Week 18 NFL Player Props: Contract Incentives, Milestones

Written By Derek Wagner on January 6, 2023
nfl contract incentives

With the football season nearing its end for most teams, one intriguing angle for sports bettors in the final week of each season is NFL contract incentives. Could these prove profitable when betting on NFL player props and Week 18 odds?

Each season, we see some players cash in and get force-fed the football because of their lucrative contract incentives. This year should be no different in the NFL, as we have assembled a list of players ready to make extra money in the last week of the regular season. Obviously, matchups and motivational context should be taken into consideration. If a team is playing for playoff position or at risk of resting starters, that should be considered when determining if a team will go out of its way to get a player bonus money.

PLAYER PROPS SEARCH TOOL

Search for a player in our NFL Player Props Search tool by typing their name into the search bar below. To place a bet, simply click on the odds. The tool will automatically compare odds across books, saving you time searching and increasing potential profits.

Titans at Jaguars (Saturday)

Jaguars WR Christian Kirk

Kirk currently has recorded 78 receptions for 1,009 receiving yards on the season. If Kirk hits 80 receptions, he’ll get $500,000. If he reaches 90 receptions, that’ll add another $500,000. Kirk, who has caught six or more passes in eight of 15 games this season, could get to 90 receptions. Kirk will also receive an additional $500,000 if he gets to 1,100 yards and another $500,000 if he hits 1,200 yards.

He should have no trouble crossing the 80-catch mark against the Titans in this do-or-die season finale. Surpassing 90 catches and 1,200 yards can net him $2 million. On the other hand, getting either 1,200 yards or 90 catches seems considerably more difficult.

It also can’t hurt that Kirk’s on-paper matchup vs. Tennessee is elite. The Titans have allowed the third-most catches and yards to opposing WRs in 2022.

Jaguars WR Zay Jones

Christian Kirk isn’t the only Jaguar receiver looking to collect extra money on Saturday. If Zay Jones accumulates two receptions against the Titans, he’ll collect $250,000. 

Additionally, the veteran receiver out of East Carolina can collect a whopping $500,000 if he hits the 900 receiving yards mark. Jones would need 98 receiving yards against the Titans to collect this bonus. He’s absolutely capable of hitting this number, having eclipsed it twice this season.

As previously mentioned, the Titans defense is generous to wide receivers. The tricky part of the equations is getting both Jones and Kirk to reach their respective bonuses. It’s possible that given Kirk’s massive contract he signed this offseason, the Jaguar prioritize Jones’ incentives first. 

As it currently stands, Jones receiving yards prop sits at 52.5 (-120) to the over on BetMGM Sportsbook.

Ravens at Bengals

Bengals TE Hayden Hurst

The Bengals TE can cash in on a $125,000 incentive against the Ravens if he simply collects two receptions. A very easy and quick chunk of money for the veteran tight end. 

He has another incentive that could see him collect on another $125,000, and that is 500 receiving yards this season. Entering Sunday’s game, Hurst would need exactly 100 yards to cash in on this bonus. Keep in mind he would need a career day to receive this bonus, as Hurst’s career high in receiving yards for a game is 73. 

All this being said, he does have extra motivation to set a new career high. Hurst was drafted by the Ravens in 2018, and then traded to the Falcons in 2020. Surely the veteran tight end would love to earn a big pay day against his former team.

Chargers at Broncos

Chargers TE Gerald Everett

Everett needs to haul in five passes this week in order to earn a $250,000 bonus. The Chargers TE is certainly capable of it, having done so in five of his ten games played so far this season. The Chargers are still playing to secure the AFC’s No. 5 seed, meaning they can’t change things up too much if the Ravens win in the early window, but Everett gets attention on a weekly basis anyway. It shouldn’t stray too far away from their game plan to get him involved.

Denver’s defense is one of only four in the NFL to have allowed over 1000 receiving yards to opposing tight ends this year. They also allow on average 5.9 receptions per game to tight ends, tied for the second highest amount in the league. There is already precedence for Everett when it comes to the five-catch mark, and it shouldn’t be too hard for QB Justin Herbert to get him the touches he needs in order to get his incentive this weekend. 

Chargers WR DeAndre Carter

Carter is another Chargers player with incentives on the line this week. If Carter reels in two catches against the Broncos, he’ll receive a $100,000 bonus. Additionally, if he hits the 55 receiving yards mark he will claim another $100,000. 

In limited playing time this year, Carter has eclipsed the 55 yard mark four times. He faces a difficult challenge on Sunday, as the Broncos secondary has allowed the second-fewest receiving yards to wide receivers this season. 

