NFL Week 18 Player Incentives, Records: Props To Bet This Weekend

NFL Week 18 Player Incentives, Records: Props To Bet This Weekend article feature image

Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images. Pictured: Justin Jefferson (left), Adam Thielen (right).

  • Entering the final week of the NFL season, there are some players with more than playoff hopes on the line.
  • Darren Rovell has dug in and found player incentives in contracts that are close to being reached.
  • Read about how you can back those players below.

It’s the last week of the season, and financial incentives are going to make or break NFL player props.

Plenty of quarterbacks, skill position players and edge rushers have performance incentives built into their contracts, ones that can be unlocked if the given athlete reaches a certain number of TD passes, rushing yards, catches, sacks, etc.

That — coupled with some single season records that could be broken on Sunday — means the market may be inflating a particular player’s prop totals. For others, the market may not be inflating a player or team’s odds enough.

Here are the records and the incentives you should keep in mind for Week 18 of the NFL season.

How To Bet Approaching Records:

Bucs ML vs Atlanta Falcons (+176)

Record: A loss would mean Tom Brady’s first losing season in 21 years as an NFL starter.

What We Think: We know that Brady is aware of this fact. That’s reason enough to bet the Bucs this week, even if there’s no functional incentive for Tampa to win.

The Bucs have already locked down the No. 4 seed and can’t improve or decline their standing during a meaningless game against the Falcons.

But the game is equally as meaningless for Atlanta, which is trotting our rookie Desmond Ridder for his fourth career start in a “show me what you got” look for the QB out of Cincinnati.

And the Bucs aren’t resting for this matchup, either. Coach Todd Bowles said he would play his starters on Sunday. Despite these factors, the Bucs are plus-money — and to a substantial degree — to beat Atlanta.

That line is drastically undervalued.

Justin Jefferson to record over 193.5 receiving yards +440

Record: With 194 receiving yards, Jefferson will break Calvin Johnson’s single-season receiving record of 1,964.

What We Think: It’s certainly possible, seeing as the Bears are tied for the worst defense in the league at yards per pass against (7.5). Meanwhile, the Vikings are No. 5 in total passing yards.

A word of caution: Jefferson has only gone above 190 yards twice this season.

The last time the Vikings played the Bears, they “held” him to 154 yards.

Still, you’re getting a solid enough deal at FanDuel. They’re going to be feeding Jefferson, especially to start out the game.

If he continues to pile on the yards, best believe they’ll continue finding him as many looks as possible. Think Son Heung Min in last season’s finale against Norwich City, in which he was a goal behind for the Golden Boot. Son ended up scoring twice and won the award — after he received nearly every single pass in the final third.

One of his teammates even gave up an open goal to try to give Son the trophy. That teammate admitted as much in an interview after the game.

Or think Adrian Peterson in 2012, when he received an absurd 34 carries for 199 yards in a game in which he came nine yards short of breaking Eric Dickerson’s single season rushing record.

Pick: Justin Jefferson to break the single-season receiving yards record +440

Patrick Mahomes to Have 430+ Passing Yards (+650)

Record: Mahomes throwing for at least 430 passing yards would beat Peyton Manning’s single-season passing yards record of 5,477.

What We Think: Mahomes has thrown for a quarter of the 400 yard games this year (there have been eight) and he’s thrown for at least 300 yards eight times.

One of the times he didn’t do it? Against this week’s opponents, the Raiders. But there's hope. The Raiders are the second-worst defense in the league and the worst against the pass.

Still, the market isn’t exactly bullish on Mahomes breaking the all-time record and neither am I. I'd skip this prop entirely.

DraftKings has him at +650 to surpass Manning, implying the odds of him doing so are 13%. Those odds should be somewhere in the single digits.

How to Bet NFL Incentives

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Zay Jones

Jones can make $250,000 if he gets to 80 receptions and $500,000 if he gets to 900 yards. He's 2 receptions and 98 yards short.

What We Think: Jones is listed at -120 at DraftKings for o4.5 catches. I love this figure because he's not stopping after two receptions. He needs the yardage clip for the big kahuna. And it's a big win-or-go-home game on a big Saturday night stage.

