The linebacker has seen his sack totals drop in each of the past three seasons. He racked up a career-high 14.5 sacks in 2010 and earned a trip to his first Pro Bowl. However, he only racked up 12.0 sacks in 2011 and just nine sacks in 2012. Hali even tied a career-low in total tackles last year with just 51 hits.
Outside linebackers need to be able to rack up sacks to be productive. The position has never been known to be among the leaders in tackles, so their fantasy value is extremely dependent upon the number of times they can get to the quarterback. The fact that Hali has seen his sack and tackle totals drop in recent seasons is extremely concerning for his 2013 fantasy potential.
Additionally, the emergence of OLB Justin Houston severely limited Hali’s overall fantasy production this past year. Houston quickly fit into Kansas City’s defensive scheme in his first season and the former third round pick started on the outside opposite of Hali all year. Houston actually ended the year with 10 sacks and 66 tackles, both of which were higher than Hali’s 2012 totals.
Hali may have been a reliable starter a couple fantasy seasons ago, but he simply isn’t worth the headache anymore. There are plenty of other quality linebackers out there, including his teammate, so don’t fall in love with Hali based on his pervious numbers.