Favorable fantasy matchups ahead

Ryan Mathews has just 31 points through four weeks, but things could turn around quickly. Harry How/Getty Images

A number of the big fantasy football point performances this past week occurred in part because of highly favorable matchups. Torrey Smith racked up 22 points (ESPN standard scoring) against a very banged-up Buffalo Bills secondary; Alex Smith notched 22 points versus a suspect New York Giants secondary; and Victor Cruz beat cornerback Dunta Robinson (who was filling in for injured Brandon Flowers) for a 67-yard touchdown pass en route to a 22-point game.

The injury factor in each of those matchups was key. Normally it isn't until later in a season that injuries start having a huge matchup implications. But, as John Clayton recently noted, this season already has been significantly affected, with many starting-caliber players on IR before Sunday's games. Then we saw players such as Vince Wilfork, Dwight Freeney and Jake Locker get hit with major injuries, too.

Combine the injuries with the typical slate of starting defenders who are deemed favorable matchups (a factor designated via a green rating for those defenders) and it means there should be many more upside opportunities for fantasy owners to put into their lineups.

This week's Fantasy Foresight will take a look at some players who are in the best shape -- in terms of green-rated matchups -- over the next four weeks.