There is just one week left until Opening Day, and that means one thing: fantasy drafts. Here's a handy guide to a few of the Tigers you should look out for during your draft.
Miguel Cabrera, 3B
Here's a crazy thought: Miguel Cabrera wasn't at his best in 2012. While his Triple Crown numbers made him one of the top players in fantasy, he had a higher wOBA in both 2010 and 2011. Of course, we're just nitpicking at this point, because Cabrera is arguably the best hitter in the game right now. He won't give you the stolen base numbers that Mike Trout or Ryan Braun will, but his power numbers at a premium position are worth the top overall pick. If anyone in your league passes on him, be sure to mock him/her mercilessly when Cabrera leads you to a fantasy championship.
Justin Verlander, SP
While the debate for best position player in fantasy may be up for debate, there should be no question who the first pitcher taken should be. Verlander has been on his own level in the past two seasons, striking out a combined 489 batters and winning 41 games in 2011 and 2012. If there are any concerns, we haven't heard them. Grab Verlander with a late first round pick and enjoy the ride.
Prince Fielder, 1B
First base is a loaded position in fantasy, but Prince is one of the few that is worth the early selection. He plays everyday, he hits for both average and power, and he has done it consistently. Over the past six seasons, Prince has hit 30+ home runs every year and has only failed to top the 100 RBI mark one time. Expect even bigger power numbers this season now that Prince has adjusted to Comerica Park and the American League.
Jhonny Peralta, SS
Peralta didn't have a great season in 2012, but still ranked among the top 10 shortstops in baseball in home runs and RBIs. In 2011, Peralta was third in home runs, third in RBIs, and fourth in batting average. Given that Peralta's batting average on balls in play was just .275 in 2012, 35 points below his career average, he should expect to see a higher batting average in 2013. Instead of using a second round pick on a potential bust like Troy Tulowitzki, wait 10 rounds and pick up Peralta. The rest of your roster will be happy you did.
Drew Smyly, P
It seems a bit odd that we would recommend a player who looks like he will be the odd man out in the rotation, but that seems to only be temporary. Smyly had a great rookie season in 2012, but wasn't much of an impact in fantasy leagues with just four wins. The Tigers plan on putting Smyly in the bullpen to start 2013, which means he will be RP-eligible after a few outings (depending on your league settings). Smyly will get his fair share of starts at some point, and if your league gives credit for holds, he could have a nice fantasy impact for a late round pick.
Torii Hunter, OF
Hunter had a nice season in 2012, hitting .313 with 16 home runs, 92 RBIs, 81 runs scored, and 9 stolen bases. However, this was largely due to a .389 BABIP. Between the drop in walk rate, the rise in strikeout rate, and the fact that he hasn't stolen 10 bases in a season since 2009, Hunter may be primed to disappoint in 2013. You can find similar outfield options later on in your draft.
Andy Dirks, OF
Like Hunter, Dirks' success in 2012 was buoyed by an elevated BABIP, but that's not why we're concerned about Dirks' fantasy production in 2013. Manager Jim Leyland has spent most of the offseason and spring looking for a right-handed complement for Dirks in left field. Dirks will start the majority of games in left field, but the organization isn't sold that he's an everyday player yet, which could limit his overall numbers this year.
More from our friends at Yahoo!:
Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball supports SBNation and fantasy league families everywhere. Get better experts, better tools, and better stats with the #1 free fantasy baseball game. This season also features a brand new iPad app, so sign up now. Get ready for opening day with better play on Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Baseball.