The Southampton hitman has bagged 12 goals in his last 12 Premiership starts to spearhead his side's rise to seventh spot.
Defender Dean knows Beattie better than most having spent two years with him at the Saints and is determined to overcome a sore Achilles to face him on New Year's Day.
Deano, a doubt for the clash, declared: "When Beats is confident there aren't that many better around, especially of his type.
"He's an old-fashioned sort of forward, a great target man but he has pace about him as well and he's taking his goals well.
"He's as honest as the day is long and that's something I always admired about him. He'd chase things down, graft hard and never stop working for you.
"I don't know if you saw the goal against Sunderland that was disallowed but that showed that he'll run through a brick wall to score a goal. That's Beats for you.
"He'll challenge for everything and you won't get a free header or tackle. He's fully committed and it will be a challenge.
"He's also got good spring, good pace and when his confidence is up like it is at the moment you find many tougher opponents.
"I'll be surprised if he doesn't make the England squad next year - he's got the capability to get in there."
Dean Richards says there are few better strikers around than a confident James Beattie.