We characterize the effect of ferromagnetic nickel nanoparticles (size ∼6 nm) on the magnetotransport properties of chemical-vapor-deposited (CVD) graphene. The nanoparticles were formed by thermal annealing of a thin Ni film evaporated on top of a graphene ribbon. The magnetoresistance was measured while sweeping the magnetic field at different temperatures, and compared against measurements performed on pristine graphene. Our results show that, in the presence of Ni nanoparticles, the usually observed zero-field peak of resistivity produced by weak localization is widely suppressed (by a factor of ∼3), most likely due to the reduction of the dephasing time as a consequence of the increase in magnetic scattering. On the other hand, the high-field magnetoresistance is amplified by the contribution of a large effective interaction field. The results are discussed in terms of a local exchange coupling, J∼6 meV, between the graphene π electrons and the 3d magnetic moment of nickel. Interestingly, this magnetic coupling does not affect the intrinsic transport parameters of graphene, such as the mobility and transport scattering rate, which remain the same with and without Ni nanoparticles, indicating that the changes in the magnetotransport properties have a purely magnetic origin.