Not saying your fuel filter doesn't need changed, but.....
Before doing that, I would carefully check for vacuum leaks and consider cleaning the throttle body including the IAC passages and pintle, and the MAF wires unless that has been done recently. That will cost you very little, and unless you break the fragile MAF wires, can only help.
Then, you might consider checking the fuel pump pressure. A cheapo pressure tester can be had from Harbor Freight for less than $15 iirc. A plugged filter will show up on a pressure test. Make sure the fuel pressure regulator is not leaking gasoline into the vacuum line by pulling off the hose and checking for the presence of gasoline immediately after shutting off the engine.
Water in your gasoline will cause similar symptoms. It is rare, but it does happen. You need to take a sample of the gasoline that is reaching the fuel rail to investigate this possibility. Put the gasoline in a clear glass container and let it sit for a while, then look at the bottom for beads of water. If you buy your gas from the same station, same pump, and are using it in other vehicles with no problems, you can discount this possibility. You could add a couple of bottles of dry-gas or Heet (methyl alcohol) to the gas tank to help absorb any water that might be present. Although, if you have a lot of water in the tank, more aggressive measures might be needed.