he really steps up another level (which is possible) but he may be able to act as a stepping stone to a premo gun.

That’s it from me. I feel like I’ve blown out a bit of rust and look forward to much more rugby league action from this week onwards!

SUPERCOACH TERMINOLOGY KEY

MPG = Minutes per game

PPG = Points per game

PPM = Points per minute

BPG = Base per game (point accrued in tackles + runs + missed tackles)

POD = Point of difference

BREAKEVEN (B/E) = The score a player must record to earn a price rise.

*Please note all our stats are taken from the geniuses at nrlsupercoachstats.com

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