5 Tight Ends Who Are Ready to Break Loose in 2015

These five tight ends are primed to take a huge leap in 2015 to give fantasy football managers a huge edge this upcoming season.

As the NFL has shifted to a passing league, no position has seen a transformation quite like the tight end.

Once viewed as little more than an extra lineman with pass-catching eligibility, the emergence of versatile athletes such as Antonio Gates, Rob Gronkowski, and Jimmy Graham have changed the expectations and outlook for players at this position.

The tight end of today's NFL must be able not only to bulldoze opposing linebackers to clear a lane for their tailback on the ground, but must also be fleet-footed enough to beat those same defenders down the field in the passing game.

And for fantasy football, this expanded role through the air has turned this position from a mere afterthought into a critical roster spot that must now be filled with a highly productive player.

In this regard, it seems as though every season a player comes out of relative obscurity to claim a spot at the top of the tight end totem pole.

In 2011, going on average with the 66th and 99th picks in standard leagues, respectively, Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham finished the year as the top two tight ends in the league.

In 2013, Julius Thomas -- who was going undrafted in virtually every league -- finished the year as the third-best player at the position.

With all this being said, which tight ends are in position to take a similar leap in 2015 and stand atop the fantasy football rankings when it's all said and done?