Jones has had at least five catches in seven games. That includes eight catches against the Titans last time out.

The boys from Tennessee have also given up 4,456 passing yards this year, worst in the league. They’re ranked a dismal 28th against the pass, according to DVOA.

If you're feeling especially bullish on Jones because of his incentives, you can bet on him to nab 100+ receiving yards at +410.

Pick: Zay Jones 100 or more receiving yards +410

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Christian Kirk

If you aren't into Zay Jones, you can take prop bets on his teammate.

Christian Kirk is two catches short of a $500,000 incentive and needs 91 yards for another $500,000.

What We Think: Maybe the money draws you in a bit more, seeing Kirk could make $1 million this weekend compared to Jones’ $750,000? You'll get nearly the same prop — over 4.5 catches at -125 at FanDuel.

And if you think he's going for it all, Kirk to catch for 90+ yards is +270 at FanDuel. Keep in mind that he needs 91 yards to net an extra $500,000.

Pick: Christian Kirk 90+ receiving yards +270

List of Incentives Across the NFL

Player props for Week 18 have yet to be posted by FanDuel. When they are up, we will update this post.

Saints quarterback Andy Dalton vs. Panthers

As long as Dalton plays a series on Sunday, he'll net himself $1,000,000.

That's part of a deal in which he earns $500,000 if he plays 50% of the snaps and another $500,000 for reaching the 60% mark. He's currently played 68.15% of the snaps this season.

Bengals tight end Hayden Hurst vs. Ravens

Hurst can earn another $125,000 for two catches and an additional $125,000 for 100 receiving yards in a game that suddenly has playoff implications.

The Bengals need to win in order to maintain home field advantage in the Wild Card Round. If they lose and are matched up with the Ravens again for the playoffs, a coin flip will determine that game’s home team, according to stipulations created due to the cancelation of Bills vs. Bengals.

Pick: Hayden Hurst to record 70+ receiving yards +750

Bengals running back Samaje Perine vs. Ravens

Perine can earn another $100,000 if he rushes for 124 yards on Sunday.

49ers wide receiver/running back Deebo Samuel vs. Cardinals

Samuel looks unlikely to suit up for Sunday's game, but if he does, he'd need 152 rushing yards in order to net a $500,000 incentive. He already received an extra $150,000 for scoring three rushing touchdowns.

49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk vs. Cardinals

Aiyuk is looking for 44 yards to reach 1,000 yards for the first time in his career.

Bills wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie vs. Patriots

McKenzie can make an extra $100,000 with 46 yards receiving on Sunday. He'll need 10 more receptions for an additional $100,000.

The Bills need to win their game against the Patriots at home to ensure the No. 2 seed. That, in turn, means if they make the AFC Championship Game, it will be played at a neutral venue. This rule was also stipulated as a result of the cancelation of Bills vs. Bengals.

Beyond that, the Bills will undoubtedly be motivated behind an emotional home crowd on Sunday afternoon.

Bills safety Jordan Poyer vs. Patriots

Poyer needs two more interceptions for a $750,000 incentive. A pick-six or fumble recovery against the Patriots would net him $250,000.

Commanders quarterback Taylor Heinicke vs. Cowboys

Heinicke would earn $125,000 with a win against the Cowboys on Sunday, which would also spoil Dallas' pursuit for the NFC East title and the No. 1 seed. The unheralded former XFL quarterback has had this incentive all season and has netted $625,000 from it already.

Lions wide receiver Kalif Raymond vs. Packers

Raymond will make $125,000 with two more catches and an additional $125,000 for 100 yards more yards on Sunday in a win-or-go-home matchup against the Packers.

The Lions, though, could know they’re eliminated if the Seahawks win during the 4 p.m. window. The Lions play the Packers in Green Bay on Sunday Night Football.

Lions running back Jamaal Williams vs. Packers

Williams will make $250,000 for six more rushing yards. Williams' teammates could be seen clapping him up heavily after a massive gain in garbage time during last week's win over the Bears — presumably because they were aware of this incentive.

