A strainer will definitely work, and is advisable in many applications. It depends on what you hope to achieve, grade of fuel, and the tank. Steel tanks end up with condensation in the bottom (all tanks do, and should be periodically drained). The sludge from diesel and rust needs both a strainer and a fine filter. Particulate matter varies widely in "pump fuel" from a truck stop or filling station. The strainer will not remove small particulate, but it will sure clog your vehicle filter (it is generally far EASIER and CHEAPER to change these filter elements than to replace these in your vehicle). Here are some CAUTIONS:
1) Match filter flow to your pump output (15 GPM rating typically can squeeze up to 12 GPM through a filter, but some of these are rated at only 4 GPM). If you want clean fuel, mount two or three of these in parallel so the flow divides among them OR pump without fully opening the nozzle so the bypass system in the pump recirculates and delivers fuel at a lower rate. Volume is great, but clean is better. From an engine's standpoint, DIRTY oil is better than NO oil, but NO fuel is better than DIRTY fuel. Dirty fuel will cost you dearly in the long run.
2) Do not use the "water block" filter elements unless you have extremely clean fuel that has had plenty of opportunity for water to settle. Move your pump suction pickup up off the tank bottom, and trade lower usable fuel capacity for dryer fuel. My point is that when a little water, even a small fraction of an ounce, hits a water block filter, the filter will do what the name implies. However, IT WILL ALSO BLOCK ALL FUEL FLOW! If you are desperate for fuel, you might have to change the water block element for every quart of fuel pumped.
3) Most vehicles handle small quantities of water in their main sediment/water separator, as long as it is drained periodically (don't wait for a warning light, because too much corrosion can occur if water is left in your vehicle filter system for months). Supply your vehicle very clean filtered fuel, with very little particulate, and the filter(s) will work well for a very long time--just keep them drained of water. I'd rather change half a dozen of these elements than the two on some trucks. The final cost and your blood pressure will be lower than trying to depending on nothing but the vehicle filters.