The Galactic Football League, by Scott Sigler
— Image source: Goodreads
You may be thinking of the Galactic Football League, a series by Scott Sigler. As of 2018, it consists of five novels:
- The Rookie (2007)
- The Starter (2010)
- The All-Pro (2011)
- The MVP (2012)
- The Champion (2014)
A sixth novel, The Gangster, is expected in 2019.
The author has a number of other novels and shorter works set in the same universe and connected to the GFL storyline in various degrees.
— Sources: Goodreads; Wikipedia.
The alien players are capable of superhuman feats:
Set in a lethal pro football league 700 years in the future, THE ROOKIE is a story that combines the intense gridiron action of "Any Given Sunday" with the space opera style of "Star Wars" and the criminal underworld of "The Godfather." Aliens and humans alike play positions based on physiology, creating receivers that jump 25 feet into the air, linemen that bench-press 1,200 pounds, and linebackers that literally want to eat you. Organized crime runs every franchise, games are fixed and rival players are assassinated. Follow the story of Quentin Barnes, a 19-year-old quarterback prodigy that has been raised all his life to hate, and kill, those aliens. Quentin must deal with his racism and learn to lead, or he'll wind up just another stat in the column marked "killed on the field."
— Goodreads: The Rookie
Although the series takes place 700 years from now rather than in the near future, there is, as you suggested, the notable detail of a spiked ball:
The spiked ball made it second down, 10 yards to go on the Coranadillana 34.
— Galactic Football League Bundle (includes GFL Books 1-5)
The author's website describes the league in detail.
I think it was kind of a Rollerball for kids, but I remember it had illustrations and followed the hero having found out that his world was not what he thought it was.
I haven't read the series, so I don't know whether it has these elements.