Packers linebacker Preston Smithvs. Lions

Smith needs 1.5 more sacks to net himself $1 million. The Packers will lock up the No. 7 seed with a win over the Lions.

Chargers wide receiver DeAndre Carter vs. Broncos

Carter can earn an extra $250,000 with two receptions against the Broncos on Sunday.

The Chargers need to win this game to ensure the No. 5 seed and a date with a weak AFC South division winner. A loss sends them to No. 6 and a road game in either Cincinnati or Buffalo.

Chargers tight end Gerald Everett vs. Broncos

Everett can make $250,000 if he can nab five more catches.

Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert vs. Broncos

Herbert can eclipse Tom Brady's completion record with 34 completions on Sunday.

Vikings linebacker Zadarius Smith vs. Bears

Smith needs a half sack in order to net a $750,000 bonus. He's already earned a $500,000 incentive for reaching 8.5 sacks.

If Smith nabs 2.5 sacks on Sunday? That would mean an extra $1 million on top of the $750,000.

Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson vs. Bears

Peterson will earn an extra $330,000 as long as he steps onto the field on Sunday. That's as part of an incentive ladder that requires him to play at least 75% of the defensive snaps and is dependent on the Vikings' season result.

His $330,000 bonus is because the Vikings qualified for the playoffs. That figure jumps to $666,000 if Minnesota wins a divisional round game and it reaches $1 million with a Vikings Super Bowl appearance.

Cardinals kicker Matt Prater vs. 49ers

Prater will earn an extra $250,000 if he finishes the season with at least an 83% field goal percentage. He's 18-for-20 for a 90% clip before Week 18. He would need to go 0-for-2 or 1-for-3 (or worse) to give up this bonus.

Ravens linebacker Justin Houston vs. Bengals

Houston needs one more sack to earn $1.5 million. He's already earned $500,000 for five sacks and $1 million for 7.5 sacks on the year.

Jets defensive end Carl Lawson vs. Dolphins

Lawson has a looming $600,000 bonus with another sack against the Dolphins.

Fellow defensive end Carl Lawson needs two more sacks to nab a $400,000 incentive.

Jets kicker Greg Zuerlein vs. Dolphins

If Big Leg Greg sinks all of his field goals on Sunday, he might grab a $250,000 incentive. He's 84% on the year and needs to reach 85% for that aforementioned bonus.

Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III vs. Rams

Rookie running back sensation Kenneth Walker III can eclipse 1,000 rushing yards with 64 against the Rams on Sunday.

Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith vs. Rams

Smith has had a resurgence season — and it's shown from all the incentives he's netted. The Comeback Player of the Year favorite has already earned $2.25 million in bonuses after passing a series of playing time, Pro Bowl and passing yard barriers.

He'll net another $250,000 if he throws for 114 or more yards on Sunday.

And if the Seahawks win and the Lions win? The Seahawks make the playoffs — that means an extra $2 million.

Rams tight end Tyler Higbee vs. Seahawks

Higbee can reach a $500,000 incentive with 13 more receiving yards.

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce vs. Raiders

Kelce can pass his own record for most receiving yards in a season by a tight end with 117 yards against the Raiders on Saturday.

Kelce also needs 13 catches to pass Zach Ertz for the most catches by a tight end in a season.

Kelce will be out there all game — the Chiefs need a win to secure the No. 1 seed in the AFC. A loss and a Bills win would tumble them out of a playoff bye week and force them to go to Buffalo for a potential AFC Championship Game.

Pick: Travis Kelce to record 110+ receiving yards +360

Chiefs wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster vs. Raiders

Smith-Schuster can earn an extra $500,000 if he nets two receiving yards on Saturday. He's also 102 yards shy of 1,000 yards on the year.

Pick: Juju Smith-Schuster 100+ receiving yards +490

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes vs. Raiders

Last but not least: Patrick Mahomes, who is on a litany of different records and incentives.

He's the favorite to win the MVP at -600 and will net an incentive of $1.25 million if he wins that. With a Super Bowl appearance, he'll nab another $1.25 million.

And Mahomes is 186 pass and rushing yards from breaking that single season record.

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