I sometimes find myself in the same situation, leagues at work mostly. If you wanted to water things down a bit you might try a simpler format. H2H fantasy points is what I find easiest for first-timers. Plays just like fantasy football, they should like that. Simplest way is weekly lineups. Live scoring is key to keeping interest, it takes often takes too much discipline for a footballer to pay attention for the entire season. ESPN's free product works good.
But even with dumbing it down, you will destroy them. It won't be fair. But it will be fun.