This column could be titled the kids are alright. Tier 1 consists of several neophytes while the two subsequent tiers are somewhat interchangeable.
Here are your 2020-21 Fantasy defensemen ranked by tiers:
Tier 1 – Top of the line
Carlson took a major step forward in 2017-18 and got even better over the next two seasons, and Josi won the Norris Trophy last year, so this may be a 1A/1B situation. The only issue with Letang is his health, because when he's on the ice, he's a tremendous producer from the back line. Hedman showed in the playoffs just how dominant he can be, winning the Conn Smythe, while Heiskanen may have been Dallas' best player in the bubble.
Karlsson and Burns are Batman and Robin in San Jose. They both had down seasons in 2019-20, so I could see an argument for sliding each of them down this list. If the Sharks are going to return to the playoff race in 2020-21, a turn back of the clock for both of these blueliners will be required. Makar won the Calder Trophy last season, but he was matched very closely by Hughes, who along with Heiskanen form a trio of young blueliners who will be fighting over the Norris sooner rather than later.