Rams at Seahawks

Rams TE Tyler Higbee

The Rams TE needs just 13 receiving yards on Sunday to cash in on a $500,000 bonus. While that sounds cut and dry, that’s a number that he’s failed to hit in four of his last six games. However, QB Baker Mayfield will surely be aware of this, so look for him to find Higbee to ensure that he gets his bonus.

Los Angeles is facing a Seahawks defense that allows the second-most yards per game to opposing tight ends at 67.5. Last time he faced Seattle on Dec. 4, Higbee logged just two receptions for 14 yards, which he would take again this week as it would just eclipse the threshold he needs for his bonus. The Rams passing attack isn’t a sight to behold, but with such an achievable number sitting in front of Higbee this week, it’s not a hindrance to the gameplan to feed him the ball and allow him to reach the number he needs.

Vikings EDGE Za’Darius Smith

Smith needs one sack against the Bears on Sunday to earn himself a nice little bonus of $750,000. Smith faces a Chicago offensive line that is ranked 15th in pass blocking grade (via PFF). Bears quarterback Justin Fields was sacked a grand total of seven times by the Lions last week. Luckily for Smith, he won’t have to face the elusive Fields this weekend, as he was ruled out with a hip injury. 

Although the odds for Smith to record a sack have not been posted yet, FanDuel traders have stated that this market will become available Saturday. Once posted, you should be able to find it by clicking on the Bears vs. Vikings game and navigating to the “defensive props” section.

Sack props for this game were Off The Board at the time of publish.  

Vikings WR Justin Jefferson

Although Justin Jefferson doesn’t have a contract incentive on the line this weekend, he is 194 receiving yards away from breaking Calvin Johnson’s single-season receiving yardage record. Jefferson has openly discussed the record and expressed his desire to break it. On Tuesday evening, Sportsbooks began posting odds for him to break the record. DraftKings posted the best odds at +1000, but have since shifted the odds down to +650. For reference, this bet can be found by selecting “NFL” at the top of the DraftKings home page, and then selecting the “Weekly Specials” tab. 

Jefferson will have a very good shot at surpassing this mark come Sunday, as he faces a Bears defensive unit that is riddled with injuries. The two most experienced corners on the Bears, Jaylon Johnson and Kindle Vildor, are both on IR. Last week in fact, Chicago was forced to start three rookie cornerbacks. One of those rookies, Josh Blackwell, is also on IR now. Jaylon Jones, the second rookie cornerback, has not participated in practice this week as he’s been dealing with a concussion. As if that wasn’t enough, Kyler Gordon popped up on Chicago’s injury report Thursday as a limited participant in practice with a groin injury. Jefferson may not face much resistance come Sunday given all the injuries to the Bears’ defensive backs.

Lions at Packers

Lions WR Kalif Raymond

Winning and getting into the postseason is top priority for the Lions. In order to accomplish this though, they’ll need the Rams to upset the Seahawks in the afternoon slate on Sunday. If Seattle wins however, Detroit would be eliminated from the playoffs and beating the Packers won’t necessarily be viewed as top priority for Dan Campbell’s squad. This is where Kalif Raymond’s contract incentive could come into play. 

Raymond has an incentive in his contract where he can earn $125,000 for simply collecting 50 receptions this season. In order to cash in on this bonus money, the sixth-year veteran will need to get seven receptions on Sunday night in Lambeau. 

Additionally, he has another $125,000 bonus incentive in his contract if he reaches 600 receiving yards this season. To eclipse this number, Raymond would need to tally 50 receiving yards against Green Bay. For reference, he has surpassed 50 receiving yards in four games this year and in two of his last three games.

Packers top cornerback Jaire Alexander should be focused on shutting down WR Amon-Ra St. Brown Sunday night. This should aid Raymond’s goal of cashing in on some money Sunday. 

It is a tricky situation with Raymond’s player props, as the focus for the Lions will be winning the game if Seattle is upset by Los Angeles. If the Seahawks win however, look for Dan Campbell and the Lions to get their wide receiver paid.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Although betting player props based on contract incentives is by no means a sure thing, it can prove profitable for bettors if you’re aware of them early enough. In recent years, ESPN’s Adam Schefter has taken to his twitter account and posted contract incentives before kickoff of the final week. Once the general public becomes more aware of these incentives, the player props get hammered at sportsbooks, causing lines and numbers to shift. It’s best to get ahead of this movement if you plan on cashing in on some player props in Week 18.

Derek Wagner Avatar
Written by
Derek Wagner

View all posts by Derek Wagner