Expert picks for The Open Championship

Australia's Marc Leishman is looking to break through with a win after two top five finishes at The Open Championship since 2014. AP Photo/Chris Carlson

The Open Championship returns to Royal Birkdale for the first time since 2008, and the golf world can't wait to see what's in store. Which golfers have the best chance to win this year's event? Who are the top value plays?

Our panel of ESPN and FantasyGolfInsider experts have laid out the players whom they believe have the skills to succeed and provide big fantasy-point totals.

Picks to win

Rickie Fowler

I didn't just pick Fowler to win this year's Masters. I wrote an entire column detailing exactly why it would happen. That's the kind of thing that'll get a guy the #OldTakesExposed treatment, but instead I'm doubling down. That's right: I'm picking Fowler to win The Open. He loves links golf, but more importantly, he's ready to win a major. When he walked off Erin Hills after the final round last month, another golden opportunity gone awry, there was a quiet confidence around him, one that suggested he knows something we don't. -- Jason Sobel

Jordan Spieth

As a fan of links golf and someone who passed on the John Deere Classic to prepare for Royal Birkdale, Spieth means business. His dramatic, wire-to-wire Travelers Championship victory won't have hurt his confidence and, while his putting might be inconsistent, his approach play has been looking good. -- Leo Spall

Paul Casey

In keeping with the trend of great players who have never won a major breaking through for that first victory -- it's at seven and counting after Brooks Koepka's title at the U.S. Open -- I'm going with the Englishman. Casey hasn't missed a cut since January on the PGA Tour and owns six finishes of 12th or better in that time frame. And it doesn't hurt that he finished T-12 the last time The Open was played at Royal Birkdale back in 2008. -- Kevin Maguire

Tommy Fleetwood

There's obviously some good karma with the Royal Birkdale connection, as Fleetwood grew up in Southport. But more importantly, he's playing well. The Englishman has not been out of the top 10 in his past four starts, including a victory three weeks ago at the French Open and a tie for fourth at the U.S. Open. -- Bob Harig

Tommy Fleetwood

The American golf audience was introduced to young Fleetwood at the U.S. Open. The scrawny Englishman tied for fourth at -11 and showed everyone in the process he has a legit world-class game. Now comes a local major for the local boy with his game in peak form. Since Erin Hills, Fleetwood has gone: T-4, 5th, Win, T-10. I'm a sucker for a good story. Give me Fleetwood to make it eight straight majors with a first-time winner. -- Matt Barrie

Matt Kuchar

Kuchar fits the description of most recent winners at The Open Championship -- someone who is 35 or older seeking his first major championship having finished outside the top 40 at the event the previous year. Sounds kind of goofy, but that's been the trend over the past half decade. He hasn't played in an event since the U.S. Open a little over a month ago, but finished with a T-16 in that and enters the week with four top-20 finishes in a row. -- Joe Kaiser

DraftKings value picks

Marc Leishman

Leishman's strong statistical profile makes him stand out in most fields and when coming to a windy course he makes even more sense (Aussies have a thing for playing in the wind). Leishman took second to Zach Johnson at the Open at St. Andrews a couple of years ago and has been knocking at the door since his win at the Arnold Palmer. He's a strong cash play this week and has upside for GPPs as well. -- Taras Pitra

Ian Poulter

The last time the Open Championship was held at Royal Birkdale, Poulter finished runner-up. It has been a tumultuous nine years since then for the Englishman, but he seems to have recaptured some magic this season. Flirting with the possibility of losing his PGA Tour card, Poulter posted a T-11 at RBC Heritage and since then has been outstanding, recording a runner-up at the Players and T-9 at the Scottish Open last week. He has been outstanding statistically as well. I look for Poulter to make a run at a top-10 finish and for only $7,500 on DraftKings he is a steal. -- Jeff Bergerson

Brandt Snedeker

Sneds will be extremely highly owned this week as a value play with lots of acclaim surrounding him, as a guy who showed just how talented he is with his T-9 at the U.S. Open and who fits a lot of the key characteristics. The crafty veteran doesn't make bogeys but is hurt on most courses by a lack of distance -- at Royal Birkdale, that won't have a negative impact. Snedeker is consistently one of the best putters on tour, has a great approach game and has had great success on coastal courses. -- Adam Daly

FanDuel value picks

Ryan Fox

Fox is a very strong play for FanDuel this week. For folks who have only played golf through FanDuel, there is going to be much less familiarity with players like Fox who have only recently emerged in the last couple of months on the European Tour. The young product out of New Zealand enters the week having finished in the top 10 in his past three starts and has a streak of six straight finishes in the top 26. He has shown he can handle the links style of play and he offers plenty of upside for his incredibly low price. Given that FanDuel has not priced out many of these types of young players on the Euro Tour, this is the week to capitalize on pricing errors. -- Zach Turcotte

Marc Leishman

Leishman continues to show solid form and now travels overseas for The Open in Southport, England. Since his T-27 finish at the U.S. Open, Leishman added a top-20 and another top-5 to his 2017 PGA Tour résumé. He will also be looking to continue his recent success at The Open, where he has posted two top-5 finishes since 2014. The Aussie is a cut maker with the ability to score and is priced at only $6,800 on FanDuel this week. This is a great value and should allow for a top-tier golfer or two to fit in your lineup. -- Erik Dantoft