Sharks' Brent Burns, Erik Karlsson ranked as top two fantasy defensemen

Alex Didion

They say defense wins championships -- and although they fell just short of the Stanley Cup Finals last season -- the San Jose Sharks have two of the NHL's best filling its two starting defensemen spots.

Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns formed a dominant duo in 2018-19, as the two combined for 128 points, with each finishing among the top-10 in the league in points per game among defensemen. 

As prognosticators look toward the 2019-20 season, fantasy hockey players have begun researching for drafts taking place over the next few months. So when thinking about the best defensemen for fantasy purposes, the conversation has to start with the Sharks' leading pair, at least according to NHL Network's rankings.

NHL.com's team of experts project Burns and Karlsson to finish first and second in points for defensemen, with Burns estimated at 80 followed by Karlsson at 73. 

The next closest defenseman is the Stars' John Klingberg (68) -- who will be teaming up with former Sharks forward Joe Pavelski in the starting six next year.

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While I advocated for 49ers and Raiders fans to generally avoid drafting their favorite players in fantasy football drafts, I can't emphasize enough that Burns and Karlsson are a must-have for your fantasy team this season, especially if the Sharks are your team.

Happy drafting.

Sharks' Brent Burns, Erik Karlsson ranked as top two fantasy defensemen originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area