NY Jets rookie RB emerging as odds-on favorite for RB2 role

It's Braelon Allen's job to lose
Braelon Allen
Braelon Allen / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel-USA TODAY

If you're looking to draft a Breece Hall handcuff in your fantasy leagues, the player you should be targeting is Braelon Allen. The rookie running back has quickly emerged as the odds-on favorite to be the NY Jets' primary RB2 behind Hall this season.

A fourth-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, Allen joins fellow Day 3 pick Isaiah Davis in a crowded Jets backfield looking for answers behind their superstar. The Jets also have 2023 fifth-round pick Israel Abanikanda and recent free-agent addition Tarik Cohen, but it's Allen's job to lose right now.

Hall has been sidelined this spring with an undisclosed minor injury, leaving plenty of reps to go around between the other running backs on the roster. It's normal for rookies to work behind the incumbent veterans on the roster, but that hasn't been the case with the Jets.

Allen has received the majority of first-team reps with Hall sidelined. In fact, Abanikanda has worked almost exclusively with the second and third-team offense, splitting touches with Davis and Cohen. The former Pittsburgh standout has reportedly looked the worst of the four as well.

Meanwhile, Allen continues to impress.

Braelon Allen is expected to be the NY Jets' RB2 behind Breece Hall

Allen has showcased his pass-catching ability over the last couple of weeks, an aspect of his game that wasn't on display much at Wisconsin. Still, the 20-year-old dropped just one of his 30 targets last season, so there's some untapped potential here.

Jets fans in attendance were also witness to Allen breaking off a couple of long runs during Friday's practice. He's made the most of his increased opportunity to this point.

With the Jets expected to switch to more of a power-run offense this season, Allen and Davis remain much better fits than Abanikanda, who struggled with ball security and pass-blocking issues as a rookie. Their assumed roles seem to be reflected in their current depth chart placement.

Allen has shown a willingness to hit the hole hard and grind out tough yards, which is something the Jets struggled to do last year. That should allow him to receive plenty of short-yardage and red-zone looks when spelling Hall.

Jets fans should keep a close eye on Allen and the running back rotation this summer — it already appears to be his job to lose. And if you roster Hall on your fantasy football team, Allen is the guy you want as his handcuff.