I guess I could just ask, but the potential for rejection is too pricey. They are in my circle of friends, and I'd have to face them afterwards.
Why is it too pricey? Are you not comfortable processing disappointed feelings?
Could just ask and trust that your friendship with these people is solid enough to take a compliment of "I think you are awesome! I would love to date you. Would you be interested in dating me?"
Stop selling yourself and your friends short just because you fear some awkward feelings if the response is "No, thank you. Not at this time. But thanks!"
You will still be friends later even if the answer is "no."