Modern NFL contracts are loaded with incentives. They not only benefit the players but also the organizations as certain incentives don’t count against the cap. And Week 18 of the NFL regular season is the last game to hit them before the 2023-24 NFL PLayoffs. These incentives can present a rare opportunity for us when it comes to NFL DFS contests and for NFL betting picks. But it’s not just the contracts that matter to some players and teams. There are also records and milestones at stake that could influence how teams operate. Here is a clear-cut example from 2017 involving Todd Gurley, Kareem Hunt, and the NFL rushing title. 

Perhaps this year Sean McVay will be a little more cognizant of that with his rookie wide receiver Puka Nacua being four catches and 29 yards away from breaking a couple of rookie records. Or maybe they just don’t care and are worried about the playoffs. It’s a tricky line to balance but we’re going to take a look at what is on the line for Week 18 and how we might be able to take advantage. 


Quarterback Contract Incentives and Milestones for NFL Week 18

Jordan Love, Green Bay Packers

Love can hit a $500K bonus if the Green Bay Packers make the playoffs. Win this week and they are in, lose and they are out.

Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks

Geno Smith has even more on the line - $2 million if the Seahawks make the playoffs. They need to win and they need the Packers to lose so only one of Love or Geno will get their money. 

Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Baker has several different incentives he can hit. The short and sweet is that he gets $1 million if the Bucs make the playoffs and an extra $300K if he finishes top 10 or NFC Top 5 in any of the categories:

  • Pass TDs (currently tied for 4th in both the NFL and NFC)
  • Passing Yards (currently 8th in NFL, 5th in NFC)
  • Passer Rating (currently in 9th in NFL, 5th in NFC)
  • Yards Per Pass Attempt (currently 9th in NFL, 6th in NFC)
  • Completion Percentage (currently 18th in NFL, 10th in NFC)


Running Back Contract Incentives and Milestones for NFL Week 18

Devin Singletary, Houston Texans

He has a $125K bonus for 1,000 rushing yards (currently at 835). That 165 yards seems like a lot but he also has two more manageable bonuses. He already hit one $125K “yards from scrimmage” bonus at 1,000 yards and needs 74 for another at 1,100. He can also get another $125K if he plays 55% of the snaps on the season and he sits at 53%. His typical usage over the last couple of weeks would get him there.

Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers

This one has multiple components to it. For the incentives to hit, the Chargers must be outside the bottom five in league average net yards gained per rushing play (they are JUST inside of that at 27th). He has incentives at 1,125 scrimmage yards and 10 touchdowns for an extra $100K and $150K respectively. The touchdowns would be tough because he has six but he’s at 965 scrimmage yards so a huge day could do it. 

Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings

Unfortunately, Ty Chandler seems to have taken over the job. But maybe the team helps Mattison out here. He gets an extra $250K at 750 yards rushing and he’s sitting at 659. 

Rookie Rushers

A couple of rookie running backs are close to cracking the coveted 1,000-yard make for their first season. Bijan Robinson needs 52 yards and Jahmyr Gibbs needs 85. If Bijan has 88 rushing yards, that would also break Tyler Allgeier’s rookie franchise record. De’Von Achane needs 64 scrimmage yards to reach 1,000 yards from scrimmage. 


Wide Receiver Contract Incentives and Milestones for NFL Week 18

DeAndre Hopkins, Tennessee Titans

The contract Hopkins signed was heavy with incentives. I’ll break these down in terms of what would need to happen this week to get there.

  • 11 yards this week = $250K
  • 61 yards this week = $250K
  • 4 receptions this week = $250K
  • 14 receptions this week = $250K
  • 2 touchdowns this week = $250K

Odell Beckham., Baltimore Ravens

Odell probably won’t hit his receiving yard number of 750 unless he has a MONSTER 218+ yard day. That would land him $750K. He would also get $500K with a two-touchdown day. More reasonable are the following receptions:

  • 6 receptions this week = $500K
  • 16 receptions this week = $750K

Tyreek Hill, Miami Dolphins

The winner of this game wins the AFC East so the focus will obviously be on that. But Tyreek Hill needs 247 yards to break Calvin Johnson’s record that he set his eyes on. If he hadn’t gotten hurt and missed a game, this one might have been in the bag. It also speaks to how insane of a season Calvin Johnson had. 

Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Evans has already hit his 1,000-yard milestone but he also has 13 touchdowns. His career high (which is also the single-season Buccaneers record) is 14. 

Rookie WR Milestones

Puka Nacua could set a record for rookie catches if he has four this week and for rookie receiving yards if he has 29 this week. First-year standout Rashee Rice is 62 yards away from a 1,000-yard season. Zay Flowers is 142 yards away from 1,000 receiving yards and 86 yards away from 1,000 yards from scrimmage as a rookie. 


Tight End Contract Incentives and Milestones for NFL Week 18

Dalton Schultz, Houston Texans

Dalton Schultz needs six receptions to earn a $250K bonus this week. He would also earn another $250K with 107 receiving yards. 

Sam LaPorta, Detroit Lions

Lions tight end Sam LaPorta is currently tied with Keith Jackson for most receptions by a rookie, so one catch would give him sole possession of the record. He’s also 140 yards from a 1,000-yard season and 216 yards away from the all-time rookie tight end record set by Mike Ditka.