I'm curious as to how strongly you believe that Bobby Wagner will be the top IDP linebacker this year and what rational you have behind that thought?
Personally, I'm always extremely hesitant whenever linebackers change teams as I really believe that the defensive system has almost just as much to do with the skill of the player when it comes to their overall tackle totals. I feel like rarely have we seen high tier linebackers change teams and then succeed just as much on their new roster. Also, overall I don't think the Rams system has supported a top tier linebacker in a while. Last year their top tackling linebacker had only 91 total combined tackles. Combine that with the fact that Wagner is getting up there in age and will have to learn a new defensive scheme which makes me a bit concerned about his viability let alone as the top IDP LB option.
Whereas, Jordan Brooks is extremely young, coming back into the same system, one of the leagues best tacklers is gone from that defense, the Seahawks project to be a pretty bad offense meaning the defense will be on the field often, especially when compared to the Rams, and the defense isn't that strong overall so they should give up more long drives and points leading to more tackle opportunities. I see a lot of upside to Brooks this season and mostly downsides to Wagner but I generally do trust your takes overall so I'm hoping you can go into a bit more about why you are so high on Wagner for this season.
I outlined my thought process in the draft guide. Here's the excerpt below:
"Although he's long been an LB1 fantasy linebacker, some may be surprised Wagner sits at the top spot in my rankings given his age (32) and the fact he's entering into his 12th season. However, the move from the Seahawks to the Rams should actually help bolster his production. LA runs a ton of one-LB sets and Cover 2 coverage schemes, both factors that have shown to increase tackle efficiency and production. He's also moving to a more generous/somewhat less assist-heavy home stat crew which is another added bonus. This combination of low risk, increased upside makes Wagner my #1 overall fantasy linebacker in 2022."
The Rams system is primed for a stud fantasy linebacker to emerge. The issue has been an extreme lack of talent at the position over the last couple years. Wagner corrects that. He's also one of the games smartest players, so I'm not worried about the defensive scheme transition.
I agree on the upside for Brooks and have him as a top 5 linebacker, so we are kind of splitting hairs there. I don't see much downside in Wagner, however. He's as consistent as they come and still graded out as a top 15 LB while earning a trip to the Pro Bowl.